Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): California Prepares for Wildfire; Disparity in Covid Deaths Highlight Need for Vaccine Equity (2021-04-16)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Police Shootings: A Dilemma Forever? (2021-04-16)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Monica Davalos and Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto of the California Budget and Policy Center (2021-04-16)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Law Enforcement Action Partnership executive director Diane Goldstein on the Role of State Legislatures in Police Violence (2021-04-15)
  • 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)

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

MONEY MATTERS:

  • UCLA Custodians, Cooks, Groundskeepers and Nurse Assistants Supporting Isaac Bryan for Assembly 2021 (new IE committee) reports spending $203,352 for television buys.

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:
    • $50,000 from Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. (Newport Beach)
    • $25,000 from Tutor Perini Corporation (Sylmar)

The Nooner for Saturday, April 17, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Saturday! It's a beautiful day out there and I look forward to some outside time this afternoon.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Progressive downer: Most political analysts believe that, while almost certain to qualify, the effort to recall Governor Newsom is still a long shot. That is reflected in each poll in the strongly Democratic state. However, one thing is clear, it will curtail ambitious dreams of progressives for at least this year. White, Kahn, and Bermel look at the impact for Politico:
    Democratic proposals on single-payer health care, Medicaid for all undocumented immigrants and wealth taxes went nowhere as Gov. Gavin Newsom urged restraint during his first two years in office, especially during the pandemic.

    As a recall election now looms, the left flank may get sidelined again as Newsom tries to survive a gauntlet of opposition from Republicans while keeping business interests at bay.

    The Democratic governor has an unexpected balancing act in his third year in office. Doubling down on progressive priorities could energize his party's base, but he has to avoid alienating centrists and giving fodder to opponents eager to portray him as an overreaching liberal.

    The threat of a recall is likely to overshadow Sacramento policymaking all year, and a fall recall election would come shortly after Newsom signs or vetoes a flurry of bills. His choices could reverberate at the ballot box.

  • Villaraigosa? In the LAT, Dakota Smith writes that the recall election gives former Los Angeles mayor and former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa the opportunity for a political comeback. But, will he jump in and face the wrath if a Republican is elected?

    Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa popped in to speak to a Loyola Marymount University class earlier this year, offering up a story about the pandemic and his career.

    When some people ask if he’s glad he’s not governor or mayor during the tumultuous period of the health crisis, Villaraigosa responds with a dirty look, he told the students, according to a video of the class.

    “I say, ‘Obviously, you don’t know me,’” Villaraigosa said, sounding as feisty as when he would spar with reporters at City Hall news conferences. “Because if you did, you would know I want to be right in the middle of all of it.”

    He could soon get his chance. Three years after his underwhelming performance in the California governor’s race, Villaraigosa is being talked about as a possible Democratic candidate in the likely recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    ...

    Some political analysts argue that a well-known Democrat should appear on the ballot to blunt the chances of a Republican or fringe candidate winning. Others, including state Democratic leaders, urge a united front and are discouraging Democrats from running.

    Villaraigosa, who declined to be interviewed, has criticized the recall. But he’s not publicly ruled out a run, prompting speculation about his plans.

REHIRING: Governor Newsom yesterday signed SB 93 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), which is the bill to provide rehiring rights to specified employees laid off in the hospitality industry during the pandemic. The bill applies to hotels with 50 or more guest rooms, convention centers with more than 1,000 seats or 50,000 square feet, and private clubs with 50 or more rooms for overnight member stays.

UNEMPLOYMENT: As a sign of reopening and recovery, unemployment rates are falling across California, writes Dale Kasler for The Bee.

Unemployment rates fell across California last month in the latest signal that the economy is responding to the easing of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

With vaccination rates increasing and more sectors of the economy reopening, the Employment Development Department reported Friday that Sacramento’s unemployment rate dipped to 6.9% in March, down two-tenths of a percentage point.

Employers added 5,000 jobs to their payrolls, with the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector gaining 1,300 jobs as restaurants continued their climb-out from the shutdowns. The education sector brought 1,600 employees back to work as schools started reopening for in-person instruction.

The statewide unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point, to 8.3%, as payrolls grew by 119,600 jobs. This followed a gain of 156,100 jobs a month earlier, further evidence of an accelerating recovery.

“This healthy job number heralds the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” said economist Sung Won Sohn, of Loyola Marymount University, in a note to reporters.

Here are the March 2021 unemployment rates by county (click for larger).

Unemployment rates by county

At 7.4%, Sacramento County remains modestly better than the statewide average.

VACCINE PASSPORT BAN? In The Bee, Hannah Wiley writes that it's unlikely the state will ban "vaccine passports" as proposed in AB 327 Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin).

From the Legislative Counsel Digest of AB 327:

This bill would prohibit state agencies, local governments, and any other state governmental authority from adopting or enforcing any order, ordinance, policy, regulation, rule, or similar measure that requires an individual to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the individual’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization. By prohibiting local governments from adopting or enforcing such measures, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The bill would prohibit any public or private entity that receives or is awarded state funds through any means, as specified, from requiring a member of the public to provide, as a condition of receipt of any service or entrance to any place, documentation regarding the person’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.

Wiley writes:

“I think it’s important that people in California are assured this isn’t the road we are going to go on,” Kiley said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t announced plans for a statewide COVID-19 vaccination documentation policy. But as more people get immunized, hope for life to return to pre-pandemic normalcy has some businesses and corporations announcing plans to require proof of vaccination to keep patrons safe while attending a concert or football game, when boarding a flight or taking a cruise vacation. Colleges have also increasingly announced requirements for students to get vaccinated before returning to class.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the end of March unveiled a voluntary platform called “Excelsior Pass” that lets users upload proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or immunization records for businesses and venues to quickly reference.

Several Republican governors, however, have announced bans on inoculation verification, arguing that personal freedoms can’t be sacrificed via public health mandates.

Meanwhile, you need proof of a vaccine or a negative test to get in to most professional sporting events. Those paper vaccination records won't last long in your pocket. Oh, and if you're going to Staples Center, it has to be in your pocket. All bags are now prohibited, including even clear purses. It's literally more strict than the rules for the State Bar exam. The rationale from Staples is that searching bags requires contact. When I have my vaccination done, I would love an app rather than walking to a Kings game and realizing that the paper card is sitting back at home. While Kiley's AB 327 does not directly apply, the state blessing of an app would go a long ways toward universal usage.

The bill was a gut-and-amend on Wednesday and, with only two weeks left for policy committees to pass fiscal bills, has not yet been set for Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection. The bill also has been referred to Assembly Health.

INFRASTRUCTURE: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden writes that California's leaders have their eyes set on getting a hefty slice of Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, or whatever emerges from the other Capitol's sausage factory.

The president envisions infrastructure improvements to be made over the next eight years, with financing from corporate tax hikes over the next 15 years. The business tax rate is now 21 percent; Biden wants to increase it to 28 percent.

Among many other things, the Biden proposal calls for:

–$115 billion to be spent on roads and bridges
–$80 billion on passenger and freight railways
–$25 billion on airports
–$20 billion on road safety improvements.

Using a rough back-of-the envelope formula specifying that California has approximately 12 percent of the nation’s population means that California, at least theoretically, would get perhaps 12 percent of the goodies, as the proposal is currently written. That translates roughly into:

–$13.8 billion on roads and bridges
–$9.6 billion on passenger and freight railways
—$3 billion on airports
–$2.4 billion on road safety improvements

Eunice Roh of the Legislative Analyst’s Office points out that it’s really not that simple.

“It’s hard to say it (the apportionment) will be solely on the basis of population,” she told Capitol Weekly in a telephone interview. “Inevitably it’s going to go through changes. Who knows what the result will be?”

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

COVID-19: California reported an additional 117 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,576 since the pandemic began. 

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is now 1.7%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30, although up 0.2% from the low earlier this week.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 24,672,255 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 30,970,800
  • Availability: 40% of California adults have received at least one vaccine, reports Michael McGough in The Bee. However, availability is still limited without the J&J vaccine:

    California will likely have to continue its COVID-19 vaccination campaign for at least several more days without the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson at its disposal, as federal regulators are expected to keep that vaccine on pause through late next week.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended providers pause giving the J&J shots following six reported cases of a rare but severe clotting condition in recipients.

    California followed the recommendation and directed providers to pause administering those doses the same day.

    CDC advisory committee plans to meet April 23 for an “emergency meeting” to discuss the J&J vaccine, delaying its redeployment at least a week. The committee met this Wednesday but decided not to make a recommendation until the issue was investigated further.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week that the pause is not expected to substantially impact California’s vaccination timeline, citing the fact that J&J made up only 4% of this week’s federal allocations. J&J’s proportion was low in large part because of a recent U.S. manufacturing issue that was constraining supply nationwide.

    Meanwhile, for the Times, Melissa Healy looks at the cost-benefit analysis of the J&J vaccine with identified but extremely rare risks.

    “It’s a hard balance to strike,” said Dr. Camille Nelson Kotton, a committee member who specializes in treating immunocompromised patients at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

    Kotton said the Johnson & Johnson “one-and-done” jab is especially well-suited to the needs of her patients, including organ transplant recipients leaving the hospital on immune-suppressing drugs and homebound people with compromised immunity.

    Many of Kotton’s patients had been scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson shot over the next few days. Now, she said, they will continue to be at high risk of becoming gravely ill if they encounter the coronavirus.

    As a single-shot vaccine that requires no special handling, J&J’s vaccine has been seen as a solution for those who might not show up for a second shot due to transportation problems, job or child-care demands or an overload of life challenges. It was expected to be a boon not only for young people and essential workers but for those made vulnerable by addiction, poverty and lack of shelter.

    “This is very special vaccine,” Schaffner said. Already at high risk, “some will become infected” before the pause is lifted, he said.

    ...

    A half-dozen cases of life-threatening blood clots handed the 15-member group an agonizing dilemma.

    The cases emerged from reports made either to Johnson & Johnson or to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a database run by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. All six victims were women between the ages of 18 and 48 who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the previous two weeks — a tiny fraction of the roughly 6.8 million Americans who’d gotten it by early this week.

  • Equity: In the Chron, Aidin Vaziri and Catherine Ho look at whether California will be able to maintain vaccine equity now that all residents 16 and over are eligible to receive one.

    When Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Union City to mark the opening of vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older, he applauded the 24 million doses that have already gone into Californians’ arms. But a second metric, he said, was just as important.

    “The number I’m most proud of, though not yet satisfied with yet, is the 4.84 million vaccines that have gone into our most impacted communities in the state,” he said Thursday, referencing the fact that California has surpassed its goal to administer 4 million doses in the lowest income areas.

    It is “an important metric of our success in terms of these equity goals,” Newsom said. “But as a state, we still have a lot of work left to do.”

    Whether that work includes setting a new equity benchmark is unclear. When asked whether the state has set a specific target beyond having already achieved the 4 million shots, the California Department of Public Health did not directly answer. A plan to roll out additional equity strategies may be available soon, a department spokesperson said.

-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.

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:

  • Oakland: Teachers in the Oakland Unified School District have declared an impasse over reopening plans, although they plan to return to the classroom on Monday as scheduled, reports Emma Talley in the Chron

    Though the district and the union already approved a plan to reopen schools, some details had yet to be worked out. Union officials said negotiations broke down over changes to special education teacher workloads, including agreements about remote teaching, class preparation time, child care accommodations and leave time for teachers whose families are at increased risk for contracting the coronavirus.

    “These last remaining issues must be addressed through the bargaining process,” OEA President Keith Brown said in a statement Friday. “OUSD’s decision to ignore them has brought us to this impasse. Now is the time to address them.”

-performing arts: For CapRadio, Sammy Caiola reports that Sacramento's performing arts organizations are not ready to raise the curtain just because they are allowed to.

Multiple Sacramento performing arts venues say they’re not going to open just because they’re allowed to under new California rules. 

State guidelines for indoor live performances that took effect this week impose capacity limits and direct guests to wear masks and sit six feet apart when they attend events. Audience members are being asked to refrain from yelling, booing and singing.

Buck Busfield, producing artistic director of the Sofia, home of the B Street Theatre, says they’ll open the curtains “when the public tells us they’re ready to come.”

“Because for us to open for three or four weeks and have light to no attendance is just impractical,” he said. “We’re going to reopen once and do it correctly, and we want to reopen quickly with bigger houses rather than having all that expense and just having a few people there.”

The new state guidelines allow for live, indoor performances in counties in the red, orange and yellow tiers. There are capacity restrictions, which vary depending on the size of the space and whether the venue chooses to ask patrons for vaccination records or negative COVID-19 tests at the door.

The new rules are as follows:

Venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people:

  • Red tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people, and capacity increases to 25% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 
  • Orange tier: capacity is limited to 15% or 200 people, and capacity increases to 35% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination
  • Yellow tier: capacity is limited to 25% or 300 people, and capacity increases to 50% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 

Venues with a capacity of 1,501 and above: 

  • Red tier: testing or proof of vaccination is required, and capacity is limited to 20%.
  • Orange tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, and capacity increases to 35% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 
  • Yellow tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, and capacity increases to 50% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

 

CAKEDAY: No birthdays that I know of today!

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.

Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building

Penthouse residence for rent in desirable Downtown Marriott building. Renter will enjoy private lobby, use of hotel amenities such as pool / spa, gym, and access to concierge services such as supervised Amazon package delivery, etc. This space would be perfect for a member or lobbyist or consultant with frequent business in the Capitol. Comes with one parking spot with option for another if needed. You can view full listing, photos and more here. Can be rented furnished or unfurnished.

Contact: Joe Fernandez, Eagle Property Management; (916) 430-9196, jfernandez@eimpropertries.com

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: