Around The Capitol

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  • 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)  


  • CCST Expert Briefing: Disaster Resilient California: Mitigating Extreme Heat in a Changing Climate - May 18
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui seeks a Field Representative experienced in infrastructure policy to join her Sacramento team.
  • Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy - May 26
  • The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Press Secretary (Berkeley)
  • Join the California Manufacturers & Technology Association Team!
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): added Delano City Council member Brian Osorio (D) - challenge to Valadao (R)
  • CA23 (Bakersfield): added teacher Marisa Wood (D) - challenge to McCarthy (R)



  • AD54 (Baldwin Hills-Century City-Westwood): California Coalition of African American Women Voters PAC reports:

The Nooner for Thursday, May 13, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy May Revision Eve! What was expected to be a day of terror has turned into Christmas for lots of state-funded entities and, if the Legislature goes along, middle-income individuals who will receive individual tax rebate checks. Today's rollout is on assistance to small business. More below.

While Capitol area folks who have been working at home will find a reshaped food scene upon returning to the office, there is some good news -- Tony's Delicatessen is back. Benjy Egel reports for The Bee.

The downtown Italian deli, a lunch favorite of state employees and convention center attendees during the before times, reopened Wednesday at 1131 J St. A few customers were inside by lunchtime, chowing down on sandwiches like The Godfather (smoked Italian sausage, capicola, salami, grilled peppers, onions and smoked gouda) or the Roma (prosciutto, pesto, artichoke hearts, peppers and provolone).

Tony’s was as badly damaged as any downtown Sacramento business in the nighttime fracas that followed protests last June over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The large front windows were all smashed, the walk-in cooler’s doors were busted and condiments painted the ceiling. People stole Tony’s safe, espresso machine and food, and even took hammers out of Silhi’s toolbox to use against his restaurant, [owner Elias Silhi] said.

BUDGET: As mentioned above, today's rollout of May Revision preview as part of the "California Comeback Plan" is on assistance to small business, which Governor Newsom presented to the virtual Sacramento Host Breakfast sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce.

Newsom announced proposing:

  • An additional $1.5 billion for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, bringing the total investment to $4 billion.

  • Increasing the CalCompetes tax credit to $360 million, and establishing a $250 million CalCompetes grant program, to incentivize businesses to relocate to California.

  • $250 million to address revenue impacts on ports to drive economic activity, goods movement, and regional employment.

  • $200 million to expand sales tax exclusions through the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to promote, grow and incentivize green manufacturing in CA.

  • $147 million for the Main Street Small Business Tax Credit to assist small businesses that have hired and retained workers since the second quarter of 2020.

  • $95 million to allow California’s tourism industry, one of the largest economic drivers in the state, to come roaring back from the pandemic.

ED MATTERS: In the LAT, Myers, Blume, and Sharp look into Governor Newsom's proposal to make transitional kindergarten available to all 4 year-olds as well as other May Revision initiatives previewed yesterday.

If approved by the Legislature, the governor’s plans, which he pencils out at $20 billion over several years, would represent an ambitious expansion of the mission for California’s education system.

Funded by a massive influx of state income tax revenue, Newsom’s proposal first and foremost targets universal transitional kindergarten, promising an additional year on the front end of the kindergarten-through-12th -grade public school experience.

But it also includes $1 billion annually for additional after-school and summer programs in low-income communities — building up to $5 billion. The governor will formally reveal his full budget proposal on Friday.

The spending agenda expands the reach of the state’s education system by the billions:

  • $4 billion for youth mental health support that educators say is sorely needed for students after a year of isolation in distance learning
  • More than $3.3 billion for teacher and school employee training
  • $3 billion for “community schools,” where education is integrated with healthcare and mental health services.

The state would also establish a $500 college savings account for students from a low-income family with an additional $500 for foster youth and those who are homeless. The $2-billion program would be funded mostly by a portion of the state’s share of money from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden in March. It could provide a savings account for as many as 3.8 million schoolchildren.

CAPITOL: As SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 case and death rates fall and with the number of California adults fully vaccinated approaching 50%, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have called upon legislative leaders to restore regular access to the State Capitol by May 19. Hannah Wiley reports for The Bee:

The coalition of five Democrats, four Republicans and one independent wrote in a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, and Gov. Gavin Newsom that California’s low coronavirus positivity and hospitalization rates and strong vaccination campaign have made it possible to safely reopen the building to more people.

They pointed to businesses beginning to operate more traditionally as evidence of the “terrific progress” California has made in recent months toward defeating the virus and being able to return to a “semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy.”


The letter outlines three specific requests: remove barricades that surround the Capitol and Capitol Park; reopen the building and hearing rooms at appropriate levels; and publish access to reopening guidelines ahead of the June 15 date Newsom set as his goal to “fully reopen” California’s economy.

The group includes Democratic Sens. Steven Bradford, Melissa Hurtado and Josh Newman, Democratic Assembly members Cottie Petrie-Norris and Adam Gray, and Republican Assembly members Jordan Cunningham, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey and Suzette Martinez Valladares. Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the only Independent in the Legislature, also signed on to the letter.

Just in time for a return of summer anti-vaxx protests!

I'm still wondering how people will socially distance in the 6th floor or first floor bathrooms.

Meanwhile, while the number of legislative staff per office has been limited, those in the Capitol have begun sorting through stuff in preparation for a fall move to the "swing space" on 10th/O. Legislators and staff as well as the offices of Governor Gavin Newsom and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis will reside in the swing space while the Capitol Annex building is replaced. After the new Annex building is erected and the Capitol folks return, the swing space building will be used for other state employees as the state continues to reduce the square footage its use of privately leased space.

SD06 (Sacramento): Sac City Councilmember Anglique Ashby (D) announced her candidacy (no surprise) yesterday, termed-out Senator Richard Pan gave her an endorsement (surprise).


  • Faulconer tax plan: I noted yesterday that former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) was proposing a middle-class tax cut. Specifically, he would eliminate state taxes on the first $50,000 of income for individuals and $100,000 for married filed jointly. 

Current State Income Tax Rates

   Singles   Married Filing Jointly
Tax rate Taxable income bracket Tax rate Taxable income bracket
1% $0 to $8,932 1% $0 to $17,864
2% $8,933 to $21,175 2% $17,865 to $42,350
4% $21,176 to $33,421 4% $42,351 to $66,842
6% $33,422 to $46,394 6% $66,843 to $92,788
8% $46,395 to $58,634 8% $92,789 to $117,268
9.3% $58,635 to $299,508 9.3% $117,269 to $599,016
10.3% $299,509 to $359,407 10.3% $599,017 to $718,814
11.3% $359,408 to $599,012 11.3% $718,815 to $1,198,024
12.3% $599,013 to $999,999 12.3% $1,198,025 to $1,999,999
13.3% $1,000,000 or more 13.3% $2,000,000 or more


Faulconer tax plan

Now, I understand the proposal politically. However, thinking about this last night, I was scratching my head. Anybody under $50,000 ($100,000 for married filed jointly) would pay zero state income tax. And, for those between those amounts and $1 million (unclear if cap is individuals/married filed jointly/both), they wouldn't pay state income tax on the first $50,000 or $100,000 respectively. No fiscal scoring of the lost state revenue is provided.

Much of the criticism of California is that it is overly reliant on high-income earners, particularly those with super high incomes. Republicans regularly argue that this is leading individuals to move out of state, even if they are earning money from business operations within California (Elon Musk). Further, the overreliance on high-income earners who notably receive a large amount of income from realized capital gains, is widely understood as the cause of California's boom-and-bust state budget situation. The perfect example will be unveiled in tomorrow's May Revision which, in contrast to last year's May Revision, has the state flush in cash. That cash isn't from folks earning under $50,000 working in the service industry. It's from higher income individuals who were able to work from home and, yes, capital gains.

Under the Faulconer tax plan, a family making $999,999 would get a state income tax cut of $3,755, based on zeroing out the rates on income up to $100,000. Meanwhile, a single first-year teacher making $48,792 in Faulconer's San Diego Unified would get a tax cut of $1,028. The teacher likely has student loans and is scrambling to pay rent. That's a pretty broad application of a "middle class tax cut." 

Again, I understand the proposal politically and I have nothing against Faulconer. That said, the proposal will make the state's budget volatility worse, not better. While this year has lots of great budget news, most of it is one-time, and out-year deficits remain.

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

COVID-19: California reported 121 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,144 since the pandemic began.

-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.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 33,118,249
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 42,089,320 
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 14,675,443 (46.1% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 5,153,676 (16.5% 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 62.0% who have received at least one vaccination, 38.0% who haven't received at least a single vaccination for one reason or another.

In the Times, Sean Greene and Rong-Gong Lin II report that Latino and Black Californians are significantly less likely to have received a vaccine.

Only about one-third of Latino and Black Californians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while majorities of white and Asian American Pacific Islander Californians have, according to a Times analysis.

The Times analysis found that 33% of Latino residents and 34% of Black residents of the state have received at least one dose of vaccine. By contrast, 50% of white residents, 46% of Native American residents and 60% of Asian American Pacific Islander residents have received a dose.

The Times analysis also found that people living in California’s most disadvantaged areas — ranked according to a variety of economic and social indicators — were also less likely to have received a shot.

-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 12, 2021

Variant  Number of Cases Caused by Variant 
B.1.1.7   5,750
B.1.351    72
P.1  670
B.1.427   6,421
B.1.429  11,961

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.
  • 11 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (11.2% of Californians): Del Norte, Inyo, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Tehama, and Yuba.
  • 38 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (58.7% of Californians): Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • 9 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier (30.1% of Californians): Alpine, Lassen, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Mono, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sierra, and Trinity.

Sacramento County is at a tier-adjusted case rate of 7.3/100k, meaning that it continues to be unlikely the county will have further reopenings before the June 15 anticipated lifting of tier-based restrictions. The case rate needs to be below 6/100k to progress to the orange tier. Placer County is at 6.4/100k.

If case rates hold, Amador (1.1), (Orange (1.8), Santa Clara (1.6), Santa Cruz (1.5), Tuolumne (1.9) could all advance to yellow next week.

Statewide tiers map

-continued deaths: In the LAT, Haley Smith and Soumya Karlamangla look at where the continued deaths are occuring in California.

Despite a statewide mood of optimism as more people get vaccinated and case rates improve, an average of 57 Californians a day are still succumbing to COVID-19. An average of about 12 of those daily deaths are in Los Angeles County, according to data from the past seven days.

On the one hand, that’s a huge cause for celebration. During the worst days of the pandemic, California was seeing an average of nearly 600 people per day dying. But the sharp drop in deaths also raises a question: Who is still dying and why?

And for families losing loved ones today, the usual pain of loss is compounded by its arrival at a time when the death rate is plummeting.


Latino populations have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and they continue to account for a high number number of deaths, though fewer proportionately: For the two-week period ending May 9, about 40% of the people who died of COVID-19 in California were white and 34% were Latino, according to state data. About 10% were Asian, 7% were Black, and 9% were multiracial or other.

And as in earlier stages of the pandemic, most of those who recently died of COVID-19 — about 59% — were men.

Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said many of those who recently died were people like Diaz who became sick months ago, when the infection rate was high and vaccines weren’t widely available.

“These deaths are likely people that were infected in January and February,” he said, noting that the dying process can take that long.

GASSY MATTERS: Gas prices are rising around California but it's not because of Russian hackers and the Colonial Pipeline, writes Annie Vaintshein in the Chron.

“There has been a jump in demand for fuel over the last couple of weeks in California as things start to open up,” said Allison Mac, director of marketing and communications at GasBuddy. “More people feel comfortable taking trips.”

Another factor has to do with the switch to summer-blend gasoline, which is a cleaner burning fuel, but also more expensive to produce, Mac said.

California — and the West Coast more generally — isn’t expected to be impacted by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, which has caused thousands of stations to run out of gas. North Carolina has declared a state of emergency and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia issued an executive action to suspend the state’s gasoline tax. In Georgia, gas reached $2.91 per gallon, a 21.8 cent increase from last week’s average.

SALMON: In the Chron, Tara Duggan writes that groups are warning that the United States Bureau of Reclamation's planned Sacramento River water releases this year threatens entire runs of salmon.

An entire run of endangered winter-run chinook salmon, as well as the fall-run salmon that make up the core of the California fishery, are in danger of being wiped out this year if the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation keeps diverting water to farmers at its current rate.

With state water resources constrained by the extreme drought, that’s the alarm that environmental, fishing and tribal groups are sounding after reports show the Sacramento River will reach dangerous temperatures during spawning season, based on federal scientific scenarios that analyze the bureau’s planned water releases. They warn of a massive die-off as bad as during the last drought, when 95% of winter-run chinook salmon eggs and young fish were wiped out in 2014 and 2015.

“I see in this a very clear need for urgent action to stave off disaster in pushing a species that is already trending toward extinction even closer,” said Rachel Zwillinger, water policy adviser for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife. “We haven’t seen the type of urgency that the situation demands from the agencies.”

The bureau is legally obligated to maintain temperatures below 56 degrees in the upper part of the Sacramento River, yet one scenario from the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, projects it going over that for several months during the critical spawning and incubation period for both winter- and fall-run chinook. The scenario shows that high temperatures would wipe out 80% of the endangered winter-run salmon eggs, and ecologists say few survivors would make it to adulthood.

The State Water Resources Control Board is awaiting a final plan from the bureau, due this month, detailing how it intends to maintain that temperature. The board will have 10 days to approve or reject the plan. Meanwhile, the bureau continues releasing water.

While we often think about salmon as part of our diets, it is also a key economic driver in small towns in far northern California, where people from around the country for guided trips. They stay in small inns and spend money in local restaurants and shops.

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Laura Preston!



Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, 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]

CCST Expert Briefing: Disaster Resilient California: Mitigating Extreme Heat in a Changing Climate

Join the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in partnership with the Office of Assemblymember Luz Rivas on Tuesday, May 18th from 2:30-3:30pm for our latest Virtual CCST Expert Briefing: Mitigating Extreme Heat in a Changing Climate. A panel of experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NASA JPL, and UCLA will discuss how extreme heat impacts California’s diverse populations and effective mitigation strategies. Moderated by Kate Gordon, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. RSVP

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 ideal candidate will have demonstrated experience in infrastructure and transportation policy.

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:

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!


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:

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!

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.

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:

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,, or contact us at

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: