Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): U.S. Senator Alex Padilla on immigration and clean energy (2021-05-24) 
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Gloria Sandoval, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for State Parks (2021-05-23)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Political consultant Bill Wong on anti-Asian violence (2021-05-21)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): GOP consultant Liz Mair on the Newsom and Walker Recalls and Why Devin Nunes is Suing Her (2021-05-20)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): From California to the Middle East (2021-05-20)
  • It's All Political (Joe Garofoli @ SFChron): Governor Newsom's ambitious budget proposal (2021-05-20)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bob Wieckowski on the "bottle bill" and recycling. (2021-05-17)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • Capitol Weekly presents A Conference on Housing Policy - May 26
  • 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:

  • SD10 (Hayward-Fremont-Santa Clara): added Hayward councilmember Aisha Wahab (D) - open seat (Wieckowski)

RECALL WATCH:

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports $14,000 nonmonetary from Caregivers & Californians United Against the Recall of Governor Newsom, Sponsored by the National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • Rescue California-Recall Gavin Newsom reports $10,000 each from Aubrey Chernick (CEO, Celerium), Joyce Chernick (Homemaker), and Lucky Lippa (Owner, Lippa Insurance).
  • Caitlyn Jenner for Governor reports $32,400 each from Robert and Renee Parsons. Bob Parsons is the founder of web-hosting company and domain registrar GoDaddy, who was highly criticized for the company's highly sexualized advertisements in the 1990s and his acceptance of a PPP loan during the pandemic. After scrutiny, he returned the $8 million received.
  • Gavin Newsom for Governor reports $32,400 from Jerry Yang (Yahoo! co-founder)

The Nooner for Tuesday, May 25, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Feliz martes! Another beautiful day at Nooner Intergalactic HQ full of budget sub hearings, although the two in the Assembly were scratched for today. Of course, this is a Monday-Friday legislative week with a "per diem Friday" because of Memorial Day.

DO YOU RECALL? The Bee's Lara Korte writes that some Democrats believe the sooner the recall election is held, the better for Governor Newsom.

State Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, floated the idea on Twitter last week, saying the best way to beat this “reckless recall” is to have an early election.

“He has rebounded well with vaccines and budget,” Glazer wrote. “His biggest threats are the unknowns: virus variant, fires, school reopening. No reason to delay and give opposition any more running room.”

After a brutal year of skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, worries about the economy, and a political revolt, the Democratic governor is now enjoying a huge budget surplus, one of the lowest case rates in the nation, and a steady approval rating.

That’s why, some Democrats say, the recall election needs to be held sooner rather than later.

For CalMatters, Cecily Mireles has a humorous calendar of the current recall process.

BUDGET: In The Bee, Jeong Park and Hannah Wiley look at Governor Newsom's budget proposals addressing wealth redistribution.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proud of the prosperity of California’s upper class, which he says has never done better.

But he also wants to use some of their success to help lift up California’s working-class residents.

“We have the resources,” said Newsom, referring to his family who earned $1.7 million in 2019. “I’m proud of the fact that some of the dollars that I’m putting back into the California coffers, as a taxpayer, are going to help those single moms out there.”

California’s tax structure is known for its reliance on the gains of the wealthy. In 2018, the top 1% paid nearly half of the state’s personal income taxes. That reliance is especially notable this year, with wealth gains among high earners propelling California to a $76 billion surplus.

Newsom wants to direct some of the surplus to low- and middle-income Californians, from sending out $600 stimulus checks for those making under $75,000 to providing rent and utility assistance. Experts said his budget proposal could strengthen the social safety net for those at the very bottom.

Conservatives are questioning Newsom’s plan, calling for permanent tax cuts instead of more spending.

But others on the left want Newsom to go even further, urging him to consider new taxes on the wealthy. Newsom has shot down that idea time and again, but it continues to circulate in the Legislature.

For CalMatters, Dan Walters criticizes Governor Newsom's rosy economic picture.

“California is continuing to lead the nation’s economic recovery, adding 101,800 jobs in April — 38% of all the jobs created throughout the entire country,” Newsom crowed. “Over the past three months, California has created 390,300 jobs. But we’re not letting up; the California Comeback Plan is the biggest economic recovery package in the state’s history and will provide historic investments in small businesses and workers to bring California roaring back.”

A closer examination of the latest employment numbers, however, indicates that — as politicians are wont to do — Newsom is cherrypicking the most favorable economic indicator while ignoring others that are less positive.

One of the latter is the state’s unemployment rate of 8.3% in April, unchanged from the March level despite the supposed surge in new jobs. It’s still markedly higher than the national jobless rate of 6.1% and is the nation’s second highest behind Hawaii’s 8.5%.

California’s unemployment rate had been the nation’s third highest in March, but New York improved enough to displace California in April. Four states were tied for having the nation’s lowest jobless rates of 2.8% in April. Arch-rival Texas was slightly higher than the national rate at 6.7%,

The data point cited by Newsom, that California added 101,800 jobs in April, 38% of the nation’s job gains, is also somewhat iffy.

LET THERE BE LIGHT: In the LAT, Teresa Watanabe looks at a legislative plan to significantly reduce enrollment of out-of-state students at the University of California.

As the University of California faces huge demand for seats — and public outcry over massive rejections by top campuses in a record application year — state lawmakers are considering a plan to slash the share of out-of-state and international students to make room for more local residents.

The state Senate has unveiled a proposal to reduce the proportion of nonresident incoming freshmen to 10% from the current systemwide average of 19% over the next decade beginning in 2022 and compensate UC for the lost income from higher out-of-state tuition.

This would ultimately allow nearly 4,600 more California students to secure freshmen seats each year, with the biggest gains expected at UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. The share of nonresidents at those campuses surpasses the systemwide average, amounting to a quarter of incoming freshmen. UC, however is pushing back, saying the plan would limit its financial flexibility to raise needed revenue and weaken the benefits of a geographically broad student body.

“It’s not about ending out-of-state students — they really add to the mix and the educational experience,” said Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), whose Senate budget subcommittee on education discussed the plan this month. “We just have to make sure there’s enough spaces for in-state students.”

...

UC officials say they share the goal of enrolling and graduating more California students and have added 19,000 more of them since 2015. But they oppose the 10% plan, saying nonresidents enrich the college environment for all students and pay more than $1 billion annually in supplemental tuition that helps fill budget holes. That revenue, officials say, has allowed UC to enroll more Californians not fully covered by state funding, as well as provide more faculty, staff, student services, financial aid and campus facility upgrades.

“We understand and support the Legislature’s goal of providing more opportunities for Californians at UC, though we believe trying to achieve this through reducing nonresident students will potentially lead to unanticipated outcomes,” the university said in a statement. UC called for a “stable and predictable revenue source” to increase California undergraduate enrollment without hurting low-income students or limiting efforts to recruit students outside the state.

 

SCHOOL DAZE: The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to return to in-person instruction this fall with an online option. Howard Blume reports in the Times:

Los Angeles schools Supt. Austin Beutner on Monday committed to reopening campuses full time on a normal schedule in the fall and said an online option would also be available to families in the nation’s second-largest school district.

L.A. Unified — like all school systems in California — will soon need to abide by state rules that link funding to in-person attendance in the new academic year. Emergency pandemic rules that have allowed districts to operate online expire on June 30.

“Looking down the path to recovery and the new school year, which starts this fall, all students will have the opportunity to participate in full-day, on-campus, in-person instruction,” Beutner said in his regular Monday broadcast.

Middle and high school students would change classes, as in a normal schedule, he added, and after-school programs would be available until 6 p.m. on school days.

San Francisco lawmakers on Monday accused their own city's school district of exploiting state reopening incentives, saying they are "gravely concerned" that one of the biggest districts in California has failed to make a genuine effort to welcome back students in-person.

Democratic Assemblymembers Phil Ting and David Chiu and Sen. Scott Wiener asked the state not to give San Francisco Unified School District a reopening grant. They called the district's plan to bring back 12th graders for a handful of days "a poor attempt to exploit a perceived legal loophole" in a letter to State Controller Betty Yee and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

San Francisco Unified offers some of the sparsest classroom instruction in the nation, even though the city has some of the lowest infection rates anywhere in the U.S. After several months of negotiations with the United Educators of San Francisco, elementary schools in the district started to reopen to their youngest students in mid-April, and a limited set of high-risk students in middle and high schools on April 26.

SEIU LOCAL 1000: The longtime president of the state's largest union has been ousted, reports Wes Venteicher in The Bee.

A self-styled “outsider” has unseated the long-time president of California’s largest state employee union, rising above a crowded candidate field on a campaign platform filled with big promises and unconventional positions.

Richard Louis Brown won the SEIU Local 1000 election, according to results the union posted online Monday afternoon, defeating Yvonne Walker, who has led the union since 2008.

Brown captured 33% of the vote in another low-turnout election. While the union represents about 100,00 state workers — ranging from office assistants to custodians to prison nurses — just 7,880 members voted.

Walker followed with 27% of the vote, according to the results.

...

Brown’s campaign platform called for eliminating political spending, cutting membership dues in half, extending voting to non-members, creating a strike fund and vowing to get the state to agree to an unprecedented contract change that would make it easier for union members to strike, among other proposals that opponents called unrealistic.

He used strong rhetoric during his campaign, including saying, “We will bring the state to a standstill, and we’ll run Gavin Newsom out of office one way or another,” in an interview.

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

COVID-19: California reported 18 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,613 since the pandemic began.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 36,364,200
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 45,119,680 
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 16,691,024 (49.2% of 16+)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 4,462,339 (13.1% of 16+)

VACCINES: For The Bee, Kim Bojórquez reports on vaccinations of California's Latino adults.

Latino adults who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine are twice as likely as white and Black adults to say they want one as soon as possible, according to a new national survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

About 33% of unvaccinated Latinos told researchers that they want a shot as soon as they can get one, compared to 16% of unvaccinated white adults and 17% of unvaccinated Black adults.

...

Data from California Department of Public Health shows that Latinos, who account for 40% of the state’s population, make up just a quarter of Californians who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“This means that there’s a large group among the Latino population that is already convinced of the value of the vaccine and is ready to get it right away, but they may just be facing barriers in terms of access and information, “said Liz Hamel, vice president and director of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Meanwhile, Caitlin Antonios and Bianca Fortis report for CalMatters that a health care company contracted by the state for vaccine administration has drawn complaints from a dozen counties.

California agreed to pay OptumServe up to $221 million during the pandemic to coordinate and operate dozens of vaccination sites. But the health care company’s work in at least a dozen counties has been plagued by miscommunication and staffing shortages.

Officials from at least 12 counties complained to the state Department of Public Health about delays and other problems with OptumServe, saying that the problems hampered their ability to get shots into arms, according to state documents obtained through a Public Records Act request.

The company has fallen far short of the up to 100,000 daily vaccine doses it told the state in its contracts that it could deliver. It has helped administer about 370,000 doses since January — just 1.1% of California’s nearly 34 million during that span. At several vaccine sites, OptumServe failed to deliver the minimum 420 doses it pledged to distribute each day.

At least three counties — Lassen, Madera and Tulare — stopped working with OptumServe, are taking back doses and turning instead to community groups for running their vaccination sites. The company still has 30 sites operating in 23 counties across California.

CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Brandon Garcia, Josh Lewis, KimChi Nguyễn, and Sandra Salazar!

 

Classifieds

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Solano County Board of Education Seeks Experienced Consulting Firm for Redistricting Services

Visit www.solanocoe.net/trusteedistricts for requirements, deadline, and contact information.

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!

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: