Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senate Leader Toni G. Atkins, and a 'Joyful' Pride (2021-06-04)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Senator Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) (2021-06-04)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • CCST Expert Briefing: Toward a Disaster Resilient California: Responding to Wildfires amid Compounding Disasters (May 8)
  • 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, June 6, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Sunday! Shoulder is sore again today, so I'll be short as typing is painful. It's a pretty quiet news day anyway and a good day to rest up before a full slate of legislative committee heariings this week.

DO YOU RECALL? The Chron's Joe Garafoli looks at the possible recall election timeline.

By law, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis can set the date when voters decide whether to yank her fellow Democrat, Gov. Gavin Newsom, from office. But she told The Chronicle she won’t seek to rig the timeline to help Newsom.

“I feel very strongly that the timeline is determined by statute,” Kounalakis said. “And that what drives the timeline are a series of milestones, and that there is some flexibility within those milestones.”

Kounalakis is right. There’s “flexibility” at several points in the recall timeline. And the key players at a few of those junctures are saying — or at least hinting — that the election will be scheduled sooner rather than later.

But it may not be as early as August, as Orinda state Sen. Steve Glazer has suggested. Glazer, the masterful chief strategist of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign when he overcame being vastly outspent by billionaire Meg Whitman, said he believes that sooner is better for Newsom.

REDISTRICTING: From this week's Redistricting Report from Paul Mitchell.

State Commissioner Sara Sadhwani joined the San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garafoli late last week to talk about redistricting and how “the commission’s greatest challenge is to make redistricting sexy to the residents of California.”  Sadhwani made a hard sell for the Super Hot world of community of interest testimony, which begins next week with the commission’s June 10th COI Input hearing.  This listening tour, venturing (virtually, if not physically) to each corner of the state to hear about Communities of Interest, receive testimony from the public, and encourage use of their online mapping tool

As a frame of reference, June 10th will also be the 10-year anniversary of the release of the first draft maps of the prior commission. And those first draft maps were decidedly un-sexy.

This gift of more time is something that the current commission is embracing, with a goal of doubling the input that the last commission received, and getting more of those building blocks established prior to being confronted with tough redistricting decisions.  While the increased time is a gift, one lingering question is just how engaged the public will be prior to the release of the census data and creation of draft maps.

GUNS: The Bee's Vincent Moleski writes that Governor Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta plan to continue the fight to uphold California's assault weapons ban following the Friday ruling holding it unconstitutional.

[Federal judge Roger] Benitez in his ruling said the state’s law was unconstitutional and that prohibiting such firearms for decades was “a failed experiment.”

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle ... Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR15 type rifle,” the decision reads.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom seized on this comparison, criticizing the decision as a dangerous setback to years of state policy in a statement released shortly after Benitez’s ruling.

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period,” Newsom said. “As the son of a judge, I grew up with deep respect for the judicial process and the importance of a judge’s ability to make impartial fact-based rulings, but the fact that this judge compared the AR-15 – a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield – to a Swiss Army Knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon.”

The AR-15 is a lightweight, customizable version of the military M-16, and soared in popularity after a 10-year federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004.

Newsom’s strong pushback against the ruling, saying that he won’t be “backing down from this fight,” was echoed by recently-appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta.

VILLARAIGOSA: In the Times, Emily Alpert Reyes and David Zahniser look at the potential of Antonio Villlaraigosa returning to the role as Los Angeles mayor as a caretaker should Eric Garcetti be named ambassador to India.

The Biden administration has yet to announce whether it will name Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as U.S. ambassador to India. But the jockeying to fill his seat is already underway.

One of the prospects who has generated buzz at City Hall is former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who held the job from 2005 to 2013 before reaching term limits. But a question has hung over that idea: Would he be allowed to return under city rules?

One political candidate argues that he would — even if the City Charter limits mayors to two terms — and she wants City Atty. Mike Feuer to weigh in on the idea.

Marina A. Torres, a federal prosecutor running for city attorney, argued that Villaraigosa is nonetheless eligible based on her reading of the charter.

SD10 (Hayward-Fremont-Santa Clara): For the Bay Area Reporter, Matthew Bajko reports that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee is considering a policy blocking the endorsement of anti-LGBTQIA+ candidates.

Leaders of the Democratic Party in Alameda County want to adopt a ban on endorsing anti-LGBTQIA+ candidates for elected office. They are crafting a rule that could forbid not only the county party but also local Democratic Clubs it charters from granting endorsements to candidates with anti-LGBTQIA+ stances.

How to define what makes a candidate anti-LGBTQIA+ still needs to be worked out by the members of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, who set the policies for the local party. Also unclear is if the endorsement ban would also cover a candidate who has personally endorsed another candidate who holds anti-LGBTQIA+ views or an elected official who adopted anti-LGBTQIA+ policies.

Members of the central committee will be hammering out the bylaw change this summer and could vote on adopting the policy as early as their August 4 meeting. Proponents of the endorsement ban would like for it to be in place prior to when the central committee starts its endorsement process for the 2022 elections.

CALBRIGHT: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes on the legislative effort to wind down the online community college.

It’s former Gov. Jerry Brown’s pet project — an online community college that would offer high-quality, low-cost instruction to help working Californians upgrade their job skills.

Tens of millions of dollars have been sunk into Calbright over the past few years but it’s actually provided instruction only to a few dozen students — at an enormous per-student cost, of course.

Last month, State Auditor Elaine Howle catalogued Calbright’s failures, declaring that “A primary reason…is that its former executive team failed to develop and execute effective strategies for launching the college.”

If Calbright doesn’t shape up by next year, Howle told the Legislature, it should be axed. Five days before Howle issued her report, the state Assembly voted unanimously for legislation that “makes the California Online Community College Act inoperative at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.”

To be fair, the legislation, Assembly Bill 1432, does not merely reflect an unwillingness to continue a project that has fallen short of its lofty goals. The bill is sponsored by the union that represents faculty at the state’s 115 local community colleges and it opposed Calbright from the onset, fearing that it would undermine the existing system.

COVID-19 after the jump...

COVID-19: California reported 38 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,715 since the pandemic began.

-vaccines:

  • vaccine doses administered in California: 38,239,403
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 46,847,530
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 17,813,305 (52.5% of 16+) 

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nicole Curran, Garth Eisenbeis, Kasey O'Connor, Tricia Robbins, and Taylor White!

Classifieds

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CCST Expert Briefing: Toward a Disaster Resilient California: Responding to Wildfires amid Compounding Disasters

Join the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) on Tuesday, June 8th from 12:00pm-1:00pm for our latest Virtual CCST Expert Briefing: Responding to Wildfires amid Compounding Disasters. A panel of experts from UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, and FEMA will discuss how compounding disasters, like COVID-19 and extreme heat, affect wildfire response in California. RSVP

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: