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Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for Capitol harassment settlements, assemblyman says -- As the California Assembly prepares to have its first public hearing Tuesday afternoon on how it handles sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, one Democratic lawmaker says he wants to see changes in how settlements from Capitol complaints are paid. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) is urging his colleagues to examine how to decrease the burden of settlement payments on taxpayers. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Bay Area congresswoman wants to take over John Conyers' House Judiciary position -- Now that the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has agreed to step aside over sexual harassment allegations, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) is hoping to take his place on the committee that would play a major role in potential presidential impeachment hearings. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Strapped stem cell agency eyes tough options -- Facing the likelihood of a slow and withering death, the California stem cell agency is edging gingerly forward on a path of “cuts” and risky fund-raising in hopes that its research results will soon generate voter support for more billions of dollars. David Jensen Capitol Weekly -- 11/28/17

Fox: Homeless Solutions Should Not Target Homeowners -- As the search for solutions to the homeless problem continues current property owners and the equity they have in their homes are often cited as targets for funding homelessness relief. What is ignored with these proposed remedies is that homeowners are counting on the equity in their homes to help with retirement or other needs. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/28/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Feds Ask State to Explain Cracks in New Oroville Spillway Concrete -- Federal regulators have asked the officials who operate Oroville Dam — and who are in charge of the $500 million-plus effort to rebuild and reinforce the facility’s compromised spillways — to explain small cracks that have appeared in recently rebuilt sections of the dam’s massive concrete flood-control chute. Dan Brekke KQED -- 11/28/17

Sexual harassment hearings come as California Capitol is roiled by accusations and a resignation -- Sexual harassment allegations continued to roil the California political landscape Monday, as one Democratic legislator announced his immediate resignation and another was stripped of key posts by his colleagues. Melanie Mason and Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/28/17

'We’re here to raise the alarm on behalf of Californians everywhere:' Democrats rail against GOP tax plan in Los Angeles -- Democratic leaders spoke out against the GOP tax plan on Monday, arguing it would disproportionately harm Californians, benefit the wealthy and impact the state’s infrastructure and affordable housing. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

California Could Lose $2.7 Billion in Kids’ Health Funding – and There’s No Backup Plan -- Nearly two months after Congress missed its deadline to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), California is just a few weeks away from exhausting its reserves, and doesn’t yet have a plan to replace the $2.7 billion in federal support it stands to lose. Michelle Faust KQED -- 11/28/17

Sacramento mayor endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor -- Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Monday endorsed Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for governor, calling him a deep political thinker and praising his two terms as San Francisco’s “bold, innovative mayor.” Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Kevin de León says state Senate must 'stop sweeping workplace misconduct under the rug' -- Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said Monday’s decision by the Senate Rules Committee to remove Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) from his leadership posts is just the first step toward an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the lawmaker. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Susan Kennedy, CPUC Under Investigation After PG&E Releases More San Bruno Emails -- More fallout from PG&E's handling of the San Bruno Pipeline explosion: The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is investigating whether former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, illegally acted as a go-between for PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 11/28/17

California’s history works against just about every candidate for governor -- Sometimes the best way to gaze into the future is to look back at the past. The 2018 governor’s election may be one of those times. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/28/17

Request for emergency audit of bullet-train project is denied by Legislature leadership -- A request for an emergency audit of the $64-billion California bullet train project was turned down Monday by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, the Torrance Democrat who chairs the joint audit committee. Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Autopsy Doctor Quits, Alleges Sheriff Interfered in Death Probes --A forensic pathologist who conducts autopsies for San Joaquin County resigned Monday, claiming she was denied the independence to do her job. Julie Small KQED -- 11/28/17

Deputy under criminal investigation as 3 women accuse him of groping -- A San Diego sheriff’s deputy is under criminal investigation, as two additional women have come forward with legal claims alleging that he improperly groped them under color of authority. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/28/17

East Bay Congressman Wants Federal Probe of ICE Detainee Abuse Claims at Contra Costa Jail -- Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) plans to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate claims that federal immigration detainees at a Contra Costa County jail have been mistreated. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 11/28/17

Wiener plans to reintroduce bill to extend California nightlife -- State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, is making another effort to extend California’s nightlife past the current 2 a.m. cutoff. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/28/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California Farm Plans To Appeal Pro-Labor Ruling -- One of the nation's largest fruit farms says it plans to appeal a ruling by the California Supreme Court that boosted organized farm labor in the state. Gerawan Farming said Monday that it intends to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. Associated Press -- 11/28/17

California Supreme Court rules for farmworkers, and upholds binding mediation -- California's highest court decided unanimously Monday that farmers may have a labor contract imposed on them if negotiations with a union fail to produce an agreement. The state Supreme Court, overturning a lower court ruling, upheld a 2002 law that permits the state to order farmers and unions to reach binding contracts. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Slowdown in luxury car sales hurting Newport Beach's finances -- Mercedes models aren't moving as fast as they used to in Newport Beach. Sales tax collections in town appear to be ebbing this year, partly because of a tapering in sales of high-end cars such as Mercedes-Benz and Tesla. Hillary Davis in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17


San Diego's hepatitis A update: death total holds at 20, case count continues to climb -- Though they continue to see fewer cases, and no new deaths have been reported since Oct. 31, San Diego County supervisors chose Monday to continue the local health emergency status for the region’s ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/28/17

Homeless Children In San Diego To Transition From Campground To Large Tent Structure -- One of the city of San Diego’s three large tent structures for homeless people is scheduled to open on Friday. Two others are expected to open in late December and early January. One tent, located in a lot at Father Joe's Villages in the East Village, will be dedicated to children and families, including the nearly 50 children currently living at the city’s homeless campground in Golden Hill. Susan Murphy KPBS -- 11/28/17


Prosecutors say this housing complex is a hotbed for gang crime, and they think its owner should live there -- In recent months, a police informant made a dozen drug buys at a sprawling apartment complex that sits on the northern edge of Baldwin Village. In the last few years, authorities seized half a dozen firearms there and investigated multiple shootings and robberies. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

California regulators hope new rules will spur more bike lanes, housing near transit -- Bike lanes, mixed-use residential and commercial construction near transit and other development projects might get easier to build in California after regulators on Monday released a long-awaited overhaul of the state’s environmental law. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17


Ravaged by the 2003 Cedar fire, Harbison Canyon offers lessons for Northern California -- Other than leaving a legacy of apprehension and rebuilding, the Cedar fire fast-tracked changes that had been chipping away at the canyon's identity. What was once a rural, affordable, even eccentric backwater became a more suburban and pricey enclave. Thomas Curwen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Fire Retardant Use Explodes as Worries About Water, Wildlife Grow -- Chemical fire retardants are considered a vital wildland firefighting tool, helping to slow the spread of flames while ground crews move into position. But as their use increases, the harmful side effects of these chemicals are coming under increasing scrutiny. Matt Weiser KQED -- 11/28/17


Report: Only 30% of ninth-graders will graduate from college -- Although more than 90 percent of the nation’s ninth graders expect to graduate from college, a report released Monday estimates that only 30 percent of California’s high school freshmen will actually earn a bachelor’s degree. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/28/17

State board’s next challenge: how to measure school climate, the heartbeat of a school -- Busloads of high school students and parents from organizations statewide have trekked to State Board of Education meetings for two years, clamoring for changes they believe will improve school climate. In moving testimony, students described schools where they feel disconnected, misunderstood and often under-challenged. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 11/28/17


California Asks Pot Dispensaries To Pay Taxes Before Getting Seller's Permit -- Taxes on California’s cannabis industry could top a billion dollars a few years from now. But along the way, the state is looking to bring in gray-area operators who haven’t been paying taxes, and get them to square up. Daniel Potter Capital Public Radio -- 11/28/17

Extreme marijuana use linked to vomiting syndrome -- For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain. Pauline Bartolone in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/28/17

Smith: The drug war destroyed black neighborhoods. This Sacramento weed policy could help -- With sales of recreational cannabis becoming legal in a few weeks, many Californians have been asking questions about where they’ll be able to buy it, where they’ll be able to smoke it and why on God’s green, weed-filled Earth they still have to use cash to get it. Erika D. Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/28/17

Immigration / Border 

San Gabriel attorney admits to multimillion-dollar immigration fraud scheme -- A San Gabriel-based attorney pleaded guilty Monday to an immigration fraud scheme that generated more than $50 million in profits by selling temporary green cards to foreign investors. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17


Supreme Court won’t hear California water agencies’ appeal in tribe's groundwater case -- The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal by California water agencies in the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ landmark lawsuit asserting rights to groundwater beneath the tribe's reservation. Ian James in the Desert Sun -- 11/28/17


Number Of California Patients Fighting Insurance Denials Is Up, Cases Nearly Triple -- The department said the increase is because of a jump in the number of insured Californians during that time; the state’s uninsured rate has steadily declined since the Affordable Care Act rollout in 2014. But enrollment in department plans only increased 38 percent during the five-year window, while the number of cases about denials jumped 175 percent. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 11/28/17

Diabetes hits hard as California spends billions on treatment, little on prevention -- A teenage girl walks the hardscrabble streets of Richmond, a Bay Area city, rapping about the challenges of drugs, violence—and diabetes. Here, she says, big dreams are “coated in sugar,” and innocence is “corrupted with Coke bottles and Ho Ho cupcakes.” She’s performing in a video by a local youth group that counts diabetes, a national epidemic that has hit California hard, as one of the killers in her neighborhood. The disease, which is spreading and driving up health costs, now afflicts more than half the state’s adults, especially people of color and the poor. Elizabeth Aguilera Calmatters.org -- 11/28/17

Also . . . 

San Francisco homeowners want city to give back their street -- An investor scooped up one of the toniest private streets in San Francisco after its wealthy owners didn't pay property taxes for years, a sale that the well-connected homeowners want city leaders to reverse Tuesday. Janie Har Associated Press -- 11/28/17

Harvey Weinstein resigns from Directors Guild of America as sex scandal grows with new lawsuits -- Harvey Weinstein resigned from the Directors Guild of America on Monday as the scandal surrounding his alleged acts of sexual misconduct continued to grow with two new lawsuits filed against the disgraced movie producer. David Ng in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17

Meghan Markle: From L.A. girl to Prince Harry's fiancee -- She’s been an actress, a blogger and a humanitarian, and now Los Angeles native Meghan Markle is engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/28/17


A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation -- The Post did not publish an article based on her unsubstantiated account. When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists. But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites in the Washington Post$ -- 11/28/17

Three Pinocchios: Pence’s claim that ‘more Americans are working today than ever before in American history’ -- We’ve grown accustomed to the Trump administration making grand statements about the president’s purported impact on the economy. Nicole Lewis in the Washington Post$ -- 11/28/17

Why Democrats are to blame for consumer agency debacle -- President Donald Trump is likely to control the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for years to come. And Democrats have only themselves to blame. Lorraine Woellert Politico -- 11/28/17


-- Monday Updates 

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations -- Facing mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra on Monday announced that he would resign immediately rather than serve out the remaining nine months of his term. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/27/17

State Sen. Tony Mendoza booted from leadership posts pending sexual harassment investigation -- The Senate Rules Committee voted Monday to strip state Sen. Tony Mendoza of his leadership positions, including chairmanship of the banking committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations by three women against the Democratic lawmaker from Artesia. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/27/17 * auto start audio on this link

California Realtors launch ballot drive to expand Prop. 13 for senior homeowners -- If passed, the proposition would allow senior and disabled homeowners to transfer their low, existing Prop. 13 tax assessment to a new home anywhere in the state, using the option as often as they choose and paying any price for their new home. Jeff Collins in the Orange County Register -- 11/27/17

Why conservative headliners are teaming up to challenge Maxine Waters in Los Angeles -- Republican Omar Navarro is trying again to unseat Rep. Maxine Waters, but this time, he has a new set of high-profile friends. Trump confidant Roger Stone is a campaign advisor, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio calls weekly, and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones hosted him on his popular show. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/27/17

Diablo Canyon: To be or not to be? -- A final decision looms on whether to close California’s last operating nuclear power plant. The California Public Utilities Commission will hear closing arguments tomorrow, Nov. 28, on the fate of the controversial Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County. The commission is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 11/27/17

2018’s new laws: California businesses brace for changes -- A slew of new laws that address unpaid parental leave, new hiring restrictions and other workplace issues will have an impact on California businesses in the coming year. Kevin Smith in the Orange County Register -- 11/27/17

Some Mission Bay neighbors fuming over Caltrain’s diesel dust -- Toby Levine braced for noise and pollution 10 years ago when she moved into San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, two blocks away from the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets. Yet the pervasiveness of the diesel dust surprised her. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/27/17

With elk on rebound, California releases new management plan --Wildlife experts say it’s time to expand, link and improve their scattered habitats. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/27/17

Walters: Brown’s WaterFix project could go down the drain -- The decades-long political struggle over fixing the bottleneck in California’s immense north-south water system is nearing a climax—and it’s not looking good for Gov. Jerry Brown’s long-sought solution. Dan Walters Calmatters.org -- 11/27/17

Bretón: These laws are eroding public trust with police. And they are hurting good officers too -- Here is the point that always gets lost in discussions about police brutality: The system is rigged in favor of the police every time it is alleged. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/27/17

Lazarus: Completely unnecessary spat over CFPB leaves consumers out in the cold -- Don’t be distracted. The White House would have you believe that the battle for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is about the rightful exercise of presidential power. It's about screwing over consumers. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/27/17

Fox: National Park Fees, State Gas Taxes and the AG’s Policy Choices -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra wants to keep national park fees down so poor people can afford entry in their vehicles. However, the gas tax repeal effort, which critics say he disfavors based on the title and summaries he authored on repeal initiatives, might keep drivers from even reaching the parks because of the increased cost of gas. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/27/17