Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
Leg Analyst
Governor Brown
Capitol Weekly

Updating . .   

The bullet train is California's biggest infrastructure project — but it's seldom discussed in governor's race -- The leading candidates for governor have said little, if anything, publicly about how they would fix dire problems in the $77-billion mega-project that has already overrun its initial cost estimate by $44 billion. Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

In Bay Area, Newsom leads big in race for governor — 2 Republicans are next -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom holds a 4-1 lead with Bay Area voters in the upcoming gubernatorial primary, according to a new 2018 Bay Area Council Poll, with 36 percent of those surveyed undecided. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

‘Lite Guv’ no more: California candidates spending millions for a job that gets no respect -- The lieutenant governor’s position is so disrespected in California that its current occupant famously said California should “get rid of the position” if it wasn’t made more effective. That isn’t happening. In fact, just the opposite is unfolding. The job mocked as “Lite Gov” in Sacramento has become downright politically sexy. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

Police say pot to blame in deadly Fremont car crash -- A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana Tuesday night after a multicar crash killed three in Fremont. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Bay Area’s deadly pot-related crash added to list of tragedies in other cannabis-friendly states -- The horrific collision Tuesday night on Interstate 880 in Fremont that claimed three lives is just the latest in a string of deadly wrecks involving a cannabis-impaired driver. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

San Francisco: Subway contractor knew it was using wrong rails -- The Central Subway contractor that installed 3.2 miles of supposedly substandard track on the new line claims it acted “in full compliance” with its contract, despite being told by the city four years ago that it was using the wrong steel and needed to switch it out, city records show. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

Trump hosts California Republicans, exploring how to undercut California’s sanctuary law -- The Orange County anti-sanctuary uprising takes the national stage today, as a coalition of politicians are in Washington to talk Republican political strategy with President Trump. David Gorn Calmatters -- 5/16/18

California Attorney General to appeal judge’s ruling overturning assisted suicide law -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday he will appeal a judge’s ruling late Tuesday overturning the state’s right to die law for terminally ill Californians. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

The Senate net neutrality vote is just Democratic campaign bluster. And that's OK -- The U.S. Senate’s vote today in favor of restoring the tough net neutrality regulations adopted in 2015 will almost certainly prove to be a mere blip on the political radar. There’s no sign the House will even take up the resolution, and given the deregulatory zeal of that body’s Republican majority, it’s quixotic to believe it could pass if it somehow made it to the House floor. Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Sutter Health asks court to scrap antitrust lawsuit by California attorney general over pricing -- Sutter Health has asked the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss the California attorney general’s antitrust lawsuit against the company, saying it would seriously harm not just Sutter but the entire health care industry. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/16/18

Oakland, A’s begin Coliseum ballpark negotiations -- The Oakland A’s now have the blessing to study both the Coliseum and Howard Terminal in their quest to build a new ballpark in Oakland. David DeBolt in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

Posting mugshots on internet draws criminal charges from California attorney general -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is filing extortion and money laundering charges against the owners of a website that publishes mugshot photos and charges a fee to remove them. His office is targeting Mugshots.com, which pulls photos and identifying information about criminal suspects from law enforcement departments around the country. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Nurses rally to strip Facebook founder’s name from San Francisco hospital -- Nurses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital are fighting to have the Facebook founder’s surname stripped from the 146-year-old institution. The effort comes amid mounting scrutiny over the social network’s handling of user data. Some nurses, the New York Times reported, say the name makes their patients wary. Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ Don Sweeney in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/16/18

1 dead, 3 hurt in Southern California building explosion -- An explosion that rocked a Southern California medical office building on Tuesday, killing a woman and injuring three other people, is being investigated as intentional and investigators believe the blast may have come from a package, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. Michael Balsamo Associated Press -- 5/16/18

Lopez: The human catastrophe of homelessness hits the shores of Malibu, and some try to offer a helping hand -- Wherever there's a public library, there are homeless people taking shelter, and this is true in Malibu. Perry Thomas, who said he's a U.S. Army vet known as "The Real," was wheeling his belongings into the Civic Center library Tuesday morning. He told me he sleeps on Surfrider Beach. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Fox: Business Hears from the AG Candidates -- How business might fare under the candidates for Attorney General was on display at the first debate in which all four leading candidates for the job debated in Downey yesterday. The BizFed Institute associated with the Los Angeles County Business Federation along with the Southern California News Group managed to bring together the four candidates vying for what many describe as the second most important office in state government. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/16/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning

Board approves California bullet train’s 2018 business plan -- The board tasked with overseeing California’s ambitious high-speed rail project approved a new business plan Tuesday and pledged to keep pushing forward even as the plan faces stark financial challenges. “We are going to deliver high-speed rail for the people of California,” board chairman Dan Richards said. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 5/16/18

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra clashes with challengers over all his lawsuits against the Trump administration -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is probably best known to California voters as the man who has sued the Trump administration more than 30 times, a feat he boasted about at a debate Tuesday ahead of next month's primary election for the attorney general race. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Kevin Modesti in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 5/16/18

Delaine Eastin debuts TV ad showing rivals in the governor's race repeatedly agreeing with her -- The ad reflects the dynamic of the gubernatorial debates, where the candidates have largely been deferential to Eastin, avoiding attacking her as they have one another. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Democrats mock Democratic proposals to try to weaken a GOP House candidate -- All of these competitive congressional races in California — and the top-two primary — are making for some odd attacks. Look no further than a 30-second TV ad that started airing Tuesday aimed at Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside (San Diego County), who is running for the House seat being vacated by retiring GOP Rep. Darrell Issa. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

June 5 primary: Voters head to the mail box -- With California voters turning increasingly to the mail box to cast their ballots, five counties have set up an expanded vote-by-mail system for this year’s elections. Sacramento, Madera, Napa, Nevada and San Mateo are swapping out more than 500 neighborhood polling places and replacing them with nearly 80 high-tech “vote centers.” Jessica Hice Capitol Weekly -- 5/16/18

State Senate Leader Says Women Having a Political Moment -- It’s been 100 years since the first women were elected to the California Legislature. In 1918, four women won seats in the state Assembly, seven years after women were granted the right to vote in California. (Women won the right to vote in California in 1911). Katie Orr KQED -- 5/16/18

Walters: Jerry Brown once again shuns tax reform -- Gov. Jerry Brown wants to save the world from what he portrays as the “existential threat” of climate change. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/16/18

Governor Jerry Brown Proposes $5 Million Hike in State Arts Budget -- The one-time augmentation proposal — delivered last Friday as part of the "May revise" (the budget the Governor sends to the Legislature) — surprised arts advocates because requests for funding typically originate from the legislature, not the Governor. Chloe Veltman KQED -- 5/16/18

San Francisco will use new technology to automatically reduce marijuana convictions under Prop. 64: 'It’s about leveling the playing field' -- When recreational marijuana use was legalized in California, it presented an opportunity to reduce or expunge convictions for possession crimes that made it harder for some people to get ahead in life. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Attorney for man in middle of alleged 'secret deal' hit with State Bar ban -- The attorney whose client was at the center of an alleged "secret deal" with county prosecutor-now-district attorney candidate Noah Phillips was suspended Monday from practicing law in California for allegedly misappropriating funds, according to State Bar filings. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/16/18

San Francisco supervisors reject 2 Police Commission nominations, freezing the panel -- San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors rejected two of Mayor Mark Farrell’s nominations to the Police Commission Tuesday, leaving the Police Department’s policy-setting body without enough sitting members to hold a meeting. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

Fresno, Stanislaus sheriffs to attend anti-sanctuary state meeting with Trump -- According to a White House official, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims are among the 15 local California officials invited to meet with Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for what has been billed to participants as a "strategy session" for opposing California's sanctuary state policies. Emily Cadei in the Modesto Bee -- 5/16/18

Hundreds in San Francisco protest deaths of demonstrators amid US embassy move in Israel -- Angered at the deaths of dozens of Palestinians opposing the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters marched across downtown San Francisco at rush hour Tuesday. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

Where Both Patients and Caregivers Are Prisoners -- The California Medical Facility, a medium-security prison in Vacaville, midway between San Francisco and Sacramento, houses general-population inmates as well as those with health conditions and specialized medical needs. It is home to 2,400 men — some young and healthy, others disabled and sick, and then those in the hospice, who are dying. Suleika Jaquad in the New York Times$ -- 5/16/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Ending 'fair share' fees will cost state workers $2,000 a year, study says -- California public employees might save some money if the Supreme Court lets them quit paying union fees, but they stand to lose a lot of salary over time. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/16/18

New San Francisco 'Cultural Districts' Ordinance Aims to Counteract Gentrification -- If you walk down 24th Street in San Francisco's Mission District these days, you might notice street signs around the neighborhood that read “Calle 24: Latino Cultural District.” Chloe Veltman KQED -- 5/16/18

You need to earn almost $113,00 a year to afford typical house in LA County -- You need to be making at least six figures to afford the typical existing house for sale in Los Angeles and Orange counties and more than $72,000 a year to afford the typical Inland Empire house, new Realtor affordability figures show. Jeff Collins in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/16/18

Miller: Next step for California in sports betting debate: Cash in -- Take the money, California. Take it because someone, somewhere absolutely will. Take it because sports wagering already is happening — in the shadows, unregulated and untaxed. Bryce Miller in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/16/18

California Sports Betting Would Need Constitutional Change -- Voters would have to change California's Constitution before legal sports betting could come to the nation's most populous state, state lawmakers and tribes who run the state's casinos said Monday. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 5/16/18

Facebook: We’re better at policing nudity than hate speech -- Getting rid of racist, sexist and other hateful remarks on Facebook is more challenging than weeding out other types of unacceptable posts because computer programs still stumble over the nuances of human language, the company revealed Tuesday. Michael Liedtke Associated Press Tony Romm and Drew Harwell in the Washington Post$ -- 5/16/18

Higher gas prices won't deter record number of Californians from traveling for Memorial Day -- Although prices have increased 24% over last year, the Auto Club of Southern California predicts 5.19 million Californians will get away for the three-day weekend, breaking the previous pre-recession travel record of 5.18 million set in 2005. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Auto mileage and emissions: Will Washington and California be negotiating? -- The standoff between California and the Trump administration over automobile emissions standards continued this week, despite reports that the president ordered two federal agencies to begin negotiating with the state. Julie Cart Calmatters -- 5/16/18

San Diego launches campaign to help employers attract workers -- With its beaches and great weather, it would seem that San Diego wouldn’t need any help getting workers to move here. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/16/18

Tesla Model 3 production issues targeted in Morgan Stanley downgrade: report -- Tesla’s much-hyped hope to bring electric vehicles to the masses suffered another blow, as production problems with the company’s purported entry-level car led to a downgrade from a Morgan Stanley analyst. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

Just how much is Tesla worth to the Bay Area and California? -- In the Bay Area, Tesla’s biggest impact is seen in the number of jobs the company has created. Alameda County, which is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, claimed 5,081 Tesla workers as residents, while 5,737 jobs came from residents of Santa Clara County, 735 from San Mateo County and 352 hailed from Sacramento. The study showed Tesla having a total of 20,189 jobs in all of California, with another 31,424 jobs supported by Tesla operations across the state. Rex Crum in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18


Emergency shelters get a boost as L.A. County increases homelessness spending by $143 million -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to increase spending to address homelessness by $143 million in 2018-19 — the second year of money flowing from the Measure H sales tax increase that voters approved last year. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18


Displaced seniors’ homes survived Wine Country fires — but residents can’t move back -- Call them the luckless 44. With a catch-22. Of the 160 mobile homes that were packed into the residential park known as Journey’s End, 116 were destroyed when the Tubbs Fire swept into Santa Rosa in October. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18


Fourteen-year-old charged with attempted murder after shooting at a Palmdale high school -- The boy was charged with two counts of attempted murder, six counts of assault with an assault weapon and one count of possessing a firearm in a school zone, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Bullying that led to suicide attempts, death at LA, Inland Empire schools could have been stopped, parents say -- Three Southern California families have either filed or plan to file lawsuits against school districts from Los Angeles to the Inland Empire for negligence in allegedly failing to stop bullying that has led their three 13-year-old daughters to either attempt or commit suicide. Sarah Favot in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/16/18

Crowded, crumbling classrooms—will one-time cash infusion be enough to fix the University of California? -- The message popped into UC Berkeley sophomore Varsha Sarveshwar’s inbox a few days before the start of her Introduction to General Astronomy course last fall. It contained the usual details about class times and textbooks. But then there was something surprising: a plea from the professor to skip the first day of class. Felicia Mello Calmatters -- 5/16/18

Cal State plans big lobbying push for more state money -- In the final weeks of budget negotiations in Sacramento, Cal State officials plan an all-out lobbying push. They say they're racing against the clock to prevent harmful cuts by shaking more money out of state coffers. Joy Resmovits in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Judges hear arguments, ask questions on immigration program -- Federal appeals court judges appeared skeptical Tuesday of the Trump administration’s claim that courts don’t have the power to review the president’s decision to end a program that shields young immigrants from deportation. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ Brent Kendall in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/16/18

HHS considering housing immigrant children at military bases -- The Health and Human Services Department is considering housing at military bases those children picked up crossing the U.S. border illegally either alone or after being separated from their parents by the government, according to two U.S. officials. Lolita C. Baldor and Alan Fram Associated Press -- 5/16/18


Attorney General Becerra joins legal strategy to force feds to clean up Tijuana sewage flooding San Diego -- The state Attorney General has joined San Diego’s regional water regulators in pressuring the White House to do more to address sewage from Tijuana that routinely spills over the border fouling beaches as far north as Coronado. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/16/18

Under new system, L.A. developers can pay a fee rather than plant new trees -- Developers, businesses and homeowners in Los Angeles who are required by the city to replace or plant trees can instead apply to pay a fee to get out of the obligation under a new levy system approved Tuesday by the City Council. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Climate Change Is Making Droughts Worse In The Western US -- Droughts aren’t just about precipitation, said NASA scientist and the study’s co-author Benjamin Cook. They’re also about the timing of snowmelt and the wetness of soil, both of which are upended by a warming climate. Luke Runyan KPBS -- 5/16/18

San Francisco to consider banning plastic straws -- In San Francisco, plastic drinking straws could soon be going the way of non-reusable shopping bags and Styrofoam containers — that is to say, strictly prohibited within city limits. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

Also . . . 

Electric-Car Era Threatens Firefighters With New Road Risks -- Firefighters doused the blazing Tesla Inc. Model X’s battery pack, and then company engineers removed about one-quarter of its power cells before the vehicle was deemed safe to tow off of a California freeway. That didn’t prevent the powerful and highly flammable lithium-ion battery cells from reigniting. Alan Levin Bloomberg -- 5/16/18

Two children, 6 and 8, killed in street-racing crash, authorities say -- Two children, ages 6 and 8, were killed Tuesday in a street-racing crash in Riverside County, authorities said. A driver involved will face vehicular manslaughter charges, the California Highway Patrol said. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Glendale cop tied to Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime, federal officials say -- As far back as 2015, a Glendale narcotics detective used burner phones to tip off gangsters about upcoming raids, once allowing a top target of federal law enforcement to elude arrest for a month, authorities said Tuesday. Alene Tchekmedyian, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ Mike Cruz in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/16/18

LAPD officer arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl -- A Los Angeles police officer has been accused of assaulting another officer's 13-year-old daughter in her bedroom while staying in their home, officials said. Alene Tchekmedyian, James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/16/18

Woman killed in 'suspicious' explosion at Aliso Viejo office building; authorities say blast appears intentional -- Two law enforcement sources told The Times the expolsion was likely caused by a package that was delivered to the location, but cautioned that it would be speculative to say the blast was intentional. Local authorities are leading the investigation. Javier Panzar, Joseph Serna, Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ Kelly Puente, Sean Emery, Erika Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 5/16/18

California mayor named in drug investigation after he is found unconscious at hotel -- Costa Mesa police are investigating an incident involving West Covina Mayor Mike Spence after officers responded earlier this month to a medical aid call at a hotel, where Spence reportedly was found unconscious along with “controlled substance items” at the scene, authorities said Monday. Kelly Puente, Richard K. De Atley in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/16/18

Santa Rosa resident Frank McCulloch, acclaimed reporter, California newspaper editor, dies at 98 -- McCulloch was a formidable, bald-headed Marine Corps veteran who distinguished himself through aggressive coverage of the war in Vietnam and organized crime, and who mentored generations of journalists as an editor with the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Examiner. He was 98. Chris Smith in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/16/18

POTUS 45  

Tantalizing Testimony From a Top Trump Aide Sets Off a Search for Proof -- The aide said he remembered getting an email about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton well before compromising Democratic emails were released. No one can find the message he mentioned. Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ -- 5/16/18


-- Tuesday Updates 

Trump Administration Won’t Consult California on Vehicle Emissions Rules -- The Trump administration doesn’t intend to give any special treatment or outreach to California while it drafts new federal rules on vehicle emissions, according to people familiar with the matter. Timothy Puko and Mike Spector in the Wall Street Journal$ David Shepardson Reuters -- 5/15/18

Riverside judge overturns California's doctor-assisted suicide law -- A Riverside County judge overturned California's physician-assisted suicide law on Tuesday, giving the state attorney general five days to file an appeal to keep the law in place. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 5/15/18

USC let a gynecologist continue treating students despite years of misconduct allegations -- For nearly 30 years, the University of Southern California's student health clinic had one full-time gynecologist: Dr. George Tyndall. Tall and garrulous with distinctive jet black hair, he treated tens of thousands of female students, many of them teenagers seeing a gynecologist for the first time. Harriet Ryan, Matt Hamilton, Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

Democratic congressional candidate's ad could lead to false impressions -- Democratic candidate Regina Bateson has sent a mailer to voters in the 4th congressional district touting her credentials ahead of the June 5 primary election. The mailer repeatedly refers to Bateson as a "military security analyst" and says that after Sept. 11, she worked to keep the country safe from terrorism. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/18

Big-money Soros contributions change prosecutor campaigns -- Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has plunked $1.5 million into several California district attorney campaigns, the latest in millions of dollars the international financier has spent to influence the nation’s criminal justice system. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 5/15/18

California Apartment Landlords Dump Properties Ahead of Rent Control Vote -- A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying. Laura Kusisto in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 5/15/18

Uber, Lyft scrap mandatory arbitration for sexual assault claims -- Ride-hailing companies Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc scrapped mandatory arbitration to settle sexual harassment or assault claims, giving victims several options to pursue their claims including public lawsuits. Laharee Chatterjee Reuters -- 5/15/18

Facebook Says It Deleted 865 Million Posts, Mostly Spam -- Facebook has been under pressure for its failure to remove violence, nudity, hate speech and other inflammatory content from its site. Government officials, activists and academics have long pushed the social network to disclose more about how it deals with such posts. Now, Facebook is pulling back the curtain on those efforts — but only so far. Sheera Frenkel in the New York Times$ -- 5/15/18

U.S. Judge Blocks Oakland Port's Ban on Coal Shipments -- A federal judge struck down a local ban prohibiting companies from transporting coal though an Oakland, California, export terminal that U.S. miners see as a key link to overseas markets. The ban enacted by the city in 2014 violates a development agreement, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said Tuesday in a 37-page ruling. Joe Ryan Bloomberg Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle $ Dan Brekke KQED -- 5/15/18

A ban on Delta tunnels lawsuits slips into federal spending plan -- With the California Delta tunnels proposal facing an uncertain future, one of the state's Republican congressmen has come up with a way to help the multibillion water project, known formally as California WaterFix, reach completion: ban environmental lawsuits. Emily Cadei and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/18

Pender: San Franciscans need to earn $333,000 a year to buy a median-price home -- More Bay Area households could afford to buy a median-priced single-family home in the first quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, as incomes rose more than enough to offset an increase in home prices and interest rates. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/15/18

Stop opening my mail, CalPERS board member demands -- So far, she isn’t persuading CalPERS to end its practice of reviewing correspondence addressed to the 13 elected and appointed leaders who sit on its board of administration. Margaret Brown, the new board member, contends the practice hurts her ability to respond to constituents or hear from whistleblowers who might want to call attention to misconduct. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/18

A dangerous opioid is killing people in California. It's starting to show up in cocaine and meth -- Fentanyl, a potent opioid already responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide, is increasingly showing up in drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine in California, officials say. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

43,500 opium poppies planted in plain sight in CA town. Yearly yield: 4 pounds of heroin -- A field filled with thousands of opium poppies — enough to make $45,000 worth of heroin — was discovered by Monterey County sheriff's deputies. Gabby Ferreira in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/18

Cal State trustees to discuss Brown's latest budget proposal, which they say still falls $171 million short -- Cal State's leaders say that to keep their campuses' quality from slipping, they need much more money than the state is giving them. This year, they're also at odds with Gov. Jerry Brown on the question of whether any extra money should come in one-time bursts or be ongoing. Joy Resmovits in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

On his first day as L.A. schools chief, Beutner visits a bus depot and schools across the district -- The Los Angeles Unified School District's new superintendent, Austin Beutner, kicked off his first day of work Tuesday with a choreographed tour of the nation's second-largest school district, from the San Fernando Valley to Carson. Anna M. Phillips, Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

System-wide failure hits Sacramento area Sutter Health clinics -- Throughout the morning, employees have been unable to access patients’ electronic health records, emails and use the phones, Gary Zavoral confirmed. Some patients are being contacted to reschedule appointments. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/18

California hospital giant Sutter Health faces heavy backlash on prices -- Cooking dinner one night in March, Mark Frizzell sliced his pinkie finger while peeling a butternut squash and couldn't stop the bleeding. The 51-year-old businessman headed to the emergency room at Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Sutter charged $1,555 for the 10 minutes it treated him, including $55 for a gel bandage and $487 for a tetanus shot. Chad Terhune in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

Lazarus: Where do prescription drugs come from? Good luck answering that question -- Westwood resident Steve Simich was taking a generic anti-cholesterol pill. One day he got curious about where it came from. It didn't say on the label. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

Santa Clara Councilman Caserta resigns -- Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta resigned from the council Tuesday and abandoned his campaign for county supervisor amid mounting allegations that he sexually harassed students at the high school where he taught as well as former campaign staffers. John Woolfolk, Emily DeRuy, Khalida Sarwari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/15/18

Led by California, 19 states seek to block Trump policy that threatens Planned Parenthood funding -- A coalition of 19 states led by California filed papers Tuesday in support of efforts to block the Trump administration from reducing access to some family planning programs, according to California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/18

Trump administration plan could deter legal immigrants from health care, other services -- The Trump administration is preparing a policy change that could push legal immigrants to forgo needed health care, food and employment assistance while they seek green cards for permanent residency. David Gorn Calmatters -- 5/15/18

Fox: Sports Betting Could Lead to More Govt. Spending. How About Tax Relief? -- I’ll bet there are a number of legislators and interest groups already calculating how they’ll spend new tax revenue now that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that states can approve sports betting. Let’s not count those dollars just yet. If and when the tax money comes maybe it shouldn’t be added to current tax collections but used to reduce other taxes. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/15/18