Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS: Obviously, there are lots of pods these days. I try to select for your few those most important to hear for California's politics and policy.

  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): California Governor's Office of Emergency Services chief Mark Ghilarducci (2021-07-02)
  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Author Mark Arax on how the draught might affect California water politics. (2021-07-01) 
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) and others on the impact of fireworks on veterans, particularly with the increase in illegal fireworks in neighborhoods. (2021-07-01)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Homelessness and the recall election. (2021-07-01)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association. (2021-06-28)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • California Council on Science and Technology (jobs)
  • SFBay Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist (job)
  • 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: interesting reports over the last couple of days (not including regular contributions at or below the limits)

  • Clean Up California, Kevin Faulconer's Ballot Measure Committee to Recall Gavin Newsom reports receiving:
    • $49,900 from Kilroy Realty, L.P. (Los Angeles)
    • $25,000 from Jeffrey Burns (mortgage banker, Walker & Dunop, Danville)
  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving:
    • $1,100,000 from the California Building Industry Association
    • $5,000 from Mohammed Zakhireh (physician, Palm Desert)
    • $2,500 from David Taber (consultant, SalesLogistixCorporation, Cloverdale)
    • $1,000 from Mary Fulginiti Genow (attorney, Pacific Palisades)
    • $1,000 from Clara Correia (not employed, Beaumont)

The Nooner for Saturday, July 3, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

Happy Saturday! I hope your weekend has gotten off to a good start. This is one of those awkward three-day weekends with the State of California. State employees get Monday off, while the Legislature took their holiday on the customary Friday. The Assembly Floor session is scheduled for 1pm while the Senate follows at 2pm.

Guessing that those legislative employees planning backyard BBQs on Sunday would much rather have Monday off to recover.

If you like The Nooner and don't already, consider a subscription, advertising, or otherwise support the work using Square, PayPal, or check (address listed there).

Only 8.9% of the 8,275 readers (adjusted for work/home dupes) are currently paid subscribers. Even a $5 or $10 quick "tip" via Square or Venmo to "Scott-Lay" helps during this continued low-advertising 2021. (For Venmo, the last four of my phone is 5801 if asked.)

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Hopefully this customary ad slot will be filled again soon!

BUDGET: The following hearings have been noticed as budget details are worked out:

  • Wednesday, July 7:
    • 1:30 p.m., or upon adjournment of Natural Resources (which starts at 9am): Assembly Budget: 2021 Budget Package (informational)
    • Upon adjournment of Senate Health (which starts at 9am): Senate Budget and Fiscal Review - most of these bills haven't had final language posted yet
      • A.B. No. 130 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021.
      • A.B. No. 131 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021.
      • A.B. No. 132 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021.
      • A.B. No. 133 Committee on Budget. Health.
      • A.B. No. 135 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021.
      • A.B. No. 140 Committee on Budget. Housing: letting of state property: Infill Infrastructure Grant Program of 2019.
      • A.B. No. 144 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021.
      • A.B. No. 148 Committee on Budget. Public resources.
      • A.B. No. 153 Committee on Budget. Budget Act of 2021
  • Thursday, July 8:
    • 8:00 a.m.: Assembly Budget: 2021 Budget Package (informational)

COVID: 

  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,127,805 (59.3%)
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,260,028 (9.6%)
    • Doses on hand: 5,226,809 (66 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • L.A. County: In the LAT, Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money report that Los Angeles County public health officials have increased their cautionary tone about precautions preceding Fourth of July.

    L.A. County public health officials are breaking with many other health departments, asking even inoculated residents to modify their behavior amid a concerning uptick in coronavirus transmission and the circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant.

    In recommending that all residents wear masks in public indoor spaces — regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 — the nation’s most-populous county is an outlier. Neither state nor federal health officials have taken that step.

    Officials attribute the increase of cases and hospitalizations in L.A. County to the Delta variant spreading among the region’s unvaccinated population. About 51% of L.A. County residents are fully vaccinated, well behind most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are some 4 million in L.A. County who have not had a single dose, including 1.3 million who are not yet eligible.

    Two warning signs emerged in the past few days, showing how dramatically fortunes can change: Coronavirus cases in L.A. County have more than doubled in the last week, and hospitalizations are up by 30% — trends that are significantly worse than those observed nationally.

    The increase is particularly notable among L.A. County’s Black residents, who are vaccinated at lower rates than other racial and ethnic groups. COVID-19 hospitalizations among Black residents rose by 11% between mid-May and mid-June.

    Here is the L.A. County public health press release from yesterday expressing the increased concern and need for precautions.

PUBLIC HEALTH: For Kaiser Health News, Angela looks at the intense lobbying effort that broke a logjam in getting more state funding for local health departments.

After more than a decade of fruitless entreaties from public health advocates, Democratic lawmakers have secured a landmark agreement that promises $300 million a year in new state funding to fortify and reimagine California’s hollowed-out public health system, a complex network of services shouldered largely by the state’s 61 local health departments.

The deal, outlined this week as the Democratic-controlled legislature approved a record $262.6 billion state budget for fiscal year 2021-22, marked a dramatic reversal for Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had rebuffed requests the past three years to bolster annual spending on public health, arguing that federal funding would suffice. At Newsom’s insistence, the infusion for public health won’t kick in until July 2022.

What persuaded the first-term Democrat to change course, according to people involved in the negotiations, was an unprecedented public health campaign buttressed by powerhouse lobbyists and organized labor. The state’s largest public employee union, the Service Employees International Union, California, in January joined health care leaders to create a coalition called “California Can’t Wait,” mounting a fierce lobbying effort on behalf of public health, a core government function that for years has gone without a voice in California’s Capitol corridors.

Their target was Newsom, and they pressed their case with his Cabinet officials, advisers and the public, even as he was navigating seething resentment in some communities over covid-related business closures and a burgeoning Republican-driven recall effort to oust him from office.

“We knew we’d have to fight,” said Tia Orr, the top lobbyist for SEIU in California, which represents 750,000 members, including health care workers, janitors, and city, county and state employees, among others. “I hate that it took a crisis, but covid-19 allowed us to push back collectively, and we all realized that we’d have to get louder than we’ve ever been on public health.”

Kaiser Health News is an independent news organization with funding from the KFF (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) and not affiliated with the Kaiser Permanente health system.

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Pro/Con: The Secretary of State's Office yesterday emailed county election officials the argument for the recall and the response against from Governor Newsom. It is the same that was published in fine print on petitions during the circulation period. It's an interesting read, as the recall qualification was dead-in-the-water before the pandemic. The recall effort was launched in January 2020 and therefore doesn't mention the issues that drew momentum and a 180-day extension in the circulation period.

Proponents’ Statement of Reasons

TO THE HONORABLE GAVIN NEWSOM: Pursuant to section 11020, California Elections Code, the undersigned registered qualified voters of the State of California, hereby give notice, we are the proponents of a recall petition and we intend to seek your recall and removal from the office of Governor in the State of California and to demand election of a successor in that office.

The grounds for this recall are as Follows: Governor Newsom has implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life. Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens. People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result. He has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws. He unilaterally over-ruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty. He seeks to impose additional burdens on our state by the following; removing the protections of Proposition 13, rationing our water use, increasing taxes and restricting parental rights. Having no other recourse, we the people have come together to take this action, remedy these misdeeds and prevent further injustices.

Governor’s Answer to the Statement

WARNING: THIS UNWARRANTED RECALL EFFORT WILL COST CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS 81 MILLION DOLLARS! IT IS BEING PUSHED BY POLITICAL EXTREMISTS SUPPORTING PRESIDENT TRUMP'S HATEFUL ATTACKS ON CALIFORNIA.

In 2018 California voters elected Governor Gavin Newsom by historic margins.

As Governor, Newsom is working to 1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians' health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires.

Our budget is balanced. Our fiscal reserves are unprecedented. Our economy and employment are historically strong.

Yet a handful of partisan activists supporting President Trump and his dangerous agenda to divide America are trying to overturn the definitive will of California voters and bring Washington's broken government to California with this recall effort.

The last thing California needs is another wasteful special election, supported by those who demonize California's people and attack California's values.

Do not be fooled - California's police officers, firefighters, first responders, public school teachers, health providers, and business leaders all STRONGLY OPPOSE this costly recall.

DO NOT HAND OVER YOUR SIGNATURE, YOUR SUPPORT OR YOUR PERSONAL, PRIVATE INFORMATION TO THIS DESTRUCTIVE RECALL SCHEME.

  • election administration guidance: The SOS office also emailed county election officials a document outlining how the election will be run.
  • sprint: For Politico, Jeremy B. White looks at the pressure placed on candidates who want to oust and succeed Governor Newsom. 

    A surprisingly early California recall election has Gov. Gavin Newsom looking to capitalize on his momentum and Republicans trying to catch up.

    State officials have called the election for Sept. 14, and ballots will hit mailboxes weeks before then. The short timeline, enabled by Democratic allies of the governor, buoys Newsom’s prospects as he looks to convert a rebounding economy and stabilizing poll numbers into a vindicating victory. His conservative foes, on the other hand, have just two weeks to declare their candidacies and a tight window to cut into Newsom’s overwhelming fundraising advantage.

    While the Democratic governor is riding a wave of political momentum, an extra-contagious coronavirus variant and a potentially devastating wildfire season threaten to derail that progress, adding additional pressure for a speedy vote. California is seemingly in perpetual crisis, so Democrats are looking to seize a quiet window when they can find one.

    "When things are going well you want to get the recall over with as quickly as possible," said Democratic consultant Roger Salazar, who advised former Gov. Gray Davis before Davis was ousted in the state's only other gubernatorial recall. “Three months is a lifetime in politics, and you never know what could transpire," so "you want to get the hazard behind you as quickly as you can.”

AD18 (Alameda-San Leandro-West Oakland): While counting is not complete, third-place candidate Alameda City Council member Malia Vella (D) conceded in a tweet yesterday. While it's not listed on the party's website, Vella tweets that the California Democratic Party will hold an endorsement caucus on Monday evening for the August 31 special general between Mia Bonta (D) and Janani Ramachandran (D).

Mia Bonta 38.03%
Janani Ramachandran 23.66%
Malia Vella 16.95%
Stephen Slauson 9.65%
Victor Aguilar 6.63%
James Aguilar 1.75%
Eugene Canson 1.73%
Joel Britton 1.26%
Write-in 0.32%
Nelsy Batista 0.02%

FIRES: Here is the status of the top fires that are Cal Fire incidents:

  • Lava Fire (Siskiyou County): 23,849 acres, 26% contained, 0 reported structures destroyed, 0 reported fatalities
  • Tennant Fire (Siskiyou County): 9,836 acres, 17% contained, 0 reported structures destroyed, 0 reported fatalities
  • Shell Fire (Kern County): 1,984 acres, 90% contained, 0 reported structures destroyed, 0 reported fatalities

There is also the Salt Fire (Shasta County), which is managed by the United States Forest Service. It is 5,043 acres and 5% contained. Similar to the above fires, there are no official reports of structures destroyed, however:

While no structures have been confirmed as destroyed, Lila Seidman reports for the Times:

Two forest fires — the Salt and Tennant — reportedly destroyed more than a dozen homes between them.

The Salt fire in the Lakehead area of Shasta County, north of Redding, has scorched more than 5,000 acres since igniting Wednesday and reportedly has burned through at least one neighborhood.

A reporter with the Record Searchlight in Redding saw at least a dozen homes, garages and outbuildings that were destroyed near Herman Way and Zola Drive in the Gregory Creek Acres subdivision off Gregory Creek Road.

Adrienne Freeman, a spokesperson for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, said county assessors surveyed a neighborhood for damage, but she did not have details about what was found.

FIREWORKS: The LAT's Lila Seidman looks at the scourge of illegal fireworks that officials are trying to track down before they become deadly or destructive.

Amid the nightly cacophony of bursting rockets, officials across Los Angeles County have been busy trying to get a handle on fireworks that can trigger fires, cause deadly explosions and even derail traffic. Pets also do not appreciate the aural nightmare synonymous with the devices.

The 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills shut down in both directions for hours Thursday night after the California Highway Patrol received reports around 7:30 p.m. of fireworks raining down from a bridge over the highway.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials found a suspicious package and reported seeing an explosion in the middle of the bridge near the Palo Comado Interchange, according to a CHP incident report.

...

Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Police Department seized about 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from a location not far from the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

Officers and bomb squad personnel found a 60-foot Connex box stuffed with the explosives shortly after 11 a.m. in the 700 block of Kohler Street, where there were reports of fireworks, according to LAPD Officer William Cooper.

Many people speculate the cancellation of municipal fireworks shows last year because of the pandemic and this year because of fire risk has led to imported commercial fireworks meant to only be in the hands of licensed professionals to be instead sold on the black market. Look at this photo from Wednesday's confiscation of such, which led to the explosion of an LAPD bomb squad vehicle.

LAPD Fireworks

Another photo had some interesting "brands" for the fireworks, including "CINCO DE MAYO SERIES" and "TRUMPS TRIUMPHS."

Fireworks confiscated in LA

There are stories daily about thousands of pounds being confiscated but many are still being held in residential garages around the state. And, many of us hear and see them nightly exploding over neighborhoods.

HOMELESS: In the Times, Doug Smith reports on the beginning of the effort to move unhoused individuals camped out along Venice Beach to move into shelters and other housing.

Outreach workers on Friday wrapped up the first — and easiest — phase of the Venice Beach cleanup, persuading dozens of homeless people camped on the boardwalk to move into shelters.

As the cleanup plan got underway, an anticipated crackdown by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies never materialized. Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Wednesday walked back earlier comments that were widely interpreted as a threat to arrest anyone still on the boardwalk by July 4. Villanueva said in a press conference that he was expressing a hope, not a deadline.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team, who had patrolled the boardwalk earlier in June, stayed away as the outreach began.

St. Joseph Center, the lead agency in the encampment-to-housing program, reported Friday morning that 72 people had left Ocean Front Walk, the concrete promenade commonly known as the boardwalk, and the earthen berm next to it where about 200 tents had accumulated. The initial effort concentrated on tents scattered over the south end of the boardwalk between Windward Avenue and Park Court. The agency said three had received permanent housing but did not say where the others were placed.

St. Joseph Center said it had engaged 186 people, meaning they were receiving services such as document assistance and referral to housing or mental health. The outreach is scheduled to resume Tuesday, when the agency will shift to the more difficult north end where tents are more concentrated.

The Venice Beach encampment has been among the most contentious in Los Angeles County and area residents recently launched a recall effort against L.A. City Council member Mike Bonin.

Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Light the candles for former Assemblymembers Rich Gordon and Lloyd Levine, Henry Lo, and Mary Ann Lutz!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]


The California Council on Science and Technology

The California Council on Science and Technology works with a range of government, research, and philanthropic partners to provide objective advice on science & tech policy issues and our team is growing! Join us in Sacramento as a Campaign Project Manager (70-105K), Science Officer (50-75K) or Program Assistant (40-60K). Full job descriptions and application instructions located at ccst.us/careers.

Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist

San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA): The Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist assists with all activities of the Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager including federal compliance programs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Title VI and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)), the agency’s emergency response program, and state and federal legislative programs. The position plays a key part in coordinating advocacy efforts to ensure a supportive policy and regulatory environment to advance the capital project and policy priorities of the agency. This is a specialist class position that reports to the Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager. Most work will occur in an office environment, with some occasional field work on the ferries and in the community. This is an exciting opportunity with WETA, the agency that operates San Francisco Bay Ferry, one of the most treasured public transit agencies in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

More info: weta.sanfranciscobayferry.com/employment

CAPITOL SEMINARS’ INVALUABLE LOBBYING 101 COURSE OFFERED VIA ZOOM

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: www.capitolseminars.net

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: