Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

Santa Clarita shooting: 1 dead, at least four others wounded at high school, officials say -- The shots rang out just before 8 a.m. when students at the school at 21900 Centurion Way were scheduled to be walking to their second period class. Paramedics swarmed the campus, treating the wounded while Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, the agency’s SWAT team and federal officials combed nearby neighborhoods searching for a 15-year-old boy suspected in the shooting. Hannah Fry, James Queally, Brittny Mejia, Sarah Parvini, Richard Winton, Colleen Shalby, Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ Alma Fausto, Elizabeth Chou, Ariella Plachta in the Los Angeles Daily News$ Stefanie Dazio and John Antczak Associated Press -- 11/14/19

Santa Clarita shooting: Students heard shots and ran. ‘When I go home, I’m going to cry’ -- Denzel Abesamis, a senior at Saugus High School, was in his car about to turn onto campus when he saw classmates running out. “I automatically made a detour to leave because I knew something bad happened,” he said in a text message. Brittny Mejia, James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Saugus students barricaded themselves in classrooms, fearing gunman would target them -- Dania Salman, a 17-year-old senior, doesn’t have a first-period class and was doing homework in an open classroom with other student government members about 7:30 a.m. when she heard three gunshots and saw people starting to run. James Queally, Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Santa Clarita shooting leaves kids at Thanksgiving pageant crying, trying to understand -- Anthony Breznican had just dropped off his daughter and son at school Thursday when his wife alerted him to news of a shooter at nearby Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

During PG&E outages, generators caused fires, carbon monoxide poisoning -- When PG&E cut power in rural Nevada County in late September, 90-year-old Art Bern went to turn on a generator outside his garage. It took him a few tries to get the machine, bought along with the house in 1989, going. But after he finally did and returned inside, the lights, which had just gone on, flickered out with a pop. That’s when Bern looked out his window and saw the garage on fire. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

PG&E and cell phones: California regulators take aim at blackout problems -- California utility regulators are trying to fix two of the most pressing problems related to the massive October blackouts: missteps by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. as it turned off its lines to prevent them from sparking wildfires, and poor performance from telecommunications companies whose services stopped working after the power went off and fires rose up anyway. J.D. Morris and Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Santa Rosa brewery targets PG&E with F-word beer label; anger ensues -- Santa Rosa may be the land of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a craft beer that’s getting people a little hopped up in Northern California. Hannah Fry in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Proposition 13 overhaul backed by leading 2020 Democrats -- California property taxes are one area that U.S. presidents have no control over, but that hasn’t stopped candidates for the Democratic nomination from lining up behind a prospective ballot measure to overhaul Proposition 13, the state’s landmark tax-cutting law. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

No-shows, endorsement spats and drag queens: What’s on tap at this weekend’s Democratic convention -- Eleven presidential candidates and 5,000 of their fellow Democrats — but not Biden or Warren — will be in Long Beach this weekend for the California Democratic Party convention. Also at stake: party endorsements in down-ballot contests. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 11/14/19

95% of voters say homelessness is L.A.’s biggest problem, Times poll finds. ‘You can’t escape it’ -- As people living in tents, RVs and makeshift shelters become a fact of life in neighborhoods far and wide, homelessness is now an all-consuming issue in Los Angeles County, with 95% of voters calling it a serious or very serious problem, according to a new poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Council Institute. Benjamin Oreskes, Doug Smith, David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Man detained by BART cop for eating sandwich says he’ll sue over racial discrimination -- A video gone viral captured a BART police officer approaching Steve Foster, 31, of Concord, on Nov. 4 on the platform at the Pleasant Hill BART station and asking him to stop eating his breakfast sandwich. In the footage, Foster refuses, continues to eat, and argues with the officer who threatens to take him to jail. Foster leaves in handcuffs. He was later cited but not arrested. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Hotline helping seniors get Uber, Lyft rides challenged by California regulators -- All Justin Boogaard wanted was to help his grandmother order an Uber ride. Like many older adults, she doesn’t have a smartphone. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

California lawmakers: Time to consider revoking badges of problem officers -- State lawmakers said this week it’s time for California to consider joining 45 other states that can revoke the badges of officers who commit crimes and other serious misconduct. The call for action comes in the wake of a six-month investigation from a statewide coalition of news organizations, including Bay Area News Group, that revealed more than 80 law enforcement officers working today in California have a prior criminal conviction. Robert Lewis, David DeBolt in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/14/19

Pelosi ups the ante against Trump: ‘It’s bribery’ -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is escalating her rhetoric against President Trump as the House conducts its impeachment inquiry into him, calling his actions bribery. “I am saying that what the president has admitted to and says, ‘It’s perfect,’ I say it’s perfectly wrong,” Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. “It’s bribery.” Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Want a job for life? California has plenty of openings in Congress -- With a surprising number of congressional seats suddenly becoming vacant in California in 2020, a flood of hopefuls are running for one of the few remaining political jobs that don’t come with an expiration date. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

U.S. won’t clean up Marshall Islands nuclear waste dome but wants it free of anti-U.S. graffiti -- For years, American authorities have asserted they hold no responsibility for Runit Dome, a concrete-capped waste site in the Marshall Islands, where the United States dumped 35 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of atomic soil and debris created by its Cold War nuclear weapons testing program. Susanne Rust in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Fox: Let Us Keep on Truckin’ Says Lawsuit; Remove the AB 5 Roadblock -- Now it begins—the California Trucking Association (CTA) is opening what likely will become an avalanche of lawsuits, new legislation or just plain protests and complaints to get out from under the restrictions of AB 5 limiting the role of independent contractors. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/14/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Native American tribes propose initiative to legalize sports betting in California -- Betting on Los Angeles Lakers and Rams games would be legal in California under an initiative proposed Wednesday by a coalition of Native American tribes who want a piece of the action. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

California regulators debate, delay vote on rooftop solar mandate exemption -- The California Energy Commission delayed a vote Wednesday on a controversial proposal by Sacramento’s public utility to side-step a state’s requirement that most new homes have solar panels starting next year. Instead of home panels, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District wants to use larger-scale solar projects to meet the requirements. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$-- 11/14/19

Vaping kills woman in Marin County, health official says -- A woman living in Marin County died from complications related to vaping, the county’s health officer said Wednesday — the first such death in the Bay Area and the fourth in California since July. Michael Cabanatuan and Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Vincent Moleski in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/19

Walters: Our laws protect criminal cops -- When the state of California licenses professionals, it is telling Californians that they can depend on licensees to perform their services competently, that miscreants will be disciplined and that in serious cases, their licenses will be lifted. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 11/14/19

Skelton: California Republicans have sunk into oblivion. Their anti-immigrant stance is just one reason -- The lofty position held by California Republicans 25 years ago when Proposition 187 passed seems unimaginable today. It was a high-water mark for the party that wouldn’t last long. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

SF district attorney-elect priorities: Get married, then get to work. But no house cleaning -- Former public defender and San Francisco District Attorney-elect Chesa Boudin says he has no plans to clean house. Nor does he see any rush to take over from interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus, whose appointment by Mayor London Breed in the final weeks of the campaign became a key issue in the election. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Lawsuit challenges California’s women-on-boards law -- The Pacific Legal Foundation, a libertarian nonprofit, has filed the first lawsuit in federal court challenging California’s law requiring publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to have at least one female director by the end of this year and at least two or three, depending on board size, by the end of 2021. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Google makes a bid for banking -- The search giant is teaming up with two banks, Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union, to begin offering a “smart checking” account next year. What fancy new features will smart checking include? Google isn’t sure. Neither are its partners. Stacy Cowley and Tara Siegel Bernard in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

McClatchy Seeks to Have U.S. Take Over Pension Fund -- The 162-year-old company, which publishes 30 newspapers around the country, including the Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer, Sacramento Bee and Kansas City Star, said it would be unable to make a required $124 million contribution next year to its pension fund. Lukas I. Alpert in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 11/14/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Vacancy tax’ on empty SF storefronts is one step closer to March ballot -- As empty storefronts plague San Francisco’s beloved neighborhood shopping districts, the Board of Supervisors is close to placing a tax on the March ballot that would try to curb such vacancies. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19

Insurance mandate returns in 2020 with additional sweetener -- Those who drifted away from buying Covered California health insurance policies in 2019 because Congress dropped the tax penalties for going uninsured will face an entirely different situation in 2020. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/19


These small homeless shelters can be built in 20 minutes. Sacramento may buy dozens of them -- Workers from a Seattle-area company built two shelters outside Sacramento City Hall Tuesday in an attempt to convince city leaders to buy the products as a new solution for the city’s rising homeless population. It appears to have worked. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/19


LA proposes putting ‘anti-displacement’ zones around luxury development -- The Los Angeles City Council voted today to lay the groundwork for creating “anti-displacement zones” around new market-rateß or “luxury” residential buildings that contain no affordable units. Bianca Barragan Curbed LA -- 11/14/19

Public Housing Applications Being Accepted For the First Time In Six Years In Sacramento -- The agency began accepting applications on Tuesday and says it will accept 1,200 total. It will give preference to veterans, victims of a natural disaster, homeless families, and senior citizens. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 11/14/19


Biggest California earthquake in decades ruptured on at least 24 faults -- When an earthquake strikes, the instinct of many Californians is to ask: Which fault ruptured — the Newport-Inglewood, the Hayward, the mighty San Andreas? But scientists are increasingly saying it’s not that simple. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19


California crisis of fires, blackouts decades in the making -- The utility that serves more than 5 million electrical customers in one of the world’s most technologically advanced areas is now faced again and again with a no-win decision: risk starting catastrophic deadly wildfires, or turn off the lights and immiserate millions of paying customers. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 11/14/19

Southern California Edison strikes $360-million settlement over wildfires and mudslide -- The settlement closes 26 lawsuits involving 23 public entities filed against the utility, including Los Angeles County, which will receive $78 million, said attorney John Fiske, whose firm represented the county and other agencies in the litigation. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Melley Associated Press -- 11/14/19

7 affordable ways to protect your home from wildfires -- As wildfires become more frequent and ferocious, state officials recommend that homeowners do more to harden property in high-risk areas. Fireproofing can be pricey, but some solutions are no more expensive than basic home repairs. Adria Watson Calmatters -- 11/14/19


The soul-crushing cost of college in California, explained -- Today’s California students, by contrast, graduate with an average of more than $20,000 in student debt. California offers more generous financial aid than most other states, but gone are the days of taking free college for granted. Studies show many students struggle even to afford food and housing. Felicia Mello Calmatters -- 11/14/19

California Attorney General seeks loan forgiveness for former ITT Tech students -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday joined 21 state attorneys general in demanding immediate loan forgiveness for former ITT Technical Institute students, who they say were defrauded by the for-profit school. Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/19

USC to receive $260-million gift, one of largest in higher education, underscoring its fundraising strength -- The gift from the Lord Foundation of California will be used to bolster academic disciplines that study artificial intelligence, big data, analytics and environmental sustainability, said USC President Carol L. Folt. She added that the enormous gift of unrestricted funds, a rarity in higher education, would also help support more student financial aid and faculty research to advance the public good. Teresa Watanabe, Nina Agrawal in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Pension costs feed resistance to higher school taxes in California county, study finds -- The unexpected defeat in 2016 of a school parcel tax in wealthy Marin County and the near-defeat of another in the county that same year prompted a trio of authors to look into what had turned many voters against them. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 11/14/19

Student satisfaction is slipping at University of California, survey finds -- Agrowing share of University of California undergraduates report feeling dissatisfied with their college experience, particularly about their ability to get into overcrowded classes and majors, according to a university sponsored survey. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 11/14/19

Immigration / Border 

CBP’s explanation for writing fake court dates on migrants’ paperwork doesn’t make sense, lawyers say -- On Tuesday, five days after the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that U.S. border agents wrote fake court dates to send asylum seekers back to Mexico through the Migrant Protection Protocols program, Customs and Border Patrol offered its first explanation of what happened. Gustavo Solis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/19


To Drive Down Insulin Prices, W.H.O. Will Certify Generic Versions -- Agency officials said they hoped to drive down insulin prices by encouraging makers of generic drugs to enter the market, increasing competition. At the moment, the world’s insulin market is dominated by three companies — Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — and they have steadily pushed up prices for two decades. Donald G. McNeil Jr. in the New York Times$ -- 11/14/19

Drug prices to rise in 2020, but public outcry may finally stir political will -- According to a recent study, one in four Americans report difficulty affording their prescription drugs. But that reality is expected to have little or no effect on the prices consumers will face in 2020. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/19


State panel backs extending life of gas-burning generator at Huntington Beach power plant -- A gas-burning generator at a Huntington Beach power plant could keep firing until as late as 2023, following a state commission’s recent vote. The AES facility was scheduled to close by the end of next year, but the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously last week to extend its operating life for up to three additional years. Julia Sclafani in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/19

Also . . . 

Sacramento voters to decide in March if city should spend $10 million a year on youth -- City of Sacramento voters will decide in March whether to direct the city to set aside more than $10 million each year for youth programs. Sacramento City Council decided Tuesday to place the measure on the March 3 primary ballot, instead of the Nov. 3 general election. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/19

San Diego County appeals $12.6M jury verdict even after judge cuts damages nearly in half -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has decided to appeal a $12.6 million jury verdict awarded earlier this year to a North County man who suffered life-altering brain damage while in Sheriff’s Department custody. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/19

POTUS 45  

Impeachment hearings begin with new evidence of phone call implicating Trump in Ukraine controversy -- The first day of public impeachment hearings unearthed new evidence potentially implicating President Trump more directly in a scheme to center American policy toward Ukraine on political investigations, heightening the stakes of upcoming proceedings that will include a set of critical witnesses. Karoun Demirjian, Toluse Olorunnipa and Rachael Bade in the Washington Post$ -- 11/14/19

Ambassador’s cellphone call to Trump from Kyiv restaurant was a stunning breach of security, former officials say -- A U.S. ambassador’s cellphone call to President Trump from a restaurant in the capital of Ukraine this summer was a stunning breach of security, exposing the conversation to surveillance by foreign intelligence services, including Russia’s, former U.S. officials said. Ellen Nakashima in the Washington Post$ -- 11/14/19

As impeachment hearings start, Trump lodges secondhand complaints about ‘thirdhand’ witnesses -- President Trump said he was unimpressed with Wednesday’s impeachment hearing because it was based on “lawyers from television” and “thirdhand” witnesses who were “Never Trump.” But the president only knew that secondhand, he said, because he was too busy to watch. Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post$ -- 11/14/19

Court Rejects Trump’s Appeal in Fight to Keep Financial Records From Congress -- A full federal appeals court on Wednesday let stand an earlier ruling that President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over eight years of his financial records to Congress, bringing the case to the threshold of a likely Supreme Court battle. Charlie Savage in the New York Times$ Ann E. Marimow in the Washington Post$ -- 11/14/19


Republicans discuss a longer Senate impeachment trial to scramble Democratic primaries -- Some Republican senators and their advisers are privately discussing whether to pressure GOP leaders to stage a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race — potentially keeping six contenders in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer. Robert Costa, Michael Scherer and Seung Min Kim in the Washington Post$ -- 11/14/19

$355,000 is priciest ticket to Obama appearance in Silicon Valley -- Former U.S. President Barack Obama is coming to town next week for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee's Unity Fund. But if you want to attend, you'll need at least $10,000 to get in the door and $35,000 to take a photo with Obama. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/19


-- Wednesday Updates 

Deputy fatally shoots suspect at East L.A. high school, prompting campus lockdown -- Sheriff’s deputies opened fire on the Esteban Torres High School campus in East Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, fatally wounding a suspect and prompting officials to lock down the school. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/19

California regulators open inquiry into PG&E power outages -- California regulators have unanimously ordered an investigation into a dozen deliberate power outages that plunged millions of people into the dark last month. The California Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday at a short meeting in San Francisco after testimony from people pleading for regulation, planning and leadership. Associated Press -- 11/13/19

Sen. Kamala Harris introduces bill to crack down on PG&E bonuses -- Sen. Kamala Harris is introducing legislation that would ban utilities under bankruptcy, like Pacific Gas and Electric Co., from paying bonuses to executives, following a pledge by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco to convert PG&E to a government-owned company. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/19

USC student deaths: Possible drug overdoses, tainted narcotics probed, sources say -- Of the recent deaths among USC students this semester, officials say some of them may be the result of drug overdoses, according to sources familiar with the matter. Colleen Shalby, Richard Winton, Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/19

California pulls back clean-vehicle rebates to point them at lower-income buyers -- Starting in December, those looking to buy electric vehicles with a price tag of more than $60,000 won’t qualify for California’s clean-vehicle rebate. The rebate is also disappearing for plug-in hybrids with less than 35 miles of all-electric range. Suhauna Hussain in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/19

Business partners donated big money to Sacramento politicians as they built cannabis empire -- Over the past several years, a group of business partners has quietly amassed the largest network of cannabis storefronts in Sacramento, despite city rules designed to prohibit consolidation of the pot industry here under single ownership. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/13/19

Orinda Halloween shooting: Owners had charged $800 for large parties, records show -- The owners of 114 Lucille Way, Michael Wang and Wenlin Luo, were charging an $800 daily fee for large parties, along with a $350 cleaning fee. They advertised the house on Airbnb for parties with up to 30 guests, according to one complaint filed with the city of Orinda in February. Nate Gartrell, Jon Kawamoto and Angela Ruggiero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/19

Huge Napa Valley property, famed Napa Soda Springs property, goes up for sale -- The famous Napa Soda Springs property, home to a one-time resort that dates back to 1856, is up for sale in what would be one of the largest land deals in the Bay Area. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/19

Fox: LA City Budget Situation Reflects a Sad Reality of Today’s Politics -- The chatter from many presidential candidates and local politicians is that corporations and businesses are corrupting government and buying the government they want. While there is no denying that corporations do their best to influence and direct politicians, businesses are not the only ones playing that game and are often the target of spending interests that attempt to manipulate political class, as well. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/13/19


New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign -- A top diplomat on Wednesday tied President Trump more directly to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political opponents, describing a phone call in which Trump sought information about the status of the investigations he had asked Ukraine to launch one day earlier. Elise Viebeck in the Washington Post$ Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio Politico -- 11/13/19

U.S. diplomats describe Trump’s effort to hijack Ukraine policy for his political benefit -- Historic public impeachment proceedings got underway Wednesday, as career diplomats delivered solemn testimony about the Trump administration’s alleged misconduct in Ukraine that they found bewildering and at odds with U.S. interests. Jennifer Haberkorn, Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/19

Impeachment is one thing. But 2020 will be about something else -- The immediate unfolding is indeed predictable: The Democratic-dominated House will impeach President Trump and the Republican-dominated Senate will not remove him from office. If there’s a twist, it’s going to come in the battleground states that will decide the 2020 presidential election. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/19