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


Updating . .   

If teachers strike in Los Angeles, where will half a million kids go? -- L.A. Unified has said that all schools will be open during the strike, if there is one, and that students will receive instruction. But staffing will be thin. About 400 substitutes and 2,000 credentialed district staff will be spread out to fill in for around 30,000 members of the teachers union. Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Will Gavin Newsom change the state’s water course? Fish and farmers will soon find out -- In the final weeks of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, his appointees on a state board ordered some powerful water districts to cut their historic river diversions to protect endangered salmon populations. It was a major move by a panel that in the past has often been leery of flexing its regulatory muscles. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Newsom proposes free community college in California -- As part of his broad education blueprint for California, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose a full two years of free community college in his first budget next week, according to a source close to Newsom with knowledge of the plan. Angela Hart Politico -- 1/4/19

What Jerry Brown has learned -- Turning a staggering budget deficit into a rainy-day reserve of more than $14 billion, renewing the cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, and passing a wave of climate change initiatives and prison reform measures are successes that are happening only in California, the governor said. Just don’t call it his legacy. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/4/19

L.A.'s many dangerous faults pose challenge for earthquake early warning system -- Earthquake early warning systems have been part of life in metropolises like Tokyo, Taipei and Mexico City for years. But bringing the technology to California, where numerous faults crisscross the region, proved to be a complex and time-consuming undertaking. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Fox: Jerry Brown Bookends -- Like many Californians I came from someplace else. On my last stop before entering California in Las Vegas, I remember looking into a sidewalk newspaper box (remember those?) to read the headline that Jerry Brown was just elected to his first term as governor of California. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/4/19

The Latest: Dem says Trump threatened ‘years’ for shutdown -- President Donald Trump told congressional leaders he’d keep the government closed “for a very long period of time, months or even years.” That’s according to Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who was among those meeting with Trump at the White House on Friday. The partial government shutdown over Trump’s demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico is in its 14th day. Associated Press -- 1/4/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

New insurance commissioner hires ex-lobbyist for company under investigation by insurance agency -- One of two people leading state Sen. Ricardo Lara’s transition as California’s newly elected Insurance Commissioner worked until last month as the Sacramento lobbyist for a major drug maker that is the subject of an investigation by the Department of Insurance that Lara soon will head. Dan Morain Calmatters -- 1/4/19

On crime and punishment, Gov. Jerry Brown leaves behind revised rules and a new focus on redemption -- When Gov. Jerry Brown’s final term in office ends next week, he will leave behind a California criminal justice system infused with a new commitment to second chances, a shift away from an era in which tens of thousands — many poor, most black or Latino — were imprisoned with little opportunity to turn their lives around. John Myers and Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Candidates start lining up to fill seat vacated by only Republican on L.A. City Council -- As of the middle of this week, only a handful had actually filed paperwork with the city to raise money for a special election in June, with a likely runoff in August. But more than a dozen candidates say they plan to run — and even more are likely to emerge in the coming weeks. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Plan B: Kevin de León says he’s considering bid for Democratic party chair -- You know what they say: If at first you don’t succeed, run to be the chair of a major California political party. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 1/4/19

Introducing PolitiFact California’s ‘Newsom-Meter’, tracking the campaign promises of Gavin Newsom -- During his run for governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom promised to rapidly expand California’s housing supply, saying he’d "lead the effort to develop 3.5 million new housing units" by 2025 to address the state’s affordable housing crisis. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 1/4/19

California’s first Latino attorney general targets Trump -- Xavier Becerra became perhaps the nation’s most influential attorney general when he was named California’s top lawyer two years ago, and he has since used his post atop what some call the “Resistance State” to pummel President Donald Trump’s administration with dozens of legal actions. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 1/4/19

Costa tells House paymaster ‘don’t pay me during the shutdown -- Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said he does not want to get a paycheck during the government shutdown because federal employees aren’t getting paid. Lewis Griswold in the Fresno Bee -- 1/4/19

Did non-citizens vote last year? California officials still can’t say -- California officials still can’t say whether non-citizens voted in the June 2018 primary because a confusing government questionnaire about eligibility was created in a way that prevents a direct answer on citizenship. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/4/19

Los Angeles Accuses Weather Channel App of Covertly Mining User Data --The Weather Channel app deceptively collected, shared and profited from the location information of millions of American consumers, the city attorney of Los Angeles said in a lawsuit filed on Thursday. Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Natasha Singer in the New York Times -- 1/4/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Stretched BART police pick up slack as spate of station agents call in sick -- BART officials are reviewing employee attendance records after more than a third of station agents, train operators and transportation supervisors did not show up to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The absences left stations unstaffed, forced police to handle closing duties and highlighted an ongoing problem. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/4/19

Don’t expect 2018’s strong job growth to happen again this year, economists say -- U.S. job growth was surprisingly strong in 2018, but don’t expect that to happen again this year, with economic headwinds intensifying for the country and rest of the world. Bloomberg via the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

Could Tesla Price Cuts Mean Demand Is Slowing? -- Tesla made about 9,300 more vehicles than it delivered last year, raising concerns among industry analysts that inventory is growing as demand for the company's electric cars may be starting to wane. Tom Krisher Associated Press -- 1/4/19

More people took one-way U-Haul trips to Sacramento area than any other city in 2018 -- More U-Haul trucks made one-way trips into the Sacramento area than any other city in America last year, according to migration data from the rental company. Hannah Darden in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/4/19


It’s tough to be a renter in San Diego County. More than half are burdened by housing costs -- In 2017, 57 percent of the county’s renters were considered burdened by their housing costs, meaning they spent 30 percent or more of their income on rent and utilities. Jill Castellano inewsource.org -- 1/4/19

December home prices drop across San Francisco and East Bay -- A few days after sources like the data firm Core Logic and the California Association of Realtors reported that home sales dropped across all nine Bay Area counties year over year for nearly half of 2018, new data from the listing aggregate site Realtor suggests that the actual price of a home is on a downward trajectory as well. Adam Brinklow Curbed San Francisco -- 1/4/19


PG&E says it started 18 wildfires since 2017 -- PG&E’s lawyers filed a brief on Monday with the court noting the potential legal danger the utility faces from two years of hellish California wildfires. The company also acknowledged possible culpability for 18 burns within that period. Adam Brinklow Curbed San Francisco -- 1/4/19

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

As shutdown continues, Latin American immigration to California remains near modern low -- Extending a trend that has lasted nearly a decade, fewer than 80,000 Latin American immigrants came to California in 2017, a sharp drop from the number seen in in the 1990s and early 2000s, new census estimates show. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/4/19

California teen leads lawsuit to keep hundreds of thousands of immigrants in U.S. -- High school freshman Crista Ramos used to be mostly preoccupied with school, friends, and soccer practice with her team, the Richmond Lionesses. All that changed in January when the Trump administration announced plans to end the humanitarian protections that allow her mother and about 260,000 other immigrants from El Salvador to lawfully live and work in the United States. Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED via Calmatters -- 1/4/19

Another victim of the shutdown: Companies can’t check if job-seekers are citizens -- Here’s one more casualty of the partial government shutdown: E-Verify. The website for the government-created program said due to “a lapse in federal funding” the service will not be available. Thousands of employers rely on E-verify services, which confirms people’s right to work in the country. Michael Finch II in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/4/19


Could last-minute talks and maneuvers forestall a teachers' strike? -- A teachers’ strike next week seems all but inevitable, but two developments on Thursday could change the course of events. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/4/19

LAUSD Tries To Block Special Education Teachers From Striking -- Attorneys for the Los Angeles Unified School District have asked a federal judge to block some, but not all, members of district's teachers union from going on strike. Kyle Stokes laist -- 1/4/19

Landmark reforms championed by Gov. Brown leave deep imprint on California education -- When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office he will leave behind a set of sweeping education reforms that occurred during his governorship, representing what many education leaders consider the most extensive shakeup of California’s K-12 public education system over any comparable period in the state’s history. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 1/4/19


California Leaps To Defense Of Obamacare In Fight That Pits Blue States Against Red Ones -- California is once again defending the Affordable Care Act, leading a coalition of Democratic states against a small army of Republican lawmakers seeking to undo the Obama administration’s signature healthcare law. Ben Christopher and Elizabeth Aguilera, CALmatters via Capital Public Radio -- 1/4/19

Also . . . 

Political Breakdown: Aaron McLear -- Aaron McLear joins Marisa and Scott to talk about leaving the Republican Party, working for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, why working for Uber was like working on a campaign, and managing a gubernatorial transition. Marisa Lagos, Scott Shafer KQED -- 1/4/19

POTUS 45  

How Trump’s pride could drag out the shutdown for a long, long time -- Trump is someone who prides himself on winning, and capitulating now — without getting something real in return for his holdout — would be a clear and very high-profile loss. He would indeed “look foolish." And for Democrats and even the many Republicans who apparently would like to move past this debate over $5 billion, that’s not a recipe for a quick resolution. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post -- 1/4/19

Former Trump club employee says management kept her off Secret Service screening list because she is undocumented -- A former kitchen employee at one of President Trump’s golf clubs in New Jersey said her superiors kept her name and those of other undocumented workers off a list of people to be vetted by the Secret Service before a Trump visit to the club in 2016. Joshua Partlow, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig in the Washington Post -- 1/4/19


Congress no closer to deal despite House votes to end shutdown -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday used her first day in power to attempt to end a government shutdown that's lurching into its third week while denying any new money for President Donald Trump's border wall. Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris Politico -- 1/4/19

Pelosi reclaims speakership and secures place as most powerful woman in politics -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi reclaimed the House speakership on Thursday in a historic comeback for the first female speaker, securing her place as the most powerful woman in American politics and the face of the Democratic opposition to the polarizing presidency of Donald Trump. Mike DeBonis and Sean Sullivan in the Washington Post -- 1/4/19


-- Thursday Updates 

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