Around The Capitol

If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box.
To be removed from The Nooner list, click here.

Become a Nooner Premium subscriber (or below buttons for Square) to access enhanced legislative profiles, exclusive election analysis, and downloadable back-end data. | Follow @scottlay

Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers

RECENT PODS:

GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS

  • Election Day: 61 days
  • Ballots mailed to all California registered voters: 32 days (w/in 5 days)
  • RealClearPolitics presidential average: Biden 49.6, Trump: 42.4 (8/21-9/1): Biden+7.2 - updated today
  • RealClearPolitics generic congressional average: Dems+6.8 (7/29-9/1) - updated today

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): $100,000 from American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3299
  • Yes on 22 (affirmative action/Prop 209 repeal): $100,000 from American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3299

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]

  • *CA08 (SB High Desert-Barstow-Eastern Sierra): updated analysis - move from Likely Rep to Safe Rep

    * = new today

The Nooner for Thursday, September 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Wildfires
  • Bills, bills, bills
  • EDD/Unemployment insurance
  • Policing
  • Postal
  • More on Buffy
  • From the Desk of the Dean
  • Speaking of BS
  • Cakeday and new classifieds

THE GENERAL ELECTION IS TWO DAYS FROM TODAY

¡Feliz jueves! Enjoy the last moderate weather day before temperatures start climbing to a toasty weekend pretty much around the state. More on that later.

For those of you who come for elections, I'm transitioning to that beyond just the Money Matters item above. I have a couple of stories I'm working on and for ATCpro subscribers, I should have more analyses available beyond the current 24 (including the new CA08 one reflected above) in the next couple of days. All of these issues keep popping up but they are also very relevant to the elections in competitive districts. So, while the Legislature is gone, the policy issues -- wildfires, electricity, EDD, policing, etc. -- go on. Aside from AB 3088's temporary eviction protections for rent nonpayment, the other issues won't be solved by November 3.

If you don't think we've gone crazy, then you haven't seen David Blaine's stunt yesterday over the Arizona desert. Yes, the video is three-hours long, but you can skip through various parts. I probably watched it in a half-hour last night. There's no indication that it was an illusion.

COVID-19:

-The numbers: 169 more Californians lost their lives to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 13,339. The five largest county numbers of deaths Wednesday were reported by Los Angeles (58), Orange (19), Alameda (17), San Joaquin (14), and Sacramento (8).

Let's look at the LAT's trend chart. The bars are daily reports and the line is the seven-day trend.

COVID deaths by daySource: Los Angeles Times from county health departments

The last two days have been troubling, but Sunday's 28 number was clearly out of trend and reports were likely just pushed forward. The reports that come in today and tomorrow will be illustrative of the trend.

Of course, as I have written before, deaths are a lagging indicator. The current indicator of severe infections is hospitalizations and the advance indicator is cases. So let's at the current indicator of hospitalizations:

COVID hospitalizations

Definitely a good trend yet notably still higher than the pre-July surge.

And, finally, the advance number -- cases. There were 5,161 new cases reported Wednesday. The top five counties reporting were Los Angeles (1,322), Orange (317), Alameda (250), San Joaquin (158), and Sacramento (127). Let's look at the chart from the Los Angeles Times using state data:

COVID cases by daySource: Los Angeles Times

Another good trend and testing has plateaued at the highest point of the pandemic, with a 14-day rolling average just above 128,000. The statewide 14-day positivity rate is currently 5.1% of those tested.

With Labor Day this weekend and soaring temperatures across California, there are huge concerns of a July 4th-like surge. Look at these forecasted highs from spots around California:

Sunday: Redding: 111, San Francisco: 75, Sacramento: 109, Fresno: 111, Los Angeles: 106, Anaheim: 105, Riverside: 114, San Diego: 88

Governor Newsom impassionately said during yesterday's NewsomAtNoon to stick to the best possible with household members this weekend and if you do join others, wear masks and social distancing. With these temperatures, everyone is fearing people heading to beaches and rivers and while outside locations are safer than indoors, parties on the river do not equate to the best behavior, particularly when alcohol is involved. Anyway, Nooner advice from Dr. Fauci and your mother.

-The reopening: Here is the state page which is searchable by county and industry on what and when can reopen. Of course, that's guidance and counties can enact stronger public health orders. Ask Speaker Pelosi.

  • LA County: In the Times, Jaclyn Cosgrove writes that barbershops and hair salons can open in Los Angeles County, but shopping malls and stores may not.

    L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said the decision to reopen hair salons and barbershops was based on the county’s data trends, along with what the county has learned during previous reopenings. He did not provide specific details on why restrictions for malls and shops were not lifted. Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen Wednesday once the health officer order is posted, he said.

    “The virus is widespread in our community,” Davis said. “The improvements we see do not mean victory. It is still easy to transmit, and often people who are contagious don’t have symptoms.”

    Supervisor Hilda Solis offered more words of caution for residents. “We can easily be knocked off that path of recovery if we see another surge in cases after the holiday week, which is was what happened Memorial Day and the Fourth of July,” she said.

-Higher ed: Last week, it was Chico State and yesterday was San Diego State. All in-person classes and on-campus activities are suspended. Students at Chico State were expected to leave the dorms, but they can stay at SDSU. For the SDUT, Paul Sisson and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña report:

With the novel coronavirus surging among the San Diego State student body, the university announced a “pause” of in-person classes Wednesday after public health officials said 64 cases have now been confirmed and approximately 100 more, mostly living off campus, are now under quarantine.

The news, which came just nine days after the start of SDSU’s fall semester on Aug. 24, was a significant setback for a university that brought 7,997 of its 35,485 enrolled students back to campus to participate in roughly 200 different courses — mostly labs — deemed difficult to teach through distance learning platforms.

...

The pause was not confined to classes. The university also announced a two-week pause for on-campus practices and workouts for student athletes.

It is a somewhat more nuanced approach than has been recently seen at universities struggling to navigate in-person education in the midst of a pandemic. Chico State, for example, took a more drastic approach this week, halting all in-person classes after 36 students and staffers tested positive, clearing its dorms and sending learners home.

As was discussed on a PPIC virtual luncheon in July with the three system leaders, the colleges and universities were largely shutting down in-person instruction, faculty could present the rationale for needing in-person instruction. This is particular true in courses in nursing and public safety programs. These are the courses being shut down now.

-Prisons: For McClatchy, Kate Irby reports that the federal Bureau of Prisons has instructed all federal prisons to reopen for visitors after shutting down visitation because of COVID-19, but correctional guards are concerned.

The Bureau of Prisons oversees facilities in nine California cities, including Atwater, Herlong, Lompoc and Mendota.

California also has 34 state-run prisons, which have suspended inmates visits since March and not released a plan to resume them.

Leaders of the unions for federal correctional officers have significant concerns about the visitation plan.

They question the timing of the decision, since it’s being instituted just as flu season begins and experts say the coronavirus pandemic may get worse.

And in order to ensure inmates all get at least two visits per month, visitation days could occur seven days per week, according to Aaron McGlothin, the union leader for employees at a federal prison in Mendota, 30 minutes west of Fresno. In normal times, visitation hours are only on weekends. That means more risks for exposure for staff. he said.

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 78% contained as of 6:44am
    Structures destroyed: 105
    Deaths: 0
  • LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, Solano): 375,209 acres and 78% contained as of 7:05am
    Structures destroyed: 1,490
    Deaths: 5

    In the Chron, Matthias Gafni and Lizzie Johnson look at the destructive path of the Hennessey Fire from St. Helena to Vacaville, which is one component of the LNU (Lake-Napa Unit) Complex. It's not just a fascinating story but is combined with beautiful multi-media photojournalism of video and stills.
  • CZU Lightning Complex (Santa Cruz, San Mateo): 85,746 acres and 48% contained as of 7:36am
    Structures destroyed: 1,490
    Deaths: 1 

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: On Fox&Hounds, Chris Micheli summarizes what's on the governor's desk. The governor has until midnight September 30 to act.

The number of bills that Governor Newsom will act upon this year is 428. The Governor has already acted on 37 measures. Currently, 35 measures are pending before him and the Governor’s Office is awaiting just over 350 measures that are in the engrossing and enrolling processes. Of the total number of bills pending action, about 1/3 of them are Senate measures.

EDD: During yesterday's NewsomAtNoon, there were a couple of press questions on the rampant reports from around the state of apparent fraud in unemployment insurance applications to the state's Employment Development Department. One of the questions was from the LAT's Patrick McGreevy, who writes:

California lawmakers said Wednesday that there is growing evidence of possible widespread fraud in the state’s unemployment benefits system, and the agency in charge confirmed it is investigating whether people have filed dozens of bogus claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The news comes as Californians across the state continue to report frustrating experiences with the state Employment Development Department that have left them without crucial jobless benefits needed to pay rent and support their families. A bipartisan group of legislators on Wednesday proposed a state audit to look into ongoing problems at the agency, including computer glitches, unanswered phone lines and bureaucratic tangles, which have stalled payments to about 1 million jobless Californians.

Concerns about potential fraud surfaced recently after numerous Californians who have not filed unemployment claims reported receiving dozens of letters from the EDD regarding claims filed in the names of other people. Lawmakers say they are concerned scammers are using their constituents’ addresses to file fraudulent claims.

In the Bee, David Lightman reports on it:

Hundreds of mailings purportedly from the state’s unemployment agency — some with valuable debit cards — are flooding the wrong homes and are addressed to the wrong people, and Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials are eyeing the possibility of a massive fraud scheme.

“Yes, we are concerned about fraud in this space,” Newsom said at a news conference Wednesday.

He said his office is working with state, local and federal officials to learn more, calling it a top priority at every level.

Lawmakers have found “People all over the state are being sent debit cards and Social Security numbers that do not belong to them,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.

“We are finding instances of thousands of dollars by fraud taken from individuals’ accounts,” he told reporters Wednesday.

Incidentally, I'm one with firsthand knowledge of the situation. Over the last ten days, three letters have been emailed in my name to my dad's house in the Orange County city of Placentia. I haven't lived there for 26 years. To be clear, I have never in my working career applied for unemployment benefits, but someone has my SSN and my address from 26 years ago and used it to apply for benefits. And it's not a phishing scam, because these are hard-copy letters with the correct EDD websites on them.

In order, the three letters are:

  1. 08/20/2020: California Employment Development Department Debit Card Fee Disclosure and Alternate Payment Option
  2. 08/24/2020: Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Award
  3. Undated by received third: Employment Development Department Customer Account Number Notification

Anyway, I've provided this information to the state, but they are likely backlogged with many of these by now.

This morning, the weekly new data were released by the Department of Labor. For California:

Initial Claims Filed During Week Ended August 29

  • Advance (week ending 08/29): 236,874
  • Prior week (week ending 08/22): 196,916
  • Change: 39,958

Insured Unemployment For Week Ended August 22

  • Advance (week ending 08/22): 2,600,822
  • Prior week (week ending 08/15): 2,837,991
  • Change: -237,169

more after the jump...

 

POLICING: In the Bee, Hannah Wiley looks at the policing reform bills on the governor's desk.

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a pack of bills intended to rein in police misconduct, but stopped short of passing two high--profile measures that would have restricted law enforcement officers’ use of rubber bullets and make it easier to fire cops.

The setbacks disappointed some activists and lawmakers who wanted more after the nation protests that followed the May killing by asphyxiation of George Floyd, a Black man, while in custody of Minneapolis officers.

“To ignore the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform is insulting,” Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said in a statement after his bill to decertify problematic officers stalled on Monday in the Assembly. “Today, Californians were once again let down by those who were meant to represent them.”

POSTAL: In the Times, Maya Lau and Laura J. Nelson report that Attorney General Xavier Becerra is taking legal steps to stop changes to the United States Postal Service that are impeding delivery, and it goes beyond election concerns.

The legal move announced Thursday by Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra follows reports in The Times and other outlets about rotting food and dead animals in stockpiled packages in mail facilities, and customers who have gone long stretches without income and crucial medication due to the delays.

The motion for a preliminary injunction by Becerra — acting as part of a multistate coalition of attorneys general who have sued [Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy and Postal Service leaders over the changes — is an effort to immediately undo the changes, instead of waiting for the resolution of the existing lawsuit, which accuses the Trump administration of trying to hobble the Postal Service ahead of the election.

“The U.S. Postal Service is an American institution. For many, it’s a lifeline — their Social Security or paychecks, their medicine, their connection to loved ones. And for a vast, growing number, it’s their franchise to democracy,” Becerra said in a statement.

Democrats have decried changes that include a mandate that mail delivery trucks leave exactly on time and avoid extra trips, practices that have led to mail being left behind and delayed. The directive runs counter to a longstanding Postal Service custom that mail cannot be left unprocessed, even if it means workers need to stay late or make additional trips.

MORE ON BUFFY: While much of the focus on Assembly member Buffy Wicks and 5-week-old daughter Elly unexpected return to the Capitol has been on Senate President Pro Tem's housing bill SB 1120, Laurel Rosenhall writes for CalMatters that it was also about SB 1383 (Jackson), the paid family leave bill.

Progressive Democrats were fighting an uphill battle as they pushed for a new law allowing more Californians to take time off from work to care for a baby or sick family member. With business groups lobbying hard against it, the proposal had split Democrats and, as Monday’s conclusion of the legislative year drew closer, appeared at risk of failure.

Assembly member Buffy Wicks didn’t want to let that happen. An Oakland Democrat who campaigned as a multitasking mom, sometimes bringing her toddler with her to the Capitol, she was on maternity leave after giving birth to her second child in late July. Wicks knew the family leave bill was on shaky ground and wanted to help it pass, so that more Californians could have an experience like her own — at home with her newborn, confident she could return to her job when her maternity leave was done.

“We do have paid leave in the Assembly, and I do have that kind of flexibility. But many, many women don’t across the state,” Wicks said. “So I thought it was critical that that bill passed. It was one of the most important bills this session.”

The bill by Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat, would allow more Californians to take time off with a new baby or ailing loved one by requiring that companies with at least five employees guarantee workers their jobs back after a family leave. It’s part of what Gov. Gavin Newsom has called his “parents’ agenda.” 

Meanwhile, Joel Fox writes that the requirement for her to show up is another case of legislative hypocrisy.

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: For the Times, George Skelton looks at the chaos an incivility that remote voting caused in the State Senate in the waning days of session.

I’ve always marveled at how legislators of opposing parties can fight to the death politically over heated issues but constantly act like longtime close friends when dealing with one another personally.

That has become less so as politics — reflective of the nation — has become more polarized. But nevertheless, at least in the California Legislature, there has always been graciousness and civility.

That, however, requires face-to-face contact. And this was unfortunately banned in the Senate during the final four hectic days of the legislative session.

Republican senators were barred from the Capitol because one — Brian Jones of Santee — tested positive for COVID-19. They’d caucused together last week and presumably had been exposed to the virus, although all except Jones later tested negative.

One Republican, Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber, did not attend the caucus, so he was allowed on the Senate floor with all the Democrats.

The ruling Democrats — 29 of the 40 senators — arranged for the 10 exiled Republicans to debate and vote remotely from their residences using impersonal Zoom. But there was confusion and technical flaws.

The result was anger, chaos and a broken legislative process — just when it needed to be churning on all cylinders to meet a constitutional midnight deadline for passing bills.

When Republican Sen. Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore was heard spewing a profanity into her mic — “This is bull.…” — you knew that Senate decorum had vanished and the system wasn’t working.

SPEAKING OF BS: Of you want to hear the BS moment for yourself during Monday night's floor session, an devoted Nooner reader shared that "the conversation starts at 6:55:35 and the bleepable moment was at 6:56:40" on the video.

cakeday and NEW classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anthony DiMartino, Rich Leib, Logan Pitts, and Sara Swan!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, 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.

https://careers.calif.aaa.com/job/11359638/legislative-advocate-costa-mesa-ca/

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.

Benefits:

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

Location: We are a virtual company – work from anywhere

https://www.probolskyresearch.com/research-analyst-full-time/

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: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers
OFFICES AVAILABLE TO SUBLEASE
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 Tricia.Horan@CALawyers.org 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 admin@stoneadvocacy.com 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: