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


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Time’s up for inactive voters: Miss 2 federal elections, and you’re out -- Californians across the state could find that they are no longer registered voters now that a suit by a pair of conservative groups has been settled by Los Angeles County and Secretary of State Alex Padilla. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/28/19

California construction workers, builders are near deal that could mean a flood of new building -- California developers and construction workers have long been fighting over wages for carpenters, plumbers, electricians and others who build homes. Now, statewide business and labor groups are working on a deal that both sides hope could lead to a flood of new building. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Why PG&E’s bankruptcy won’t please California wildfire victims, ratepayers or investors -- Call it a taste of things to come as PG&E staggers into bankruptcy. Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/28/19

Insurance claims from deadly California wildfires top $11.4B -- State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said Monday that more than $8 billion worth of damage comes from the fire that leveled the town of Paradise and killed 86 people. About $3 billion more is from two Southern California wildfires that ignited the same week. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/28/19

Immigrants affected by government shutdown could wait years for new day in court -- Alfredo and Claudia Valdez were an hour and a half into their drive from Bakersfield to a Los Angeles federal courtroom, brimming with expectation that a judge there would finally declare them legal United States residents. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Lawmakers want to cut California's pot taxes to help lagging legal market -- State Treasurer Fiona Ma and four legislators proposed a bill Monday that would cut the state excise tax on marijuana sales from 15% to 11% for three years, and suspend the cultivation tax of $148 per pound during that period. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times Paul Elias Associated Press -- 1/28/19

L.A. doctor in trouble after prescribing marijuana to 4-year-old -- A Hollywood physician has lost his medical license after recommending that a father give his 4-year-old son marijuana cookies to control temper tantrums, according to California’s medical board. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Shasta Dam Project Sets Up Another Trump-California Showdown -- It's a saga that has dragged on for decades, along with the controversy surrounding it. But the latest chapter is likely to set the stage for another showdown between California and the Trump administration. Craig Miller KQED -- 1/28/19

Nonprofit Delta Dental of California Under Fire for 'Flagrant' Spending -- Delta Dental is facing mounting criticism for exorbitant expenses like trips to Barbados while receiving significant state and federal tax breaks because of its nonprofit status. Anna Maria Barry-Jester California Healthline via The Daily Beast -- 1/28/19

Shutdown costs pegged at $3 billion as government reopens -- The U.S. economy was expected to lose $3 billion from the partial federal government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding, congressional researchers said on Monday as 800,000 federal employees returned to work after a 35-day unpaid furlough. David Morgan, Richard Cowan Reuters -- 1/28/19

Fox: California Scores in Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Study -- The Milken Institute issued its annual best performing cities rankings and a number of California cities got high marks. But not all concerns often raised about the state of California cities were weighed in the report. Number one among those is pension liabilities. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/28/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California utility equipment sparked more than 2,000 fires in over three years -- Equipment owned by California’s three largest utilities ignited more than 2,000 fires in three and a half years — a timespan in which state regulators cited and fined the companies nine times for electrical safety violations. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Teachers’ strike and PG&E crisis test Newsom right out of the gate -- Just hours after the warring parties in the Los Angeles teachers’ strike hailed Gov. Gavin Newsom for helping end the weeklong labor impasse, activist Erin Brockovich stood on the south steps of the state Capitol and demanded that the governor and state lawmakers hold Pacific Gas & Electric Co. accountable for sparking deadly wildfires. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Kamala Harris emerges as a 2020 front-runner, but is that a good thing? -- Even before Kamala Harris’ campaign launch in Oakland on Sunday, her nascent 2020 bid had already hit full gallop — a star turn on “Good Morning America,” a self-reported seven-figure fundraising milestone, a friendly reception in a key primary state. Melanie Mason and Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

'That's Not Our America': Kamala Harris Officially Launches Presidential Bid in Oakland -- An estimated 20,000 people came out to Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland on Sunday to watch U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris formally kick off her 2020 presidential campaign. Standing in front of an Oakland City Hall decked in American flags and draped in red, white and blue, Harris spoke about her Oakland roots, her past as a prosecutor and her vision for the country. Scott Shafer, Sonja Hutson, Bianca Hernandez KQED -- 1/28/19

Sen. Kamala Harris formally opens her presidential campaign with a mix of unity and blunt talk about race -- Sen. Kamala D. Harris on Sunday formally announced her presidential campaign, merging lofty and unifying lines aimed at a restive Democratic electorate with a blunt discussion of racism, police shootings and the impact of police brutality. Matt Viser in the Washington Post Stacey Solie in the New York Times Christopher Cadelago and Carla Marinucci Politico Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/28/19

The Foolish Quest to Be the Next Barack Obama -- Reassembling his coalition probably isn’t the path to the presidency this time. Bill Scher Politico -- 1/28/19

Skelton: The L.A. teachers’ strike could be just the beginning for California -- Stay tuned for sequels. The Los Angeles teachers’ strike looks an awful lot like episode one in a statewide series. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Walters: Los Angeles Unified digs a deeper hole -- The union that represents teachers in the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, is claiming that its six-day strike produced a victory, and local media are echoing that line. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/28/19

California needs an ombudsman to weigh the release of government documents, lawmaker says -- For more than a half-century, California officials have been required to provide public access to their records unless there’s a good reason to do otherwise. But it’s the process that allows some records to be kept secret that one state legislator says is long overdue for a change. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Changes at top as CalPERS faces biggest test yet -- As Henry Jones became the new CalPERS president last week, he received a reminder of the risky road ahead. Pension investments lost money last year, and the projected funds needed to pay future pension costs fell. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 1/28/19

Want to work with Flo? Here’s your chance. Progressive to add 380 positions in Sacramento -- Looking for a job working with everyone’s favorite insurance saleswoman, Flo? You’re in luck. Ohio-based insurance company Progressive announced Thursday it plans to hire 10,000 people across the country, with 380 job openings in Sacramento. Claire Morgan in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/28/19

Federal contractors who lost health insurance during shutdown remain in limbo -- Janice Morgan, a federal contractor out of work because of the government shutdown, spent part of January fearing that she might finally lose her husband, Milton, to his battle with multiple sclerosis. He was in intensive care. An infection had sent his heart rate and blood pressure soaring. And when she tried nine days ago to fill his prescription for a $7,600-a-month medication, another blow came: Her insurance coverage had been canceled. Aaron C. Davis and Neena Satija in the Washington Post -- 1/28/19

With workers on edge, San Francisco tech companies offer self-defense classes Photo of Melia Russell -- As tech employers seek to hire more people in San Francisco, they’re going beyond free lunch and game rooms. Self-defense classes, which are increasingly popular, address workers’ growing discomfort in getting to the office. Melia Russell in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/28/19


Effects of L.A. teachers' strike ripple across California and beyond -- They didn’t write the lesson plan or instruct Cristopher Bautista’s ninth-grade English class. But members of United Teachers Los Angeles were a powerful presence in the classroom where he works at Oakland Technical High School. Maria L. La Ganga in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Gov. Newsom proposes to chip away at mountain of pension liability and ease school districts' burden -- In his freshman budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom heartened beleaguered school districts and community colleges by offering pension-cost relief. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/28/19


L.A. charter school teachers reach deal to end strike, the first of its kind in California -- A South Los Angeles charter school network reached a tentative deal Sunday to end an eight-day strike, the first job action of its kind in California, union officials said. Laura Newberry in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

State money is funding anti-pollution efforts in San Diego -- Residents living in San Diego’s portside neighborhoods, from Barrio Logan to National City, have for years breathed some of the most polluted air in California. Joshua Emerson Smith in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

As Joshua Tree reopens, anger over damage to economy, environment -- Against a backdrop of jumbled boulders and spindly trees, former Joshua Tree National Park Supt. Curt Sauer joined dozens of people at a rally in this high desert enclave on Saturday to express their anger over the economic and physical damage caused by the partial government shutdown to the park and the surrounding community. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/28/19

Oregon biologists killing California sea lions to protect threatened salmon -- Marauding gangs of California sea lions have invaded a river system in Oregon and are devouring thousands of threatened salmon, forcing wildlife officials to begin a controversial lethal removal program in a desperate attempt to protect the fragile fish species. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/28/19

POTUS 45  

Trump: Odds of border wall deal ‘less than 50-50’ -- President Donald Trump said Sunday that there is a “less than 50-50” percent chance that congressional negotiators charged with solving the partisan impasse over his demand for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will reach a compromise. Quint Forgey Politico -- 1/28/19