Around The Capitol

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  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): Total Recall: How The CA Political Process Works and Its History; Exploring Silicon Valley’s Role in Pandemic Response (2021-05-14)
  • This Week in California Education (John Fensterwald and Louis Freedberg @ EdSource): Newsom's $2 billion college savings account plan & Chris Edley on his new role (2021-05-14)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) (2021-05-14)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on the state budget and executive powers (2021-05-13)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): House GOP dumps Liz Cheney, Gavin Newsom proposes billions, and is Eric Garcetti leaving Los Angeles? (2021-05-13)
  • 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)


  • 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

The Nooner for Sunday, May 16, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Sunday, which launches what should be a beautiful week of high 70s and low-to-mid 80s in SacTown. Hopefully, after skipping last week, the tacos are back at Our Lady of Guadalupe today.

The news is pretty quiet today as reporters recover from last week's flurry of budget news and get ready for a week full of budget subcommittee hearings and the suspense file hearings by both Appropriations committees on Thursday upon adjournment of session. For the Nooner newbies and home gamers, in both the Senate and Assembly, bills that have a measurable fiscal impact are held in "suspense" where they stay until are heard as a group. It's also where bills die without members on the floor of the respective house's chamber having to vote on it.

As we get ready for the the week of budget subs, California State Library communications director and legislative historian Alex Vassar informs us that this marks the 75th year of the use of budget subcommittees in the Legislature. He tweets:

You didn't know this, but 2021 is the 75th anniversary of CA budget subcommittees...

I just wanted to take you back to 1947 when Senator W. P. Rich (same roles @NancySkinnerCA has today) decided that the CA state budget had finally become complicated enough to justify their use.

Vassar shares a letter from the Senate Finance Committee chair W.P. Rich (R-Yuba County) conveying his intent to create subcommittees. (click for larger)

Budget subcommittee history

I'll be short today with just a few items and the daily update to the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 data.

BUDGET: I missed out on a CalMatters article by Laurel Rosenhall in which she frames Governor Newsom's May Revision with three points:

    1. Newsom is reaching out to voters who have been hit hard by the pandemic — and could be key for him to survive the recall
    2. But he’s also going back to early campaign promises and pre-pandemic priorities
    3. Newsom may not get everything he wants

Here is the overviews of the May Revision from Senate Budget and Assembly Budget.

Again, here is the schedule of budget subcommittee hearings this week.

Monday, May 17

  • 8:00 a.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 1 on Health and Human Services: Human services (all departments)
  • 2:30 p.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 5 on Public Safety: All departments

Tuesday, May 18

  • 9:00 a.m. - Senate Budget Sub 1 on Education: All departments
  • 9:00 a.m. - Senate Budget Sub 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy: All departments
  • 9:30 a.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 2 on Education Finance: Department of Education (K-12), child care
  • 1:30 p.m. - Senate Budget Sub 3 on Health and Human Services: All departments
  • 1:30 p.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 4 on State Administration: All departments

Wednesday, May 19

  • 9:00 a.m. - Senate Budget Sub 1 on Education: All departments
  • 9:30 a.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 2 on Education Finance: Higher ed
  • 9:30 a.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 3 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation: All departments
  • 1:00 p.m. - Senate Budget Sub 4 on State Administration and General Government: All departments
  • 1:30 p.m. - Assembly Budget Sub 1 on Health and Human Services: Health (all departments)

Thursday, May 20

  • 10:00 a.m. or upon adjournment of session - Senate Budget Sub 3 on Health and Human Services: Dept. of Developmental Services, all departments
  • 10:00 a.m. or upon adjournment of session - Senate Budget Sub 5 on Corrections, Public Safety, Judiciary, Labor and Transportation: All departments

SCHOOL DAZE: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes that, while a majority of public schools have reopened for some variety of in-person instruction, it is highly inequitable.

“Although 87% of California’s traditional public schools have reopened for some form of in-person instruction, fewer than half of students have returned either full time or part time in a hybrid model,” EdSource revealed. “A total of 55% of all public school students, including those in charter schools, were at home, in distance learning, as of April 30, according to an EdSource analysis of new data released by the state.

“EdSource found that two-thirds of students in district schools with the largest proportions of low-income families were in distance learning, compared with only 43% of students in schools with the fewest low-income families — a disparity that may partly explain a widening learning gap between wealthy and poor students that researchers and teachers suspect the pandemic has enlarged.

“Higher COVID rates in poor communities contributed to the disparity. Parents in highly infected areas have been reluctant to send their children back to school, and teachers in those areas resisted returning. Parents in low transmission areas, meanwhile, pressured school boards to reopen.”


Months-long stalemates between teacher unions and local school leaders over the terms of reopening have been a major factor in California’s tardiness. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature’s dominant Democrats, who are politically allied with the unions, have been noticeably unwilling to intervene.

However, leaving reopening decisions in local hands has undermined the promise of universal public education and led to the disparity that EdSource noted — classroom access for kids in upscale communities and homebound status quo in poor communities.

HOUSING: In the SDUT, Phil Diehl writes that a superior court judge's ruling could prevent citizens from using the referendum process to overturn locally approved housing developments.

A San Diego Superior Court ruling that invalidates an Oceanside referendum could boost efforts to meet a statewide housing shortage, but it also may imperil the increasing use of citizen ballot initiatives to stop development projects.

Judge Richard S. Whitney based his decision on Government Code 66300, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which was written to “maximize the development of housing” as California works to solve its problems with rapidly rising rents, homelessness and real estate costs.

Whitney said the act invalidates the Nov. 3 citizen’s ballot initiative that overturned the Oceanside City Council’s 2019 approval of the 585-home North River Farms project by a 2-1 margin. If the decision is not appealed and the developer overcomes other litigation, the project could proceed.

“I’m a little surprised by this decision,” said Chris Elmendorf, a law professor at the University of California at Davis. “If this is upheld, it does knock out that use of the referendum. That would be a huge development.”

STATE EMPLOYEES: For The Bee, Wes Venteicher writes that most state employees will see an automatic restoration to their pay while smaller bargaining units continue to negotiate.

Pay will be restored automatically for about 130,000 California state workers represented by two unions, while the rest of the workforce must wait for their unions to bargain new agreements over wage reductions all employees took last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

Pay will be restored automatically for about 100,000 employees represented by SEIU Local 1000 and for about 28,000 people represented by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Newsom said.

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

COVID-19: California reported 25 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,292 since the pandemic began. The usual lag in weekend reporting applies.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.1%, far below the 7.1% peak amid mass testing on December 30.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 34,147,125
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 43,145,000  
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 14,5,110,057 (47.5% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 4,931,344 (15.5% of 16+)
  • Californians 16+ without at least one vaccine shot: 37%

-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

FIRE: The LAT's Laura Newberry reports on the Palisades Fire burning in west Los Angeles County.

Firefighters on Sunday continued to battle a fire threatening homes in Topanga Canyon, with officials hoping cooler, moist conditions can help.

As of 7:30 a.m., the Palisades fire was 0% contained and evacuations were in place for homes near Topanga Canyon Road. Firefighters on the ground and in the air continued to battle the blaze through the early morning hours.

Skies were cloudy, and there was some drizzle Sunday morning.

The cause of the fire near Topanga State Park — which ignited around 10 p.m. Friday — is still under investigation, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.


Fire personnel spotted a potential arson suspect early Saturday, but a search by the Sheriff’s Department didn’t find any suspects, Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.

“Dozers are working to improve access for firefighters on the ground, but much of the area remains inaccessible. This is primarily an air-based operation, with both fixed wing and rotary working together,” Stewart added.

SALMON: Reuters reports that salmon smolt are being trucked to the San Francisco Bay as Northern California rivers are too warm for them to survive the usual trip down the river to the Bay and then the Pacific.

During a typical spring, the silver young salmon swimming in long tanks at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery east of Sacramento would be released into the American River and then make their way out to the Pacific Ocean to grow to adulthood.

But with extreme drought now gripping California and much of West Coast, the rivers are too warm for the salmon to survive.


On May 11, the 3.5-inch smolt, as the young fish are known, embarked on a much different journey when they were loaded on to trucks and driven to the San Francisco Bay for release into cooler waters.

Low amounts of rain and snow led to less water and warmer temperatures in the state’s rivers and reservoirs, said Jason Julienne, who manages several state-run hatcheries in the Sacramento River system, including the Nimbus.

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Marie Bockwinkle, Bill Durston, Carol Gonzalez, Rick Jacobs, and Jennifer Rexroad!



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: