Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS: Obviously, there are lots of pods these days. I try to select a few those most relavant to California's politics and policy, rather than every episode from the pods I follow.

  • Against the Grain (National Journal): Hoover Institution fellow and candidate for State Controller Lanhee Chen (2021-07-09) 
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) (2021-07-09)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): The federal infrastructure bill and California and a look at the media criticism of the office dynamics of Senator Kamala Harris. (2021-07-08)
  • 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)

CLASSIFIEDS BELOW:

  • Miller & Olson LLP Seeks Political Reports Specialist
  • Aaron Read & Associates Office Space for Rent
  • Veloz Seeks Program Director
  • California Council on Science and Technology (jobs)
  • SFBay Government & Regulatory Affairs Specialist (job)
  • 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 from yesterday's campaign finance filings, excluding standard contributions to candidates within limits

  • Rescue California-To Support the Recall of Gavin Newsom reports receiving:
    • $2,500 from Martin Garrick (owner, Alden Property Co., Rancho Santa Fe) - former Assembly member
    • $2,500 from John Barrett Jr. (retired, Burlingame)
    • $1,400 from Eunice Malley (retired, Vallejo)
    • $1,000 from David Brent (info requested, Hillsborough)
    • $1,000 from Kristen Wells (Menlo Park)
  • Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom reports receiving: 
    • $250,000 from James H. Simons (money manager, Renaissance Technologies, New York, NY)

The Nooner for Friday, July 9, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

¡Buenos dias y feliz viernes! You made it! Now, for Sacratomatoens, can you make it through the weekend of 100+ degree temperatures? Or, will you pretend to have weekend work and go cool down in the office? I won't tell...

As some cruel gesture, the SMUD billing e-notice came in late yesterday.

Meanwhile, those in California's capital city were playing the favorite Southern California parlor game during the afternoon yesterday -- "Did you feel it?" At 3:50 yesterday, there was a 5.2 magnitude quake near Antelope Valley, CA in the eastern Sierras (not in the Antelope Valley as we know it) near the border with Nevada. Like often in SoCal, some felt it as the second coming and others (including me) were wondering why the ride didn't arrive here. It has been followed by dozens of aftershocks ranging from the low 2s to 4.6.

Yesterday, California hit 60.0% of those eligible becoming fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, the partially vaccinated ticked down 0.1%, meaning new folks are not starting the usual two-shot process.

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BUDGET:

Well, in addition to more budget trailer bills next week, we are also expecting a Budget Bill Jr. III. For the newbies, trailer bills adjust statutory language needed to implement budget bills. We then have the Budget Bill followed by Budget Bill Jr.'s that adjust the main Budget Bill. While Budget Bill Jr.'s are not novel, they historically have been used to make mid-year budget adjustments because of significantly higher-than-projected or more often lower-than-projected revenues.

Now, with the June 15 budget deadline that if not means no pay for lawmakers, apparently we can expect a shell of a budget by June 15 to meet muster with Art. IV, Section 12(b)(4) of the California Constitution followed by a piecemeal series of supplements as details are worked out. I spent many late nights and early mornings sitting in room 4203 during overnight conference committee hearings extending through the summer and into September before a full budget deal was reached. I'm really not sure which is better.

Meanwhile, Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli has a piece in Capitol Weekly that looks at the interesting twists to the normal budget process over the last year.

For someone who is interested in the activities of the California Legislature and tracks the budget closely, the last two legislative sessions have brought some interesting developments, as well as a recognition of the tremendous work that legislators, staff, and the governor’s administration put into crafting the state’s spending plan each year.

Earlier in this calendar year, spread over several weeks, was a series of what were called “early action” bills, which were “budget bills junior” (BBJs) because these bills amended last year’s budget deal that was adopted in June 2020 for the current fiscal year.

That series of BBJs was unique because of their sheer volume, as well as the amount of additional, current-year spending that was appropriated. Perhaps this was a one-time occurrence in light of the surge in state tax revenues and the infusion of federal stimulus funds received this year.

In addition, there were several budget trailer bills as part of this “early action” that made statutory changes, such as the supplemental paid sick leave expansion and the “right to recall” employment law.

While there are often trailer bills adopted later in the summer following enactment of the state budget, these trailer bills occur less often in the following calendar year.

Another intriguing occurrence was not using the two-house budget conference committee both last year and this year.

...

Another aspect of this year’s budget is that legislative intent language was contained in the main budget bill for future deals on specified topics. While multi-year budgeting is not new, its use has increased in recent years. The executive branch has pursued more multi-year budget practices as well. Multi-fiscal year forecasting has also become more prevalent for the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

...

While not unique to this year, the state budget process continues to be constrained by the limited amount of time between the release of the governor’s May Budget Revision and the constitutional deadline of June 15 for adoption of the state budget. This year’s May Revise included not only a substantial increase in proposed spending, but also a number of new and expanded programs which limits the ability to put together the entire budget deal in less than a month. 

The entire piece is worth a read. 

COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2: 

  • Positivity: In yesterday's update, the positivity rate exceeded 2% for the first time since March 9. As I wrote Wednesday, it's complicated:

    I wouldn't draw any immediate conclusions about that. After all, testing has declined. A question to be asked is whether the blend between symptomatic and asymptomatic persons being tested has changed. If the decline in testing is among asymptomatic people who have been vaccinated, that would lead to an increase in the positivity rate. Of course, that could be countered with lots of employers returning in the office and asking employees to be tested, such as in the state Legislature. Those two may offset each other or there may be a more important signal. 

    I initially had yesterday's numbers reflected below, which included a 2.1% 7-day positivity rate. Today it is 2.3%.

    COVID positivity

    New cases are 3.1/100k, far above the 2.0/100k on Memorial Day. 
  • Vaxx stats: 
    • Californians fully vaccinated: 20,371,928 (60.0% of 12+) - 18th among U.S. states
    • Californians partially vaccinated: 3,199,800 (9.4% of 12+) - 12th among U.S. states
    • Californians with no vaccine: 30.6% (of 12+)
    • Doses on hand: 4,862,149 (82 days of inventory)
    • full data, including demographic breakdown
  • School daze: The AP reports that the CDC has relaxed its guidelines for schools:

    Vaccinated teachers and students don't need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.

    The changes come amid a national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as a general decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

    “We're at a new point in the pandemic that we're all really excited about," and so it's time to update the guidance, said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the CDC task force that prepares recommendations designed to keep Americans safe from COVID-19.

     

  • Moms matter: For CalMatters, Jesse Bedayn looks at the difficult choices mothers are having to make about returning as employers return to in-person work. 

    Now, as California opens back up, people are rejoining the workforce. But for mothers like Gutierrez, economic recovery may not kick in until school returns in August. By May, employment among working women without children had almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, while mothers with school-aged children lagged more than 6% behind, according to an independent analysis by Misty L. Heggeness, a principal economist at the U.S. Census Bureau.

    There’s a similar imbalance between men and women. Gema Zamarro, senior economist at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, found that by November women living with a partner were twice as likely to be unemployed as men living with a partner.

    That’s because pandemic shutdowns had a disproportionate impact on working mothers, experts say. Christine Beckman, professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, refers to the “scaffolding” that’s required to raise children: support from grandparents and friends, afterschool programs and sports, day care, and school. When the pandemic hit, “All that infrastructure, I mean, it literally disappeared overnight,” she said.

    Women largely picked up the slack. Between May and October 2020, working mothers with sole responsibility for child care increased from 33% to 45%, while men with sole responsibility for child care stayed around 10%, according to Zamarro’s study.

    “It was quite shocking for families to realize it was just the people within their walls that had to make it work,” said Beckman, and “until they can rebuild that (scaffolding), it’s really hard to get them back in the workplace.”

 

DO YOU RECALL?

  • Recall election key dates:
    • July 16 5pm: Candidate filing deadline
    • July 19: Randomized alphabet drawing for ballot order
    • July 21: Certified list of candidates and ballot order rotation (by county) 
    • July 31: Ballot mailing to military and overseas voters
    • August 5: First pre-election campaign finance statement
    • August 16: Ballot mailing begins to all registered voters
    • September 2: Second pre-election campaign finance statement
    • September 14: Election Day
  • Candidate Assemblymember Kevin Kiley is holding his campaign kickoff rally tomorrow at 10am on the Capitol's west steps.

SIN AGUA: For CalMatters, Rachel Becker writes up Governor Newsom's call for Californians to reduce water consumption by 15%.

As extreme drought claims most of the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom [yesterday] asked Californians to voluntarily cut their water use by 15%.

The request, Newsom said, applies to businesses and agriculture as well as residents. Meeting the target could save enough water to supply 1.7 million average households for one year, according to state officials.

Just as people are told to return to the office, you tell them to stop showering whenever they "need" to.

Speaking from windy Lopez Lake in San Luis Obispo County, Newsom stressed that the reductions are voluntary and urged Californians to make common sense cuts like looking for leaks and running full loads of laundry and dishes. 

Voluntary is working so well with vaccines...

“Not here as a nanny state. And we’re not trying to be oppressive,” he said. “But nonetheless, the sober reality is such that here we are again, and we will need to proceed with the lessons learned from the last drought.”

Newsom also [yesterday] expanded drought emergency declarations to nine more counties, including three parched Bay Area counties and several along the Central Coast. Fifty counties, home to 42% of the state’s population, are now under drought emergencies.

The nine new counties with emergency declarations are Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. Conditions are not severe enough to include Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, San Francisco and Ventura, all of which have sufficient supplies in storage so far

The emergency declarations will ease environmental and other regulations to speed drought responses, such as purchase of bottled water supplies. 

EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE: The LAT's Hayley Smith looks at the Angeles National Forest as an example of the dire fire conditions facing California.

Until the 1970s, firefighters in the Angeles National Forest used to follow something called the “10 a.m. rule,” which meant that crews had to put out every wildfire by 10 the morning after a blaze ignited, said Diane Travis, a fuels manager who has been with the Forest Service for more than 30 years.

The notion seems laughable in today’s climate, where many fires grow too fast and too large for that to be a reasonable expectation. Now, crews have no seconds to spare, and have to hit the fires hard before they get out of control.

Back then, Travis said, it was a “different type of ecosystem.”

A century of fire suppression has created a buildup of fuel, while decades of population growth and development have formed new obstacles. And from the ongoing drought to more frequent heat waves, the approach to wildfire management and strategy has had to evolve with the times.

The Angeles National Forest is home to about 700,000 acres of oaky woodlands and dense shrubbery that skirt the north and eastern edges of Los Angeles County. The U.S. Forest Service calls it one of the “driest, most fire-prone areas in the United States,” where human-caused fires are becoming larger and more frequent.

Last year, the Bobcat fire burned more than 115,000 acres of the forest and came within feet of the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory, casting a sickly pall of black smoke and orange skies over northeast L.A. for days.

At the Oak Flat Station, hotshot squad boss Justine Gude said she worked 1,600 hours of overtime last year, by far the most in her nine years with the Forest Service. This year is shaping up to be similarly grueling.

“This particular year is the driest I’ve ever seen it,” Gude said, noting that the recent North fire in Castaic was “really scary to see in April” because it burned more like a fire in August: hot and fast.

EDD: In the Times, Patrick McGreevy reports that the state has extended the contract with Bank of America to provide unemployment debit cards, essentially against the will of BofA.

California’s unemployment agency has extended its contract with Bank of America to issue debit cards containing benefits for jobless residents despite criticism from state lawmakers that criminals were able to tap into the cards to commit widespread fraud.

The Employment Development Department exercised an option to extend the bank’s contract for two years, even though officials with the financial institution indicated that they would like to end their work for the state unemployment system. The bank has had the exclusive contract since 2010.

“Under the contract, the state had the sole option to extend and chose to do so,” said Bill Halldin, a spokesperson for Bank of America. “We have advised the state that we would like to exit this business as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to administer unemployment payments and meet the requirements of the contract.”

Along with most megabanks, BofA is used to holding customers by the with fine print contract language, and now they are on the other end.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

LA UNHOUSED: With photos from Genaro Molina, the LAT's Benjamin Oreskes and Doug Smith report on the clearance of the unhoused population along Venice Beach.

For more than three hours, a crew of about a dozen Los Angeles sanitation and recreation and parks workers accompanied by several officers from the Los Angeles Police Department went to work on Ocean Front Walk, sweeping up detritus from one portion of a homeless encampment that has set Venice on edge for months.

A tarp here, a blanket there. Bottles and cans and other consumer waste. But after all was said and done, after the eastern horizon had begun to glow with the impending dawn, they had moved only two people — Ursula and a man who had been reluctant to leave behind his paintings. The rest had left earlier in the week.

It was a case study in how difficult, and complicated, it can be to move unhoused people when the goal is to avoid the kind of blunt-force dispersal that the city carried out this spring at Echo Park Lake.

The crews had come back for a second consecutive morning, mopping up after last week’s deadline to clear the southern portion of the homeless camps from Windward to Park avenues, a stretch of about 650 yards. St. Joseph Center reported that it moved 72 people from the boardwalk to shelter or housing last week. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice, said Thursday that about 90 people had been given shelter of some sort.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Frank Calderon and Dana Ferry!

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]


Miller & Olson LLP Seeks Political Reports Specialist

Miller & Olson LLP is seeking a Political Reports Specialist for its downtown Sacramento office. The Specialist position is responsible for administering the books for candidates, political action committees, as well as non-profit organizations. Specifically, the position requires bookkeeping and administering client bank accounts, preparing and filing campaign finance reports and communicating timely financial information to clients. For more information and to apply, click here: https://www.millerpoliticallaw.com/miller-olson-llp-is-hiring/.

AARON READ & ASSOCIATES OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT

Since some of us at ARA like partial remote working and less office time, we have some additional Office Space for rent.

Stunningly beautiful offices on the 11th Floor of the Meridian at 1415 L St, full of original art work. Beautifully furnished with cherry desks and credenzas.

Floor-to-ceiling widows, great views, access to two conference rooms, including one very large with a panoramic view of the Capitol.

Access to a large kitchen and work room. 1-3 offices could be available. Parking is also available, but additional.

Aaron Read & Associates, call Aaron 916-425-2260

Veloz Seeks Program Director

Veloz plays a unique and important role in the electric vehicle landscape in California. In this expanded position, the Veloz Program Director is part of a passionate and collaborative organization that is changing the conversation about electric vehicles in California and sparking a virtuous cycle of consumer awareness and demand. Reporting to the Executive Director and partnering with the small and mighty Veloz team, the Program Director develops and executes a comprehensive programmatic strategy to raise awareness of Veloz, to deliver high quality and high-value programming to Veloz members and to build a stronger electric vehicle movement in California (and beyond). For more information, read on.

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

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: