Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) (2021-05-17)
  • 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)


  • 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


  • AD54 (Baldwin Hills-Century City-Westwood): California Coalition of African American Women Voters PAC reports $25,000 to support Heather Hutt for "Radio Ads Streaming Spots Website Digital Eblast" (PAC funding from IBEW, Local Union NO. 11 PAC)

The Nooner for Monday, May 17, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Well, hello there. After a very quiet weekend, it's going to be a busy week of budget subcommittees reviewing Governor Newsom's May Revision. I already have Assembly Budget Sub 1 on Health and Human Services (agenda) in a window and it's not yet 9am. Of course, the other window has the audio on right now, and it's The Wire for perhaps the third binge of the amazing show over the last 14 months.

On the slate for this afternoon is public safety in Assembly Sub 5 (agenda). Subcommittees will have thorough presentations and discussion on the May Revision (and January Budget), but the real decisions will be made behind closed doors in the offices of the Senate President Pro Tem and Assembly Speaker. Of course, Thursday is Suspense File day in the Appropriations committees of both houses, and the guillotine will fall for many ambitions.

After a frenzied couple of weeks, the most well-known candidates to succeed Governor Newsom in the recall election have been mostly quiet over the weekend.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday from 11:00am-12:15pm, the topic in the PPIC Speakers Series will be preparing for wildfires this year. The virtual panel will be:

  • Moderator: Julie Cart, reporter, CalMatters
  • Senator Bill Dodd, California State Senate District 3 (Napa)
  • Jessica Morse, deputy secretary for forest and wildfire resilience, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto, California State Assembly District 67 (Murrieta)

You can register for the free event here.

THIS WEEKEND IN THE NOONER: Hopefully you got away from things "connected" over a beautiful weekend. Here is what was covered in this space the last couple of days.

Saturday, May 15

Sunday, May 16


  • From the Desk of the Dean: In the LAT, George Skelton writes about Governor Newsom's budget week:

    Newsom basked in a week like no California governor probably has ever experienced before, certainly not in the last 60 years. He was presented with an unprecedented, gigantic budget surplus of nearly $76 billion provided by high-income taxpayers who fared unexpectedly well during the pandemic.

    In addition, $27 billion in federal stimulus is headed to Sacramento to sweeten the gift fund.

    Newsom’s obsession with being the “first” and the biggest was on full display all week.

    In seemingly every sentence, he used some combination of “historic,” “unprecedented,” “extraordinary,” “generational” or “transformative.”

    “I know it sounds like hyperbole,” the governor told an annual Sacramento conference of business interests. “Politicians always are using those words.”

    Well, no, not nearly as much as Newsom:

    “It’s a remarkable moment in California history.”

    “This is unprecedented in the history of America.”

    “I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. I see bright light.”

    And his campaign pitch, repeated ad nauseam: “This state is roaring back…. No other state can come close.”

  • For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes how the recall campaign shaped Governor Newsom's budget messaging last week. 

    If anything, the recall campaign to drive him from office has made Newsom’s incessant boasting even louder, with last week’s campaign-like rollout of a revised 2021-22 budget a full-throated display of bravado.

    Although Newsom’s pandemic shutdown orders triggered a severe recession, throwing millions out of work, by happenstance, the state also saw an unprecedented surge of tax revenues, tens of billions of extra dollars.

    High-income Californians, who are the biggest source of taxes, saw their investments soar as the Federal Reserve’s loose money policies inflated asset values, particularly stocks, and the state is reaping a cornucopia of revenues from that phenomenon.

    Newsom announced that the budget had a $75.7 billion surplus and with another $26 billion in unanticipated federal pandemic aid, he could propose a “$100 billion California Comeback Plan.” It’s new spending on everything from direct payments to low- and moderate-income families to expanded child care and school aid, water supply, an expensive assault on homelessness, and help for small business.


    He capped the week on Friday by introducing the full, $267.8 billion budget, in which he repeatedly re-emphasized its uniquely expansive nature.

    In some measure, the budget and its elaborately staged, week-long rollout were clearly aimed at blunting the recall campaign, pointedly providing benefits to myriad economic and cultural groups with his personal imprimatur.

    However, he’s actually in little danger of being ousted, recent polls indicate. There were other implied motives, such as seizing the opportunity to once again draw attention to himself by saying and/or doing headline-grabbing things, this time with a progressive agenda of services and programs that goes beyond anything found anywhere else in the country.

What a contrast from the 2003 "recall season," when Governor Davis was dealing with Enron-caused power outages and missteps. Newsom's biggest challenge has been on COVID-19 response, and that's winding down as a top issue. Meanwhile, he has an unexpected and huge budget surplus.

SCHOOL DAZE: While many school districts are planning on robust summer offerings with federal and state funds, EdSource's Diana Lambert reports that schools are having a hard time getting teachers for the extra work.

California school districts have big plans for summer school this year. There are millions of dollars in federal and state money to spend on robust summer programs that meet students’ academic and social and emotional needs, but district officials are scrambling to find enough teachers to fill classrooms.

After months of teaching remotely and then transitioning to in-person instruction, with the plethora of accompanying safety precautions, many teachers say they are just too tired to take a summer job.

“There have been a record number of teacher retirements because of burnout,” said Jennifer Peck, executive director of Partnership for Children and Youth, an Oakland organization that advocates for learning opportunities for underserved youth. “Those remaining are exhausted and want to take a break and get ready for next year.”

That creates a dilemma for district officials who know students need summer programs this year more than ever, Peck said.

To fill the gaps, school districts are tapping retired teachers and student teachers to fill classrooms, while others are turning to churches, after-school programs and community organizations like Girls and Boys Clubs of America, Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts to help them offer in-person summer programs to students. Other districts are increasing teachers’ hourly pay or offering bonuses.

SIN AGUA: In the Chron, Kurtis Alexander writes up the problem with drought restrictions -- the state doesn't really have the data of who is using how much.

As California descends deeper into drought, state regulators are planning to do something they’ve done few times in modern history: order thousands of people, farms, and even cities and towns that hold historic water rights to stop drawing water from the rivers, lakes and ponds they rely on.

The move is intended to make sure the dwindling flows in California’s waterways are reserved for those with the most senior water rights, as well as for fish and other wildlife. Many of those with lesser rights would have to turn to storage, groundwater or another source, if they have it.

The problem, besides leaving several in a tough spot, is that the state doesn’t have an accurate tally of how much water is being pulled from its watersheds, nor who exactly is taking it. This lack of information makes it hard for regulators to determine which water rights holders to restrict, and how many.


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

COVID-19: California reported 14 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,331 since the pandemic began. The usual lag in weekend reporting applies.

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


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 34,377,697
  • 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

-masks: In the Chron, Jessica Flores writes that the California Nurses Association is urging state officials to not relax mask guidelines after the CDC has changed its tune for fully vaccinated people.

The California Nurses Association, an affiliate of the nation’s largest union of registered nurses, condemned the CDC’s guidance, calling it “a big blow to the safety and welfare of the nurses, front line workers, as well as the patients,” CNA president Zenei Triunfo-Cortez said in a phone interview Sunday.

“We have to understand that the pandemic is not over,” said Triunfo-Cortez. “There continues to be high rates of infection and people continue to die, even nurses.”

The CDC on Thursday said that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings, bringing relief to some and surprise to others who feel that it was too soon.

On Sunday, the California Department of Public Health told The Chronicle, “We are reviewing the CDC guidance — don’t anticipate we’ll weigh in until our review is complete.”

FIRE: In the LAT, Alex Wigglesworth and Laura Newberry report on the latest of the Palisades Fire in western Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles fire officials said Sunday evening that they were questioning a possible arson suspect in connection with the Palisades fire, which continues to threaten homes in Topanga Canyon despite cooler, moist weather that could help firefighters get the upper hand.

Another suspect who was detained earlier for questioning has been released, they added.

Though investigators are considering arson, the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

The fire, which began Friday night and had grown to 1,325 acres with 0% containment by Sunday afternoon, forced evacuations for about 1,000 people who live near Topanga Canyon Road, authorities said.

Wigglesworth also writes about the oddity of a fire amidst a marine layer with drizzle yesterday.

This is fire country. And residents know the dangers. But for many, they consider the summer and fall the dangerous times — when Santa Ana winds combine with hot temperatures.

But this weekend was classic May gray.


The fire was burning through dense, old-growth chaparral that hadn’t burned in more than 50 years, authorities said. The vegetation was very dry due to a lack of recent rainfall, as well as longer-term drought.

The cool weather and damp conditions were helping firefighters, but it was still a tough fight.

“This is not normal, to have a big fire like this in May,” said Scott Ferguson, board chair of the Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness. “This is the type of thing we’d usually be doing in November.”

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Ari Ghafari, David Kersten, and Anthony Wright!



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: