Around The Capitol

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  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): WLRN's Caitie Switalski Muñoz to discuss the different pandemic approaches of California and Florida; Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee president Jessica Post on statehouse failures in 2020, what's ahead in 2022, and her ten-year plan to regain statehouses. (2021-06-17)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Sacramento County DA and Attorney General candidate Anne Marie Schubert (2021-06-18)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The state's response to the pandemic, the reopening, and uptick in gun violence. (2021-06-17) 
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center on a variety of labor issues, including the ongoing uproar over at SEIU 1000 following the election of outsider candidate Richard Louis Brown and the latest fallout from Proposition 22. (2021-06-13)
  • 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) 


  • 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: interesting campaign finance reports filed yesterday

  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): East Bay United for Bonta for Assembly 2021 reports spending $25,000 for a digital media buy.
  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): East Bay United for Bonta for Assembly 2021 reports receiving:
    • $40,000 from Blue Shield of California
    • $10,000 from Lucky Chances, Inc. (Colma card room)
    • $5,000 from Abe Friedman (managing partner, CamberView)


  • AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): updated analysis ($$$ situation following yesterday's final pre-election filing deadline) [subscribers only]

The Nooner for Friday, June 18, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Friday! We made it. While I write that frequently on Fridays, today I'm just celebrating the fact that we didn't melt yesterday. We're looking at a high of 108 at Nooner Global HQ today. The braggadocio cities working to lure Californians won't be outdone by the Golden State's capital city. Thus, Phoenix is looking at 116, Vegas is aiming for 112, and, while it can't reach the triple digits so close to the Gulf, Houston will pair 93 highs with 50%+ humidity.

While running a few errands on Kay and 11th Streets yesterday, I actually cut through Capitol Park on the west side of the Capitol yesterday, which has been barricaded for the last year. The barricades were erected and literally connected by handcuffs during the Black Lives Matter, protests against the COVID restrictions, and left up for fear of presidential election-related protests. It felt so liberating to walk through the park west side of the Capitol and there were several tourists taking pics on the steps, etc. That said, do we still need to have CHP cruisers parked on the west and north sides? It really ruins the photos.

Stay cool, Californians.

Despite the heat, I did spend time away from the computer to make dinner. Last night was wild Alaskan salmon topped with an apricot-avocado salsa with broccolini and wild rice. As you can tell, I'm very happy with the return of the Capitol Mall farmers market on Wednesdays. Yes, there is salmon underneath the salsa, which I clearly made too much of. However, once I started eating the cool mix, I couldn't be happier.

It's a pretty quiet day, so we'll tackle a few issues before climbing into an ice bath.

The gnus after a nag...

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Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled again soon!



  • AdWars: Public affairs and GOP campaign guru Rob Stutzman tweets:
    CA Recall ads firing up this week. Newsom with neg and pos ads clearly aimed at energizing base. Faulconer starts on Spanish language TV, looking to expand his. Both are sound strategies.

VACCINATIONS: full stats, including breakdown by group are available here

  • Californians fully vaccinated: 19,074,396 (56.2%)
  • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,598,116 (10.6%)
  • Doses on hand: 5,459,080 

WORKPLACES: As expected, the Cal/OSHA California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted new workplace standards consistent with the reopening and CDC guidance, which was quickly followed by an executive order (EO) by Governor Newsom to allow them to take effect immediately. Without the EO, the emergency regulations would have had a ten-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law, the department charged with ensuring that regulations adopted by agencies are consistent with statute.

There has been criticism over the fact that Governor Newsom hasn't ended the state of emergency. However, if he had done so, he couldn't have accelerated the relaxing of restrictions in workplaces. The EO uses the authority provided during a state of emergency provided in Gov't Code §8571, which provides:

During a state of war emergency or a state of emergency the Governor may suspend any regulatory statute, or statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, including subdivision (d) of Section 1253 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, where the Governor determines and declares that strict compliance with any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the emergency.

For the AP, Don Thompson reports on the new workplace rules.

California regulators on Thursday approved revised workplace pandemic rules that allow employees who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus the same freedoms as when they are off the job, including ending most mask requirements.

The revised regulations approved by the governor-appointed California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board come after weeks of confusion. The rules adopted in a 5-1 vote, with one member absent, now conform with general state guidelines that took effect Tuesday by ending most mask rules for vaccinated people.

The rules apply in almost every workplace in the state, including offices, factories and retailers.

They are intended to ensure that workers are protected while businesses resume normal or near-normal activity, Eric Berg, deputy chief of health for California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, told the board.

Business groups had sought the changes but argued they didn’t go far enough. They supported conforming rules for businesses with state guidelines patterned after the latest federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

The California Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 14,000 members, still praised a decision it said “will help employers move forward and fully reopen.”

Board member Laura Stock, an occupational safety expert who cast the lone opposition vote, warned that the pandemic is not over.

“This has real consequences that people can get sick and die due to exposure in the workplace,” Stock said.

She said the rules go too far by eliminating physical distancing and workplace partitions and allowing workers to self-report their vaccination status, while relying too heavily on people to be vaccinated.

“What’s very difficult is to figure out what the balance is so that we’re doing the most good for the most people, but not at all dismissing the vulnerable in our population,” said Chris Laszcz-Davis, a management representative on the board.


Fully vaccinated employees will not need to wear masks, except in locations like mass transit and classrooms, where they are required for everyone, or in the event of outbreaks.

Physical distancing also will end except for certain workers during major outbreaks. Vaccinated employees won’t need to be tested or quarantine unless they show symptoms, even if they have close contact with an infected person.

Employers must document that workers who skip masks indoors are indeed fully vaccinated. But employers have the choice of requiring workers to show proof of vaccination or allowing employees to self-report their status, with the employer keeping a record of who does the latter.

There is a debated employment law question of whether employers in most settings can demand evidence of vaccination, although it likely is allowable in high-risk environments like health care, senior living, and correctional facilities.

[Employers] also could decide to require everyone to remain masked — vaccinated or not. And vaccinated employees will still be able to wear masks if they choose without facing retaliation.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For the AP, Adam Beam reports that California will soon require those receiving unemployment benefits to actively seek employment, returning to pre-pandemic rules.

California will stop giving unemployment benefits to people who are not actively applying for jobs, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced Thursday.

Federal law requires people who are out of work to be actively looking for jobs to be eligible for unemployment benefits. But the federal government let states waive that requirement during the pandemic because so many businesses were ordered to close.

California has waived its work-search rule since March 2020. But Thursday, the Employment Development Department said it would resume the requirement July 11.

“California offers many resources to help people to find safe and suitable careers and training opportunities that keep the economy moving,” agency director Rita Saenz said.

FORESTS: For the Chron, Yoohyun Jung looks at the loss of California's forested to logging and wildfires, which only accelerates the decline.

California has an estimated 31.6 million acres of forest land, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But that figure has been shrinking year after year, and at a more rapid rate than before, experts say. The state lost nearly 800,000 acres in tree cover just in 2020, data shows. It’s both the result and a driver of climate change.


Years of logging and wildfires have resulted in the loss of countless trees in the area — nearly 22,000 acres in tree cover loss in Shasta and Tehama counties in 2020, according to a Chronicle analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, a program of the World Resources Institute, an environmental research and policy organization.

California lost more total tree cover than any other state in 2020, as well as a larger percentage of its existing tree cover, largely because of a deadly fire season that burned more than 4.2 million acres statewide. It was the largest amount of acreage burned since the state started recording data in 1987, and part of a trend toward increasingly devastating fire seasons. Experts also say the conditions are in place for a particularly bad fire season in 2021.

Deforestation and wildfires together create a vicious cycle, Woodhouse and other environmental advocates say. Wildfires burn and destroy forests, and thinning forests create a hotter, drier environment in which wildfires thrive.

“We're really concerned that the fire is a feedback loop where fires and carbon emissions from burning trees exacerbate climate change, which leads to more fires,” said Liz Goldman, a geospatial research manager for Global Forest Watch.

MENTAL HEALTH: For Capitol Weekly, Sigrid Bethen writes that 30 counties have now adopted "Laura's Law," which allows families to get severely mentally ill relatives into treatment.

In a significant policy shift spanning nearly two decades, 30 counties in California – including all of the larger counties, with an estimated 80 percent of the state’s population – have now adopted a 2002 state law giving families a legal avenue to get severely mentally ill relatives into treatment.

That’s 10 more than had previously adopted “Laura’s Law” in the 19 years since it was originally enacted, inspired by the Nevada County murder of a young woman by a mentally ill gunman. The law has received growing public support, and legislation was passed unanimously last year to strengthen the law and finally make it permanent.

“It’s a remarkable turnaround,” said Randall Hagar, longtime legislative advocate for the state’s psychiatrists and the father of a severely mentally ill adult son. “It’s been 20 years in the offing, and it opens the door for many families… It’s just the beginning, really, of finding better solutions.”

Of California’s 58 counties, 30 have adopted Laura’s Law, 24 have rejected it and four remain undecided. Counties could still “opt in” before the new law takes  effect July 1

Battling stigma, misconceptions and heartache, family members and mental-health policy experts have slogged through decades of controversy to convince legislators and local officials that supporting court-ordered intensive treatment – “Laura’s Law” in California — was not a return to the notoriously abusive system of state mental hospitals, where thousands of people were involuntarily housed, often for years, even decades.

LA-LA LAND: In the LAT, Alene Tchekmedyian reports that a Los Angeles initiative approved by the voters to reprioritize funds spent on public safety unconstitutionally restricts discretion reserved for the Board of Supervisors.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has declared that Measure J, which county voters approved last year to set aside public funds for social services and jail diversion programs, is unconstitutional.

In a proposed ruling Thursday, Judge Mary Strobel said the amendment to the county’s charter improperly restricts the L.A. County Board of Supervisors from deciding how and where to spend county funds. Strobel said at a court hearing that she expects to make the ruling final in coming weeks.

The measure, which passed easily, requires that 10% of locally generated, unrestricted county money — an estimated $300 million each year — be spent on services such as housing, mental health treatment and investments in communities harmed by racism. The measure prohibits the county from using the money on prisons, jails or law enforcement agencies.

The current board or any future board, the judge said, could adopt a budget with those spending priorities — but it can’t be forced to.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Navnit Bhandal, Mark Ramos, and Joe Summers!



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Taught by 46-year Capitol veteran Ray LeBov. Provides comprehensive coverage of California’s Legislative process, along with touch points and best practices you need to know for effective Legislative advocacy. Send your new lobbyists, support staff, legislative committee members, executives who hire and manage lobbyists. Capitol Seminars is the No.1 training resource for nonprofits and private sector organizations, lobbying firms, trade associations, state and local government entities. Next Zoom session is Friday, July 9th, 8:30am-1:30pm. Seats are limited. Reservations: (916) 837-0208. Further information:

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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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