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

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • GOV: added research clinical psychologist Robert C. Newman II (R)
  • GOV: added pastor Sarah Stephens (R)

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.

The Nooner for Sunday, April 18, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

SEEN ON SUNDAY TEEVEE:

  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) on congressional efforts to address policing reform and gun violence [CNN's State of the Union]

¡Feliz domingo! It's going to be a toasty one (for April) here in Sacramento, with a forecast high of 90. However, coming off a cool night and returning to another one tonight, it should be perfect. Well, a perfect day to walk over to Our Lady of Guadalupe for post-Nooner tacos for lunch. Because of my shoulder, it's been three Sundays since I've had my Sunday ritual.

It's a pretty quiet day on the news front before we return to another busy week of legislative bill hearings. This afternoon, I hope to finish an analysis update for ATCpro subscribers for the AD54 (Baldwin Hills-Culver City-Westwood) special primary election, which is a month from today.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • On the eve of the deadline for counties to report the number of valid signatures on petitions to the Secretary of State, the SDUT's Michael Smolens writes that the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom is serious and may turn bizarre.

    A flood of candidates are expected to run to replace Newsom. The list of announced and potential candidates is growing almost daily and ranges from former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox to Olympic gold medalist and transgender icon Caitlyn Jenner to former adult film actress Mary Carey.

    The campaign promises to be one part circus, one part policy debate and two parts intricate political maneuvering where replacement candidates must vie against each other, while convincing voters they don’t want the governor to stick around. 

    ...

    [A]s yet there is no potential replacement candidate with anywhere near the stature and buzz of a Schwarzenegger, who before the Davis recall had become an increasing presence on the political scene by backing causes and candidates.

    But things can change quickly, as they have in the past year. California could experience a resurgence of the virus as some other states have and unforeseen controversies could sink Newsom’s standing. The replacement field is far from set.

    As before, this recall is attracting interest from a wide variety of politicians, regular citizens and publicity seekers.

POLICING PROTESTS: There were protests around the state last night over police brutality:

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes that the defeat of SB 467 (Wiener) to llmit oil and gas production in Senate Natural Resource last week was a lesson in supply and demand and the lesson can be applied to other policy conundra.

That was the underlining issue last week when the state Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources and Water took up Senate Bill 467, which was aimed at shutting down much of California’s oil industry by banning fracking and other extraction processes.

The bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, argued, “California cannot continue to have the image of an environmental beacon while we are actively poisoning our citizens and destroying our state.”

Wiener introduced the bill after Gov. Gavin Newsom called for ending the sale of petroleum-fueled cars by 2035 and asked the Legislature to ban fracking. However, now facing a recall election, Newsom didn’t lift a finger to help Wiener move his bill, apparently because labor unions were adamantly opposed, citing elimination of high-paying union jobs.

Without Newsom’s support, moderate Democrats on the committee refused to vote for the bill and it failed. “This one really does go to shut down the oil industry in California,” Sen. Susan Eggman, a Stockton Democrat, said. “We are not getting away from oil or gas in California in the next 10 years.”

...

The same dynamics hold true in the other commodities that a modern society needs to prosper.

We need, for example, to double housing production, but construction requires immense amounts of lumber, concrete and steel, plus electrical fixtures and plumbing made of copper. These materials begin as raw resources, such as trees, limestone and copper and iron ores, which are then processed and transported to building sites via railroads and/or diesel-powered trucks.

Occasionally, we are reminded that electricity doesn’t come from the walls, gasoline doesn’t come from pumps, lumber doesn’t come from Home Depot and toilet paper doesn’t come from the supermarket.

NURSING HOMES: Jocelyn Wiener reports for CalMatters that an effort to tighten oversight of nursing homes in California stalled

An effort to fix problems with the oversight of California’s nursing homes has stalled, sparking fears that the bill is doomed — and prompting elder care advocates to warn that even a delay jeopardizes residents’ safety.

“I’m incredibly frustrated,” said Democratic Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi of Los Angeles, author of Assembly Bill 1502. “The pandemic has clearly exposed the horrible conditions of so many of our nursing homes. 

“People are dying as we wait….We cannot sit around with a broken state oversight system while our most vulnerable residents continue to live in these nursing homes.”

A recent CalMatters investigation spotlighted an opaque licensing process for California’s nursing homes, plagued by indecision, delays and misleading information. For instance, the California Department of Public Health has allowed the state’s largest nursing home owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, to operate facilities for years through a web of companies while their license applications languish in “pending” status, the investigation found. 

That story “blew the lid off of my thinking,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood, a Santa Rosa Democrat who chairs the Assembly Health Committee — and helps decide which health legislation in that house will live or die. “I didn’t realize to the extent that it was happening.”

Nonetheless his committee declined to hear the bill, which would forbid the use of management agreements to “circumvent state licensure requirements” and would require owners and operators to get approval from the California Department of Public Health before acquiring, operating or managing a nursing home. Instead, the committee turned Muratsuchi’s proposal into a two-year bill that won’t be heard before next January.

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

COVID-19: California reported an additional 74 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,650 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend reporting lag applies.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.6% (-0.1%), far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.

  • Los Angeles: Yesterday, Los Angeles County reported the lowest test positivity rate of the pandemic, reports the LAT's Andrew J. Campa. 

    Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 527 new coronavirus cases and 29 related deaths, noting that the daily test positivity rate of 0.9% is the lowest since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

    The daily positivity rate is defined as the percentage of all coronavirus tests reported that are positive, officials said. Not all individuals who have the virus get the test.

    Though officials are encouraged by the steady decline in daily cases and transmission of the virus, as well as increased vaccinations, they caution residents to be vigilant against new variants of the virus by adhering to safety protocols such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

    “As the weather gets warmer and we go out to enjoy all what our beautiful county has to offer, let’s keep up with the straightforward safety measures that have reduced transmission,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a statement. “When we get vaccinated, wear face coverings, keep our distance, and implement safeguards at workplaces, our actions minimize transmission and prevent severe health outcomes.”

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 25,188,138 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 31,625,990

-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.

  • Marin: In the Chron, Meghan Bobrowsky reports that Marin County may be the first in the Bay Area to reach the yellow tier.

    Most of the Bay Area has been stuck in the orange tier for a month, but on Tuesday one county may finally break free: Marin County is on the cusp of dropping into yellow, the least restrictive of the state’s four-tiered pandemic reopening plan.

    If the county’s metrics hold steady, it will be the first in the Bay Area to reach yellow since the winter surge, and potentially serve as a harbinger of regional success. California announces county tier movements once a week, on Tuesdays.

    “We are just teetering on the margin between orange and yellow,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s health officer, said Friday. “It’s very hard for me to predict at this point where we’ll land on that particular day.”

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:

  • Los Angeles: In the Times, Esquivel, Blume, and Lee report that the reopening of Los Angeles Unified has varied greatly by community. 
    There are only four communities where more than 40% of students were expected to return to in-person school, according to district data collected in a parent survey: western Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Westchester and Venice. Each is a higher-income community, with majority white populations in which COVID-19 has not had the same magnitude of impact as neighborhoods with larger Latino and Black populations.

    In Latino-majority communities like South Gate, East Los Angeles, Pico Union and Bell, only about 25% of students were expected to return. The disparate rates mean that, at least for now, in-person schooling will be very different from neighborhood to neighborhood, especially at the elementary school level.


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

Probolsky Research

 

CANNABIS: The home of Orange Coast College may soon get its first legal cannabis shops, reports Alicia Robinson for the Register.

Costa Mesa officials could be issuing permits for the city’s first retail cannabis stores by mid-June, if the City Council settles on rules for where and how the stores can operate when it meets on Tuesday, April 20.

Ah, 04/20, that's cute...

The city will become the second in Orange County (along with Santa Ana) to welcome storefront sales of cannabis – and the tax revenue that’s likely to follow. The opening of that business sector comes after Costa Mesa voters approved a ballot measure in November to allow cannabis shops and delivery services. A little more than four years ago, residents voted in a measure permitting non-retail uses including cannabis manufacturing, distribution and testing labs.

The council debate isn’t expected to be contentious – no one sent the city comments before Tuesday’s meeting agenda was prepared, and cannabis industry representatives were included in several ad hoc committee meetings over the past year. But City Council members will have several issues to hash out before they finalize the rules.

GOLD! A Canadian company has its sights set on the hills around Grass Valley for a new Gold Rush. Kurtis Alexander reports for the Chron:

For the past four years, a Canadian mining company has been in Nevada County, about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento, collecting samples of what it suspects is one of the world’s highest-grade underground gold deposits, potentially worth billions.

Now that company, Rise Gold Corp., is drafting plans to get at the bounty by reopening the more than 150-year-old Idaho-Maryland Mine.

“There’s some really good targets that they left behind,” President and CEO Ben Mossman said, as he stood in his office in Grass Valley recently, looking at a map of the long-shuttered mine and its 73 miles of underground tunnels. “The fact that they planned to double production here before they closed says to us that they thought there would be a lot more gold.”

As Mossman turns to the task of getting approvals to unseal and activate the abandoned mine just east of Grass Valley’s city limits, however, the idea of reviving the region’s signature industry is beginning to meet resistance.

The legacy of gold, while widely celebrated, is not something that many in this area, now home to more retirees and Bay Area transplants than men in hard hats and overalls, want to revisit. Mining may have given rise to this community, and more notably, lifted the entire state from frontier to financial powerhouse, but the scars it left on the landscape remain visible, and unwanted.

CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Senator Anna Caballero, Heather Hopkins, Dan Jacobson, and Megan Range!

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: