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


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PG&E stock dives on reports it may face $30 billion in fire liabilities and may file for bankruptcy -- PG&E Corp. stock dived more than 20% Monday morning on reports that the California utility could face at least $30 billion in liability related to fires and has considered filing for bankruptcy protection. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

Highly paid substitutes, lessons in large spaces — how L.A. Unified is preparing for a teachers strike -- With more than 30,000 teachers union members ready to strike Thursday, the Los Angeles Unified School District is preparing to bring in highly paid substitutes, supervise students in large spaces such as auditoriums and ease background checks for parent volunteers, according to records obtained by The Times. Sonali Kohli and Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

Expert: Census citizenship question would worsen undercount -- Asking people whether they are U.S. citizens on the 2020 census would worsen the undercount of Latinos and non-citizens compared with other groups, an expert in surveys said Monday at the start of a trial over the Trump administration’s decision to include the question for the first time in 70 years. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 1/7/19

Gov. Gavin Newsom promises a ‘progressive, principled’ California -- Gavin Newsom took the oath as California’s 40th governor Monday and instantly challenged President Trump, promising a “progressive, principled” administration that will counter “corruption and incompetence” in the White House. John Wildermuth and Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/7/19

Excerpts from California Gov. Newsom’s inaugural address -- Gavin Newsom was sworn in Monday as California’s 40th governor. In his inaugural address, Newsom celebrated the “California Dream,” chided the Trump administration and vowed to help the poor, children and immigrants. Associated Press -- 1/7/19

Second body found in West Hollywood home of Democratic donor Ed Buck -- A man’s body was found early Monday in the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck, whose attorney confirmed the death. The man died in Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment between midnight and 2 a.m., Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, said. His name has not been released. Richard Winton and Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

Analysis: What could go wrong for Gavin Newsom? Plenty -- Gavin Newsom starts his gubernatorial career as the political equivalent of a trust-fund baby. He’s been given a ton — a budget surplus of more than $14 billion and a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature — before his term even begins. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/19

'More aggressive and in your face': Newsom takes power in California -- The incoming governor has a powerful ally in fellow San Franciscan House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but a president eager to use the state as a foil. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 1/7/19

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra begins new term promising to fight Trump policies -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Monday took the oath of office for a new term, saying he would continue his role as a leading challenger to Trump administration actions that he believes are counter to the state’s interests. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

California Democratic Party Vice Chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall announces bid to lead group -- Daraka Larimore-Hall, a top official at the California Democratic Party, said Monday he’s running to replace former chairman Eric Bauman, who resigned abruptly in November after being confronted with allegations of sexual misconduct. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

The economy is booming. Why are so many California schools broke? -- Facing a $36 million deficit and a possible state takeover, the top budget officer at the Sacramento City Unified School District has a sober message for his counterparts around California. Sacramento is “just one of the first dominoes,” said John Quinto, the district’s chief business officer. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/7/19

Graduation rates increase for Cal State Long Beach, LBCC and Long Beach Unified in 2018 -- And as students, educators and administrators can take a sigh of relief during the holiday breaks – with the exception of those in winter courses – there’s room for improvement in other areas, reports show. Emily Rasmussen in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 1/7/19

Restorative justice reduces suspensions in elementary grades but not middle school, study shows -- The use of restorative justice in elementary schools leads to significantly fewer suspensions, a narrowing of the suspension gap between black and white students and improved perceptions of school climates among teachers, according to findings from a new study by the RAND Corporation. David Washburn EdSource -- 1/7/19

Expectations are high for newly sworn-in state schools chief Tony Thurmond -- Tony Thurmond took the oath of office as California’s state superintendent of public schools on Monday, promising a labor-friendly agenda before the teachers, students and Democratic officials who filled an auditorium at McClatchy High School in Sacramento to watch him being sworn in. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

State Controller Betty Yee takes oath of office with call for more affordable housing and healthcare -- California Controller Betty Yee took the oath of office Monday for a second term, saying she still has work to do addressing problems that include a lack of affordability in housing, healthcare and higher education. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

San Diego DA plans to challenge new murder accomplice law -- The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office plans to challenge a new state law that could release from prison people serving time for murder when they didn’t do the actual killing but were accomplices. Alain Stephens inewsource.org -- 1/7/19

Fox: Welcome Back Legislators. Now Cut Down on the Lawmaking -- Today’s column is easy to write because I’m actually pulling up a column I think is worth repeating when welcoming legislators back to the capital. Don’t drown us with so many new laws. In fact, spend some time getting rid of old ones. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/7/19

Trump claimed ex-presidents told him they wanted to build a wall. Four of them say it’s not true -- President Trump made the remark during a lengthy appearance in the White House’s Rose Garden on Friday, in the midst of an extended soliloquy about the border wall that he has yet to find funding or widespread political support for. Eli Rosenberg in the Washington Post -- 1/7/19

A New Hampshire city council is miffed by ‘Pho Keene Great’ restaurant name -- It’s a Pho Keene Great name, first of all. But that name — posted on the front of a new Vietnamese restaurant in Keene, N.H. — has put the restaurant at odds with the city council, which deemed the restaurant’s sign offensive. (The Vietnamese soup pho is pronounced “fuh.” Say the whole name, quickly. Now you get it.) Maura Judkis in the Washington Post -- 1/7/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Gavin Newsom stakes out differences from Jerry Brown in substance, style -- There were signs in Gavin Newsom’s preinaugural celebration that his time as governor will be markedly different — both in style and substance — from that of his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown. For one, there was an actual celebration. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/19

From Brown to Newsom, California to see new style, substance -- When Gov. Jerry Brown cedes power to Gavin Newsom, it will be the first time since 1887 that California has had consecutive Democratic governors. But California isn’t getting a carbon copy in substance or style. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/7/19

‘No substitute for parents spending time with their children’: Newsom puts early focus on kids -- On his last day before being sworn in as California governor, Gavin Newsom played up his focus on education and children’s issues at a kid-friendly inaugural event at the California State Railroad Museum. Sophia Bollag and Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/7/19

Newsom-hosted benefit concert raises nearly $5 million for wildfire victims -- On the eve of the gubernatorial inauguration, California’s political class rubbed elbows in Sacramento for a benefit concert hosted by Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and headlined by the rapper Pitbull. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

Skelton: As California's new governor, Gavin Newsom needs to address what no one wants to talk about -- There’ll be heaps of happy talk in Sacramento this month about bold new, expensive government programs. That’s normal from an eager new governor and Legislature. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

Walters: Brown leaves Newsom a managerial mess at DMV -- Jerry Brown’s last days as governor have been filled with laudatory media accounts of his half-century-long political career. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/7/19

Jerry Brown’s Midnight in America -- California’s governor leaves a rich and complex legacy. But in our interview, he seemed much more concerned about the future of the planet than with writing his political epitaph. John F. Harris Politico -- 1/7/19

In True Jerry Brown Style, California's Longest Serving Governor Challenges Every Premise, From Legacy To Retirement -- In the rolling foothills of Colusa County, about 70 miles northwest of Sacramento, a newly-built gate marks the entrance to a gravel driveway, with a sign: Mountain House III. This is the place Edmund G. Brown, Junior, now calls home. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 1/7/19

In San Francisco, a warm welcome home for newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- Team Pelosi was out in full force on Sunday, quite literally — those words were printed on the pins worn by several hundred supporters, campaign volunteers, Democratic Party officials and local politicians who welcomed back newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to her home district of San Francisco. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/19

Calbuzz: Exit Interview: Jerry Brown Stresses Elder Wisdom -- As he leaves office Monday, after serving a combined 16 years as governor of California, Jerry Brown’s summation of what makes for great executive leadership boils down to one quality: experience. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 1/7/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Brown cut retirement debt bigger than pensions -- Most large private-sector companies and some government employers do not provide retiree health care for their employees. But state workers not only get state-paid health care in retirement, they often pay less for it than they did while working. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 1/7/19

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Two weeks later, no sign of 'Remain in Mexico' policy in action at San Ysidro Port of Entry -- More than two weeks after the Trump administration announced a new policy that would force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their turns in U.S. immigration court, there is no sign yet at the San Ysidro Port of Entry that it has been implemented. Kate Morrissey in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19


Leaders of L.A. school district and teachers union head to church as scheduled strike approaches -- Leaders of the Los Angeles school district and its teachers union both went to church this weekend, but their sermons and audiences had little in common as a Thursday strike date approaches. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/7/19

State proposal to waive community college fees raises questions about San Francisco’s program -- When Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom presents his first budget on Thursday, it will call for the state to make a second year of community college free to thousands of California students by waiving the $46-a-credit fee for two years instead of the current single year, according to a source close to the transition team. Trisha Thadani and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/19

Consistent to the end, Jerry Brown says it's all about teachers and students -- Over a period of many years, outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown has been remarkably consistent on major policy challenges he has tackled on any number of issues, including education. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 1/7/19

With new hires, California's teaching corps becomes more diverse -- When Rachel Valdivia-Ornelaz attended elementary school near Oxnard during the 1950s, none of her teachers were Latino. Phillip Reese EdSource -- 1/7/19

POTUS 45  

As shutdown drags on, Trump officials make new offer, seek novel ways to cope with its impacts -- Trump administration officials began taking extraordinary steps to contain the fallout from the partial federal government shutdown Sunday, as the budget impasse between the president and congressional Democrats showed no signs of nearing a breakthrough. Robert Costa, Juliet Eilperin, Damian Paletta and Nick Miroff in the Washington Post -- 1/7/19


-- Sunday Updates 

From Brown to Newsom, California to see new style, substance -- When Gov. Jerry Brown cedes power to Gavin Newsom, it will be the first time since 1887 that California has had consecutive Democratic governors. But California isn’t getting a carbon copy in substance or style. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/6/19

Firefighters' fateful choices: How the Woolsey fire became an unstoppable monster -- It was clear from the beginning that the Woolsey fire had the potential to be a monster. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/6/19

Disneyland Resort tickets and parking prices are going up again, as much as 25% -- The increases, which took effect Sunday, come less than a year after the resort adopted price hikes of up to 18%. Under the latest increases, the cheapest daily ticket will be more than $100. Daily parking prices are rising to $25 from $20 — a 25% increase. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/6/19

A California Dream for Paid Leave Has an Old Problem: How to Pay for It -- The United States has long been the only industrialized country not to offer paid leave to new parents. Instead of waiting for the federal government, the incoming governor of California intends to change that in a significant way for families in his state. Claire Cain Miller and Jim Tankersley in the New York Times -- 1/6/19

Teachers Strike Looms for a Half-Million Children in Los Angeles -- As teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district prepare to strike starting Thursday, local leaders are taking steps to keep classrooms open with educational software and substitutes in what would be the biggest face-off yet in a nationwide run of educator activism. Nour Malas and Tawnell D. Hobbs in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/6/19

Locals Pick Up the Slack (and the Trash) as Government Shutdown Continues -- As the government shutdown enters its third week, Bay Area residents — and their congressional representatives — are taking it upon themselves to keep the region's national parks clean. Michelle Wiley KQED -- 1/6/19

From delicate soil to bears, government shutdown will cause lasting damage to national parks -- As the shutdown of the federal government drags into a third week, worries about the long-term damage being done to the nation’s parks and disruptions to wildlife, including bears, are growing. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/6/19

Lawmaker Sees 'Lack of Transparency' in PG&E Plan to Sell Off Assets -- State Sen. Jerry Hill is calling out Pacific Gas and Electric for a "lack of transparency" in its plans to sell off a major part of the company in order to offset wildfire liability costs. Jeremy Siegel KQED -- 1/6/19

Maybe not a bond, but there's a connection between Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom as governors of California -- It’s unlikely two consecutive California governors have ever shared the multigenerational family connection that links Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom to his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown. But beware those looking for something deep: Any ties that bind together the two Democrats do so loosely. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/6/19

Jerry Brown transformed California’s justice system - twice -- One of the advantages of being in government for 50 years, says California Gov. Jerry Brown, is “you get to make mistakes that you then get to correct.” Don Thompson Associated Press -- 1/6/19

Walters: Gavin Newsom’s keeping it all in the family -- Gavin Newsom will be the first Democrat in more than a century to succeed another Democrat as governor and the succession also marks a big generational transition in California politics. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/6/19

California's newest House members head to Washington -- It was nearly impossible to ignore California as a new Congress was sworn in. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/6/19

State trial courts working to find enough court reporters to staff courtrooms -- Six months after a state Supreme Court ruling that forced local courts to provide court reporters in civil cases involving poor litigants, the courts are working to hire scores of reporters while state court administrators are gearing up to ask for additional funding in 2019. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/19

Pioneering ‘judge of the people’ Alice Lytle dead at 79 -- Alice A. Lytle, a pioneering jurist who changed the face of California’s courts as the state’s first female African American Superior Court judge, died Dec. 21, 2018, following a brief illness. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/6/19

Slain California officer hailed as hero at funeral -- A California police officer who was killed in the line of duty was hailed Saturday as a “Fiji-born American hero” who made the ultimate sacrifice for his adopted country. Daisy Nguyen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/6/19