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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California Assembly leader shelves single-payer health plan -- The prospects of a government-run health care system in California dimmed Friday when the leader of the state Assembly announced he doesn’t plan to take up the single-payer bill this year. Speaker Anthony Rendon called the bill “woefully incomplete.” Sophia Bollag Associated Press Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Katy Murphy and Tracy Seipel in the San Jose Mercury$ Taryn Luna and Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Carrie Feibel KQED -- 6/24/17

Secretary of State alleges politics may have caused Orange County supervisors to reject cost-saving voting system -- California’s top election official has accused Orange County’s governing board of playing politics and whipping up unfounded fears of voter fraud by rejecting a proposed overhaul of the county’s voting system that proponents say could boost turnout and save taxpayers more than $20 million. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 6/24/17

California's climate debate heats up behind closed doors as Gov. Brown pushes to extend cap and trade -- The end of annual budget negotiations usually brings a sense of calm to the Capitol, but behind the scenes Gov. Jerry Brown has intensified his efforts to reach a deal with lobbyists and lawmakers on a blueprint for California’s future climate change policies. Chris Megerian and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

Morain: Gov. Brown prepares for a new climate battle, and it probably will cost you -- It’s been miserable out there. Death Valley reached a deadly 127-degree record. Flights were canceled in Phoenix because it isn’t safe to take off when the temperature exceeds 117 degrees. Parts of our valley sizzled at 110. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/24/17

California politicians are in Dallas despite new ban on state employees traveling to Texas -- A day after California banned state employees from going to Texas on official business, a group of politicians from the Golden State was in Dallas on Friday for a major conference. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

State’s travel ban may trip up intercollegiate athletic teams -- California’s newly expanded ban on state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people could trip up intercollegiate athletic teams in the coming years — not only by restricting where they may play, but how they tap new recruits. Michael Bodley, Ryan Gorcey and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/24/17

Appeals court throws out some criminal charges for Angela Spaccia, a top official in the Bell corruption scandal -- A state appeals court on Friday reversed five of 11 counts against a former Bell official after concluding that the jury received improper instructions in the municipal corruption case. Corina Knoll in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

Twice-convicted Orange County killer will receive new trial in latest fallout from jailhouse snitch scandal -- A man convicted in the 1998 killing of a pregnant woman will receive a new trial after an appellate court concluded that the Orange County district attorney’s office failed to disclose pertinent information about a jailhouse informant, the latest fallout from a years-long controversy embroiling the county’s justice system. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

Lawsuit filed over San Jose flood control project -- Citing the lessons learned from the Coyote Creek flood that caused $100 million damage in San Jose four months ago, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has filed a lawsuit against state officials, claiming they are threatening the completion of a flood control project nearby with too much bureaucracy. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/17

KQED Politics Podcast: How Democrats Hope to Take House Seats in California -- On this week’s KQED Politics Podcast, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos are joined by KQED’s health editor Carrie Feibel to talk about the Senate plan to undo the Affordable Care Act. Then, former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and Democratic campaign consultant Katie Merrill discuss their strategy to unseat seven Republican members of Congress in California. Click Here -- 6/24/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions

California the over-regulator? Not for addiction treatment -- When it comes to drug and alcohol rehab centers, California channels its inner Texas: few burdens on business and as free-market as possible. That stands in sharp contrast to New York, Massachusetts and a dozen other states, where would-be rehab operators must prove there’s a local demand for their services and obtain a “certificate of need” before snipping opening-day ribbons and scaling those legendary 12 steps. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 6/24/17

It was hot this week. But were California officials 'crying wolf' with alerts that drove up electricity prices? -- As record-setting temperatures surged into the triple digits in parts of California this week, the manager of the state’s electrical grid put out an urgent plea: Turn down the AC and conserve power to avoid rotating outages. Ivan Penn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

Striking port truckers take their protest to LA City Hall -- Wrapping up a five-day strike at local marine terminals, dozens of port truck drivers marched Friday at Los Angeles City Hall demanding officials get tough on private companies that don’t recognize their contract workers as employees. Rachel Uranga in the LA Daily News$ -- 6/24/17

In labor dispute with teachers, school district goes directly to parents -- Parents at Sacramento City Unified School District opened up a seemingly urgent email from district leadership last week. “Important update regarding next school year,” read the message in big bold letters. Richard Chang in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/24/17

Google to Stop Reading Users’ Emails to Target Ads -- Google said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalize their ads, a move that addresses a longstanding privacy concern about a product that is central to its growing corporate-services business. Jack Nicas in the Wall Street Journal$ Makeda Easter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/24/17

Leaderless Uber Scrambles to Prevent Employee Exodus -- In the days after Travis Kalanick stunned Uber Technologies Inc.’s more than 15,000 employees by resigning as chief executive, the company’s senior leaders made impassioned pleas reassuring them it is worth sticking around. Greg Bensinger and Kelsey Gee in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 6/24/17

Amid uncertainty, investors still backing health care startups -- As Congress rushes to overhaul a federal law that could alter millions of Americans’ access to health insurance, investors continue to pour millions of dollars into growing health care startups that are building businesses around avoiding the insurance system altogether. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/24/17

Yes, California's got cheap gasoline — under $3 -- The battle between OPEC and U.S. shale oil drillers has led to another slump in the price of crude and, as a result, the price of gasoline has been on the decline, even as California’s summer driving season goes into full swing. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 6/24/17


Alum Rock schools could lose fiscal independence -- Citing multiple shortcomings, Santa Clara County’s top school official is asking the state to limit the fiscal independence of the Alum Rock Union School District, effective July 1. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 6/24/17

Immigration / Border 

LA City Council approves $2M for immigrant defense fund -- The Los Angeles City Council Friday designated $2 million to cover the city's share of a legal fund for immigrants facing deportation, and allow some violent offenders to get legal aid under very limited circumstances. Leslie Berestein Rojas KPCC -- 6/24/17


As LA heat wave bakes Valley, residents say ‘cool pavement’ project is working -- When summer heat rippled through her asphalt neighborhood last year, Maria Jimenez and her three young children sweated in their bottom floor apartment with the AC off to save cash. But during one of the worst heat waves ever to hit Southern California this week, the Canoga Park family say they felt much better thanks to the first “cool pavement” street in the state. Dana Bartholomew in the LA Daily News$ -- 6/24/17


Orange hospital builds new kind of emergency room for growing mentally ill population -- There’s a new model for hospital emergency rooms and given the pressures on the health care system it appears to have arrived just in time. David Whiting in the Orange County Register -- 6/24/17

Also . . . 

Family of slain 14-year-old sues LA, LAPD officer -- The family of a 14-year-old boy shot and killed by Los Angeles police last year has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the officer who shot him. As LAPD officers responded to a report of gang-related graffiti in Boyle Heights last August, one of them, Eden Medina, shot and killed Jesse Romero. Jenny Lower KPCC -- 6/24/17

Wrong-way driver: 'I always wanted to kill a stupid human' -- John Taylor Freeman ranted on Facebook that he hated people, thought of suicide, and wanted to crash into “stupid humans” on the road. Last week, he may have carried out his dark fantasies when he drove the wrong way on state Route 52 and smashed head-on into another car, killing that driver and himself. Pauline Repard in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 6/24/17

In San Diego, Cars Are Deadlier Than Guns -- On Feb. 1, 2017, Abebe Woza Antallo stood in front of a small group of cameras and fought back tears as he recounted the death of his brother, Kebede Abera Tura. Tura was jaywalking across El Cajon Boulevard in North Park last September when a car hit and killed him. Antallo said his brother's death could have been avoided if the intersection had a crosswalk and light. Andrew Bowen KPBS -- 6/24/17

POTUS 45  

Trump Indicates Tweet on Tapes Was Meant to Affect Comey Testimony -- President Trump appeared to acknowledge on Friday that his earlier tweet hinting of taped conversations with James B. Comey was intended to influence the fired F.B.I. director’s testimony before Congress. In an interview, the president emphasized that he committed “no obstruction” of the inquiries into whether his campaign colluded with Russia. Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 6/24/17


Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault -- In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century. It was a case that took almost no time to solve and was traced to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But because of the ways President Barack Obama and President Trump handled it, the Kremlin has yet to face severe consequences. Through interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials, The Post tells the inside story of how the Obama administration handled the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous in the Washington Post$ -- 6/24/17

Senate Health Plan Falls Short of Promise for Cheaper Care, Experts Say -- President Trump and the Republicans have promised that their plan to overhaul the federal health care law will make medical coverage much more affordable. Reed Abelson in the New York Times$ -- 6/24/17


-- Friday Updates 

Man who led state response to Oroville Dam crisis is stepping down -- Bill Croyle, who’s been the sometimes controversial public face of the state’s response to the Oroville Dam emergency, announced his retirement Friday as acting director of the Department of Water Resources. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/23/17

Capitol Weekly podcast: Paul Mitchell on census impacts -- The 2020 census could have a big impact on California’s political districts. The numbers mean everything. Political Data’s Paul Mitchell, who just finished a three-part series on redistricting, joins Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster to discuss the possibilities for California’s political landscape as we prepare for the second round of redistricting since voters created the the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Click Here -- 6/23/17

What the Senate healthcare bill could mean for Californians -- The Affordable Care Act has had a huge impact on California, where roughly 4 million people have gained insurance and the percentage of uninsured residents has dropped more than half. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/23/17

Hiltzik: The Senate GOP hid the meanest things very deeply in its Obamacare repeal bill. We found them -- Some of these provisions match those in the House Republicans’ repeal bill passed May 4, and some are even harsher — more “mean,” to use a term President Trump himself applied to the House bill. That bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would cost some 23 million Americans their health coverage by 2026. The Senate bill wouldn’t do much better, and might do worse. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/23/17

Hiltzik: Senate GOP's Obamacare repeal bill will cost lives, but fatten the wallets of millionaires -- Senate Republicans finally revealed on Thursday why they’ve been crafting their Affordable Care Act repeal in secret. As the newly released draft shows, it’s a rollback of health coverage for millions of Americans that could cost the lives of tens of thousands a year. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/23/17

Bay Area family’s choice: Apart in US or together in Mexico? -- Sandra Salazar had spent weeks preparing to move, and now she took stock of the memories scattered through her Fairfield home: the boxes full of family pictures, the garbage bags stuffed with shredded documents, an empty wall once covered by a flat-screen TV displaying a series of Netflix movies. She wasn’t ready for this, and neither was her daughter, Nubia. Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/23/17

African American students thrive with high graduation rates at UC Riverside -- The 76 participants in the recent Black Graduation ceremony at UC Riverside exemplified a striking achievement: The campus has one of the smallest racial achievement gaps in the nation. African Americans at Riverside graduate at rates similar to those of whites and Latinos and just below Asian Americans. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/23/17

Flood-prone town protects itself against waters while letting a river roam -- Sometimes better flood protection comes from giving a river some space to roam. Hamilton City, 85 miles north of Sacramento, learned that lesson from a new levee project that both protects against flooding and restores wildlife habitat. Carolyn Wilke in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/23/17

12 billion gallons of water pour into Lake Tahoe amid this week's heat wave -- That's a staggering amount of water, and resulted in the lake level rising four inches since June 16. That rise occurred while intense heat increased evaporation rates from the lake's surface. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 6/23/17

Tiny homes are trendy -- Allen Warren is thinking small when it comes to housing affordability. The Sacramento city councilman and residential real estate developer is planning to build a new housing community in his north-area district featuring 50 “tiny homes” – detached dwellings ranging from 240 to 500 square feet with prices starting at just over $100,000. Bob Shallit in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/23/17

Irate commuters threaten a lawsuit over narrowed streets in Playa del Rey -- South Bay commuters looking to avoid the 405 Freeway have long taken an alternate route through Playa del Rey, passing the coastline and the Ballona Wetlands to reach Santa Monica. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 6/23/17

An angry kick, a flipped SUV and a video shows it all. But who is the motorcyclist? -- A Southern California motorist captured an apparent road-rage crash Wednesday involving a motorcycle and sedan on a Southern California highway on a cellphone video. Don Sweeney in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 6/23/17

Fox: Return of the “San Francisco Democrats” -- While San Francisco Bay Area politicians dominated California politics over the past couple of decades as the state became more Democratic, the term “San Francisco Democrats” doesn’t play so well nationally. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 6/23/17

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault -- Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous in the Washington Post$ -- 6/23/17

CNN sent a courtroom sketch artist to cover a White House press briefing -- For the third time this week, the White House on Friday banned TV cameras from a news media briefing. Lacking footage and wanting some kind of visual element, CNN came up with a rather creative solution: a courtroom sketch artist. Callum Borchers in the Washington Post$ -- 6/23/17