Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Governor Newsom’s Executive Secretary, (aka chief of staff) Jim Deboo. (2021-06-07)
  • The Times Podcast (Gustavo Arellano @ LAT): Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) (2021-06-07)
  • 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)


  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law


  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): The California Teachers Association reports giving $125,000 to the IE committee Educators and Healthcare Professionals for Mia Bonta for State Assembly 2021
  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): Educators and Healthcare Professionals for Mia Bonta for State Assembly 2021 reports spending:
    • $29,750 for polling
    • $7,212 for text messages
    • $2,080 for website


  • John Cox For Governor 2021, Inc. reports $27,843 from, who else, John Cox. Rob Pyers tweets "Between Cox's 2021 and 2022 committees, he has now reported raising a combined total of $7.75 million, around $670K of that total coming from individuals not named John Cox."

The Nooner for Tuesday, June 8, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Tuesday! In good news, my shoulder isn't hurting this morning and I got the most sleep in ten days, which is a good thing because it is a busy day in the Capitol with eight committee hearings. It'll be a multi-window day on lots of people's computers, including mine. That said, the hearings this week are mostly not the highest-profile bills approved last week by their house of origin by last Friday's deadline, but generally non-fiscal bills that didn't have to go through the Appropriations committees suspense files. July 14 is the last day for policy committees to approve bills, just before the one-month summer recess begins on July 16.

The budget must be passed by midnight a week from today. There isn't a budget bill in print yet but to meet the 72-hour deadline, we should see it by Friday. While the two houses have agreed on a plan, negotiations continue with Governor Newsom and the exact amount to include in the budget to cover the cost of the recall election is still being calculated.


  • Kiley: Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), perhaps legislative adversary-in-chief to Governor Newsom,  said on Carl DeMaio's radio show that he is meeting with recall leaders to take their temperature on whether he should jump into the campaign to be a successor candidate in the recall election.
  • "Click politics": For Politico, Carla Marinucci reports on social media stars jumping into the recall election.

    Kevin Paffrath has already beaten Gov. Gavin Newsom in the very big arena of YouTube. Now he wants to topple Newsom in the California recall election.

    Paffrath, a hyperenergetic real estate executive, is churning out campaign messages daily to the 1.65 million subscribers of his popular “Meet Kevin” channel — a shift into politics from the past parade of motivational talks and real estate sales advice that has earned him a big millennial following.


    The recall not only gives candidates like Paffrath another opportunity to get their name out but throws off endless ideas for content to generate views. Paffrath already has issued 20 detailed position papers — and multiple videos — that include ending homelessness in 90 days through executive powers; legalizing in-person and online gambling in California; and building 500,000 homes in a year.

    “It’s kind of an ‘if you build it, they will come’ model,” Paffrath said of his Democratic gubernatorial campaign. “You have to figure out how to inject yourself into what the conversation of the day is and provide a perspective that’s unique.”Paffrath’s success underscores how 67 candidates — and counting — are furiously jockeying for voter attention. They can only hope to compete with a governor who’s maximizing the benefits of his bully pulpit through official appearances across the state and proposals to spend $100 billion in unexpected state and federal funds, including $600 stimulus checks.

    In the article, Marinucci proceeds to talk about Caitlyn Jenner and adult film star Mary Carey, who also ran in 2003 earning 11,179 of the 9,413,494 votes cast, while parlaying it into featured appearances at Rancho Cordova strip club Gold Club Centerfolds. In the Politico California Playbook, the team reports:

    Carey tells POLITICO she’ll be officially unveiling her California campaign July 2-3 at shows at the City Limits Strip Club in Marysville. (No accident that she picked the town bearing her name.)
  • Cox and Saudi Arabia: For the Times of San Diego, Ken Stone has an interesting answer to a question posed to candidate John Cox:

    Do you support or oppose Rep. Mike Levin’s bill to permanently ban new oil and gas leases off the Southern California coastline? Why or why not? What current state rules would you lift, if in the state’s power?

    COX: California could be the Saudi Arabia of the West. And we should be. We should explore oil and gas safely. We should also produce more natural gas. California could be fueling our country. It would make California more prosperous and our country more safe.

    Uh, Canada is a huge producer as well and our neighbors to the north allow same-sex marriage don't have the death penalty for being LGBTQ+. And we thought Cox was a "bear," if you know what I mean.

SIN AGUA: In The Bee, Kasler, Sabalow, and Reese report on the dire drought circumstances evident in the state's Northern California reservoirs.

Instead of being flush with newly melted snow, Folsom Lake is the driest it’s been in springtime since the epic drought of 1977. Water levels are so low that temporary pumps probably will be installed to help move water out of the stricken reservoir.

Water levels at Lake Oroville have plunged to the point that its giant hydropower plant could be idled for the first time ever this summer, putting additional strain on California’s troubled electric grid. At massive Shasta Lake, which feeds the Sacramento River watershed and much of the Central Valley, conditions are so bad that major cities are drawing up conservation plans, farmers have scaled back plantings and environmentalists are angrily warning of massive fish kills.

California’s reservoirs, normally the bulwark of the state’s elaborate water system, have been left defenseless by a drought that seems to worsen by the day.

The MercNews's Paul Rogers reports that Santa Clara County, the Bay Area's most populous, will impose mandatory water restrictions.

HOUSING: The Bee's Hannah Wiley looks at what the Legislature is doing to address housing affordability.

Local fees and environmental regulations complicate construction in California. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, wealthier Californians fleeing city centers for single-family neighborhoods helped incite jaw-dropping bidding wars that locals frequently lose.


Little relief from the Capitol is on the way.

The Legislature hasn’t passed a significant housing production package since 2017. Ideas to reform zoning regulations to allow for more multi-family buildings and duplexes failed in 2019 and 2020. This year, similar proposals face opposition from local governments and neighborhood associations with allies in the Capitol.

Newsom has also fallen short of his 2018 campaign pledge to build 3.5 million units by 2025. Housing advocates argue he’s largely failed to flex his executive influence over a Legislature lukewarm on ambitious housing bills.

While California for the first time since 2008 built more than 100,000 units in 2020, according to the finance department, it’s still falling woefully short of what’s needed to end the crisis.

California would need 500,000 new units annually to meet Newsom’s goals. Even using the more conservative California Housing and Community Development projection of a 1.8 million-unit shortage would require the state to construct tens of thousands of units more than its current average.

GUNS, GUNS, GUNS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at where the decision by federal Judge Roger Benitez overturning the state's assault weapons ban goes from here.

“This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes,” Benitez said. “One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who personally sponsored the magazine and ammunition sales laws, promised a vigorous legal fight to uphold California’s regulations.

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period,” Newsom said in a statement. “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. We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”

Given the makeup of the Supreme Court, however, Newsom’s chances of prevailing may be less than 50-50.

EDD FRAUD: The Bee's Michael McGough reports that two people have been arrested in Davis on possession of over 60 EDD debit cards.

Police in Davis arrested two suspects Sunday evening after a traffic stop led to a search that turned up drugs, a handgun, stolen mail and California Employment Development Department debit cards belonging to several dozen people, authorities said.

The arrests stemmed from a traffic stop around 6:15 p.m. on Second Street, Davis Police Department said in a news release. The patrol officer who made the stop observed methamphetamine “in plain view” and, after one of the occupants of the vehicle was determined to be on searchable probation for identity theft, officers conducted a search.

Officers searching the vehicle found a .40 caliber handgun, later determined to have been stolen; 90 grams of suspected methamphetamine; stolen mail; stolen United States Postal Service mailbox keys; and EDD debit cards “belonging to over 60 different people from four counties,” the news release said.

HOMELESS HOUSING: Andrew J. Campa writes for the Times on the opposition to housing for the unsheltered in affluent Arcadia in the San Joaquin Valley.

The caravan of BMWs, Audis and Teslas broke the tranquility of an overcast Saturday morning in an affluent Arcadia neighborhood, where homes sit neatly behind manicured lawns.

Out of the vehicles emerged dozens of sign-carrying and slogan-yelling protesters with one destination in mind: the home of City Councilwoman April Verlato, who supported a plan to build shed-like structures for homeless people.

The protesters held up banners in English and Chinese that read: “We need a safe place to live. No Tiny Shelters!”

“April Verlato needs to understand that tiny homes are not the answer for Arcadia,” said Fenglan “Juli” Liu, a resident of neighboring Temple City who organized the protest on Facebook. “They’re prisons that no homeless person wants to stay in. I know. I’ve asked them.”

Apparently, Liu conducted man on the street interviews with people literally living on the street. Campa continues:

Away from the streets of downtown L.A.’s skid row and gentrifying Echo Park, the debate over tiny homes in Arcadia offers a stark lesson in the challenges of finding shelter for unhoused people.

Over the last decade, Los Angeles County’s homeless problem has spread from urban hot spots to the suburbs. While Arcadia has relatively few homeless people, the idea of providing them a place to live is stoking anger and fear in some quarters, compassion in others.

LAW AND DISORDER: For CalMatters, Byrhonda Lyons looks at majority-Latino counties in which the superior court benches have far fewer judges (or none) than the share of the population.

In Colusa County, where 60% of the population is Latino, both of the Superior Court judges — who handle everything from disorderly conduct to murder trials — are white.


Coulsa is one of four majority-Latino California counties — along with Kings, Madera, and Merced — with no Latino judges in any superior courtrooms. Latino representation on the bench in three of those counties has not improved much since the state began collecting judicial diversity data 14 years ago. And the fourth, Kings — which had one Latino judge in 2007 — is back down to zero. 

“I wouldn’t have expected it to be that bad,” said Lisa Pruitt, a law professor at the University of California, Davis who helped with the state’s research on attorney access in rural California.

Yea for my friend Lisa!

In 13 other California counties, there’s a gap of 30% or more between the percentage of Latinos in the population and the percentage of Latino judges. The gaps tend to be greatest in the Central Valley, but also include counties such as Los Angeles, Monterey and San Bernardino.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The SDUT's Kristen Taketa reports that Patrick O'Donnell on Thursday shelved his bill to reduce fraud in charter schools.

A controversial charter school bill that was meant to prevent the kind of fraud highlighted by the A3 charter school scandal is temporarily dead in the state legislature.

Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, asked that his charter school reform bill, AB 1316, be moved to the inactive file on Thursday. The action means it’s unlikely the bill will be voted on during this legislative session.

O’Donnell made the bill inactive as part of a working agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom to extend a current moratorium on the creation of new non-classroom based charter schools until January 2025, legislative officials said.

The bill was supported by labor and opposed by charter schools.

SCHOOL LUNCHES: For CalMatters, Sameea Kamal looks at whether free lunches for all schoolchildren will continue after the pandemic.

Last week, legislative budget leaders unveiled a deal that includes $650 million for the Universal Schools Meal Program, which would allow schools to serve free breakfast and lunch year-round to all students — no paperwork or eligibility checks required. 

If approved in budget negotiations this week between the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom, the program would be funded by the influx of state money from taxpayers and federal aid. The state would take over the program — funded during the pandemic with federal money — beginning in the 2022-23 school year. 


The legislature’s proposal calls for a $54 million increase in state reimbursements for the 2021-22 fiscal year, then $650 million a year starting in the 2022-23 fiscal year to cover the costs of offering breakfast and lunch for all public school students. 

Newsom, meanwhile, proposed $150 million a year in his May budget to encourage public school districts to participate in programs that allow high-poverty schools to provide meals to all students without requiring applications. 

While the Legislature’s price tag is significantly higher, lawmakers expect that reduced paperwork and overhead costs will reduce the cost.

BERA: In The Bee, David Lightman looks at the late property tax payments by Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) and what he has to say in response.

Rep. Ami Bera paid Sacramento County taxes on five local properties late in recent years, and had to pay thousands of dollars in penalties.

“Like many busy American families, my wife and I have inadvertently missed deadlines paying our property tax,” the Sacramento Democrat told The Bee last week. “As soon as we realized we were late, we paid our taxes in full, including any late fees.”


Bera, a Democrat who has represented the Sacramento area in Congress since 2013, has paid a total of $3,671 in penalties for late payment, according to Sacramento County tax records.

COVID-19 after the jump...

COVID-19: California reported 13 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,745 since the pandemic began. Sunday's number of deaths was wrong in this space. It should have been 17. No idea why my fingers did that.


  • vaccine doses administered in California: 38,523,717
  • vaccine doses delivered to California: 46,847,390
  • Californians fully vaccinated: 18,011,744 (53.1% of adults) 

-breakthroughs: In the LAT, Lila Seidman reports that Napa County has recorded its first death of a fully vaccinated woman.

Napa County reported its first COVID-19 death of a fully vaccinated resident earlier this month, even as the chance of experiencing a breakthrough infection remains exceedingly rare, public health officials said.

The Napa woman was older than 65 and had underlying health conditions, county officials said. She died June 2 after a prolonged hospital battle.

She had received the Moderna vaccine and had her second dose at least 30 days before testing positive for COVID-19, said Napa County spokeswoman Leah Greenbaum, citing information from the county’s epidemiology group.

The woman had tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant — newly named the Alpha variant by the World Health Organization — which was first detected in the U.K. To date, the county has confirmed seven cases of the variant, which is believed to be more transmissible and potentially causes more severe illness than some other strains.

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jess Durfee and Zoe Kipping


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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

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