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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California governor preps to release budget amid uncertainty -- Gov. Jerry Brown will release a proposed state spending plan this week without knowing the answers to key questions that will have a massive effect on the state's finances. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/8/17

California's top court to decide whether planned speed-up in executions is legal -- California voters in November legalized marijuana, approved a plan to reduce the prison population and enacted gun controls. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

California attorney general nominee Xavier Becerra jabs Trump for proposing mass deportations, Muslim registry -- Ahead of his first confirmation hearing Tuesday, state attorney general nominee Rep. Xavier Becerra has assured legislators that he will be a strong force to counter the policies of President-elect Donald Trump, including opposing proposals for mass deportations and a registry of Muslim immigrants. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/17

In rural California town where Trump won, Latino minority says goodwill prevails as always -- Cecilia A. Rodriguez planted her feet for what she imagined loomed right around the corner in this tiny Northern California logging town. Cindy Carcamo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

Political Road Map: The only thing 'special' about California special elections is the cost to taxpayers -- Democracy won’t come cheap in Los Angeles in 2017. Voters from Boyle Heights to Eagle Rock will likely vote twice — after two earlier elections last year — to fill a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the final ballots costing county taxpayers more than $1.3 million to cast and count. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

Walters: Public campaign financing should require voter approval in California -- Public financing of campaigns is the long-sought holy grail for Common Cause and other political reform advocates. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/17

Trump and Sessions plan to restrict highly skilled foreign workers. Hyderabad says bring it on. -- For the new political order taking shape in Washington, however, H-1Bs aren’t quite welcome. Amid promises of sweeping changes to immigration policy, President-elect Donald Trump and his choice for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, have singled out the program for a major overhaul, or even scrapping it altogether. In the House, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is on the same wavelength. Max Bearak in the Washington Post$ -- 1/8/17

Oakland mayor walks fine line between safety, support for artists -- Halfway through her four-year term as Oakland’s mayor, Libby Schaaf faced a crushing tragedy that forced her to reconcile the underground arts scene she has long supported with the promise of public safety that helped her win office. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17

Bill backs provisional licenses for drivers up to age 20 -- Adults younger than 21 would face driving restrictions that limit when they drive and with whom under a bill being considered by the state Legislature. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17

Pro-Trump Californians hope his victory can fuel a GOP revival in the Golden State -- Hundreds of Donald Trump’s California supporters gathered Saturday to celebrate his impending inauguration — and to try to funnel the energy that propelled him to the White House into turning their cobalt-blue home state red. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

Pelosi, other top Dems rally against GOP effort to dump health plan -- The only thing the Republicans’ “repeal and replace” plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has going for it so far is alliteration, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Saturday in San Francisco. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17

Trump opposition sets up blue-state headquarters -- With the national Democratic Party in disarray, the outline of the Donald Trump resistance is taking shape far from Capitol Hill, with New York and California emerging as the East and West Coast headquarters of opposition to the incoming administration. Gabriel Debenedetti Politico -- 1/8/17

Willie Brown: Strike up the band: Here’s who’s showing up for Trump -- Despite all the uproar about the Donald Trump inaugural — will he outdraw Barack Obama? Who’s going to perform? Will he wear a red baseball cap? — in some ways it’s shaping up to be a very traditional affair. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17

BART: A year goes by, still no leads in fatal shooting on Oakland BART train -- One year after a brazen shooting on board a BART train near the West Oakland station left one person dead and dozens of riders traumatized, police still have no leads on the suspect, nor has the agency installed cameras in all its cars. Erin Baldassari in the East Bay Times -- 1/8/17

Fights outside Westfield Culver City mall spark alarm and a social media frenzy -- A series of fights staged by dozens of teenagers outside the Westfield Culver City mall Saturday evening sparked panic among patrons at the shopping center and prompted a social media frenzy, authorities said. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

U.S. reopens freeway access into Mexico after Tijuana gas protest -- Continuing unrest over gasoline price hikes in Mexico flared up at the Tijuana border crossing Saturday night as a large protest prompted U.S. authorities to block access into Mexico from San Ysidro for nearly four hours. Kristina Davis, Pauline Repard and Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune -- 1/8/17

Lopez: Seniors fighting ouster from Westwood retirement home cry, 'Old Lives Matter' -- It’s not as if Emiel Meisel, 92, didn’t already have ample material for his blog about geriatric living in Los Angeles. But an eviction notice last fall, for him and about a hundred other seniors living in the Vintage Westwood Horizons retirement home, upped his game. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

Santa Clara County courts face massive traffic ticket backlog -- That’s because even though police issue more than 2,000 traffic tickets every week in the county, budget cutbacks have prompted court officials to assign only one clerk full​ ​time to ​entering the data — and she’s as many as 12,000 tickets behind. Tracey Kaplin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/8/17

Downtown Los Angeles hasn't seen this much construction since the 1920s -- Downtown Los Angeles is undergoing its largest construction boom in modern times — an explosion juiced by foreign investment that’s adding thousands of residences, construction jobs and a multitude of shops and restaurants. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/17

Bay Area’s tech hardware stocks flying high -- They may not enjoy the splashy public profiles of their software and social media neighbors, but the companies that put the silicon in Silicon Valley quietly enjoyed a banner year in 2016, posting outsize stock-price gains that dwarfed many of the tech industry’s more recognizable names. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17


Oakland tenants live with uncertainty in tight market -- Blocks away from the fire-gutted Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland sits a tiny, two-bedroom in-law unit with mildewed walls and no heat, perched atop a rickety garage. Water pools beneath chipped bathroom tiles, and mold forms spiderweb patterns amid the dog posters and Baby-Sitters Club books in an otherwise tidy girl’s bedroom. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/17


Northgate community seeks split from Mt. Diablo school district -- A group consisting of families who live in the affluent Northgate High attendance area has gathered more than 6,000 signatures in its quest to detach from more ethnically diverse regions of the large Mt. Diablo Unified school district. The group which calls itself Northgate CAPS, says its mission is to build a smaller school district more attuned to students’ needs. Joyce Tsai in the East Bay Times -- 1/8/17


Shops are already – illegally – selling recreational marijuana -- The online ad for Green Light District — a pot shop in a brick office building 5 miles from Disneyland — was clear: Anyone 21 years and older was welcome to buy weed with only a “valid ID.” Brooke Edwards Staggs in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/8/17

A hemp haven? Overlooked provision in Prop 64 may have a big impact in California -- California voters passed Proposition 64 back in November, legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. But one part of the proposition was little-noticed — a provision allowing for the production of industrial hemp. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/8/17


Gun silencers are hard to buy. Donald Trump Jr. and silencer makers want to change that -- The federal government has strictly limited the sale of firearm silencers for as long as James Bond and big-screen gangsters have used them to discreetly shoot enemies between the eyes. Michael S. Rosenwald in the Washington Post$ -- 1/8/17

Immigration / Border 

At the Justice Department, Sessions could play a key role on immigration -- As a senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions has vigorously opposed any efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system in ways that might benefit those in the country illegally. He has advocated tempering even legal immigration, fearful that people from other countries might take Americans’ jobs. Matt Zapotosky and Sari Horwitz in the Washington Post$ -- 1/8/17

Also . . . 

Swastikas at Mission Viejo park unite multifaith community -- When Jenna Gerstner took her two young sons to the park about a mile from her Mission Viejo home the afternoon of Dec. 14, she did not expect to see those images. Two Nazi swastikas. One was scratched on a wall and another on a tree stump in the kids play area at Pavion Park. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 1/8/17


Jews’ political split is sharpened after Trump win, UN’s Israel resolution -- For Larry Greenfield, the Obama administration’s vote to abstain rather than veto the United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements last month was a final “stab in the back” for Israel — and further proof that President elect-Donald Trump would be more pro-Israel than his predecessor. Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/8/17

Obama and Clinton loyalists grapple with Trump recession -- Trump’s unexpected win has Democrats coping with a vastly smaller job market for their skills. Sarah Wheaton Politico -- 1/8/17

GOP resistance grows to Obamacare repeal without replacement -- Republican senators are pushing their leaders to come clean with a health care alternative. Burgess Everett Politico -- 1/8/17

Jared Kushner, a Trump In-Law and Adviser, Chases a Chinese Deal -- On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The table was laden with Chinese delicacies and $2,100 bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild. Susanne Craig, Jo Becker and Jesse Drucker in the New York Times$ -- 1/8/17


-- Saturday Updates 

To celebrate inaugural or not? Trump critics are divided -- typically an unquestioned honor to participate in the inauguration of an American president. Who wouldn't want to be part of such a historic event? This time, though, it's different. Nancy Benac Associated Press -- 1/7/17

Morain: Putin, condoms, kangaroos and other swamp things -- Too often lately, our democracy seems to come down to a Russian strongman, condoms, kangaroo parts and a decrepit watchdog. Oh, and The Swamp that Donald Trump claims to want to drain. He won’t. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/7/17

Bay Area Cancer Patient Confronts and Embraces His Right to Die -- Piedmont resident Ray Perman always knew this is the way he wanted to go. He’s 64, a retired pilot, like his father, and an entrepreneur. He’s dying of cancer. I interviewed him about his decision. The following words, culled from that interview, are his. April Dembosky KQED -- 1/7/17

What you need to know about the coming fight over Planned Parenthood funding -- House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will — once again — vote to cut off federal tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. They are planning to include the measure as part of a bigger upcoming bill to repeal pillars of Obamacare. Susan Davis NPR -- 1/7/17

Trump’s bogus claim that intelligence report says Russia didn’t impact the 2016 election outcome -- The big, overarching reason that President-elect Donald Trump doesn't want to accept the conclusions of the intelligence community about Russia's alleged hacking is pretty simple: It would call into question whether he would have won the 2016 election without it. Trump is a winner, and it would hurt his brand. And he's making that very clear right now — in a deceptive way. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 1/7/17

GOP resistance grows to Obamacare repeal without replacement -- Republican senators are pushing their leaders to come clean with a health care alternative. Burgess Everett Politico -- 1/7/17

Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book -- Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN KFile review has found. Andrew Kaczynski CNN -- 1/7/17