Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Lande Ajose, chair of the Governor’s Council for Postsecondary Education (2021-05-09)
  • CAP·impact (McGeorge School of Law): Lobbyist and law professor Chris Micheli with key reminders on legislative drafting in California (2021-05-09)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): former Assemblymember Mike Gatto (2021-05-07)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Lobbyist Bob Naylor (2021-05-07)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Mary Nichols on California's Climate Leadership and Biden's 'Inflection Point' (2021-05-06)i
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democrat Caucus): Connecting Californians: Expanding High Speed Internet with Speaker Anthony Rendon (2021-05-06)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Is The Republican Party Imploding? (2021-05-06)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Susan Talamentes Eggman (D-Stockton) (2021-05-05)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): USA Today Washinton Bureau chief Susan Page on her new book on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (2021-05-02)  

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui seeks a Field Representative experienced in infrastructure policy to join her Sacramento team.
  • The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)
  • Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!
  • Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy
  • New Sacramento-based thriller
  • Golden State Opportunity: Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator
  • 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:

  • SD06 (Sacramento): Correcting yesterday's item, former Assemblymember Roger Dickinson has decided not to run. However, former deputy DA and now chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Maggie Krell (D) is in the race.

The Nooner for Tuesday, May 11, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Taco Tuesday! I already have visions of what I'll be making tonight, which will be carne asada tacos. Last night, I made Thai curry salmon with broccolini and carrots, which was delicious. With my shoulder feeling better this week, it's great to be back in the kitchen, although last night required turning the air conditioning on while in the kitchen for the first time this year. Delivery gets quite pricey. It's 6am, and I just went outside to get a couple of boxes of produce and a dozen eggs delivered overnight. I certainly miss the vendors at farmers market (and the orange yolks of Riverdog's eggs), but I'm still finding lots of ingredients to play with!

Yes, I meant to write "spur" yesterday in writing about Governor Newsom's initiatives to "spurn" economic growth. I even looked it up to make sure I wrote the correct word, and then my damn fingers still typed the wrong one. I do know that "spur" = good and "spurn" = bad. ¡Lo siento mis amigos!

With all the budget news yesterday, it felt like an entire week packed into one day. It's going to be a long week.

Let's get to it after the jumpity jump...

BUDGET:

  • For Politico, Kevin Yamamura writes that California now has a two-year $75.7 billion budget surplus.

    California expects a staggering $75.7 billion surplus despite a year of pandemic closures — an amount that surpasses most states' annual spending and prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday to propose sending cash back to residents as he faces a recall election.

    California's coffers are bulging thanks to the high-flying Silicon Valley, surging stock market and a large share of professionals who were able to continue working remotely during Covid-19. The state has a progressive income tax structure that leans heavily on top earners, allowing the state to enjoy record revenues despite widespread job losses in the travel and service industries that have kept California's unemployment rate among the nation's highest.

    The Democratic governor provided the surplus figure Monday as he proposed $600 checks for middle-income residents along with $500 payments to families with dependents. California in February enacted an initial round of payments for its lowest-income residents, supplementing two rounds of similar checks from the federal government. All told, the state would give back nearly $12 billion this year if state lawmakers approve Newsom's plan.

    Newsom officials said they are not using any of their $26 billion in federal dollars to provide tax rebates. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 generally forbid states from cutting taxes, but the Biden administration on Monday cleared the way for California to do so with new guidance that said states could as long as they could prove they were relying on their own revenues driven by economic growth.

    There's a reason for that. The rebates might be considered a "tax cut," which would require the state to refund some of the $27 billion (increased from $26 in a new federal estimate yesterday) to the feds under the American Rescue Plan, which provides:

    A State or territory shall not use the funds provided under this section or transferred pursuant to section 603(c)(4) to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue of such State or territory resulting from a change in law, regulation, or administrative interpretation during the covered period that reduces any tax (by providing for a reduction in a rate, a rebate, a deduction, a credit, or otherwise) or delays the imposition of any tax or tax increase.
    What we don't know yet about the $75.7 billion number is how much is one-time and how much is ongoing. That's why we talk about a "two-year number." Capital gains taxes are a one-time event. To the extent the gains were realized in the 2020-21 fiscal year, the taxes generated will be one-time funds and allocated in the budget process for one-time purposes, such as deferred maintenance or instructional technology in schools. Corporate income taxes or personal income taxes for regular earnings seen in 2020-21 would be considered ongoing. So, for a $100 increase in 2020-21 in those ongoing funds, it would actually be $200 (plus anticipated growth). Beyond the federal state assistance, that's how the number can grow fast from the staggering anticipated deficit forecasted last spring.

    It can be hard to wrap your head around and took me a long time as a young budget lobbyist. And I won't even get started on Proposition 98. We'll have a lot more information on both the split of one-time and ongoing funds as well as the Proposition 98 figures for K-12 schools and community colleges after the May Revision is released, assumedly Friday.

HOMELESSNESS: Today's May Revision preview is covered by Alexei Koseff in the Chron.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is seeking to spend nearly $9 billion on his signature program to house the homeless as advocates push him to dedicate twice as much to one of California’s most persistent problems.

Newsom’s revised budget proposal, due Friday, would dedicate $8.75 billion over two years to creating new housing for homeless Californians through the hotel and motel conversion program Homekey, according to a summary provided by the governor’s office. It would also provide $3.7 billion for rental support and other services to end family homelessness over the next five years.

“Newsom is not settling for the old way of addressing homelessness,” spokesperson Erin Mellon said in a statement. “He is demanding greater accountability and more urgency to get people off the streets.”

In a successful pilot last year, funded by nearly $800 million in federal coronavirus aid, Homekey helped dozens of California cities and counties purchase hotels, motels and other vacant buildings and convert them into nearly 6,000 homeless housing units with supportive services, at a fraction of the cost of new construction.

DROUGHT: Governor Newsom yesterday declared a drought in the Central Valley and Klamath region in the far north. He also announced a $5.1 billion proposal to address the state's water needs that are part of his $100 billion "California Comeback" plan. It includes:

  • $1.3 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities.
  • $150 million for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects.
  • $300 million for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation to improve water supply security, water quality and water reliability.
  • $200 million for water conveyance improvements to repair major water delivery systems damaged by subsidence.
  • $500 million for multi-benefit land repurposing to provide long-term, flexible support for water users.
  • $230 million for wildlife corridor and fish passage projects to improve the ability of wildlife to migrate safely.
  • $200 million for habitat restoration to support tidal wetland, floodplain, and multi-benefit flood-risk reduction projects.
  • $91 million for critical data collection to repair and augment the state’s water data infrastructure to improve forecasting, monitoring, and assessment of hydrologic conditions.
  • $60 million for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program grants to help farmers reduce irrigation water use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural pumping.
  • $33 million for fisheries and wildlife support to protect and conserve California’s diverse ecosystems.
  • $27 million for emergency and permanent solutions to drinking water drought emergencies.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Poll: There is a new LAT/Berkeley IGS poll out today with questions on the recall. Phil Willon writes in the Times:

    Slightly over half of California registered voters, 52%, approve of the job Newsom has been doing as governor, a small increase from January but still far below the findings in September when 64% gave him high marks, according to the poll.

    That's within margin of what PPIC found in March and which I charted on Sunday in the trendline. PPIC found 53% job approval.

    The poll found that leading the Republicans in the race were former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox, who lost handily to Newsom in the 2018 governor’s race, although each had backing from just 22% of those polled. Former Northern California Rep. Doug Ose registered 14% support.

    Of Jenner’s low support [at 6%], [IGS poll director Mark] DiCamillo said that, despite the media attention, “there doesn’t seem to be a significant constituency for her candidacy.”

    “Even among Republicans, only 13% say they’d be inclined to vote for her,” DiCamillo said. “It’s a very poor showing.”

    ...

    Still, the effort to recall Newsom remains in the beginning stages, providing ample time for political fortunes to rise and fall. It’s only been two weeks since Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber announced that recall proponents had gathered enough signatures to force a special election by year’s end, most probably in October or November. The cost of the special election could run as high as $400 million.

    And as governor of the most populous state in the union, Newsom possesses ample power and opportunities to court California’s electorate before the recall makes its way to the ballot. Aided by the state’s economic recovery and a $75.7-billion budget surplus, Newsom on Monday proposed sending $600 state stimulus checks to millions of Californians along with a $5-billion rental assistance plan.

    “That’s the largest year-over-year tax rebate that’s ever been provided in any state in American history,” Newsom said Monday.

    Critics quickly labeled it Newsom’s “recall refund.”

    According to the poll, just 36% of registered voters in the state said they would vote to recall Newsom, the same percentage of support found in a survey by the same pollster in late January. In comparison, 49% of voters oppose removing the governor from office, a slight improvement over the 45% who opposed doing so in January.

  • Court challenge: For Capitol Weekly, John Howard reports on a new challenge filed with the Third District Court of Appeal hy a Carmichael resident. 

    “The 160-day provision enacted by the voters in June 1976 by Proposition 14 remains the law of the land …,” wrote Carmichael resident Karen Fletcher, who urged the appellate court to block the recall election. Fletcher, a legal activist, is the long-time companion of Howard Herships, who waged a lengthy fight against the fees and penalties of California’s red-light camera laws.

    ‘It is only by a ballot measure that the 160-day provision can be enlarged or changed,” Fletcher added.

    She noted that Newsom’s opponents had tried five times previously — all before the onset of the pandemic — but failed to gather a sufficient number of signatures to make the ballot for a recall election.

    The Secretary of State did not appeal Judge James Arguelles ruling, which I have written several times was nonsensical. Judge Arguelles, a Schwarzenegger appointee who was subsequently appointed to the Eastern District of California by President Trump but never heard by Senate Judiciary, clearly erred by treating the 160-day signature-gathering period for recalls the same as the 180-day period for initiatives. The legal problem is that the recall requirements are voter-approved and in Article II, Section 14(a) of the state constitution. The initiative requirements are Legislature-approved and in Elections Code §9014(b).

    It is fully appropriate for a judge to issue a writ of mandate holding that a statute can not be reasonably applied during a pandemic to ensure access to the general provisions for an initiative in the constitution that do not include a circulation period. It is preposterous to issue a writ of mandate overruling the constitutionally directed circulation period recall found in the constitution.

    But, the Attorney General's Office apparently didn't make that argument while representing the Secretary of State and there was a decision not to appeal.

    Given that the state took a pass on appealing, I don't see anyway the Third DCA would step in at this point allowing the plaintiff to bypass Sac Superior.
  • Caitlyn: Last night, after a great victory by the Giants over the Rangers, I switched to CNN to make sure there were no major train wrecks. Instead, I caught the rerun of Dana Bash's interview with gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner. She said that she has been meeting with with lots of policy experts, but the only name she dropped was "Lee" at the Hoover Institution who has been studying California's burdensome regulations for ten years. Well, there are no Lees at the Hoover Institution, so I'm guessing it was Lanhee Chen, a former Romney and Bush-Cheney 2004 advisor and frequent guest on cable news. He's a smart guy and I've always been impressed. 

    She says that she will be meeting soon with budget "experts" soon, but didn't disclose who. 

    Politico's Jeremy B. White tweets a summary of Jenner's platform:

    OK, we are done. Highlights, @Caitlyn_Jenner wants to:

    -Not do new taxes
    -Freeze regulations
    -Let market dictate climate regs
    -Decrease illegal immigration
    -Reform CEQA

    The LAT's Juila Wick writes that Jenner is hedging on her party affiliation.

    “I don’t like labels. You know, I’m me,” Jenner said told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview at Jenner’s Malibu home. “Maybe call me a Libertarian. Maybe call me in the middle. I really don’t know.”

    Anyway, you can watch the full interview here.

POLICING: For CalMatters, Byrhonda Lyons and Laurel Rosenhall look at whether new legislation meant to stem use of deadly force by police officers is actually working.

Passed in 2019 — a year before the killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests over racism and police violence — California’s law further limits when police can use deadly force, saying it’s allowed “only when necessary in defense of human life.” Previously, an officer could be justified in shooting someone if doing so was deemed “reasonable” — a standard that many civil rights advocates believed was vague and allowed police to kill with impunity.  

So they championed the new law as a way to reduce police shootings and hold officers accountable when they unnecessarily take a life. Law enforcement groups put their weight behind companion legislation that was supposed to improve how officers are trained. 

Nearly a year-and-a-half since the laws took effect, the two criminal cases — a San Diego sheriff’s deputy charged with second-degree murder and a San Leandro police officer charged with manslaughter — are the most concrete signs that one of the nation’s strictest use-of-force laws is having an impact. 

Prosecutors in both cases cited the law in their decisions to file charges. How judges and juries apply it in these cases could shape its power in the years to come. 

But beyond these two cases, the available evidence so far suggests that the new law has not been as transformative as supporters hoped when they pushed the so-called Act to Save Lives through the Legislature. Nor has the training law led to widespread, state-certified instruction for officers on the new standard for using deadly force. 

In the article, Lyons and Rosenhall proceed to share data on cases studied by CalMatters.

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

COVID-19: California reported 21 deaths yesterday for a total of 61,973 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend lag in reporting must be considered (Mondays often affected), but the trend line certainly justifies optimism.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.0% (-0.1%), far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30 and the lowest 7 day average of the pandemic.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 32,669,323 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 40,942,280 
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 14,361,281 (45.1% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 5,321,693 (16.7% of 16+)

The good news is that the "fully vaccinated" percentage continues to increase, but the "partially vaccinated" number is going down. That means that the universe is at 61.8% who have received at least one vaccination, 38.2% who haven't received at least a single vaccination for one reason or another.

-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 48,770 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.

Known Variants of Concern in California
As of May 5, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   4,971
B.1.351    67
P.1  524
B.1.427   6,275
B.1.429  11,844

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 not 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. The most recent changes are bolded and italicized.

Here's where the counties stand after Tuesday's changes, which are bolded and italicized.

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

Statewide tiers map

-workplaces: In The Bee, Jeong Park writes that California may end masking and social distancing requirements in workplaces by August.

California workers won’t have to physically distance themselves from each other at workplaces starting in August under a proposed update to the state COVID-19 safety rules.

The proposal, which would adjust California workplace regulations adopted in November, also specifies fully vaccinated workers will not have to wear face coverings when they are outdoors and don’t have COVID symptoms.

Workers will also not have to wear face coverings indoors if they and everyone around them in a room are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms of the coronavirus.

The proposal by the standards board of the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal-OSHA, reflects another step toward normalcy in California where case COVID-19 numbers have plummeted. Gov. Gavin Newsom in April had announced a plan to lift most restrictions by June 15.

California won’t completely repeal its workplace regulations, however. For instance, starting July 31, employers will need to provide free testing to workers who have COVID symptoms and are not fully vaccinated.

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Devlin, Jackson Gualco, Doug MorrowKaren Skelton, and Senator Scott Wiener!

 

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]


Congresswoman Doris Matsui seeks a Field Representative experienced in infrastructure policy to join her Sacramento team.

General duties include, but are not limited to, the following: Representing the Congresswoman at public events in the community, creating and organizing events that advance her legislative agenda, advocating before federal agencies on behalf of constituents who have sought assistance, collaborating with local organizations seeking federal grants, and meeting with constituent groups and organizations.

The ideal candidate will be a motivated, hardworking, highly dependable, and an organized professional who possesses strong communication skills and the ability to work well under pressure.

The position requires a driver’s license, a bachelor’s degree, and the ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends.

The candidate would be joining a motivated and cohesive team that is 100% committed to improving the lives of people living in Sacramento and West Sacramento.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Glenda Corcoran:

ca06jobs@gmail.com

CAPITOL SEMINARS’ INVALUABLE LOBBYING 101 COURSE OFFERED VIA ZOOM

Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov. Provides comprehensive coverage of California’s Legislative process, along with touch points and best practices you need to know for effective Legislative advocacy. Send your new lobbyists, support staff, legislative committee members, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Capitol Seminars is the No.1 training resource for nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations, state and local government entities. Next Zoom session is Tuesday, May 25th, 8:30am-1:30pm. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information: www.capitolseminars.net

Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!

Are you a legislative advocate? Know someone passionate about improving policies for manufacturers? Do they have 4+ years of government affairs experience with emphasis on legislative, regulatory and/or commercial environment? CMTA’s exciting and fast-paced State Government Relations team is searching for a Policy Director. Subject-matter expertise in energy, environment and/or workforce issues preferred. Apply here! cmta.net/job_post.php

The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)

Are you a savvy communications professional with ecomodernist ideals? Are you an effective communicator and strong writer with a passion for solving humanity’s biggest challenges? The Breakthrough Institute, a Berkeley-based research center, is looking for a new Press Secretary to expand our reach in the media and build connections with journalists, reporters, and newsroom editors. The Press Secretary will develop, implement, and assist in guiding media and digital strategies rooted in climate, energy, food, and agriculture with an ecomodernist emphasis. Please visit our website for a detailed job description and application instructions.

The position is in Berkeley, although remote until later in 2021.

Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy

Join us for an informative update on California’s Housing Crisis. For years, the Golden State has had the highest home prices in the US, one of the lowest rates of home-ownership, and the most people living on the streets – now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse. Three panels of experts, insiders and elected officials will discuss the status of the state’s Housing Crisis and the policy solutions being proposed to help solve it.

This event will be hosted on ZOOM from 9AM – 1:45PM, Wednesday, May 26. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Attend one panel, or the whole day!

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: