Around The Capitol

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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 at or above $100,000.

  • Yes on 15 (split roll): $560,000 from four donors, including $125,000 each from Joan and Irwin Jacobs
  • No on 15 (split roll): $645,452 from 46 donors, including $150,000 from Entrepreneurial Properties Corporation and $110,000 from California State Club Association Against Prop 15: No To Higher Property Taxes
  • Yes on 16 (restoring affirmative action): $103,600 from two donors, including $100,000 from Susan Pritzker
  • No on 22 (transportation network exemption to AB 5): $115,590 from 7 donors (each Teamsters locals)

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The Nooner for Wednesday, September 2, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Electricity
  • Legislature - post-wrap updates
  • My bad, Buffy!
  • AB 5/AB 2257
  • Prop. 20 (Public safety)
  • [CORR] Referendum filed: SB 793 (Hill): Flavored tobacco products.
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Happy Humpday! Although, it feels like Sunday as I just assume end-of-session is a Friday/Saturday morning thing. I know better as I've been around here for 25 years. Anyway, I treated yesterday like a Saturday, going for a long walk in the clean(er) air, leaving my computer after The Nooner, and watching things other than green and red carpet. By 1:20am yesterday, I was cross-eyed from looking at the two windows of the two streaming sessions.

Kudos to the Capitol tech staff (LDC and others) who were amazing this year. While I miss Huell Howser's California Gold and historical programming on the defunct California Channel, the fact is that monitoring legislative activity is immensely better now and the websites held up under the pressure of a very large audience Monday.


-The numbers: 152 more Californians lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 13,170. 

-Tracking: For CalMatters, Ana B. Ibarra reports on a contract the state has signed with a software company to improve statewide case tracking after the debacle at the Department of Public Health was announced in August.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary, said the new system will run parallel to the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, or CalREDIE, which feeds positive results from labs to both the state and local public health departments. The state and counties use this information to calculate positivity rates, investigate cases and initiate contact tracing.


The state entered into a six-month, $15.3 million contract with OptumInsight Inc., a Minnesota-based health data and software company, to develop the system. The state will use a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pay for it, according to the state’s health department.

The new reporting system will be used specifically for COVID data only, and is expected to be up by October. That’s just in time to meet a potential higher volume of tests.

-The reopening: Here is the state page which is searchable by county and industry on what and when can reopen. Although, the state's guidance doesn't necessarily match with locals, which can exceed them, causing confusion...

-Hair! Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism after having an indoor haircut in a San Francisco salon, reports Quint Forgey for Politico. Fox News was sent the security video of the Speaker and it became part of the news cycle. However, the plan was announced yesterday and the haircut was on Monday.

The Fox News report fueled two TrumpTweets this morning:

Crazy Nancy Pelosi is being decimated for having a beauty parlor opened, when all others are closed, and for not wearing a Mask - despite constantly lecturing everyone else. We will almost certainly take back the House, and send Nancy packing!

The Beauty Parlor owner must really dislike Crazy Nancy Pelosi. Turning her in, on tape, is a really big deal. She probably treats him like she treats everyone else...And she strongly supported a Kennedy who just lost in, of all places, Massachusetts!

Counties are allowed to exceed the state guidance. From the state's page on reopening by county, under San Francisco, you find "Hair salons and barbershops: Can open indoors with modifications."

Rusty Simmons writes in the Chron that San Francisco stands alone as hair salons and barber shops reopen statewide.

As most Bay Area counties confirmed this week that they would take advantage of new permissions to reopen businesses in a variety of sectors under a state system unveiled Friday, city officials confirmed that they would stand fast on most restrictions and watch the course of the coronavirus pandemic closely before lifting limits on a variety of businesses they view as risky.


San Francisco is in the red, or “substantial,” tier, as is Napa. Napa embraced the state’s red-county permissions, which allow for personal care services like waxing and skin care indoors. Most of the other seven Bay Area counties, in the purple “widespread” tier, aligned their rules with the state’s, allowing for indoor haircuts and mostly outdoor operations for other sectors. Alameda has not moved to allow indoor salons.

Grow your hair the tech kiddos work from home, let your hair grow. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius...

Anyway, this is a real problem and frustration for businesses and residents alike. It's much easier to find the state's guidance page than the county order page. Governor Newsom is back for NewsomAtNoon today and the state website will be shown likely on every slide or as a chyron. More residents will likely see that than the county health order and Mayor London Breed's press release. Just sayin'.

-School daze: Sunday's This American Life was on school reopenings and the debate of in-person, distance, and blended learning and talks to kids and teachers. Great listen.

WILDFIRES: Crews are making progress on all three fires, although the Labor Day weekend has soaring temperatures forecast in many parts of the state. In each of the fires, additional structures continue to be consumed, although no new fatalities have been reported.

-Wildfires: Here are the stats on the biggest fires (source: CalFire).

  • SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus): 391,578 acres and 72% contained as of 6:50am
    Structures destroyed: 82
    Deaths: 0
  • LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano): 375,209 Acres acres and 76% contained as of 7:54am
    Structures destroyed: 1,449
    Deaths: 5
  • CZU Lightning Complex (Santa Cruz, San Mateo): 85,467 acres and 46% contained as of 7:46am
    Structures destroyed: 1,490
    Deaths: 1

ELECTRICITY: The California Independent System Operator has issued a warning of possible electricity shortages on the grid it manages as temperatures soar across California, reports Dale Kasler in the Bee.

The manager of California’s electricity grid issued an alert Wednesday for Labor Day weekend as it tries to avoid more rolling blackouts during an expected major heat wave.

With temperatures in the Sacramento Valley predicted to peak this weekend at 107 degrees, the California Independent System Operator issued a “restricted maintenance operations” notice. That’s an order directing power generators to defer any planned shutdowns for routine maintenance.

The order takes effect 6 a.m. Saturday and ends Sunday at 10 p.m. The region is bracing for four straight days of 100-degree weather, with the temperature expected to peak sometime Sunday.

Kasler also writes that, after the August rolling blackouts, the state is backing off the plans to shut down natural gas-fired electricity generation plants in Southern California.

Two weeks after California was hit with rolling blackouts, state regulators extended the lifespan of a fleet of gas-fired power plants Tuesday, saying the facilities are needed to maintain reliability of the electricity grid.

The State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-0 to allow nine generating units to operate up to three more years before they’re mothballed, overriding objections from environmentalists and some local officials complaining about air and water pollution.

The fate of the generators, housed at four plants on the Southern California oceanfront, have become a closely-watched issue in the debate over the environment and California’s energy future.

LEGISLATURE - POST-WRAP UPDATES: The dust is settling as we try to catch up on sleep after Monday night and the days before.

I screwed this one up yesterday, but it's because the site said (and still says at 7:20pm Tuesday): "08/31/20 - Read third time. Passed. (Ayes 41. Noes 15.) Ordered to the Senate.". I posted the correction to Twitter and Facebook, but didn't think it was worth a special email. What I did realize is that lots of folks were reading for detail yesterday! 

  • SB 1383 (Jackson): Unlawful employment practice: family leave.
    PASSED: Assembly 46-16-17; to governor

-The endFor Politico, Jeremy B. White and Mackenzie Mays write up the chaotic end of the legislative session. In the Bee, Sophia Bollag and Hannah Wiley look specifically at the Senate:

The casualties of the flap [with Republicans fuming at majority Democrats] turned out to be a mix of proposals that died without votes.

They included policing bills to decertify officers with misconduct allegations and ban tear gas as crowd control. A major housing production bill that would have eased barriers to construction of duplexes, two proposals to ban single-use plastic products and several budget-related measures also didn’t come up.

In the Chron, Dustin Gardiner and Alexei Koseff write about when time ran out.

But legislators, exhausted after debating behind face masks for 14 hours, watched several of their major proposals — bills to increase housing production, create a police decertification process and reduce plastic pollution — sink in the final minutes.

Those bills died, in part, because tensions among lawmakers exacerbated their pandemic-induced time crunch, and the state Constitution required them to stop working on all but a few exempt bills at midnight.

Much of the drama played out in the Senate, where 10 Republicans were barred from the Capitol and forced to vote remotely after they came into close contact with Sen. Brian Jones, a Republican from Santee (San Diego County) who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The chamber, where decorum is usually king, plunged into chaos as the quarantined Republicans accused Democrats of trying to silence them by limiting the time for debate on bills as the sun went down Monday.

As tensions boiled, GOP Sen. Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore (San Bernardino County) exclaimed, “This is bulls—.”

Democrats, in turn, accused Republicans of trying to run out the clock. Democrats later rescinded the debate-limiting move after an emergency recess, and Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, pleaded with her colleagues for a “reset” so they could get through more bills.

You got the real quote in The Nooner. I try not to use profanity in my own writing, but when it's part of a quote, fair game. Consider The Nooner your HBO, but I won't go all John Oliver on your ass. Ass clears FCC, so I didn't violate my standards there. By the way, the video of Monday's session is up, but I haven't found the exact spot of the quote. If someone finds it, send it my way.

-The governor's decisions: The CalMatters team is rolling out analysis of the job ahead for Governor Newsom on key bills.

-Police reform: For CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall looks at why several elements of the police reforms before the Legislature at the end of session failed passage, and reform advocates attribute it to the inability to pack the Capitol with advocates at the end of session because of the COVID-19 restrictions:

[S]howing up over and over again was not an option this year, as the Capitol was closed to the public by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Legislature took a two-month pause during the stay-at-home order. Lobbying visits were replaced by phone calls and Zooms. Lawmakers held fewer hearings. Public testimony often amounted to a chaotic conference call.

And so, even as the nation roiled after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd — and lawmakers introduced several bills in response — advocacy inside the statehouse largely withered. Activists filled the streets but couldn’t fill the Capitol. The truncated legislative session and the inability to turn out the masses made it harder to pressure lawmakers.

The result: Lawmakers this week sent a few diluted police reform bills to the governor, while the most controversial proposals stalled in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

MY BAD, BUFFY! Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon apologized for denying a request from Assembly Member and new mother to proxy vote for the end of session. Instead, she was seen on the Assembly Floor Monday night with her newborn. He states:

I want to make a full apology to Assemblymember Wicks. My intention was never to be inconsiderate toward her as a legislator, or a role as a mother.

Inclusivity and electing more women into politics are core elements of our Democratic values. Nevertheless, I failed to make sure our process took into account the unique needs of our Members. The Assembly needs to do better. I commit to doing better.

The image of her on the floor with her blanketed daughter cuddled to her shoulder amidst COVID-19 drew attention from far and wide. Hillary Clinton tweeted:

California Assemblymember @buffywicks was told that having recently given birth wasn’t sufficient excuse to cast a vote remotely.

So she brought her newborn daughter to the floor to weigh in on an important housing bill. 💪

CalMatters's Laurel Rosenhall has a Twitter thread with more background.

The bill of course was SB 1120 by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), which died Monday night as the Assembly waited until 11:30pm to take it up and then speakers go far beyond what is customarily allowed at the end of session (and was used in the Senate). The roll was closed at 11:57pm, clearly without time to be transmitted to and voted on by the Senate. Atkins tweeted:

I'm floored by Asm. @BuffyWicks' support of #SB1120 and her dedication to the people's work. Last night, she showed the immense strength of moms. I hope this sparks a meaningful dialogue about America's need for better family leave policies and deep need for affordable housing.

The Assembly processed many bills throughout the evening that had come over from the Senate and sat idle for long periods of time waiting for bills to come over from the Senate. SB 1120 was not one of them, although Atkins said the same votes that pushed it over the top in the Assembly had been there all along. From the above-linked article by White and Mays:

“To send over S.B. 1120 at 11:57 — that was impossible, and those votes were there days ago,” a weary Atkins said some time after 2 a.m., decrying the “the absolutely needless delay of housing bills.”

SB 1120 had been on Assembly Third Reading since August 24. The Assembly had several floor sessions between August 24 and Monday. While Speaker Rendon voted for the bill Monday night, he had 23 members of his caucus who did not by either voting no or taking a walk and they were largely the same areas that killed SB 50 (Wiener) last year. Housing density is one of the most district-specific issues members vote on.

There are many ways to play #KillBill even if Uma is not around. One of them is running out the clock.

Kill Bill

AB 5/AB 2257 (Gonzalez): The LAT's John Myers looks at the new exemptions to AB 5 contained in AB 2257, last year's bill which codified the California Supreme Court's Dynamex decision, which is now of on the governor's desk.

The bill casts a wide net in identifying business relationships that are exempt from requiring work to be done by an employee. Many real estate, home inspection, underwriting and financial services could be provided by independent contractors under AB 2257’s provisions. New clarifications would also be applied to exempt business-to-business contracting and services offered by those who have a sole proprietorship or limited liability corporations.

If signed into law, the bill provides broad acceptance for the use of independent contractors in the music industry, including those who create, market and promote sound recordings. AB 2257 also makes provisions for some musicians and vocalists and photographers whose assignments include album covers and publicity photos.

Other services, such as youth sports coaches and pool cleaning, would also be exempt from employee status. And freelance writers, photographers and illustrators who want to work as independent contractors would no longer be subject to a limit of 35 assignments per year, a limit created by AB 5 and frequently criticized on social media.

PROP. 20 (Public safety): KQED's Marisa Lagos heard it directly from the father of Sutter, Colusa, and Cali's mouth -- former governor Jerry Brown is directing $1 million to the campaign against Proposition 20, the measure to roll back public safety reforms enacted in recent years. Lagos writes:

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is donating $1 million to defeat Proposition 20, a November ballot measure backed by police and prosecutors that aims to roll back some of the criminal justice reforms he championed over the past decade.

Brown — who still has a nearly $15 million war chest in his 2014 campaign account — said in an exclusive interview with KQED that he is donating the money because he believes the measure will make prisons less safe by making it far more difficult for thousands of inmates to have a chance at parole.

That, he said, will lead to more prison violence and gangs.

“Prop. 20 wants to basically eliminate all hope in the prison,” Brown said. “Men who have given decades will have no chance to earn their way back to society. And that's fundamental to any kind of criminal justice system that while you impose punishment, you make room for redemption and rehabilitation in the prison.”

The former governor is referring to provisions in Proposition 20 that would undercut another state ballot measure: Proposition 57, which Brown authored in 2016. Proposition 57 allowed thousands of state prison inmates to appear before the parole board early and win release if they could demonstrate they have been rehabilitated.

[CORR] SB 793 (Hill): Flavored tobacco products. A referendum on the measure signed by Governor Newsom on Saturday was filed Monday. If 623,212 valid signatures are collected by December 31, the bill would be on hold until a vote at the November 8, 2022 general election. Yesterday, in my sleepless daze, I used the deadline for the AG's office to prepare title and summary as the deadline for signature-gathering.

What I wrote yesterday was September 10, which seemed like a reasonable deadline when my fingers pecked it out in a sleepless daze. It's still March 19 isn't it?


cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Evan Corder, Emily Davenport, Jann Dorothy, Senator Ben Hueso, Susan McEntire, Jennifer Wonnacott!


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA): Legislative Advocate

Represent and advocate for the interests of Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) members and policyholders before the Legislature, Administration, state agencies, industry and trade associations, and related forums. Based in Sacramento. Excellent salary and benefits.

Research Analyst, Full-Time (remote)

Probolsky Research is a market and opinion research company based in Newport Beach, California. We are woman and Latina-owned. We are non-partisan, independent researchers passionate about accuracy, data security, and using storytelling to make data usable.

The Research Analyst is responsible for facilitating market and opinion research projects from instrument design to project fulfillment, final research deliverables and presentation to client.


  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • Company-funded medical insurance
  • Paid vacation

Location: We are a virtual company – work from anywhere

California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (LA North/Ventura)
Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. Remote position based in the following location: LA North/Ventura. Salary based on experience. Please apply at:
Between 1-3 unfurnished offices are available for sublease in the Wells Fargo office building, 400 Capital Mall Sacramento, CA 95814. The offices are approximately 12’X10’ each. Internet, gym. 24/7/365 key card access; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Tricia Horan at or 415-919-7990 with questions.
Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: