Updating . .   

In about-face after legal threats, California's Legislature will grant new access to sexual misconduct allegation records -- The California Legislature unveiled a new policy Friday that for the first time would reveal the identities of some who have been accused of sexual misconduct, two months after refusing to disclose detailed information about years of allegations. John Myers and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

State missed problems that led to Oroville Dam near-disaster, report finds -- The 584-page assessment prepared by a team of independent dam experts, released Friday, said design weaknesses in the dam’s main spillway, years of deterioration of the chute and soft bedrock beneath it should have been identified and addressed by dam operators. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/18

California proposal would make it a ‘sanctuary state’ for marijuana -- California is putting up a united front against U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions and his federal directive targeting legal weed, with one state lawmaker reviving a proposal this year that would make California a so-called “sanctuary state” for marijuana. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/18

California's pot world sees 'reefer madness' in Sessions' assault on legal marijuana -- For the steady stream of customers waiting to see a “budtender” Thursday at a Santa Ana pot store, U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ broadside against recreational pot was more a bummer than a buzzkill. People were annoyed — but not terribly surprised that California, once again, would be going to battle in the cultural wars with the Trump administration. Emily Alpert Reyes, Angel Jennings and Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

Becerra vows to fight pot crackdown: 'They have tripped over themselves and given us opportunities to legally stop them' -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Thursday that if a new federal policy results in prosecutors charging marijuana growers and sellers licensed by the state, he would not rule out intervening in court on behalf of the state-sanctioned business. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

San Francisco will beat Los Angeles to adult use cannabis sales -- San Francisco residents and visitors will likely be able to join in adult use cannabis sales starting on Saturday morning. GreenState has received word from city officials that up to seven San Francisco medical cannabis retailers received local approval Thursday evening to sell to all adults 21 or older. David Downes in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18

California Legislators Introduce Bill to Block Trump’s Offshore Drilling Push -- The Trump Administration is proposing a major expansion of offshore oil leasing nationwide, including off the California Coast. It would be the first West Coast oil lease sale since the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. State and local officials could easily throw a wrench in the plans. Lauren Sommer KQED -- 1/5/18

East Bay family furious after ‘swatting’ incident from fake 911 call, police say -- Two days after Christmas, police officers raced to a house in this quiet suburb after receiving a call from a distraught young man saying he heard gunshots, his mother scream and that he was hiding in his closet. Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/18

London Breed says she’s in the race for San Francisco mayor -- San Francisco acting Mayor London Breed signaled her intent to become an official mayoral candidate in the June election, pulling her nomination papers at the city’s Department of Elections on Friday. Dominic Fracassa and Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18

Toni Atkins poised to enter history books -- State Sen. Toni Atkins has come a long way since she was a girl growing up poor without running water in rural Virginia. This month, the San Diego lawmaker is set to replace Kevin de León as leader of the California Senate. She will be the first woman and first open lesbian to hold the position. She also will be the first person since the 19th century to hold both of the Legislature’s top jobs – Assembly speaker and Senate leader. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 1/5/18

Fox: Sign Here: ‘Tis Initiative Season -- It is too early to know which initiatives will qualify for the November ballot; some measures have not even received their titles and summaries from the attorney general yet. But we know that money goes a long way in helping to qualify ballot measures using professional signature gatherers. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/5/18

Lyft trips in San Francisco more efficient than personal cars, study finds -- Because they carry multiple passengers, ride-hailed cars contribute fewer miles per person to traffic than personal cars making equivalent trips, according to a research report released Thursday. That’s true even after accounting for the miles that ride-hailed drivers spend trolling for fares and going to pick up passengers, it said. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18

Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose announces he is running for California governor -- Former Northern California Republican Rep. Doug Ose said Friday he plans to run for California governor, adding to an already crowded field of candidates. "I happen to think people are going to respond very positively to my efforts to rebuild the California dream," Ose told The Times. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/18

Rep. Devin Nunes plays defense for Trump by going on hard offense against Justice Department -- While special counsel Robert S. Mueller III conducts a criminal investigation into Trump’s current and former aides, producing charges against four individuals so far, Nunes has launched a counteroffensive aimed at derailing or discrediting the federal probe that has shadowed Trump’s first year in office — and shows no sign of ending. Chris Megerian and Joseph Tanfani in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

She accused an assemblyman of harassment. Now she's running for his seat -- A woman who alleged that former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra harassed her co-worker when he was a top legislative staffer says she’ll run for the district seat he vacated. San Fernando resident Yolanda Anguiano, a Democrat who works for a nonprofit and served as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointee on a planning commission, filed fundraising papers this week to run to replace Bocanegra in Assembly District 39 in April. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

California officials blast Trump's oil-drilling proposal as dangerous and unneeded -- The Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil development is being met with unyielding opposition in California, where drilling in coastal waters has been deeply unpopular since a devastating 1969 spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/18

Gov. Jerry Brown: Trump's plan to expand offshore drilling is 'reckless, short-sighted' -- “For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action,” Brown said in a joint statement with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

California has ample weapons to fight Trump on drilling -- In the decades since a 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara tarred sea-life and gave rise to the U.S. environmental movement, politicians and environmental activists have built up ample ways to make it difficult but not impossible for the Trump administration to renew drilling off California's coast. The Interior Department said Thursday it plans to open most federal waters off the United States to oil leases. Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 1/5/18

San Francisco terror suspect planned to funnel people onto Pier 39 to shoot them, FBI alleges -- Everitt Aaron Jameson had a plan: He would travel to a remote campground in the mountains, where he would build explosives out of PVC pipe, gunpowder and nails. He said he would store the bombs in his Modesto home, federal officials alleged, before using them in an attack on San Francisco’s Pier 39 that would involve funneling people into an area and shooting them with an assault rifle. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18

Conservative super PAC opens fifth office in Orange County battleground district -- The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC hoping to defend vulnerable GOP members in the midterm, is setting up shop in a fifth California district. The group, which launched four other offices in California last year, recently added Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) to its program. Walters is one of the Democrats’ top targets heading into this year’s midterm, despite having won by 18 percentage points in 2016. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

California's Jeff Denham making bid to lead powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- Central Valley Rep. Jeff Denham is being more open about his desire to lead the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

Ballot Breakdown: These initiative ideas are headed your way -- Direct democracy can be an exhausting business. This year civically engaged Californians will be expected to have informed opinions about affordable housing and park funding, how best to divvy up cap-and-trade money, how to spend the state’s new gas tax money, and when new voter-approved laws ought to be enacted. And those are just the measures on the ballot so far. Ben Christopher Calmatters.org -- 1/5/18

Tom Steyer teases ‘major announcement’ about his political future next week -- After months of publicly mulling a run for office in 2018, Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer will finally announce his decision next week, his political group said Thursday. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/18

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

SDG&E wants another shot at billing customers $379M for 2007 wildfires -- Barely more than a month after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rejected a request by San Diego Gas & Electric to have ratepayers pick up $379 million in costs related to three deadly wildfires in 2007, the utility is not giving up. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/5/18

New California bill could serve as national boilerplate for skirting Trump’s tax law -- De Leon’s bill, if it became law, would essentially allow Americans to deduct much more than the $10,000 limit by redirecting state tax payments into a type of charitable contribution that would be later redirected to the state. The new federal tax law, which was supported only by Republicans, went into effect in January and does not include any caps on charitable deductions. Damian Paletta in the Washington Post$ -- 1/5/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Newest Gender Pay Suit Says Google Violated State Law -- Four women have filed a new version of a wage discrimination lawsuit against Google. They claim the web giant not only pays women less than men but also uses previous salary information to determine pay, which is a violation of California state law. Tonya Mosley KQED -- 1/5/18

Sears Holdings Corp. closes more than 100 Kmart and Sears stores in latest cuts -- The company will continue to close some unprofitable stores as it attempts to “right-size” the number and size of its physical stores to customers’ needs, it said in a statement. Employees at the 64 Kmart and 39 Sears stores that close will get severance benefits and will be able to apply for open positions at other Kmart and Sears stores, but the company did not guarantee jobs for associates in the statement. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18


Orange County plans to clear entire riverbed homeless encampment within weeks, officials say -- Homeless advocates immediately denounced the county’s plan as illegal and inhumane, saying it perpetuates a system that makes it a crime to be homeless and simply shuffles people from one location to another. They said there aren’t enough shelter beds or permanent housing to lodge all the riverbed homeless and that the displacement will send upwards of 1,000 homeless people spilling into adjacent cities. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 1/5/18


As Wildfire Disasters Increase, Some Californians Find They Can't Renew Their Homeowners Insurance -- After wildfires in Lake, Amador and Calaveras counties in 2015, the number of homeowners in high fire-risk counties who were unable to renew their homeowners insurance increased 15 percent, according to a new report from the California Department of Insurance. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says we can expect the problem to expand as insurers re-assess fire risk in the wake of the 2017 wildfires. Sally Schilling Capital Public Radio -- 1/5/18

Months after Wine Country fires, damaged vineyards face uncertainty -- On top of Moon Mountain, at the Gilfillan Vineyard, Scott Knippelmeir kneels to the ground, pulls off the outer layers of a grape vine’s loose wood, and cuts into its trunk. He’s checking for signs of life. If the trunk is green, that’s good: The vine is still alive. If it’s dry and coffee-brown, that means the vine is dead. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18


Questions over LAUSD chief's extended medical leave intensify as new semester begins -- The Los Angeles Unified School District is poised to start the spring semester next week amid lingering questions about when ailing Supt. Michelle King will return to the job, leaving what some see as a leadership gap in the face of daunting challenges. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

A focus on writing in every class is key to success in this rural California district -- Over the past three years, the school, which serves about 1,670 students, has seen its scores soar on these tests aligned to the Common Core standards, which high school juniors take each spring. Theresa Harrington EdSource -- 1/5/18


Man guilty in kidnap, torture plot against Orange County pot dispensary owner -- The kidnappers plotted for months. They used disguises and a rented van, burner phones and surveillance cameras. The target: a gregarious 28-year-old marijuana dispensary owner who lived a block from the ocean in Newport Beach. Christopher Goffard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

California prepares for legal and political battles after Sessions takes tougher enforcement stand on marijuana -- Days after California began issuing licenses for marijuana sales, state leaders were preparing Thursday for possible political and legal battles in response to a decision by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to rescind a federal policy that has allowed dispensaries to operate without fear of prosecution. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Angela Hart and Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/18

California Defiant in Face of Federal Move to Get Tough on Marijuana -- Leading voices in California’s marijuana industry said Thursday that while the announcement by Mr. Sessions might have punctured some of the excitement surrounding legalization, it did not change their plans to take part in what is the world’s largest legal market for recreational pot. Thomas Fuller in the New York Times$ -- 1/5/18

Lawmaker will revive proposal to make California a sanctuary state for marijuana industry -- Alarmed by the threat of federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states that license its sale, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) on Thursday said he will revive a bill that stalled last year and that would make California a so-called sanctuary state for the marijuana industry. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

Immigration / Border 

Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them -- Four months after President Trump rescinded an Obama-era program shielding young unauthorized immigrants, the White House and Senate negotiators are inching toward a deal that would restore the protections, while also beefing up border security. Sheryl Gay Stolberg in the New York Times$ -- 1/5/18


California bills aim to tackle opioid addiction by curbing excessive prescriptions -- Looking to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, a Silicon Valley legislator has introduced a slate of bills meant to clamp down on access to highly addictive prescription drugs. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) authored three measures meant to provide a better understanding of patients’ access to these medications, building on an existing state database tracking prescriptions in California. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/18

Also . . . 

Pregnant inmates are abused in Santa Rita Jail, women charge in lawsuit -- The alleged abuses detailed in the complaint are extreme. In their declarations, women describe feeling coerced by guards to have abortions rather than carrying their pregnancies to term. They said they were given inadequate clothing and food. One woman said she was forced to give birth while in solitary confinement, with no medical assistance. Sophie Haigney in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/18

Jail Deputies Face 15 Years to Life for Fatal Beating of Mentally Ill Inmate -- Three former Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies convicted of beating a mentally ill inmate to death in 2015 could be sentenced Friday. Rafael Rodriguez, Matthew Farris and Jereh Lubrin face sentences of 15 years to life in prison for killing Michael Tyree in his cell at the county’s Main Jail. A jury convicted them of second-degree murder last year. Julie Small KQED -- 1/5/18

POTUS 45  

Counsel Is Told of Trump Effort to Keep Grip on Russia Inquiry -- The special counsel’s investigation has uncovered several incidents involving President Trump that raise questions about whether he obstructed justice. Mr. Trump is said to have instructed the White House’s top lawyer to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself, with the expectation that Mr. Sessions would shield him. Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ -- 1/5/18

As Trump fumes, White House staff spread blame on Wolff book -- White House staffers are poring over copies of Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book, scanning the index for their names and crossing their fingers that they aren’t mentioned. Andrew Restuccia and Matthew Nussbaum Politico -- 1/5/18


-- Friday Updates 

California proposed for first new offshore drilling since 1984 under broad new federal leasing program -- The Trump administration, inviting a political backlash from coastal state leaders, on Thursday proposed to open for exploration the largest expanse of the nation’s offshore oil and natural gas reserves ever offered to global energy companies, including waters off the coast of California. Keith Schneider in the Los Angeles Times$ Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/4/18

California says it will defend legal cannabis despite Sessions’ threat of crackdown -- California signaled its intent Thursday to defend the state’s voter-approved law legalizing recreational marijuana, hours after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo clearing the way for a federal crackdown on weed. Two state leaders – Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Executive Lori Ajax – issued statements saying they’ll defend Proposition 64, the 2016 initiative that led to the opening of the state’s first retail cannabis stores this week. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/4/18

Trump administration targets recreational pot, placing thousands of marijuana businesses in California at risk -- Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era federal policy that provided legal shelter for marijuana sales in states that have allowed recreational pot, placing thousands of marijuana businesses in California and other states operating legally under state law at risk of federal raids and seizures. Evan Halper and Joseph Tanfani in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Egelko and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/4/18

Bay Area dodges (another) bullet when a powerful quake fails to do much damage -- After nearly 10 million people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area were shaken — and many awakened — early Thursday when a magnitude 4.4 earthquake eight miles below Berkeley rocked the region, authorities pointed out that the outcome could have been much more dramatic had the shaking that accompanied it been stronger. Lisa M. Krieger, Kathleen Kirkwood and Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ Alix Martichoux, Michael Cabanatuan, Nanette Asimov, and Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/4/18

Jeff Denham beat back a recall. Can he survive a blue wave, too? -- Eight primary challengers think this is the year to make a run at U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and they’re drawing widespread enthusiasm from San Joaquin Valley Democrats for their campaigns. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/4/18

L.A. County officials confirm first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus -- L.A. County officials said Thursday that a woman had been infected with the Zika virus by her partner in the first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus in the county. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/4/18