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


Updating . .   

California campaign watchdog agency seeks law barring use of campaign funds to fight harassment claims -- Elected officials accused of harassment or discrimination would be barred from using political contributions to cover their legal defense costs under legislation proposed by California’s campaign watchdog agency. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/3/19

First snow survey shows water content just ‘adequate.’ But there’s hope for improvement -- A lot more snow will have to fall if California is to have enough water this year to fill reservoirs, nourish salmon, help crops flourish and moisten the fire-prone hills long enough to avoid another catastrophic conflagration, state officials said Thursday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Vincent Moleski in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/3/19

Nancy Pelosi regains the House speaker's gavel as Democrats confront Trump over partial shutdown -- Already the first female House speaker in history, Pelosi now becomes the first woman to hold the job twice and the first person in nearly six decades to regain the post. Only five others have been picked as speaker more than once. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez in the Washington Post Julie Hirschfeld Davis in the New York Times Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/3/19

Camp Fire: PG&E gets sued by insurance companies -- The lawsuits, by Allstate Insurance Co., State Farm and others, represent another potentially staggering blow to PG&E, which has already acknowledged that problems occurred on a high-voltage transmission tower near the spot where the fire started Nov. 8. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed by Camp Fire survivors, and the company is under intense scrutiny by Cal Fire, the Public Utilities Commission and federal prosecutors. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/3/19

After the fires, solar power advocates seek greater role in California electric grid -- Over the summer, Côme Lague received a notice from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that made him rethink the energy needs at a vineyard and winery he owns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/3/19

Dianne Feinstein’s 2020 pick: Joe Biden -- The Democratic senator, fresh off reelection to a fifth term, told a pair of reporters on Thursday morning that the former vice president and Delaware senator is the ideal choice to run against President Donald Trump. This despite the fact that more than a half-dozen Senate Democrats, including Harris, are considering running for president in 2020. Burgess Everett Politico -- 1/3/19

‘We exist’: California begins issuing state IDs with a third gender option -- California is now allowing a third gender option on state identification cards and driver’s licenses, a major win for non-binary people that could pave the way for reforms across the country. Sam Levin The Guardian -- 1/3/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Fact check: Did California’s sanctuary law protect a suspected cop killer? -- California’s “sanctuary state” law does not appear to have helped the immigrant accused of killing a San Joaquin Valley police officer last week, despite a sheriff’s claim that immigrant-friendly policies protected the suspected shooter. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/3/19

Brown reappoints top California high-speed rail leaders -- He gave Dan Richard and Tom Richards fresh four-year terms on the board of directors that oversees the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is tasked with building a high-speed train to shuttle passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/3/19

California justices deny challenge to new police records law -- The high court denied a police union’s petition contending that the law should make public police records only for incidents that happen after the law took effect Tuesday. Don Thompson Associated Press Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/3/19

Say what? Use our decoder to decipher those mysterious Brownisms and snippets of Gavinese -- With Gov. Jerry Brown on his way out, soon to be replaced by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California’s political landscape is shifting. So, too, is its political lexicon. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 1/3/19

Walters: Finally, a crackdown on misuse of taxpayer money -- Although state law specifically prohibits public officials from using taxpayers’ money for political campaigning, they have been doing exactly that throughout California. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/3/19

The Make-Or-Break Moment Of Jerry Brown’s Second Governorship -- For all that Jerry Brown accomplished during his final two terms as California governor, a single moment could have changed everything. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 1/3/19

Appeals court rebukes federal government in 'no-fly' case, ruling it owes millions in legal fees -- A federal appeals court decided Wednesday that the U.S. government must pay millions of dollars to lawyers for a Muslim woman who was mistakenly classified as a potential terrorist and placed on a “no-fly” list. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/3/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Guards at Mendota prison are still going to work. They’re just not getting paid -- Correctional officers are reporting to work at the federal prison in Mendota but are suffering financial hardships in the government shutdown, the president of the local prison employees union said Wednesday. Lewis Griswold in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/3/19

Labor Group Renews Effort to Unionize Childcare Providers -- With a new governor taking office, a powerful California labor group is renewing its push to unionize some in-home childcare providers. The Service Employees International Union says it will again sponsor legislation to unionize in-home childcare providers who care for children receiving state subsidies. Katie Orr KQED -- 1/3/19

Sempra sells off natural gas storage assets for $332 million -- Sempra Energy, the San Diego-based Fortune 500 company, took another step Monday in what the energy giant has called its “portfolio optimization” plan by announcing the sale of $332 million in natural gas storage assets in the Deep South. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/3/19


PG&E Says Unlicensed Electrical Work May Have Sparked Tubbs Fire Disaster -- PG&E has released new details about the start of one of California's most devastating wildfires -- the October 2017 Tubbs Fire -- in a court filing that appears to shift blame onto a handyman the company says performed unlicensed electrical work on a rural property near Calistoga. Dan Brekke KQED -- 1/3/19


California higher education leaders have high hopes for Newsom's spending plans -- As California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom will face a rare and well-timed opportunity to put his mark on the world’s largest higher education system. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 1/3/19

Roberta Weintraub, former L.A. school board member, dies at 83 -- Roberta Weintraub emerged as a polemic figure in the anti-school busing movement that swept the San Fernando Valley in the late 1970s. Elected to the Los Angeles school board as an activist, she became a coalition builder, being elected president four times during her 14 years as a school board member. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/3/19


Human waste, champagne bottles, even a prom dress: Joshua Tree and Yosemite get trashed as shutdown continues -- If Californians ever wondered how the state’s most majestic open spaces would fare without adult supervision, the partial federal government shutdown is offering a grim picture. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times Kurtis Alexander and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 1/3/19

More Than 200,000 Clean Cars Will Lose California HOV Access In 2019 -- The rules for which vehicles are allowed in California’s carpool lanes have changed in 2019. Clean Air Vehicles in California get colored stickers so they can access the state’s High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV, lanes. They allow you to drive in those lanes even when there’s only one person in the car. Randol White Capital Public Radio -- 1/3/19

Five Big Things Governor Brown Did on Climate Change -- It was his first tour as governor and Brown talked about environmentalism long before it was mainstream, promoting the nascent technologies of solar and wind power. At the time, critics thought his ideas were on the fringe. That approach earned him the nickname "Governor Moonbeam." Lauren Sommer KQED -- 1/3/19

Also . . . 

Few complaints of racial profiling are sustained by police agencies in California, state panel finds -- Law enforcement agencies in California sustain few citizen complaints of racial or identity profiling, according to a report Wednesday by a state panel set up to help reduce bias in policing. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/3/19

Latinos account for nearly half of 172 people killed by police in California in 2017 -- Blacks and Latinos were injured or killed by police officers in California in greater percentages than their share of the population, according to a state report released Wednesday on the use of force by police in 2017. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/3/19

POTUS 45  

A defensive Trump calls a Cabinet meeting and uses it to boast, deflect and distract -- President Trump, 12 days into a government shutdown and facing new scrutiny from emboldened Democrats, inaugurated the new year Wednesday with a Cabinet meeting. It quickly became a 95-minute stream-of-consciousness defense of his presidency and worldview, filled with falsehoods, revisionist history and self-aggrandizement. Anne Gearan in the Washington Post -- 1/3/19

Trump and Democrats Dig In After Talks to Reopen Government Go Nowhere -- During the contentious meeting in the Situation Room, Mr. Trump made his case for a wall on the southwestern border and rejected Democrats’ proposals for reopening the government while the two sides ironed out their differences. “I would look foolish if I did that,” Mr. Trump responded after Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, posed the question to him directly, according to three officials familiar with the meeting who described it on the condition of anonymity. Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Tackett in the New York Times -- 1/3/19


Shutdown worsens strain on U.S. immigration system -- Tens of thousands of U.S. immigration officers and agents are showing up for work each day to guard the Mexico border, where President Trump insists on putting a wall. But the government is shut down, so no one is getting paid. Nick Miroff in the Washington Post -- 1/3/19


-- Wednesday Updates 

Long-awaited earthquake early warning app for L.A. can now be downloaded -- ShakeAlertLA, an app created under the oversight of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city, is designed to work with the U.S. Geological Survey’s earthquake early warning system, which has been under development for years. It’s designed to give users seconds, and perhaps even tens of seconds, before shaking from a distant earthquake arrives at a user’s location. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/2/19

Administration denies status to young immigrants due to age -- Some immigrant youth looking to start over in the United States after fleeing abusive homes are seeing their applications for green cards rejected because the Trump administration says they’re too old. A U.S. government program in place since 1990 has let young immigrants subject to abuse, abandonment or neglect by a parent seek a court-appointed guardian and a green card to stay in the country. Amy Taxin and Deepti Hajela Associated Press -- 1/2/19

Young immigrants who suffered abuse sue over changes to special protection program -- When Alex thinks about her childhood in Guerrero, Mexico, she remembers the abuse. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/2/19

Fox: A “Little Shop of Horrors” Legislature? -- Elements of the hit 80s musical Little Shop of Horrors might serve as a parable for the way California governance is shaping up for the new year. With all the demands for new programs and more taxes can’t you hear an echo of the Shop’s devouring plant in the quest for an enlarged government: Feed me! Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/2/19

Romney asserts his independence — and Trump’s GOP critics see an opening -- For weeks, incoming Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has been tight-lipped as he prepares to be sworn in on Thursday, disappointing his longtime friends who hoped he would emerge as a new power center for mainstream Republicans in President Trump’s Washington, particularly with the Senate now without the late John McCain. Robert Costa in the Washington Post -- 1/2/19