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


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Judge: Lodi man’s terrorism convictions should be vacated -- Nearly 14 years after Hamid Hayat was convicted in a sensational terrorism trial in Sacramento and packed off to federal prison, a judge on Friday recommended that his conviction be vacated because of ineffective representation by his defense lawyer. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

White House considers diverting San Francisco Bay money to pay for Trump’s wall -- The Trump administration is considering diverting millions of dollars from San Francisco Bay shoreline restoration and flood control to help build the president’s wall on the southern border — part of a bigger plan under consideration to move disaster relief money to the project. Tal Kopan and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19

California’s Camp fire was the costliest global disaster last year, insurance report shows -- The Camp fire in Northern California was the costliest single natural disaster in the world for insurers last year, resulting in $12.5 billion in covered losses, and was the most destructive wildfire ever, according to a new report by a German reinsurance firm. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

Natalie Corona was ‘married to the job.’ How a sense of duty shaped the Davis police officer -- Natalie Corona wanted to be a cop for as long as anyone she knew can remember. Her family – and a sense of duty – drove her to put on the uniform. Molly Sullivan and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

Trump could divert money from Folsom Dam to fund a border wall; Democrats vow a fight -- President Donald Trump is reportedly considering raiding disaster recovery funding — including more than $1 billion for Sacramento-area flood protection projects — to help pay for his wall on the southern border. Congressional Democrats are promising a fight. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

California water projects could be shelved as Trump seeks money for border wall -- As the federal government’s partial shutdown on Friday tied for the longest one ever, President Trump was considering declaring a national emergency to get the money he wants for a border wall, perhaps by diverting funds designated for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in California and Puerto Rico. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

Davis police officer, 22, gunned down on her beat; suspect found dead -- The call came into Davis police just before 7 p.m. Thursday, a three-car accident near 5th and D streets that by any measure would be considered routine. Hannah Darden, Benjy Egel, and Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19

California officer’s killing stirs a familiar fear: ‘I hope to God the suspect isn’t Latino’ -- The procession of police cars worked its way through the Central Valley, escorting the body of Ronil Singh for his final watch in this small town. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

Study finds 30 percent of California public companies must add women to their boards under new law -- The Women on Boards survey released Friday by San Diego-based Board Governance Research looked at the board makeup of 642 publicly traded companies headquartered in California. It found 184 firms will need to find a woman director this year under the law. Mike Freeman in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/11/19

Kamala Harris in the Senate -- California senator gains prominence by grilling Trump officials, laying the groundwork for a likely 2020 presidential run. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19

Jury orders Mongols motorcycle club to forfeit logo trademarks -- A federal jury on Friday decided an outlaw motorcycle club should be stripped of the trademarks it holds on its coveted logo as punishment in a racketeering case, delivering a victory to the U.S. government in its unusual legal fight to dismantle the notorious organization. Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

Transbay officials acknowledge inspection process didn’t catch cracked beams -- As Transbay Transit Center officials prepare to repair the broken girders that have kept the building closed for 15 weeks, they acknowledged Thursday that their system of inspections during construction failed. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19

California Attorney General tries to block sale of O’Connor and St. Louise hospitals to Santa Clara county -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is trying to block the sale of two financially struggling hospitals to Santa Clara County, saying the county has not agreed to operate the hospitals under certain conditions that would protect healthcare access. Thy Vo in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/11/19

California’s native landscapes can’t take this many fires -- Summer had not yet arrived, but already the hillside on the edge of Los Padres National Forest was the color of toast. Even a brilliantly sunny day couldn’t dress up the dull palette of invasive grasses that had transformed the slope into a dried-up weed patch. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

Fox: Cautious Paddling on the First Budget -- In looking at Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget and the reaction to it, it appears that former Gov. Jerry Brown’s famous canoe has not been retired. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/11/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

22-year-old officer shot and killed, Davis home surrounded after manhunt -- A Davis police officer was shot and killed Thursday night while responding to a traffic accident, and authorities had cordoned off parts of downtown while searching for a suspect. Davis police said Natalie Corona, 22, who had recently completed her academy training, was shot around 7 p.m. after responding to a three-car accident near 5th and D streets, and died after being rushed to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Hannah Darden, Sam Stanton, and Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens to cut state funding from cities that don't approve enough housing -- For 50 years, California has required cities and counties to plan for enough new housing so that residents can live affordably. But many local governments fail to approve new development, contributing to the state’s housing crunch. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times Kathleen Ronayne and Janie Har Associated Press -- 1/11/19

Newsom seeks changes across government in first budget -- Enjoying the tailwinds of a massive surplus and large Democratic supermajorities in both houses, Gov. Gavin Newsom is using his first budget proposal to put his policy stamp on nearly every sector of California government. Kevin Yamamura and Carla Marinucci Politico -- 1/11/19

10 takeaways from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $209 billion budget -- Citing a strong economy and lower-than-projected spending on health care for the poor, California’s surplus is even bigger than expected. Newsom announced a projected increase of $6 billion in extra revenue to $21.4 billion for the 2019-20 fiscal year. To put that latter figure into perspective, it’s more than the state spends on higher education in a year. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 1/11/19

What does Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget mean for you? --California’s projected budget surplus has soared to a record $21.5 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday during his first state budget proposal in which he finally put dollar signs behind some of the soaring rhetoric that defined his campaign and inauguration. Now that he’s governor, what does he plan do with those billions? Katy Murphy, John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/11/19

Walters: A cautious budget with a bold housing plan -- Jerry Brown is a hard act to follow but his successor as governor, Gavin Newsom, acquitted himself well – if very lengthily – in presenting his first state budget on Thursday. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/11/19

Gavin Newsom issues a warning: He's going to talk a lot more than Jerry Brown -- Gov. Gavin Newsom barely paused to catch his breath as he tossed out more than $300 million worth of morsels from his newly crafted budget in a span of less than three minutes. Phil Willon and Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19

California heads to court to fight Trump birth control rules -- A U.S. judge will hear arguments Friday over California’s attempt to block new rules by the Trump administration that would allow more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 1/11/19

A week after being sworn in Rep. Harder uses shutdown to start fundraising -- Rep. Josh Harder started fundraising for his 2020 run exactly one week after he was sworn in, warning of “extremists” eyeing his seat. In an email with the subject line “The shutdown is ridiculous,” Harder called on voters to “ensure that this kind of irresponsible politicking ends for good in 2020.” Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

Sen. Kamala Harris defines her story as a potential presidential campaign nears -- As Sen. Kamala D. Harris settled into her seat on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday, she was asked to do something not requested of most television guests. “Before we do anything,” The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked the California Democrat, “would you pronounce your name for me please?” Chelsea Janes in the Washington Post -- 1/11/19

California gets last-minute REAL ID extension -- California narrowly averted a major crisis for travelers taking to the sky this year after the Department of Homeland Security granted it a last-minute extension to meet REAL ID requirements, despite the government shutdown. If California hadn’t received the extension and homeland security hadn’t officially certified it met the REAL ID requirements, it would have forced the state’s residents to present a passport for all air travel beginning Jan. 22. Erin Baldassari in the Orange County Register -- 1/11/19

KQED Political Breakdown: Holly Mitchell -- Los Angeles State Senator and Budget Committee chair Holly Mitchell talks about her policy-focused parents, her introduction to state politics, yearly budget debates with Jerry Brown, and that 6FTFOX license plate. Link here -- 1/11/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Government shutdown puts millions of North Bay disaster dollars in limbo -- Tens of millions of dollars meant to help Sonoma County and Santa Rosa recover from the October 2017 wildfires and prepare for future disasters is in limbo as the federal government shutdown continues with no end in sight. Will Schmitt in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 1/11/19

Newsom promises unemployment insurance to California’s federal workers -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Thursday that thousands of federal workers in California who are furloughed in the partial government shutdown will be made “quickly eligible” for unemployment insurance, urging them to apply for the benefit immediately. “We’ll get you covered,’’ said Newsom, who made the statement while unveiling his $209 billion state budget. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 1/11/19

As IRS workers suffer during shutdown, your tax returns could be delayed -- About 125 employees gathered outside the Internal Revenue Service’s processing center in southeast Fresno on Thursday. Some held signs depicting crossed-out chess pawns or reading “We want to work. We want to get paid. End the shutdown.” Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 1/11/19

Merced County Food Bank braces for gov’t shutdown cuts that could affect thousands of people -- As the shutdown of the federal government drags on with few prospects for resolution, Merced County Food Bank officials said Thursday they are worried about the potential loss of food-stamp funding. Thaddeus Miller in the Merced Sun Star -- 1/11/19

Newsom wants extra pension payments as retirement liability tops $256B -- Following Jerry Brown’s footsteps, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he wants to make extra pension payments even as California’s retirement liabilities for state workers and teachers top $256 billion. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 1/11/19

Gavin Newsom’s budget makes big down payment on California pensions -- By making early payments on California’s unfunded pension promises, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget aims to free up billions of dollars for schools in coming years. Adam Ashton and Maddy Ashmun in the Sacramento Bee Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 1/11/19

Board Sued Over Google’s Exit Package for Accused Executive -- A shareholder lawsuit says the board of directors of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, played an “active and direct role” in approving a $90 million exit package for Andy Rubin, a senior executive, even though an investigation into a sexual harassment claim against him was deemed credible. Daisuke Wakabayashi and Kate Conger in the New York Times -- 1/11/19

Two Bay Area restaurant owners must pay $1.7 million to workers cheated out of pay, officials say -- Two Bay Area restaurateurs have been ordered to pay $1.7 million to dozens of their former employees for garnishing their tips, denying them overtime pay and medical care and housing them in abhorrent conditions, authorities announced Thursday. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

California pot taxes lag as illegal market flourishes -- Deep in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget is a figure that says a lot about California’s shaky legal marijuana market: The state is expecting a lot less cash coming in from cannabis taxes. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 1/11/19


It’s a big deal: Newsom’s housing budget, explained -- No wonder Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped those hints earlier this week about an upcoming “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing. Matt Levin Calmatters -- 1/11/19

Developer accuses two construction unions of engaging in racketeering and extortion -- A Los Angeles real estate developer has filed a lawsuit accusing two labor unions of violating federal racketeering and antitrust laws as they attempted to block the approval of a mixed-use complex in the San Fernando Valley. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/11/19


Private bus company Chariot going out of business -- It’s the end of the line for Chariot, the SF-based transit startup that tried to leverage Silicon Valley know-how to make private bus lines viable. Adam Brinklow Curbed San Francisco Aarian Marshall Wired -- 1/11/19

Richmond ferry completes maiden voyage to San Francisco, commuters aboard -- One hundred sixty-one riders were aboard the Pisces when it slid away from the pier, the first high-speed catamaran of a transit service that west Contra Costa residents have anticipated for years. Officials expect the 225-person capacity boat to fill up during rush hour as word spreads. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/11/19


Free community college and a boost for Cal Grants: What Newsom wants to do for higher ed -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newly unveiled 2019-20 budget includes funding for two years of free community college and a significant increase in the amount of money students can receive from Cal Grants. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

Windfall for California K-12 schools, more spending from early to higher ed in Newsom's first budget -- School districts laboring under higher mandated expenses would receive a surprise windfall — pension-cost relief — in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first proposed state budget for 2019-20, which will also provide big spending increases for early and higher education. John Fensterwald and Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 1/11/19

Newsom's higher education budget would boost aid, freeze tuition and repair campuses -- Newly inaugurated California Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget proposal would boost funding for the state’s community colleges and two university systems, increase financial aid for students who are parents of dependent children and repair aging infrastructure on campuses. Larry Gordon and Mikhail Zinshteyn EdSource -- 1/11/19

Standoff between Sacramento City school district and teachers flares up -- A scheduled meeting between the Sacramento City Unified School District and Sacramento City Teachers Association Wednesday to discuss the union’s proposal to solve the budget crisis ended before it began, after district officials walked out and the teachers union called it a “setup.” Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

Why 30,000 Los Angeles teachers are ready to strike over huge class sizes -- It makes intuitive sense that smaller class sizes would make it easier for teachers to address the needs of each student, yet sometimes we hear from very important people — former education secretary Arne Duncan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates among them — that it doesn’t matter to a great teacher. Actually, research clearly shows that it matters — a lot. Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post -- 1/11/19

CSU Stockton? Gavin Newsom’s Budget Proposes $2 Million To Study Possibility -- Stockton could be next in line for a California State University campus. Mayor Michael Tubbs made the announcement before a group of high school students on Thursday while noting that Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed setting aside $2 million to study its feasibility as part of his budget. Rich Ibarra Capital Public Radio -- 1/11/19

Cross section of CSU leaders praise Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal to add to university system’s budget -- The budget proposal would also add a one-time $262 million bonus for child care and student needs. Emily Rasmussen in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 1/11/19


CDC warns of superbug infections at Tijuana hospital -- A cluster of superbug cases that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently termed a “serious” threat has surfaced among Americans who traveled south of the border to have operations at a Tijuana hospital. Paul Sisson and Sandra Dibble in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/11/19


San Francisco, farmers team up to fight California’s ‘water grab’ -- The liberal city of San Francisco and conservative farmers in the San Joaquin Valley don’t have much in common politically. But they do agree on one thing: California regulators are going to take too much of their water and give it to endangered fish. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee Ken Carlson in the Modesto Bee -- 1/11/19

Also . . . 

‘Bruce Jenner is still a man’ sign at Northern California church draws protesters -- A Northern California church put a provocative anti-gay and anti-transgender message on its sign for the New Year — and provoke it did. Jared Gilmour in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/11/19

POTUS 45  

Trump could take billions from disaster areas to fund wall -- President Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use the Army Corps of Engineers and a portion of $13.9 billion of Army Corps funding to build 315 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the briefing. Courtney Kube and Julia Ainsley NBC News -- 1/11/19

Think Trump can’t use emergency powers to build the border wall? Here’s why he could -- Critics have denounced the idea as abusive and unlawful, but experts on presidential powers and immigration enforcement say that Congress has granted Trump, and presidents before him, wide latitude to invoke emergency powers. He also has a sympathetic Supreme Court that has demonstrated willingness to back him in the event of a court challenge. Franco Ordoñez McClatchyDC -- 1/11/19

Brother of Newman Corporal Ronil Singh appears with President Trump in visit to border -- The death of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh again took center stage in the debate over President Donald Trump’s border wall Thursday, with Singh’s brother, Reggie, appearing with the president in a visit to Texas. Patty Guerra in the Merced Sun Star -- 1/11/19


-- Thursday Updates 

Furloughed government workers hold rally in San Francisco to demand end to shutdown -- Four dozen federal workers who aren’t working screamed and hollered in downtown San Francisco, demanding an end to the federal shutdown that is forcing them to shop at dollar stores and eat macaroni and cheese for dinner. Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/10/19

‘You can’t make that up’: Newsom blasts DMV for not accepting credit cards at its offices -- Gov. Gavin Newsom chastised California’s Department of Motor Vehicles at a budget unveiling on Thursday. He mocked them for not accepting customers’ credit cards at field offices and promised to make a change. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/10/19

Gavin Newsom budget calls for drinking water tax to help poor communities -- Newsom’s plan for a “safe and affordable drinking water fund,” included in the new governor’s first budget proposal to the Legislature, attempts to revive an idea that died in the Legislature last year. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/10/19

Gavin Newsom’s first California budget has $8 billion increase over Jerry Brown’s last one -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget includes a $144 billion general fund, marking a 4 percent increase over the $138 billion spending plan former Gov. Jerry Brown signed in June. His total budget — including money earmarked for special purpose funds — tops $209 billion. That’s about $8 billion more than the Brown’s final budget. Sophia Bollag and Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget: More money for education, navigation centers -- Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $209 billion state budget Thursday, a 4 percent increase over the previous year that includes more spending for education and navigation-center homeless shelters and an increase in California’s rainy day reserve. Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/10/19

Free community college and a boost for Cal Grants: What Newsom wants to do for higher ed -- The California Community Colleges System fared well under Newsom’s proposed budget, with $402 million going toward cost-of-living allowances, enrollment growth, legal services for undocumented students and their families and providing a second year of free tuition. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/10/19

California governor offers $144B budget, sees big surplus -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $144 billion general fund budget on Thursday that’s up 4 percent from the current year and predicts a $21.4 billion surplus from robust tax collections and slower growth of state health care costs. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/10/19

San Francisco sues state over potentially drastic water reductions -- The city of San Francisco is not standing down in California’s latest water war, joining a lawsuit Thursday against the state for ordering more of the Sierra’s cool, crisp flows to go to fish instead of people. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/10/19

Judge rules that LAUSD teachers' strike can begin on Monday -- At issue was whether the union, United Teachers Los Angeles, gave a legally required 10-day notice to the school district that its members would no longer work under terms of the previous contract. This notice provision is included in the contract between the union and the L.A. Unified School District. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

‘Struggling’ with LAUSD teachers’ strike means starkly different things depending on your income -- In a good month, Jose Velasco, a painter, and his wife Maribel Cruz, a baker, make about $1,000. They have little left after they pay the rent on their El Sereno apartment. The thought of possibly having to hire someone to watch their 9-year-old son during a teachers’ strike upsets and overwhelms them. Esmeralda Bermudez and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

Unvaccinated 4-year-old dies of flu in Riverside County -- The child — whose identity, gender and city of residence are not being released — had not been vaccinated for the flu, according to the public health department of the Riverside University Health System. The child was from southwest Riverside County. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

‘We are throwaways’ -- For Laura and John Kasten, a homeless couple forced from an Orange County riverbed into temporary motel living — the road ahead looms empty, filled with hunger, loneliness, drugs. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

New air pollution scandal: Fiat Chrysler settles with California and U.S. for $800 million -- Call it Dieselgate II. In a settlement announced Thursday by state and federal officials, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to pay $800 million over charges that the global carmaker used “defeat device software” in thousands of diesel vehicles to cheat on air pollution tests. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/10/19

California set a goal of 100% clean energy, and now other states may follow its lead -- It’s been less than four months since California committed to getting all of its electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2045. But the idea is already catching on in other states. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

EPA backs down from plan that could have allowed youth farmworkers to handle pesticides -- The Environmental Protection Agency has abandoned plans to roll back a set of protections for farmworkers, including a proposal to ease Obama-era regulations requiring anyone working with dangerous pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/10/19

Quinn: The Trump Factor in California’s Republican Disaster -- California Republicans remain in denial about the role of President Trump in their worst shellacking in history. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 1/10/19

Trump claims he never said Mexico would cut a check for the wall. Let’s go to the tape -- Back in April 2015 — an era so distant in American history that it barely shimmers in and out of view, cloaked in the haze of everything that’s happened since — Donald John Trump promised the United States that he would build a wall on the border with Mexico and that Mexico would cover the cost. Philip Bump in the Washington Post -- 1/10/19

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds -- A new analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago. The researchers also concluded that ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years. Kendra Pierre-Louis in the New York Times -- 1/10/19