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


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Will federal shutdown hamper FEMA in fire-scarred California? -- In a standoff over border security, President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats were poised Friday to shut down large swaths of the federal government, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or without pay through at least the holidays. Ryan Sabalow and Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

California's job market remains hot, despite economic uncertainty -- Trade tensions and stock market volatility loom over the nation’s economy, but California’s job market powered forward in November with a robust expansion of payrolls and a record low unemployment rate. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Californians move here from Illinois and leave for Arizona: Migration data shows trends -- High taxes. Stifling regulations. Exorbitant housing costs. Freeway gridlock. Fires and floods. Hand-wringing over an exodus of disillusioned Ctgb 9alifornians may be a Golden State pastime, the subject of political punditry and strung-out social media threads. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

LA County’s rent control measure is now in effect -- The temporary ordinance limits rent hikes to 3 percent annually. Elijah Chiland Curbed LA -- 12/21/18

Leading Republicans question Trump plan to deport Vietnamese refugees, some in US over 20 years -- California Rep. Ed Royce, the outgoing House Foreign Affairs Chairman, and his successor, Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday saying they were “deeply concerned by reports of a new Administration policy to deport certain Vietnamese-Americans who have lived in the United States for longer than 23 years.” Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

How Tuition Waivers Opened Doors for Undocumented Students -- California decided to crack open the door to higher education a little more for undocumented students through the California DREAM Act. Federick J. Ngo KQED -- 12/21/18

Camp Fire Survivors Return To Live Where Their Homes Burned, Despite Health Warnings -- All that’s left of Barbara Beers home outside of Paradise is burned up appliances, ash, and some black skeletal shrubs. But the 66-year-old doesn’t see an apocalyptic landscape: She only sees the natural beauty that that drew her to her home in Concow here in the 1980s. Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio -- 12/21/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

PG&E broke laws in 12 NorCal wildfires, Cal Fire found. Prosecutors may not file charges -- PG&E has already been convicted in criminal court for a recent deadly tragedy. Could the utility soon find itself as the defendant in a dozen more cases, charged with breaking state laws? In the wake of massive utility-caused Northern California wildfires, a handful of district attorneys in flame-scarred counties are pondering whether to charge the utility company in criminal court for misconduct. Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

Brown sues to save California sentencing laws -- Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown sued Thursday to protect one of his signature actions in office, a voter-approved measure that allows most prison inmates to seek earlier release and participate in rehabilitation programs. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 12/21/18

Jerry Brown predicts ‘fiscal oblivion’ if pensions are off limits for government employers -- Gov. Jerry Brown warned this week that public agencies in California are on a track to “fiscal oblivion” if they’re barred from adjusting retirement benefits for their employees. Adam Ashton and Amy Chance in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

Gavin Newsom will put his wineries, hotels into a blind trust -- Newsom, who takes office Jan. 7, has made millions of dollars from his wineries, restaurants and hotels. He’s promising to disclose his personal and business holdings every year in addition to his tax returns. He says he’ll be the first governor to release his tax returns annually. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 12/21/18

California Will Soon Require More DUI Offenders To Pass A Breathalyzer Test Before Starting Their Car -- SB 1046 by State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, expands a pilot program already in place in Sacramento, Alameda, Tulare and Los Angeles counties to the entire state. The bill received unanimous approval in the Legislature. Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 12/21/18

California transformed its justice system. But now crime is up, and critics want rollbacks -- Over the last decade, California has led the nation in reducing its prison population. Abbie Vansickle and Manuel Villa in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Colusa County makes way for a new neighbor—the governor they ‘never voted for’ -- After he concludes his historic run next month as California’s longest-serving governor, Jerry Brown will retire to a rural patch of the north state, a rugged region of ranchers and Republicans whose vision for California couldn’t be more different from his own. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters -- 12/21/18

KQED Political Breakdown: Governor Jerry Brown -- Governor Jerry Brown sits down with Marisa and Scott at the governor's mansion in Sacramento to talk about life after office, his plans for his unspent campaign cash, what Democrats need in 2020, challenges for Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, and the influence of his mother. Link here -- 12/21/18

Oral History Project: Clay Jackson -- Clay Jackson was once the most powerful lobbyist in Sacramento, representing the insurance industry and overseeing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations to politicians. His firm billed $2 million annually. Capitol Weekly -- 12/21/18

California's legislative analyst, after decades of nonpartisan research for lawmakers, calls it a career -- Only five people have led the independent research office of the California Legislature since its creation in 1941. And each of them has had a pretty simple mantra to live by in reviewing public policy proposals and government programs: Call it like you see it. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Muir Woods off-limits? Bay Area effects of a partial federal shutdown -- With President Trump threatening to shut down part of the government, the holidays might not be the same in the Bay Area this year, especially for people planning a visit to Muir Woods or counting on a federal loan — or worse, those with a federal job. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/21/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Sacramento court workers near vote on new contract after strike -- Sacramento Superior Court employees could vote on a new three-year labor pact as early as Friday after reaching a tentative agreement with court management earlier this week, labor officials said Thursday. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

Elk Grove’s first hospital could open by 2022, with up to 24,000 new jobs -- California Northstate University will open a teaching hospital and medical center in Elk Grove, the private medical school announced Thursday. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks and David A. Bustamante in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

Rep. Meadows tells federal employees who won’t get paid during shutdown: You signed up for this -- To the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who will work without pay or be furloughed over the holidays if there is a government shutdown, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says it is just part of the risk of working in public service. Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis in the Washington Post -- 12/21/18

Kaiser settled 2014 patient-dumping class-action suit earlier this year, court records show -- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan recently settled a 2014 class-action lawsuit stemming from two allegations that it dumped patients with severe mental illness. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/21/18

Juul sells 35% stake to tobacco giant. Now the e-cigarette maker is worth more than Airbnb or SpaceX -- Juul Labs Inc. sold a 35% stake to tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. in a $12.8-billion deal that turns the e-cigarette maker into one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable privately held companies and makes the tobacco giant relevant again for Americans who are averse to traditional smoking. Olivia Zaleski Bloomberg via the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18


Judge blasts San Diego County's pay-to-pollute plan — putting 10,000 new suburban units in limbo -- A county plan that would allow housing developers to pay their way around restrictions on greenhouse-gas emissions looks increasingly to be on shaky legal ground. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/21/18


Is Elon Musk's tunnel vision the right way to fix traffic in Southern California? -- Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s plan to help drivers escape traffic by sending cars hurtling through dozens of skinny tunnels has caught the imagination of some Californians who are sick of gridlock but unwilling to give up their vehicles. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Uber self-driving cars return to San Francisco -- San Francisco-based ride hailing company Uber appeared to largely abandon its foray into self-driving cars earlier this year, after one of its automated vehicles killed a pedestrian in Arizona last March. Adam Brinklow Curbed San Francisco -- 12/21/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Politicians Point Fingers as Migrant Shelter and Public Health Crisis Looms in San Diego -- Federal authorities have released thousands of migrant families in San Diego over the past two months, and thousands more could be on the way. The groups maintaining makeshift shelters for them are raising the alarm that they have neither the space nor resources to handle the numbers they have – let alone more. Maya Srikrishnan and Lisa Halverstadt Voiceofsandiego.org -- 12/21/18


State audit faults county's slow response to deadly hepatitis A crisis -- San Diego County could have and should have responded more quickly than it did to the region’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak in 2017, especially since it got an early warning from one of its top doctors that the public health emergency was likely to be of historic proportions. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/21/18


California is aiming for 100% clean energy. But Los Angeles might invest billions in fossil fuels -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is leaning toward spending billions of dollars to rebuild three aging gas-fired power plants, even as California aims to eliminate fossil fuels, a goal endorsed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/21/18

Also . . . 

A new Trump rule could take food stamps away from 755,000 people -- The USDA wants to toughen SNAP work requirements, but there’s little evidence the program discourages work. Julia Belluz Vox -- 12/21/18


-- Thursday Updates 

California Supreme Court orders records unsealed in pardon of ex-state Sen. Roderick Wright -- The California Supreme Court has granted a request to unseal court records involving Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision last month to pardon former state Sen. Roderick Wright for felony convictions involving lying about living in his legislative district, officials said Thursday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/20/18

Activist Kimberly Ellis announces bid for chair of the California Democratic Party amid leadership turmoil -- Bay Area progressive activist Kimberly Ellis is making another run at leading the state’s Democratic Party, she announced Thursday. Ellis burst onto the state political scene in 2017 when she narrowly lost the chairmanship to then-Los Angeles Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman. Melanie Mason and Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/20/18

California political watchdog agency fines BART, urges criminal prosecution over using public funds for campaign -- California’s state political watchdog agency on Thursday imposed a $7,500 fine against the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and called for a possible criminal prosecution over allegations the district used public resources to campaign for a 2016 bond measure. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/20/18

LA sheriff says he will remove immigration agents from jail --The new Los Angeles County sheriff has said he is going to remove federal immigration agents from the county’s jails. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a Board of Supervisors meeting this week that he also plans to further limit the crimes that lead jail authorities to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Associated Press -- 12/20/18

Mattis leaving as Pentagon chief after clashes with Trump -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is stepping down from his post, President Donald Trump announced Thursday, after the retired Marine general clashed with the president over a troop drawdown in Syria and Trump’s go-it-alone stance in world affairs. Zeke Miller and Lolita Baldor Associated Press -- 12/20/18

Trump rejects bill to avoid shutdown, forcing GOP scramble -- After a rare lashing from conservatives, President Donald Trump declared Thursday he would not sign a bill to keep funding the government because it fails to provide billions for a border wall with Mexico, throwing Congress into deep disarray and risking a federal shutdown this weekend. Lisa Mascaro, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey Associated Press -- 12/20/18

Jostling begins to lead California Democrats, as 2020 looms -- The political jostling has started in the contest to lead the California Democratic Party, as the state is emerging as a potentially important player in the 2020 presidential contest. Last month, the party was left in turmoil after its chair resigned amid a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 12/20/18

Santa Barbara County knew mudslides were a risk. It did little to stop them -- During severe winter storms, Cold Springs Creek above Montecito turns into a torrent of mud, uprooted trees and shed-size boulders as it drains three square miles of sheer mountain front. Joe Mozingo in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/20/18

Hunger has gotten worse in San Francisco in the past 5 years, despite $48 million in increased spending -- “Food is a basic human right.” That was part of a resolution passed in 2013 by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which pledged to end hunger in the city by 2020. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/18

Trump pushes government closer to a shutdown, says he won't sign stopgap money bill -- President Trump pushed the country closer to a partial government shutdown Thursday after telling House Republicans that he no longer plans to sign the stopgap funding measure approved by the Senate on Wednesday night because it does not include money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Jennifer Haberkorn and Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/20/18

US says asylum-seeking migrants to wait in Mexico -- Immigrants seeking asylum along the southwest border will no longer be released into the U.S. while their cases play out, the Trump administration said on Thursday, forcing them instead to wait in Mexico in one of the most significant moves on immigration since the president took office. Colleen Long and Mark Stevenson Associated Press -- 12/20/18

A pet is family no matter where you live, and some homeless shelters are recognizing that -- Laura Flores, who shares a van with her Chihuahua, chokes up saying little Gracie is “the reason why I get up in the morning.” Ramona Martinez’s dog, Sadie, is “more than my companion.” “I dont have anything else,” another woman says of her 4-month-old Doberman. The women are homeless; they look to their pets for affection and stability. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 12/20/18