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- California State of Mind (Nigel Duara @ CalMatters): Former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs on the expansion of universal basic income (2021-6-09)
- 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)
- Capitol Seminars’ Invaluable Lobbying 101 Course Offered Via Zoom (July 9)
- 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: Non-candidate committee contribution and expenditure reports from yesterday's filings.
- AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): East Bay United for Bonta for Assembly 2021 (IE committee) reports $15,000 from Roslyn Meyer (Clinical Psychologist, New Haven, Ct.)
- AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): Educators and Healthcare Professionals for Mia Bonta for State Assembly 2021 sponsored by education school employee and dentist organizations reports spending $80,180 for television and radio ads (Cumulative total: $119,222)
- Faulconer for Governor 2021 reports:
- $10,000 from S&F Management Company, LLC (Lee Samson) (West Hollywood)
- $5,000 from Camusi Orchards, Inc. (Monterey)
- $5,000 from David Horowitz (Chairman, Horowitz Management Inc, Newport Beach)
- $5,000 from Marks Golia & Pinto LLP (San Diego)
- $32,400 from Jason Marcil (Asset Acquisitions, Palos Verdes Investments, Palos Verdes Peninsula)
- $5,000 from James Righeimer (CEO, Arbor Capital Partners, Newport Beach)
- $32,400 from Kilroy Realty, L.P. (Los Angeles)
- $10,000 from Alex Dubose (Equipment Sales, Bobcat of Redding, Durham)
- $32,400 from William Oberndorf (Owner/Investor, Oberndorf Enterprises, LLC, San Francisco)
- $5,000 from Jennings Pierce (Real Estate Development, JD Pierce Company, Inc., Irvine)
- $22,400 from Richard Spencer (President, Spencer Enterprises, Berenda)
- $10,000 from Buttonwillow Warehouse Company (Bakersfield)
- $5,000 from Dennis Leis (Owner, LRT Graphics, Chico)
- $5,000 from Nick Dulcich (Grapes Sales, J.P. Dulcich & Sons, Bakersfield)
- $5,000 from Sami Ladeki (Business Owner, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, San Diego)
- Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports (1 | 2):
- $100,000 from Richard Tod Spieker (Real Estate, Spieker Companies, Inc., Atherton)
- $100,000 from Thomas J. Coates (Real Estate Investor, Jackson Square Properties, San Francisco)
- $50,000 from Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, Transportation Workers' International Union (S.M.A.R.T.) Local 105 Pac Small Contributor Committee (Glendora)
- $5,000 from Richard J. Guggenhime (Attorney, Perkins Coie, LLP, San Francisco)
- $25,0000 from California State Association of Electrical Workers (San Diego)
- $150,000 from Sheet Metal Workers' International Association Local No. 104 Political Action Committee (San Ramon)
- $10,000 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 206 PAC (San Diego)
- $5,000 from California Pharmacists Association Small Contributor Committee (San Rafael)
- $50,000 from Asena Mckeown (Student, Portola Valley)
- $50,000 from Nicholas W. Mckeown (Professor, Stanford University, Portola Valley)
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The Nooner for Thursday, June 10, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
Happy Thursday! It's a nice chilly morning here at Nooner Intergalactic headquarters. I think that's helped with my sleep compare to last as I had another good night and my shoulder is feeling normal. Definitely can't say that last night's sleep was from a great Giants game, even with a great performance by pitcher Sam Long's major-league debut. He's a Sacramento State alum who graduated from Del Campo high school in Fair Oaks, a characteristic he shares with Dusty Baker. I'll attribute my sleep to the Thai yellow curry salmon with eggplant and snap peas I made last night.
I've written here before (I think) that as I write each morning I stream at least the monologues of the previous night's late night shows. I usually skip Fallon as I just don't gel with him. However, if you haven't seen Tuesday night's opening with Lin-Manuel Miranda and several others celebrating the return of Broadway, it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Da da da dat da, dat da da da da ya da...
The gnus after the jumpity jump...
BUDGET: SB 112, the budget bill is in print this morning. This is the two-house proposal from legislative Democrats to meet the 72-hour print deadline. However, negotiations continue and there will iikely be a "budget bill jr." soon. For example, this bill doesn't have money to conduct the recall election in it. For home gamers, the budget must be approved on or before 11:59pm Monday to meet the midnight June 15 deadline.
For now, you have 998 pages of weekend reading.
DO YOU RECALL?
SÍN AGUA: Reuters reports that last night Lake Mead has reached the lowest level since the Hoover Dam was constructed.
The reservoir created by Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel that symbolized the American ascendance of the 20th Century, has sunk to its lowest level ever, underscoring the gravity of the extreme drought across the West.
Lake Mead, formed in the 1930s from the damming of the Colorado River at the Nevada-Arizona border about 30 miles east of Las Vegas, is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is crucial to the water supply of 25 million people including in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the lake surface fell to 1,071.56 feet above sea level, dipping below the previous record low set on July 1, 2016. It has fallen 140 feet since 2000 — nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty from torch to base — exposing a bathtub ring of bleached-white embankments.
Okay folks, we've spent 15 months largely staying at home. It's sucked and there have been costs, but we've gotten by. How about we let lawns go brown (they recover) and stop refilling home pools (use community pools) this summer? Like the pandemic, this is an absolute crisis.
GUNS, GUNS, GUNS: The Bee's Hannah Wiley reports that a bill to establish a tax on guns and ammo that failed last week may not be dead for the year.
A California Democrat isn’t giving up on a proposal to tax guns and ammunition that appeared to die in the Legislature last week.
Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, said he’ll revive the effort on Thursday, a week after it failed to gain enough Democratic votes to clear the Assembly. He said he’s hoping a logistical change to Assembly Bill 1223 will buy him time to lobby for it.
The bill required a two-thirds majority vote in the 80-member Assembly because it would establish new excise taxes — 10% on handguns and 11% tax on long guns, rifles, precursor parts and ammunition. Money raised from the fines would help fund gun violence education and prevention programs.
AB 1223 failed in a final 46-20 floor vote before a June 4 deadline to send proposals to the Senate. A dozen Democrats, who hold a supermajority in both houses, effectively tanked the bill when they abstained from voting.
Levine said he met after the vote with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, to strategize another path for the legislation to pass in 2021.
Meanwhile, in the Times, George Skelton argues that Governor Newsom should spend some of the state's large budget surplus on enforcing existing gun laws.
A good place to spend the money would be on boosting local “red flag” programs aimed at seizing firearms from people judged by a court to be potential killers, based on their threats and actions.
The state has a program in dire need of help — financial and leadership — that is supposed to confiscate guns from people who aren’t legally allowed to possess them. That includes felons, domestic abusers and some who are mentally ill. But gun seizures have fallen far behind.
Another worthwhile place to spend surplus state money would be on community nonprofits that try to turn gun-toting, violent young people in the right direction. Some nonprofits are actually in line for significant state help.
Newsom and the Legislature have an unanticipated record $38 billion in surplus tax revenue to spend as they wish. That’s on top of a $38-billion windfall that must be earmarked for K-12 schools, community colleges, savings and debt repayment.
COLLEGE: Enrollment in California's colleges this spring experienced the largest enrollment drop in the nation, reports Colleen Shalby in the Times.
California leads the nation with the largest drop in spring 2021 college enrollment numbers largely due to a steep decline in community college students, who have particularly struggled with pandemic hardships, according to a report released Thursday.
The state’s overall community college and university headcount dropped by about 123,000 students — the largest numeric decrease of any state. The percentage decline was 5.3% The numeric downturn reflects California’s stature as the most populous state, but does not account for the entirety of the loss, researchers said.
College enrollment across the nation dropped by 3.5% — or about 603,000 students — from spring 2020 to spring 2021, marking the biggest decline on record with the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which has tracked higher education enrollment and degree data since 2011. The calculation takes into account a decline of undergraduates and an increase in graduate students, the report by the organization says.
“California is doing worse than the national averages by 1 or 2 percentage points in terms of the declines this spring compared with last,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the organization.
WOOD: I've seen a lot on social media about the high cost of wood products as people snap pics with their phones and post blaming President Biden. There's a simpler reason that's apolitical -- distributors cut orders expecting low demand during the pandemic and producers reduced production accordingly. And, because of a skilled labor shortage, many mills are not expected to return to full production soon.
Khouri, Olson, and Mendez report in the Times:
At times, bills are coming in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over estimate. In the most extreme cases, projects have come to a screeching halt as prices spiral out of control.
Ken Kahan, president of developer California Landmark Group, said he paused work on a 50-plus unit apartment project in the Los Angeles area after a lumber bid came in triple the original projection. “When you look at commodities do that — either the world is turning upside down or there is just a gyration that just needs to settle down.”
Kahan hopes to restart the project in coming months if lumber prices stabilize, but analysts said pricing is likely to remain elevated for a prolonged period because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the coronavirus started to spread in the U.S. last year, lumber suppliers assumed demand would plunge, and they stalled production accordingly. Distributors followed this lead, stopped buying lumber and sold off inventories.
But the companies predicted wrong. Many Americans, stuck spending more time at home, decided they wanted a change and sought to remodel. Others sought out a newly built home, including well-off renters who wanted more space and a yard. Those kinds of construction require a lot of lumber.
Suppliers and distributors can’t immediately reverse the effects of their decision because there aren’t enough skilled workers or active mills to process the wood. “It was just this mad catch-up to ramp everything back up, but it just doesn’t work that way,” said Greg Kuta, chief executive of Westline Capital Strategies, which specializes in lumber trading.
Obviously, this complicates California's housing crisis.
PSYCHEDELICS: For CalMatters, Marissa Garcia looks at the effort to legalize psychedelic drugs in California.
Amid growing scientific research into therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs and a progressive push to soften punishment for drug crimes, California lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize magic mushrooms, Ecstasy and several other hallucinogenic substances.
The proposal has set off an intense debate over how far California should go to embrace novel medical treatments and destigmatize drug use without compromising public safety. While research into the potential benefits of psychedelics to treat PTSD, depression and anxiety is becoming increasingly mainstream in academic settings, the bill goes beyond medical applications to allow recreational use of psychedelics.
Senate Bill 519 would decriminalize the possession and non-commercial sharing of psychedelics by people age 21 or older. It would not permit the sale of psychedelics in government-sanctioned shops the way cannabis is allowed under state law, but sets up the framework for California to move toward regulating psychedelic drugs in the future.
The measure passed a major hurdle last week, clearing the state Senate with the bare minimum of votes necessary, and now moves to the Assembly, where it will likely continue to divide Democrats who control the Legislature.
The bill eked by with the minimum 21 votes on the Senate Floor with no Republican votes, meaning 10 Democrats voted no. Considering the bill-signing period is likely going to be complete before a recall election (October 10 will be the deadline this year), I think lots of controversial bills will be made two-year bills.
"BUBBLE BABIES": For Capitol Weekly, David Jensen reports that a London biotech company working on the immune deficiency syndrome known a "bubble baby" referring for the need for seclusion has shifted its treatment protocol to the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and UCLA where it was developed following criticism that it wouldn't provide compassionate use for families who couldn't afford it.
A London-based biotech firm has given up its life-saving treatment for the bubble baby disease and turned it over to California’s $12 billion stem cell agency and UCLA, where it was developed with tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The families of children suffering from the rare affliction hailed the decision, saying that they were relieved, grateful and hopeful that it would soon mean treatments for their children.
Orchard Therapeutics PLC had declined to provide compassionate use of the treatment (OTL-101) to 20 children, whose immune systems were crippled by the rare genetic mutation called ADA-SCID. Orchard’s actions disturbed the parents of the children, who deplored the company’s moves as placing profits over saving lives. The treatment has already saved the lives of 50 other children, according to UCLA.
The success so far of the OTL-101 treatment has been a hallmark for the agency, which was created 16 years ago by voters who were led to believe during the ballot initiative campaign that miracle therapies were right around the corner.
Known officially as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the program was set to expire last year. Voters, however, refinanced it with $5.5 billion more in state bonds and vastly expanded its scope. Nonetheless, funding will run out in roughly another decade unless additional sources of cash are found. CIRM has yet to produce a stem cell therapy that is widely available to the public.
COVID-19: California reported 29 deaths yesterday for a total of 62,797 since the pandemic began.
- vaccine doses administered in California: 38,862,508
- vaccine doses delivered to California: 46,958,420
- Californians fully vaccinated: 18,240,912 (53.7% of adults)
- Californians partially vaccinated: 3,972,969 (11.7% of adults)
-reopening: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at what to and what not to expect with the highly touted reopening next Tuesday
-masks: The California Department of Public Health yesterday issued new mask guidance that takes effect June 15. These are for non-workplace settings, which are being set by Cal/OSHA (see below) and likely to take effect June 28.
-workplaces: In the Times, Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin II report that during a long meeting last night, the state's workplace safety board appears ready to allow fully vaccinated employees to go maskless -- but it won't be on the magical June 15 date.
Members of a California workplace safety board suggested they will move to allow fully vaccinated employees to stop wearing masks while on the job, putting proposed health rules in agreement with recommendations issued by federal and state health officials.
Details were scant, but Eric Berg, deputy chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said the expectation is that the standards “will be consistent with” new mask rules issued by the California Department of Public Health for the general public, which are set to go into effect Tuesday.
Those rules allow people who are fully vaccinated to not wear masks, with some exceptions, such as on public transit.
The proposal will be presented at a meeting June 17 and could go into effect by June 28 once it’s reviewed by the state Office of Administrative Law. It would affect most workplace settings, with exceptions including healthcare sites.
-school daze: The Chron's Jill Tucker writes that, while there is unity of Bay Area health officers who say schools will be fully open this fall, that may not be reality.
The 10 Bay Area health officers stood on the steps of a San Francisco Mission District middle school, unmasked, hugging, kissing cheeks and shaking hands, together for the first time since they ordered the region’s residents to shelter in place more than a year ago.
They decided to gather shoulder-to-shoulder, in-person last Thursday to send a powerful message: California can and must reopen schools fully and completely in the fall.
“On this we are 100% united,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer. “Our message is for everyone, for anyone concerned about COVID-19.”
Not reopening fully for all students is not an option, said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County health officer, citing increases in anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidality and alcohol and drug use among youth during distance learning.
“The cost to our kids by keeping them out of school in remote learning is immense,” he said.
Yet across California and in some Bay Area communities, doubts linger about what classes will look like in the fall and whether there will be enough wiggle room in state law for districts to limit a return to in-person instruction.
If there is discretion, it could lead to a repeat of the past year, with a hodgepodge of reopening plans. Despite state and county authorization and urging to reopen schools as early as the summer and fall of last year, the majority didn’t, at least not until the early months of 2021, even as private schools welcomed back students by the thousands.
This will play out around the state of a patchwork of willingness of parents to send their kids back to in-person, given that there have been widely different experiences with distance learning.
LA-LA LAND: With recall fever setting in across the state with the Newsom recall efforts, recall efforts against progressive district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles, an effort to recall the San Francisco school board, and an effort against a San Diego councilmember, you might think we had a final list to keep track of. Of course not. Fevers are hard to break. Zahniser reports for the Times:
Voters in Southern California have launched yet another bid to remove a politician ahead of the regular election cycle — this time targeting a Los Angeles city councilwoman who’s been in office for just six months.
CD4 for CD4, a campaign committee formed last month, served Councilwoman Nithya Raman with a recall notice outside her Silver Lake home Wednesday. On its website and elsewhere, the committee argued that Raman’s office is inexperienced, unresponsive and too politically radical for her constituents to endure a full four-year term.
Raman, 39, did not respond to each of the group’s claims. But in a statement, the councilwoman said she is focused on her “broad progressive agenda” — helping renters, small businesses and people experiencing homelessness, among others.
“I love the people and the neighborhoods of this district. That’s why I ran to represent it,” she said. “I invite the organizers of this recall to work with me on making it an even better place to live, work, and raise our children.”
Raman shocked the political establishment with a grassroots campaign that unseated council David Ryu.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Juan Camacho, Aaron Davis, Senator Bill Dodd, Chuck Halnan, Larry Levine, Calvin Sung, and Tim Wendler!
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