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GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS
MONEY MATTERS: (highlights from daily campaign reports)
I am generally only including main committees. I try to exclude feeder committee that gather money before sending it to a the main committee, which would lead to duplication. However, it's impossible to know. Generally, I am including daily reports exceeding $100,000.
- Yes on 14 (stem cell bond): $250,000 from Robert Klein
- Yes on 15 (split roll): $3,777,288, including $2.75 million fron the California Teachers Association and $1 million from SEIU Local 1021
- No on 21 (rent control): $56,500 from 5 donors
- No on 22 (transportation network exemption from AB 5): $1 million from SEIU-UHW
- No on 23 (dialysis): $393,948 from Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
- Yes on 25 (bail, "yes" upholds SB 10): $1,500,000 from John Arnold (Retired, Houston)
ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES: [A full list of recent election analysis is on the subscribers home page. If you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]
The Nooner for Monday, August 31, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
- Wildfires and electricity
- Tenancy: eviction limitations and mortgage forbearance
- Law and disorder
- Taxing matters
- California, the political punching bag
- Cakeday and classifieds
Morning folks! I'm sending this out early this morning, as I'll be super busy starting at 10 following two sessions and some of the information below sets the stage for what is certain to be another long day.
-The numbers: 28 more Californians lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 12,938. The usual caveat applies that this is a weekend report, which often have been understated with early days in the week being overstated, but things are looking positive on this front.
LA County provided this update yesterday:
Daily hospitalization numbers continue to steadily decline from the over 2,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized daily in mid-July to an average of 1,100 patients hospitalized daily this past week. There are 1,089 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized - the lowest since the beginning of May. Thirty-two percent of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU.
To date, Public Health has identified 240,749 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,769 deaths. Upon further investigation, 41 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 2,282,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
-The reopening: Here is the new state page which is searchable by county and industry on what and when can reopen.
WILDFIRES AND ELECTRICITY:
- Electricity: The Chron has a real-time map of where the power is out in PG&E territory.
- Wildfires: The Bee's Michael McGough looks at where wildfires are burning and where quality is the worst.
Here are the stats on the biggest fires (source: CalFire).
- SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus): 383,157 acres and 60% contained as of 7:14am
Structures destroyed: 40
- LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano): 375,209 Acres acres and 63% contained as of 7:00am
Structures destroyed: 1,209
- CZU Lightning Complex (Santa Cruz, San Mateo): 84,640 acres and 39% contained as of 7:31am
Structures destroyed: 1,361
In the Times, Taryn Luna reports on the failure in the Legislature of a plan to extend wildfire and climate change actions on utility customers' bills in favor of a different funding source.
The decision to abandon Assembly Bill 1659 came just five days after lawmakers introduced the measure. The legislation’s reliance on a 10-year extension of fees on utility bills — at a cost of more than $3 billion to customers — to pay for wildfire mitigation and climate projects drew sharp criticism from ratepayer advocates and utilities.
The new plan, pushed by Democrats in the state Senate, would instead tap into proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program — which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions — as well as state general fund revenues and a 2018 bond measure. The money would be spent on a variety of efforts aimed at addressing wildfires and climate change, including cooling centers, back-up solar power, emergency shelters, warning and detection systems, hardening projects, forest health and workforce training.
Julie Cart has a similar story for CalMatters if you don't have a Times subscription.
Also in the Times, George Skelton points out that this year's wildfires largely sparked by lightning means that politicians don't have their usual scapegoats -- electrical corporations, arsonists, or careless campers.
[S]o far, it doesn’t seem to be Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s fault. Unlike in past fire seasons, the utility’s old power equipment isn’t tumbling down and igniting flammable brush or dead trees it should have cleared.
There haven’t been any nutty arsonists out there that we know about. Nor careless campers who left their breakfast fires smoldering. No smokers tossing lit cigarette butts from their cars.
No, this time it’s Mother Nature’s fault.
Many scientists and public officials also cite global warming, including Gov. Gavin Newsom. They may be right. But lightning was around long before we started burning fossil fuel.
LEGISLATURE: Capping a 12-hour day, the Senate adjourned at 10:30 last night and the Assembly ended at 10:50. Both houses are scheduled back in at 10am.
If you have were watching the Legislature over the weekend your head was likely spinning and this a very strange legislative session (and year generally), particularly over amendments adopted yesterday, within the last 72 hours in print rule enacted by Proposition 54 in 2016. Lots of questions about how bills could be amended given the 72 hours in print rule.
Let's look at the interplay.
Article IV, Section 8(b)(2)
(2) No bill may be passed or ultimately become a statute unless the bill with any amendments has been printed, distributed to the members, and published on the Internet, in its final form, for at least 72 hours before the vote, except that this notice period may be waived if the Governor has submitted to the Legislature a written statement that dispensing with this notice period for that bill is necessary to address a state of emergency, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 3 of Article XIII B, that has been declared by the Governor, and the house considering the bill thereafter dispenses with the notice period for that bill by a separate rollcall vote entered in the journal, two thirds of the membership concurring, prior to the vote on the bill.
However, we have another part of the constitution to consider. Midnight tonight is not the sine die end of the legislative session. That is November 30. So, I assume the late amendments are either already urgency bills or the amendments add the clause. That's goverrned by Article IV, Section 10(c), which was in the constitution before Prop. 54. They can return later this week, 72 hours whenever the amendments are in print and on the legislative web site.
Article IV, Section 10(c)
(c) Any bill introduced during the first year of the biennium of the legislative session that has not been passed by the house of origin by January 31 of the second calendar year of the biennium may no longer be acted on by the house. No bill may be passed by either house on or after September 1 of an even-numbered year except statutes calling elections, statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for the usual current expenses of the State, and urgency statutes, and bills passed after being vetoed by the Governor.
That's an easier solution than a special session, which many organizations have called for. Legislators are mixed on it. I think a vote later this week is also easier than the "request of the Governor" provision in Prop. 54. That's only been used once, on March 16 for the two COVID-19 funding bills.
But, it's 2020 so I'm not willing to predict anything.
While we had Senate Committee hearings scheduled yesterday, Democrats waived Senate Rule 29.10 to bring the bills directly to the floor. That rule provides that bills that have proposed floor amendments that create a new bill or rewrite the current form of the bill shall be assigned to the Committee on Rules to be further assigned to the committee(s) with jurisdiction. In a memo to committee staff yesterday morning, Kimberly Rodriquez, Policy Director for Pro Tem Atkins wrote:
Good morning – Due to workload issues and the fact that most bills that need 29.10 (d) hearings will likely not return to the Senate until Monday, we will be suspending Senate Rule 29.10 to forgo all of concurrence hearings. This will be a motion on the floor today.
For those bills that we scheduled to be heard today – Sunday, August 30, 2020, we are also cancelling these hearings and will be withdrawing the bills from your committees to the Senate Floor. There will be a motion during floor session to do this. We also need to suspense Senate Rule 10.5 for the bills in the Appropriations Cmte to be withdrawn to the floor.
Sorry for the rocky ride and the unused work, but it is what it is. Please make sure to get the floor analyses in.
As always, appreciate your flexibility on rolling with this crazy session! Thanks. Let me know if you have questions.
Indeed it is what it is.
The Assembly did hold such hearings yesterday and has two scheduled for today -- Health is hearing two bills at 9am and Labor and Employment is hearing three bills upon on call of the chair.
Here is Chris Micheli's count of bills on the docket for today:
Senate Floor – Today at 10am
- Concurrence – 34
- Assembly 3rd Reading – 37
- Total measures on Floor: 71
- *Senate has 37 Assembly measures and 34 Senate measures on its Floor
Assembly Floor – Today at 10am
- Senate 2nd Reading – 2
- Concurrence – 37
- Senate 3rd Reading – 43
- Total measures on Floor: 82
- *1 SB in committee and 4 ABs in committee + 82 = 87 measures in the Assembly
- *Assembly has 46 Senate measures and 41 Assembly measures on its Floor
Remaining Senate measures: 80
Remaining Assembly measures: 78
You can see the actual list of these bills here: Senate | Assembly. Note that these lists include bills on the Inactive File, so the numbers are different. Those ones appear like this "A- 2 SCA-3," with the A- signifying that it's inactive. It's clearer if you look at the actual Daily Files: Senate | Assembly.
It'll be a long strange day. There are bills that can't be heard until late tonight as they were amended late Friday night. For example, the Juvenile Justice Realignment (SB 823) can't be voted on in the Assembly until 10:12 tonight and it is a majority vote bill because it is an act related to the budget.
TENANCY: EVICTION LIMITATIONS AND MORTGAGE FORBEARANCE: AB 3088 (Chiu) is one of those bills that was pulled from committee by the rule 29.10 suspension in the Senate yesterday. This bill is the deal between Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders, which is supported by the California Apartment Association but opposed by several regional apartment associations to limit evictions for non-payment of rent through January 1, 2025 as long as the tenant pays at least 25% of the monthly rent due. It additionally extends on mortgage forbearance provisions for small landlords in the federal CARES Act.
There are lots of provisions so if the bill is of particular interest to you, here is today's Senate Floor Analysis and of course the bill text is here. The bill is an urgency bill to take effect immediately so it requires a two-thirds vote in both houses today, but it is expected to pass. The Judicial Council's suspension of processing eviction/unlawful detainer cases expires at midnight. The Judicial Council clearly timed that with the end of the (regular) 2020 legislative year.
PLASTICS: Yesterday, the Senate passed AB 1080 (Gonzalez) on a 23-12-3 vote. The identical bill, SB 54 (Allen), did not move in the Assembly yesterday. These are the bills to enact reductions on single-use plastic waste, requiring the products to be recyclable or compostable by January 1, 2032.
One or both bills were widely expected to be approved on the final night of last year's legislative year, but the bloody situation and tension between the houses stalled them. I described that night, which was a session that ran until 2:53am in the Senate and shortly thereafter in the Assembly, in the Saturday, September 14 issue of The Nooner.
AB 1080 is now back in the Assembly for a concurrence vote and it will likely be close. The bill has lots of opposition particularly from Dart Container Corporation, which has facilities in many members' districts. I have written about Dart many times but it's not a household name. But if you look on the bottom of many styrofoam containers that your food has come particularly since March, you'll likely see its name. The company also make those red Solo cups popular particularly with college kids (beer pong).
LAW AND DISORDER: Yesterday, AB 1506 (McCarty) passed the Senate on a 33-1-6 vote. This is the bill that, subject to appropriation in a future Budget Act (or other appropriation), would require a state prosecutor (currently the Attorney General but could be an independent office) to investigate any officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian, among other provisions.
However, AB 3070 (Weber) failed in the Senate on an 18-11-11 vote, although reconsideration was granted so it could return today (it needs 21 votes). This is the bill that would prohibit an attorney from using a peremptory challenge rom using a peremptory challenge to remove a prospective juror on the basis of the prospective juror’s race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or religious affiliation, or the perceived membership of the prospective juror in any of those groups. It allows a party to object to the peremptory challenge and request that the reasons for striking the juror be provided. The judge would then evaluate the objection and reasons given and could seat the challenged juror, grant a mistrial, or start the jury selection over again.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who chairs Senate Judiciary, opposed the bill because the Judicial Council has a committee now studying the issue. Jackson is in her last year in the Legislature and argued that the issue is more complicated than portrayed and the Legislature shouldn't act before hearing recommendations. She was joined in opposition by two other Democrats and eight Democrats didn't vote, including Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) who is a lawyer and Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park), who is a former judge advocate.
LOTS MORE: I'm just skimming the surface here of what happened yesterday and I'm still sorting out after watching two floor sessions into the night on my computer, but we'll have plenty of time to talk about more after the dust settles.
TAXING MATTERS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters asks whether the multiple crises helps or hurts those who are looking to raise taxes, particularly the "split roll" property tax affecting most commercial and industrial property owners that is on the November ballot.
Does the trauma enveloping California this year — pandemic, recession, heat waves, blackouts and disastrous wildfires — make voters more or less likely to vote for tax increases?
Sponsors of a $12 billion a year hike in taxes on warehouses, office buildings, factories and other commercial property hope it’s more.
Proposition 15 would raise that money for schools and local governments by changing Proposition 13, the iconic 1978 ballot measure that imposed tight restrictions on property taxes. If it’s passed, taxable values of commercial property would be increased to current market levels.
CALIFORNIA, THE POLITICAL PUNCHING BAG: For Politico, Carla Marinucci looks at how California will likely continue to be a major focus of the national GOP campaign through the rest of the political cycle.
"The image we hear of California portrayed by a lot of speakers is exactly the kind of image that does appeal to base voters," said GOP strategist Lanhee Chen, who advised presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio. “I do think it mobilizes them. I do think it’s an effective way of framing the contrast difference between Biden and socialism and Trump and free enterprise.’’
During the four-day GOP convention, California proved a kind of addictive popcorn to the parade of Republican speakers who couldn’t stop reaching for it. The convention was packed with a plethora of references to the nation’s most populous state — which is now an even more obvious target as the birthplace and home of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
To the Trump faithful, the liberal West Coast state represents all that the president and his base of conservatives despise.
California state government is run entirely by Democrats, from its statewide officeholders to both legislative houses that have Democratic supermajorities. Its leaders have defended protections for undocumented immigrants, embraced renewable energy, imposed gun restrictions, backed labor unions and removed statues in the wake of racial justice protests, including one of Christopher Columbus in the state Capitol.
“The whole 'cancel culture,' political correctness," Chen said, "all those themes that Republicans recoil at, are summarized in California — as an image, and as an icon.”
Republicans’ messaging seen by millions of Americans in the RNC convention this week relies on “the simple premise that under Democratic rule, California is a nice place to visit – but you wouldn’t want to live there,’’ said Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen, who advised former Gov. Pete Wilson.
“It’s the cost of living, but it’s also the direction California is headed under Big Government: endless taxation, schools that are beyond reform because of teachers union control of the legislation, the imbalance of power, one-party monochromatic rule, and constant social engineering," he said.
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
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