Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • California State of Mind (CapRadio): Reopening; state budget with guest reporters from CalMatters (2021-06-11)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Back in the studio, Scott and Marisa talk the assault weapons ban ruling, Kamala's trip to Guatemala and Mexico, and then are joined by SFDCC chair Honey Mahogeny. (2021-06-10) 
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): With Warren Olney, a discussion on race in the classroom and politics as well as the assault weapons ruling (2021-06-10) 
  • California State of Mind (Nigel Duara @ CalMatters): Former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs on the expansion of universal basic income (2021-06-09)
  • 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)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • 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

RECALL WATCH:

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports:
    • $500,000 from the California Democratic Party - The CDP's totals now are:
      • Cash: $750,000
      • Nonmonetary: $563,925
  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports:
    • $250,000 from California State Association of Electrical Workers Small Contributor Committee
    • $25,000 from AHMC Seton Medical Center, LLC (Alhambra)
    • $5,000 from John Behner (not employed, San Diego)
    • $5,000 from Nick Kovacevich (Executive, Kush Co Holdings, Inc., Newport Beach)
    • $5,000 from Catherine Stiefel (not employed, San Diego)
  • Faulconer for Governor 2021 reports:
    • $5,000 from Matt Pandol (farm manager, Pandol Bros, Inc., Delano)
    • $5,000 from Vaquero Energy, Inc. (Bakersfield)
    • $5,000 from Robert Olson (president, RD Olson Development, Irvine)
    • $5,000 from Craig Watkins (design engineer, SRP, Penngrove)

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The Nooner for Saturday, June 12, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Saturday and Happy Loving Day! It's a beautiful morning here at Nooner HQ and hope to get outside after I finish tickling the keyboard.

My Verizon store visit was pleasant, there was no wait, and the customer service by Benicia was great. I didn't hold it against her when she had to tell me that the $6.95/month I've been paying for the last five years was an "outdated" plan that only included lost or stolen phones. So, if it was in my sofa cushion, I was covered, but the fact that the audio input no longer worked was not.

Anyway, while I was absolutely content with my iPhone 7 plus and eschewed all the upgrades, not I've got one and the monthly change wasn't much with the trade-in. Fortunately, I was able to get all my settings and content back from the old phone and the cloud last night so I'm up and running and can talk again -- not that i use my phone for calls much.

BUDGET: Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli provides a chart of the budget-related bills that are on the table and when they are eligible to be acted on. As is customary, identical versions of each have been introduced in both houses, although only one of each needs to be passed.

Senate Bill

Subject

Assembly Bill

SB 128

Eligible 6/13 at 9pm

Budget Act of 2021

AB 128

Eligible 6/13 at 9pm

SB 147

Eligible 6/14 at 9pm

Budget Act of 2020 – Augmentation

AB 147

Eligible 6/14 at 2:35pm

SB 152

Eligible 6/14 at 9pm

Recall Elections 

AB 152

Eligible 6/14 at 2:35pm

  • Senate Budget Committee – Monday at 9:30am – AB 128
  • No Assembly Budget Committee hearing scheduled
  • Senate Floor – Monday at 2pm
  • Assembly Floor – Monday at 3pm
  • Only SB 128 or AB 128 needs to be passed by June 15 to comply with Prop. 25 

We have bills, but has Governor Newsom signed off on the plan by legislative Democrats? Uh, no. Debra Kahn reports for Politico:

Lawmakers face a Tuesday deadline to pass the budget under threat of losing pay, and it's looking increasingly likely that the plan will be a placeholder that satisfies state law but does not reflect a deal with Newsom. Negotiations are ongoing, but Democratic legislators and Newsom remain at odds on various pieces, and lawmakers plan to vote Monday on a main budget bill regardless.

The remaining disputes include the age at which to provide Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants, funding for county health departments and child care expansion. Lawmakers are also expected to wait on major portions of the resources budget because immediate action isn't necessary.

They're planning to appropriate nearly $20 billion for wildfire preparedness, drought and climate resiliency, homelessness, student housing and broadband internet connectivity — but are silent on program details in the main budget bills unveiled Thursday...

Many specifics will be fleshed out in budget trailer bills and additional iterations of the main budget bill, but it's not clear when exactly those will land. Jason Sisney, budget adviser to Assembly Democrats, said Thursday night on Twitter that those budget bills "are expected to be voted on in the weeks after Monday, June 14. These later bills will reflect additions and changes emerging from discussions between #CALeg and the executive branch."

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Timeline: As noted above, we had trailer bills pop up yesterday in SB 152/AB 152 that would make the statutory change to Elections Code §11108 to expedite the recall election process. Specifically, it provides that the Joint Legislative Budget Committee need not wait 30 days for the review of the cost of the recall election if funds have been approved by the Legislature for such costs determined to be reasonably necessary. Obviously, funds are in the budget based on a preliminary estimate from the Department of Finance. The bills further would appropriate an additional $35 million for the election costs beyond the $215 million included in the budget bills in chief.  

    As a budget trailer bill, the changes can't take effect until the beginning of the 2021-22 fiscal year. But, if the Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis acts soon after, the range of dates for an election would roughly be between September 1 and September 14.

    The advantages of an election in September:

    - schools are just starting up
    - a lesser chance for an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant
    - avoids the bill-signing period (Legislature recesses on September 10)
    - minimizes the unknow
  • Cox: For The Sacto Politico, Jeff Burdick has a Q&A with candidate John Cox.

REDISTRICTING: In Paul Mitchell's Redistricting Report for this week, he looks at how this cycle's California Citizens Redistricting Commission members are using social media to share their thoughts, which is much in contrast with the insular 2011 commission.

The [recent] tweets are just an example of the Commission’s larger departure from the culture of the 2011 Commission, which seemed to develop its own insular personality as the proceedings advanced. That commission clearly had opinions, and it is likely they were telling stories and sharing ideas like this over a glass of wine at post-hearing dinner, or on the long commute to the next meeting. But they weren’t doing it on social media.

And we never received any outward signals about what testimony the Commissioners found to be interesting in near real-time.

In 2011 you could testify one week, then hope to hear a commissioner mention your testimony when drawing lines a couple weeks later. But, in this cycle, you might be able to just check Twitter to see if your two cents landed.

REOPENING: In the LAT, Luke Money and Phil Willon report on the Tuesday's reopening.

Starting Tuesday, the state will remove most remaining restrictions on businesses and significantly relax mask-wearing rules for those who are vaccinated — two significant efforts made possible by the steady retreat of COVID-19.

And officials said Friday that Gov. Gavin Newsom will also begin rescinding dozens of emergency actions he imposed by executive order in response to the pandemic, a process that will play out over several months.

...

Gone will be the system of color-coded tiers that for months kept counties on pins and needles as they awaited word for how widely activities could resume. Businesses that have long operated at less-than-complete capacity will be able to throw open their doors.
d.

And Californians who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to shed their face masks in most nonwork situations.

...

Newsom has issued 58 executive orders since the beginning of March 2020, when he declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak.

They have allowed local governments to meet and hold hearings electronically, suspending the state law requiring those meetings to be physically open to the public, provided extensions for businesses filing state taxes and required school districts to keep paying teachers and staff even if campuses were closed and students were in remote learning.

He also prohibited water agencies from cutting off service to customers for not paying their bills, allowed marriages to be conducted by videoconference and provided liability protections to healthcare workers administering COVID-19 vaccinations. 

An actual list of which executive orders will be repealed has not been provided yet. Although, as described below, the changes to masking requirements are being made by the state public health officer as they weren't part of an executive order.

COVID-19:

-vaccination stats:

  • Californians fully vaccinated: 18,542,484 (54.6%)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,834,013 (11.3%)

-vaccination verification: With continued masking requirements tied to vaccination status, the question of verification has been a hot topic. After all, these paper CDC cards won't last long and there's the counterfeit issue. In the SDUT, Paul Sisson writes that Governor Newsom said yesterday that an electronic system is coming soon.

Trying to stay away from the phrase “vaccine passport,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California is on the cusp of releasing an electronic system that will allow businesses to confirm that their customers have received their shots.

During a news conference held at Vista Community Clinic, after completing the second of three vaccine lottery drawings, the governor said that such a system is very much in the works when asked about verification language included in the state’s latest masking guidance released Wednesday.

When the state’s tiered reopening system sunsets on Tuesday, California will adopt federal masking guidelines which state that those who remain unvaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors. Businesses are given three different options when interacting with unmasked customers and patrons: Just trust them when they say they’re vaccinated, “implement vaccine verification” or require everyone to wear a mask.

The second option is somewhat mysterious.

To date, the only way to verify a person’s vaccination status is to check the paper vaccination card that each person receives when they get stuck. But it has been clear in recent weeks that many have or intend to forge vaccination cards if and when businesses begin to require them.

-new health order: Yesterday, State Public Health Officer Tomás J. Aragón, M.D., Dr.P.H. issued a new statewide public health order effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15. This makes changes to previous public health orders to reflect the reopening of most of California, but does not apply to workplace requirements. Those will be addressed by Cal/OSHA later this week to take effect on June 28 following required review by the Office of Administrative Law.

The new order requires Californians to follow the updated:

-masks: Obviously, one of the most contentious issues is about mask requirements. Here is the guidance on the use of face coverings.

Guidance for Individuals 

Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in the following settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

Additionally, masks are required** for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

For additional information, individuals should refer to CDC Recommendations for Safer Activities (see CDPH Masking Guidance Frequently Asked Questions for more information).

Guidance for Businesses, Venue Operators or Hosts 

In settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:

  • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

  • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.

  • Require all patrons to wear masks.

No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.

Exemptions to masks requirements

The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.

  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.

  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

-school daze: For KQED, Julia McEvoy reports on a new UCSF study that finds that a fall return to in-person instruction in K-12 schools is safe -- with a big caveat:

Researchers with UCSF say a safe return to schools in-person this fall depends a lot on how well those schools stick to an array of COVID-19 mitigation measures.

In a study published in the journal Pediatrics on Thursday, researchers cited new evidence from looking at how staff from San Francisco’s learning hubs kept kids ages 5 to 12 safe while they were gathering inside makeshift classrooms over the winter months when the city was experiencing high rates of COVID-19.

“The children and families that were served by the hubs represented the highest risk that San Francisco as a city experienced,” said Dr. Sunitha Kaiser, a UCSF pediatrician and the study’s lead author. “The delightful surprise was the shockingly low level of in-hub COVID transmission.”

Researchers said the study is important because many parents from parts of the Bay Area that were most devastated by the coronavirus have expressed fear over returning their unvaccinated children to school campuses this fall.

...

Kaiser’s team observed how well staff were able to get children to follow protocols such as keeping 6 feet apart and keeping masks on, especially after eating together. And they noted what worked, such as staff using hula hoops to help kids understand the radius of safety or using pool noodles when children would play tag to prevent kids from touching one another.

The researchers also collected data on hand washing, symptom screening and what ventilation measures were in place. What struck Kaiser about the relative lack of in-hub transmission is that this happened despite the fact that a lot of kids weren’t always wearing masks or staying properly distanced and vaccinations had yet to fully be available to adults.

What worked, she said, is that enough of these protocols were being followed that they created a sort of layering effect; if one piece of prevention isn’t perfect, that’s OK.

“What we show is that when they are trying on all fronts,” like symptom screening, having adequate masks and hand hygiene supplies and maximizing ventilation, then in-person learning “can be done safely," she added.

EARTHQUAKE WARNING: In the LAT, Kim, Linthicum, and Lin look at California's early earthquake warning systems compared to other earthquake-prone countries and the news isn't great.

When it comes to building a state-of-the-art earthquake early warning system, California is behind.

California and the U.S. have long neglected the development of such a system. The alarm system we do have still isn’t integrated into as much infrastructure as it might be. And the concept is still not universally understood by the public.

By contrast, earthquake early warning systems in Japan and Mexico are part of the fabric of daily life — with the public understanding their lifesaving potential while accepting their inherent limits.

In Japan, earthquake early warnings have become well-integrated across society, with warnings automatically piped to cellphones, television and radio. In Mexico City, a ubiquitous network of sirens blares moments after a large temblor is detected to give residents time to seek safety before shaking arrives.

Yet California and the rest of the West Coast are still figuring out what exactly to make of the U.S. Geological Survey’s ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system. It began issuing public alerts in L.A. only about 2½ years ago; expanded to the rest of California a year later; and then this year expanded to Oregon and Washington state.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sean Dugar and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard!

 

Classifieds

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