Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • 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)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • 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

MONEY MATTERS:

  • AD54 (Baldwin Hills-Culver City-Westwood): African American Voter Registration Education and Participation Project reports spending $2,500 for web video ads to support Isaac Bryan (D)

The Nooner for Thursday, May 20, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Well, hello there. I haven't had any significant side effects from shot #2. Just some aches including the injection site, but of course my left shoulder has been sore for months.

Today is suspense file day in each house's Appropriations committee. Chris Micheli has the tally: "The Senate fiscal committee has 357 SBs on its Suspense File and the Assembly fiscal committee has 537 ABs on its Suspense File."

MASKS: The LAT's Rong-Gong Lin II reports that California may drop masking and distancing requirements in the workplace if everyone is vaccinated.

The discussions come as employers are considering plans to bring employees back into workplaces, especially those that went to remote work during the pandemic. It also underscores the growing optimism that the vaccine could bring major changes fairly soon.

“For the first time in a long time, I feel optimistic,” Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer and public health director, and a key architect of the nation’s first regional stay-at-home order, told reporters. “For a while, it seemed uncertain to me whether the vaccines or the variants would win. And I think that Team Vaccine is in the lead, holding the lead, and will win.”

California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is expected to weigh further steps to relax masking and physical distancing requirements for vaccinated workers.

CAGOP: For The Bee, Andrew Sheeler reports that the California Republican Party has paid out a significant lawsuit settlement.

The California Republican Party this week agreed to an $11 million settlement with a man left quadriplegic after being struck on the freeway by a GOP campaign worker.

The law firm representing the victim said that the settlement, the maximum amount available under the California GOP’s insurance policy, “helps expose the ongoing dangers of political campaigns which have become big business, with goals far beyond a single election.

“Politicians have responsibilities just like any other employer, and this settlement ensures that political campaigns will not escape accountability or receive special treatment,” Chris Aitken of Aitken Aitken Cohn said in a statement.

PUBLIC HEALTH: Melody Gutierrez writes for the Times that local public health officials feel overlooked in Governor Newsom's revised budget.

Healthcare advocates in California are pushing back against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget plan released last week, saying it follows a dangerous pattern of underfunding local public health agencies despite glaring funding inadequacies exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health leaders asked that $200 million in ongoing funding be included in the state budget being negotiated for the fiscal year beginning July 1, but Newsom’s spending plan calls instead for a $3-million study to determine how much public health programs need so that the money can be included next year.

Health advocates and some lawmakers say the plan leaves a gap in funding that jeopardizes the work of public health agencies in communities across the state.

DEATH PENALTY: In the Times, Phil Willon writes that support for the death penalty in California is on the decline.

Support for capital punishment continues to dwindle among Californians, with more voters favoring abolishing the death penalty, but the issue remains so politically volatile that the prospects of a repeal are uncertain, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.
Of the Californians surveyed, 44% said they would vote to repeal the death penalty and 35% favored allowing executions, with 21% undecided. The findings could help energize support to place a constitutional amendment on the 2022 statewide ballot to ban executions, a proposal under consideration in the California Legislature.

Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll, said having such a large pool of undecided voters makes it difficult to gauge how a death penalty repeal would fare on the ballot. In the past, death penalty proponents have waged effective campaigns focused on the crimes committed by death row inmates and swung votes in their favor.

“Campaigns matter on an issue like this,” DiCamillo said. “It can rouse people who say well, you know, we should have some kind of retribution that is fitting of the crime.”

RENT: The LAT's Patrick McGreevy writes about the shortcomings of the state's rental assistance program.

Months after the state approved $2.6 billion to help California tenants pay rent amid hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates say a disappointingly low number of people have applied, as the program has been hampered by a slow start, confusion and bureaucratic red tape.
The problems have emerged as Gov. Gavin Newsom last week proposed to double the amount available for rent relief to $5.2 billion to pay 100% of back rent owed by many low-income tenants as well as rent for some future months.

Now, with state eviction protections expiring at the end of next month, and talks on additional action not yet yielding a proposal, housing advocates say the state needs to do a better job of helping low-income tenants get the rental assistance they need.

“The pace at which applications are being completed and relief is reaching tenants and landlords is highly concerning to legal services attorneys, community partners, and applicants around the state,” said Cynthia Castillo, a policy advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

BORDER: In The Bee, Kim Bojórquez writes up Governor Newsom's budget proposal to aid migrants at the border.

He’s asking the Legislature to set aside $105 million for the border. An additional $100 million would aid immigrants integrating into the country, aligning with much of the Biden administration’s proposed immigration policies.

The new proposal comes as the U.S.-Mexico border experiences an influx of migrants and unaccompanied children arriving at the border to seek asylum in the United States.

The U.S. Border Patrol encountered 16,933 unaccompanied minors in April, according to data provided by the agency. That’s almost twice the number of unaccompanied minors that border patrol officers encountered in April of 2019.

While it’s common during this time of year to see an uptick in asylum seekers traveling to the border, many are also seeking asylum to escape violence, poverty and social turmoil in their countries.

SOLAR: In the Chron, J.D. Morris looks at proposed changes to California's solar subsidies.

A fight over the future of California’s rooftop solar industry is intensifying, as state officials contemplate comprehensive reforms to a program that pays homeowners for clean power they share with the electric grid.

Lawmakers and utility company regulators are weighing whether to sharply reduce bill credits that residents with solar panels attached to their homes receive in exchange for excess energy they generate. Officials are also considering imposing a new monthly charge on them, as well as other changes to the program known as net energy metering.

The proposals’ supporters say residents who have solar panels are being overpaid for their excess energy, allowing them to avoid electric grid costs that run into the billions of dollars statewide. They contend that forces everyone else, including people with fewer means, to foot the bill.

But opponents say many of the policy changes would be little more than a profit grab by investor-owned power companies that could devastate the rooftop solar industry, hampering efforts to decentralize the grid and make it more resistant to wildfire risk and blackouts.

MOVIES: The LAT's Ryan Faughdner reports on the movie industry's efforts to return to normal with the help of a former California governor.

Appearing Wednesday morning in an AMC Century City 15 auditorium in Los Angeles, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to lead an audience of several dozen studio executives, publicists, journalists and exhibition leaders in a rallying cry.

“We are back! We are back!”

The 73-year-old “Terminator” star was among a multitude of Hollywood leaders who gathered in an auditorium at the multiplex to rally around the nation’s movie theaters after 14 months in which the movie industry was dominated by streaming, theater closures and release delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the theaters,” Schwarzenegger said. “You need the big screen, because if you have a movie and you don’t have the theaters, you have nothing.”

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

COVID-19: California reported 41 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,440 since the pandemic began.

-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 0.9%, far below the 7.1% peak amid mass testing on December 30 and the lowest of the pandemic.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 35,091,346
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 44,223,720  
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 15,936,691 (47.0% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 4,657,015 (13.7% of 16+)

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

Sacramento County is at a tier-adjusted case rate of 6.3/100k, 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 5.9/100k and could advance to orange next week if case rates continue below 6/100k.

Statewide tiers map

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Hector Barajas and Bernie Orozco!

 

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 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:

ca06jobs@gmail.com

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!

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.

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: