Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell (2021-04-11)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Former Assemblymember Mike Gatto (2020-04-09)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Monique Limón (2021-04-06)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): soon-to-be-retired Metropolitan Water District of Southern California head honcho Jeff Kightlinger  (2021-04-04)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Political consutant Rose Kapolczynski on Newsom's Rising Fortunes and Her Love of the Underdog (2021-04-01)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • Golden State Opportunity: Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator
  • New Sacramento-based thriller
  • Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building
  • Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • SD10 (Hayward-Fremont-Santa Clara): added Fremont mayor Lily Mei (D) - Wieckowski termed out

RECALL WATCH: The final signature reports are due from counties Monday, April 19. As of March 11, 1,188,073 signatures had been validated. Proponents need 1,495,709 to qualify the recall, a total that they are fully expected to meet.

  •  Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving:
    • $100,000 from John Edward (Jed) York & Affiliated Entities, Including the Forty Niners Football Company, LLC (Santa Clara)
    • $100,000 from Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP (Newport Beach)
    • $5,000 from Sia Furler (Singer, Ramsey, NJ)

The Nooner for Thursday, April 15, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Colbert April 14, 2014

Happy Vaccine Liberation Day! I'm booked now for my first jab on April 27. Since Kaiser is offering the vaccine at the hospital and not downtown medical offices, I'll be heading to a Rite Aid on the grid instead. Yes, I need to allow an extra 30 minutes to find the pharmacy since drugstores are organized like casinos to keep you wandering the aisles.

I got my flu shot at the Rite Aid on Kay Street and it was a very pleasant experience. Unfortunately, that one is not providing the vaccine, so I'll be going to 28th/F. But, I can still get a scoop of Thrifty ice cream after my vaccination -- just like a kid.

Several legislators are getting their vaccinations today, including Rob Bonta and Lorena Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, several readers have asked what I did to "free up" my frozen shoulder. I got acupuncture last Wednesday, which didn't provide relief. I returned to various exercises suggested by some of you, my doctor, and online. It started getting better on Saturday and was tender but functionally normal on Sunday. It continues to be that way -- tender but functionally normal -- and I continue to work on it each day. No drugs other than ibuprofen.

And sleep is finally returning, although I still roll over on to that left shoulder nightly, which likely explains the continued tenderness.

Again, thanks for your tips!

DO YOU RECALL?

  • The Bee's Lara Korte looks at the emerging field for wannabe successors in the likely election considering a recall of Governor Newsom this fall.

    Some of the self-proclaimed recall candidates so far are established California politicians, like former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer or former GOP Congressman Doug Ose.

    Others are less traditional.

    One big name among rumored candidates is Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympian-turned-reality-TV star who was previously married to Kardashian clan matriarch Kris Jenner. She’s now one of America’s most famous transgender women.

    Axios first reported last week that she is speaking with Republican consultants about a possible run, and on Wednesday, Jenner endorsed the recall in a tweet, saying “Californians are fed up with the lack of leadership in Sacramento.”

    Also on the recall ballot this year could be Mary Carey, the porn star who ran in the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis and placed 10th among 135 candidates.

    “Last time, I was young, dumb and full of fun,” Carey told ABC7 News this week. “And this time I’m more experienced and I am not going to take this position laying down. I am ready to be on top.”

AGmatters: We now have the confirmation process for Rob Bonta's nomination to fill the Attorney General vacancy. The timeline suggests that he will be confirmed during floor sessions next Thursday.

  • Senate Rules: Wednesday, April 21 - 1pm
  • Assembly Special Committee on the Office of the Attorney General: Wednesday, April 21 - upon adjournment of session

SENATE DEMS BUDGET PRIORITIES: Yesterday, Senate Democrats unveiled their "Build Back Boldly" proposal for the 2021-22 State Budget.

According to the release from Senate Budget chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the package is centered around "eight transformative proposals," which are:

  • Help small business and non-profits bounce back
  • Create a path to universal 0-3 child care and education
  • Make debt-free college a reality
  • Address homelessness, housing affordability and home ownership
  • Expand access and affordability of health care
  • Invest in wildfire prevention and resilience
  • Mitigate the impacts of drought
  • Improve state systems

Here is the full proposal.

OC CONGRESSIONALS: For the Register, Brooke Staggs looks at where votes may move around among the purple congressional districts in Orange County.

Some 30,000 Orange County residents currently represented in Washington, D.C. by Democrat Katie Porter will very likely have a different Congress member by the end of the year.

But which residents, exactly how many, and who their new representative will be is for now all fodder for speculation, with the once-a-decade process of redrawing political boundaries, or redistricting, just getting underway.

What’s not speculative is that any changes to local district lines will shift political winds in ways that will surely help or hinder anyone eyeing one of the seven congressional seats that touch Orange County.

“These seats are and will remain competitive, so a shift of 10,000 people this way or that way can be a big opportunity one way or the other for either political party,” said Scott Spitzer, political science professor at Cal State Fullerton. “That means you’re going to get some strong challengers for all of these seats and some significant amounts of money coming in for 2022.”

...

Porter’s narrowly blue 45th District currently stretches from Anaheim Hills south to Mission Viejo and from Silverado Canyon west to Irvine, including portions of Lake Forest, Tustin, Villa Park and Rancho Santa Margarita. That district is the only one in or touching Orange County that’s expected to be over-populated when compared to other California districts, with some 31,461 more people (about 4.1%) than the average congressional district, according to estimates compiled by City University of New York (CUNY) based on 2019 population data.

That means CA-45 will likely need to shrink a little as political lines are redrawn to make sure congressional districts have about the same number of people.

COVID-19, more issues, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...

COVID-19: California reported an additional 181 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,376 since the pandemic began. 

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.7% (+0.2%), far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 23,760,123 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 29,888,030
  • 30%: As the state opens vaccine eligibility to all residents 16+, 30% of the state's adults had been vaccinated through Wednesday. The Bee's Michael McGough reports:
    CDPH said in its daily update it is again dealing with data processing issues leading to incomplete counts.

    But even with that reporting issue and doses undercounted, the state says more than 9.33 million people are fully vaccinated and 6.34 million are partially vaccinated, for about 15.7 million at least partially vaccinated through Tuesday.

    With roughly 31 million adults in California, 9.33 million works out to 30% and 15.7 million to a little over 50%.

-variants: From the California Department of Public Health:

  • "UK strain": B.1.1.7 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission, and likely with increased disease severity and risk of death. Appears to have minimal impact on the effectiveness of treatments with antibodies.
  • "South Africa strain" B.1.351 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission. May have moderately decreased response to antibody treatments.
  • "Brazil strain": P.1 variants may have moderately decreased response to some antibody treatments.
  • "West Coast strain"": B.1.427 and B.1.429 are associated with approximately 20% increased transmission. There is significantly reduced efficacy of some antibody treatments.

Here are the variants of concern in California. Remember that this is just from 36,639 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of April 14, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   1,937
B.1.351    27
P.1    166
B.1.427   4,416
B.1.429   9,074

You can view a US map by strain prevalence on the CDC site. Note that, like the numbers above, this map is case numbers of a sample, and note a case rate. Obviously, California will have higher counts, but that doesn't translate into a higher case rate of the variant.

-tiers for fears: As a reminder, any county must remain at a tier for three weeks before progressing to a less-restrictive tier, even if the metrics continue to improve. From yesterday's daily CDPH press release: "After a request for a review of its data, Merced County was moved today from the Purple (widespread) Tier to Red (substantial) Tier. No counties in California remain in the Purple Tier, a significant milestone in the state’s use of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy."

Here's where the counties stand after today's changes bolded and italicized.

  • No county in the Purple (widespread) Tier.
  • 21 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (17.0% of state population): Amador, Calaveras, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.
  • 33 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (82.9% of state population): Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Marin, Napa, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • 3 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.1% of state population): Alpine, Lassen, and Sierra.

Statewide tiers map

-school daze:

  • Governor on school reopenings: For EdSource, Ali Tadayon reports that Governor Newsom yesterday "again called on schools to reopen for full-time in-person instruction in the fall, though it remains unclear whether the state will require it." Tadayon continues: 

    Newsom made the announcement at Santa Rosa’s Sheppard Elementary School, which opened for in-person instruction Tuesday following the reopening of dozens of Los Angeles Unified schools and more than 9,000 others throughout the state. Touting the number of schools that have already reopened their campuses, Newsom had a clear message for K-12 administrators: Start planning for the fall. 

    “We must prepare now for full in-person instruction come this next school year. That’s foundational, and that’s principal,” Newsom said.

    But whether the state will mandate schools to reopen for full-time in-person instruction will likely be decided during the annual “May Revision” of the state budget. Newsom, on Wednesday, said he is working with the Legislature to formalize what districts will be required to do in the fall, since the trailer bill that accompanied the 2020-21 budget included a provision for distance learning. The trailer bill, which details budget and policy changes accompanying the budget, allows distance learning as an alternative to in-person instruction and will sunset at the end of the current school year.

  • Data portal: The state has a new website on which you can look up the reopening status by school/district, including the number of students attending in-person, hybrid, and distance. It includes public, charter, and private schools. Additionally, it shows how much the district/school has received for pandemic-associated costs. The data are incomplete at this point and I'm not sure what the updating schedule is. For example, it shows that Davis Joint Unified is "Not Open for In-Person Instruction," although my Facebook feed was full of lots of Davis parents sending their kids to school on Monday.

-reopening:

  • At 8am this morning, San Francisco expanded what can reopen. Kellie Hwang reports for the Chron:

    On Thursday the city will loosen more COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, again allowing indoor ticketed and seated performances, private events including conferences and receptions, and expanded indoor and outdoor social gatherings. The new guidelines will take effect at 8 a.m.

    Even after I get my two shots, I won't be heading to any conferences or receptions anytime soon. I just might tiptoe inside of a restaurant that has good distancing.

    The city is still in California’s orange reopening tier, but had not yet totally relaxed restrictions on businesses and activities to levels allowed by the state. But city officials said last week that progress in vaccinations has bolstered confidence in reopening. As of Tuesday, 59% of city residents 16 and older had received at least one COVID vaccine dose.

-hospitality rehires: For The Bee, Jeong Park reports on SB 93 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), a 2020-21 trailer bill to provide rehiring rights to certain employees in the hospitality industry who were laid off because of the pandemic. Park reports:

Under the bill, employers in parts of the hospitality industry would have to offer any available jobs first to qualified employees who were laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Companies would have five days to do so, and workers would then have five days to decide whether they want to accept the offer.

Employers affected would include hotels, large event centers and airports, among others.

Gov. Gavin Newsom had vetoed a similar bill backed by labor unions such as Unite Here last year, saying it would place “too onerous a burden” on employers.

But with California’s economy reopening and employers hiring, legislators said the state should not leave behind hundreds of low-wage workers in the hospitality industry, many of whom are women of color.

...

California’s hospitality industry lost nearly 700,000 jobs by February compared to the start of the pandemic. More than 120,000 hotel workers remain out of work, according to a letter sent to legislators from the California Hotel & Lodging Association.

Some cities such as San Francisco have passed an ordinance requiring some workers to get their jobs back. Sacramento is considering such measure as well, but the bill would expand the right to cover the entire state.

In the article, Park describes how the bill, which was approved by the Senate on concurrence this morning, has been narrowed since Newsom's 2020 veto.

-worship services:

  • For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at how the addition of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has been a key factor in blocking California's pandemic restrictions on religious institutions.

    The new legal reality fully set in last November when the nation’s highest court, joined by its newest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, slapped down rules in New York state that curtailed religious gatherings in the name of public health. 

    California has been getting the New York treatment ever since. In December, the court kicked a case brought by Pasadena’s Harvest Rock Church back down to a lower court, asking the appellate court judges to reconsider the legal dispute in light of the recent New York decision. 

    In February, the court went a step further, siding with a Chula Vista church in its challenges to the state’s capacity restrictions on houses of worship. The South Bay Pentecostal Church had a particularly fervent ally in Justice Neil Gorsuch, who chided California for “openly impos(ing) more stringent regulations on religious institutions than on many businesses.”

    As soon the New York opinion was issued, Harmeet Dhillon, a California Republican operative and a regular challenger of the governor’s policy response to the pandemic said her law office started to be “deluged with requests from new potential plaintiffs.” 

    ”I expect there is going to be no shortage of work for First Amendment lawyers over the next year,” she said at the time.

  • In the Register, Deepa Bharath reports that, while the Supreme Court has essentially forced the state to change its guidance to allow churches to reopen without restrictions, many are easing their way back rather than fully reopen immediately. 
    Several Southern California churches and faith leaders said Wednesday, April 14, they will take their time to ease back into normalcy even after the state lifted its limits on indoor worship services on Monday following U.S. Supreme Court rulings that struck down COVID-19 public health mandates.

    The California Department of Public Health’s guidelines still “strongly discourage” indoor gatherings and recommend limiting building occupancy to 50% in counties in the orange tier, which applies to all of Southern California. The new guidance from the state says that “location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory, but strongly recommended” and that these changes were prompted by recent Supreme Court rulings.

More issues, cakedays, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

DROUGHT: CalMatters's Julie Cart and Rachel Becker share 5 things to know about federal drought aid.

To assist California, which is the nation’s largest food supplier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently declared a drought disaster for 50 counties. That makes growers throughout the state who have been struggling with parched conditions eligible to seek federal loans.

“This declaration emphasizes the devastating and far-reaching impact of climate change on the agricultural producers that feed and power America,” Under Secretary of Agriculture Gloria Montaño Greene said in an emailed statement.

Here are the five areas of discussion Cart and Becker provide in their great article.

  1. There’s a big difference between a drought emergency and a USDA disaster 
  2. The decision was ‘as close to automatic as it can get’

  3. Farms in all counties are eligible for loans

  4. Legislators are pressuring Newsom to declare emergency

  5. The loans can make or break farms and ranches

PPIC DISCUSSION WITH SOS DR. WEBER: The Public Policy Institute of California has posted the discussion that president and CEO Mark Baldassare had with our new Secretary of State, former Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber.

PLACER HOUSING: In The Bee, Molly Sullivan and Tony Bizjak write that, while Placer County has grown significantly over the last decade, the lack of growth of affordable housing presents a challenge for the retail-dependent county east of Sacramento that is also the locale of many retirement and adult-care communities.

A popular relocation locale for Bay Area and Sacramento workers and retirees, Placer was among the fastest growing California counties over the past decade. But 84% of the housing built in Placer since 2013 has been aimed at people of above average income. Of the many thousands of housing units built in the last eight years, only 468 affordable units were built.

That’s just 14% of what state housing officials say the county should have constructed.

The county isn’t legally on the hook if those state housing quotas aren’t met; it’s only required to create a path for developers to build that many units, via zoning enough lots for housing.

But as housing becomes more expensive and commutes get longer, some community representatives say the county has hit a critical moment that will require a major effort by county leaders – as well as an attitude readjustment by the public – to avoid squeezing out the next generation of workers, including teachers, restaurant workers, caregivers for the elderly and others in service industries.

Shawna Purvines, deputy director of the county’s community development resource agency, said the county has made it a priority to encourage a greater variety of housing in the last four years, initiating multiple projects that have come to fruition during the pandemic.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to former First Lady Sharon Davis, Amy Everitt, Robb Korinke, and Jeremiah Ramirez!

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]


Golden State Opportunity is looking for a Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator.

These are exciting opportunities for the right person who wants to build their own teams, establish a foundation for a rapidly growing organization with national political ambitions and wants to make a significant impact in ending poverty as we know it. Please review the job descriptions, with salary ranges, at Careers at GSO.

NEW SACRAMENTO-BASED THRILLER!

SET IN SACRAMENTO, ALL THAT FALL is "a white-knuckled, character-driven thriller, at once twisty and full of heart." In this first in a new series from award-winning author KRIS CALVIN, Investigator Emma Lawson has just 48-hours to stop a killer whose plans for revenge include upending California's government. "The story reads as if it happened. Emma and the rest of the cast will hook you." ORDER NOW from Amazon or your favorite bookstore at www.kriscalvin.com. Available in hardback, ebook & audiobook.

The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:
go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy

McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website, Online.McGeorge.edu, or contact us at graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

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: