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


Updating . .   

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will not run for president -- Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce in Los Angeles today that he will not run for president in 2020, according to three sources. Garcetti had been considering a presidential campaign for months and traveled the country raising money for Democrats. David Siders, Christopher Cadelago and Daniel Strauss Politico -- 1/29/19

State report calls for over 40 changes at Sacramento PD in wake of Stephon Clark shooting -- With two criminal probes and a $20 million civil-rights lawsuit pending over last year’s shooting death of Stephon Clark, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a new report Tuesday urging the Sacramento Police Department to adopt sweeping changes in its use of force training and dozens of other areas. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/29/19

PG&E bankruptcy: Utility seeks to pay $130 million in bonuses, void green energy contracts -- Tucked inside PG&E’s mammoth bankruptcy filing was a company request that the judge in the case approve payment of $130 million in cash incentives to thousands of PG&E employees, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records made public on Tuesday. PG&E also has requested that the bankruptcy court block an attempt by federal regulators to oblige the embattled utility to keep buying wholesale power from two green energy companies, NextEra Energy and Exelon. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

The big problem this bankruptcy won’t solve for PG&E -- But bankruptcy will by no means solve PG&E’s long-term problems, which will require legislative and regulatory solutions. Because what will be just as important in the months and years ahead is consensus on a fundamental question: When can the utility pass disaster costs on to consumers as wildfires become more frequent and destructive? And unfortunately for PG&E, that’s about public trust. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 1/29/19

PG&E wildfire-linked bankruptcy sparks warnings of higher utility bills, harm to fire victims -- Plus, people who are victims of the infernos that torched the North Bay Wine Country and nearby regions in 2017, as well as those who were victimized by wildfires that roared through Butte County in 2018 will likely find that their liability claims against PG&E could take a back seat to the financing package that PG&E is seeking to help it operate during the bankruptcy. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

Hiltzik: PG&E's bankruptcy offers a chance to clean a very dirty house -- Lucrative energy contracts may be canceled, layoffs may occur, and higher electric and gas bills may well be in the offing. Then there’s the possible loss of regulatory control by the state as a federal bankruptcy judge becomes the No. 1 guy dictating the company’s future. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

L.A. school board to vote on new contract for teachers, resolution on charters -- The Los Angeles Board of Education is scheduled Tuesday to vote on the contract that ended this month’s six-day teachers’ strike. District officials also will consider a resolution calling on state officials to support a moratorium on charter schools. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

When children formed a swastika with their bodies, it sparked a conversation on hate -- A black man stood to face his neighbors, choking up as he recounted how, every day, some person or another crossed the street when they saw him coming. In Ojai, a pretty place he calls home, people routinely ignore him. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

A 20-cent ‘mystery surcharge’ on gas? California lawmakers ask AG to find out why -- Since at least 2015, Californians have been paying a “mystery surcharge” on gasoline that adds roughly 20 cents to each gallon — costing drivers more than $17 billion — and now a coalition of lawmakers is asking the attorney general to find out why. Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

Kamala Harris, other 2020 Democrats move to the Bernie Sanders left -- Sen. Kamala Harris checked all the progressive policy boxes in the first week of her presidential campaign. Does she support Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care? Check. Debt-free public college tuition? She’s in. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/29/19

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera rules out running for mayor — for now -- Herrera’s decision is one fewer hurdle in Breed’s quest to claim a full four-year term. And, if city history is any guide, she’d have a leg up on claiming a second term for a total of nearly 10 years in Room 200. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/29/19

State officials delaying request for $40.4 million to help the California DMV -- The department asked for the money early this month, when Gov. Jerry Brown was still in office. But now that a new governor has stepped in — and announced aggressive reforms to the beleaguered DMV — finance officials decided it would be prudent to hold off. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/29/19

Revenge of the businesses: Thousands of scooters towed and held for ransom -- While some residents have resorted to vandalism (tossing scooters into dumpsters and lakes), two businessmen in Pacific Beach are offering an alternative way to get rid of errant scooters. They pick them up for free and charge scooter companies — Bird, Lime, Jump and Lyft — to get their property back. Brittany Meiling in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/29/19

Joshua Trees Destroyed in National Park During Shutdown May Take Centuries to Regrow -- With most of its park rangers furloughed, vandals and inconsiderate guests ran amok. Gates and posts were toppled, new roads carved through the desert by unauthorized off-road drivers, and a small number of the park’s thousands of Joshua trees were outright destroyed, conservationists said. Liam Stack in the New York Times -- 1/29/19

Borenstein: Stop deepening Bay Area transportation, housing crisis -- Here’s the fundamental problem: San Francisco and most of Silicon Valley generally have more jobs than workers living there. The East Bay has more workers than jobs. Dan Borenstein in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

Fox: Harris would be Smart to Skip NH Primary -- New Englanders tend to win the New Hampshire primary and with two well-known New England senators probably in the presidential race, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California’s Kamala Harris would have an uphill battle there in her quest for the Democratic nomination. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/29/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

PG&E Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move the company has said is necessary to contend with at least $30 billion in potential liabilities growing out of the calamitous wildfire seasons of 2017 and 2018. Marisa Lagos, Lisa Pickoff-White, Dan Brekke KQED Ivan Penn in the New York Times -- 1/29/19

PG&E Regulators OK Utility's Request to Borrow $6 Billion Amid Bankruptcy Crisis -- Utility regulators unanimously approved a measure Monday afternoon allowing Pacific Gas and Electric to obtain up to $6.1 billion in loans and credit if the company files for bankruptcy. Protesters yelled "shame!" as commissioners voted at the raucous meeting. Lisa Pickoff-White KQED Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/29/19

L.A. Mayor Garcetti calls for audit of elite LAPD unit over stops of black drivers -- Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday called for an audit of stops by the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Metropolitan Division in response to a Times investigation showing the unit pulled over black drivers at disproportionately high rates. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

LAPD captain files sexual harassment lawsuit, alleging culture of sexism, cruel pranks in department -- A Los Angeles Police captain alleged in a lawsuit against the department that she was the victim of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment after a “deeply humiliating” photo of a nude woman was passed around the force that some falsely claimed was her. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

Proposed ballot measure would let California parolees vote -- Tens of thousands of parolees would be allowed to vote under a state constitutional amendment proposed Monday by California’s secretary of state and Democratic lawmakers who called it the next civil rights issue. Don Thompson Associated Press Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/29/19

Nunes makes Democrats’ initial target list for 2020. Will Janz be there to meet him? -- Rep. Devin Nunes will be a prime target for Democrats in 2020. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released on Monday its initial target list of 33 Republican and open congressional seats for the upcoming presidential election, and the Tulare Republican is one of just two Californians on the hit list – the other being Duncan D. Hunter of San Diego County. Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 1/29/19

‘Trump effect:’ California Latino voters showed up in force in 2018 -- Data obtained by McClatchy show that the proportion of Latinos voting in the seven California congressional districts that Democrats targeted last year rose to levels normally seen in presidential elections. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/29/19

New Orange County sheriff tires of waiting for state, launches internal probe in ‘snitch scandal’ -- Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has decided not to wait any longer for the state Attorney General’s Office to conclude a 4-year-old criminal investigation before launching an administrative probe into whether deputies committed perjury while testifying about jailhouse informants. Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 1/29/19


Sacramento County may soon employ the homeless to clean up the American River Parkway -- Under the contract, scheduled for a vote by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, PRIDE Industries will provide case managers to help enrolled homeless individuals create work schedules, seek training programs and connect with county navigator services. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/29/19

Why Do These 4 Myths About Homelessness Persist? -- This time of year, many California counties are conducting point-in-time counts to figure out who is homeless and why. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires these counts from any community that wants federal funding for housing and other services for the homeless. Rachael Myrow KQED -- 1/29/19


Will ‘blue wave’ Dems stave off Newsom’s housing suit against Huntington Beach? -- Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris had a rough weekend. The freshman Democrat from Orange County, who represents part of Huntington Beach, has been working since last week to neutralize a state lawsuit against the seaside city, threatened by Gov. Gavin Newsom under a new state anti-NIMBY law. Matt Levin Calmatters -- 1/29/19


California wildfires: $12.4 billion in insured losses and growing -- Wildfires that devastated California last year caused at least $12.4 billion in insured losses, the state’s insurance commissioner announced Monday. Just three fires were responsible for $11.4 billion of the damage — and that total has climbed 26 percent since the initial loss estimate last month. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Some immigrants fight the push to make their future a piece of Trump’s desired border wall -- With several differing and complex immigration proposals offered as a way to permanently end the government shutdown and help immigrants and asylum seekers, many members of those groups have a simple answer: No thanks. Roxana Kopetman in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 1/29/19


Molestation lawsuit aims to limit student-teacher contact through social media, texting -- Accusing a San Jose school district of mishandling years of warning signs from a teacher charged with sexually abusing two students, a lawsuit filed Monday by one of the alleged victims wants the district to limit social media and texts between teachers and students. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

Oakland school board votes to close middle school as budget cuts loom -- In an effort to stem a $30 million budget deficit, Oakland Unified School District officials are considering closing or consolidating a number of schools over the next five years, with the first on the chopping block Monday night. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/29/19

There’s a shortage of high school referees. Some feel parents are to blame -- Eighty percent of officials call it quits after two years, according to the National Association of Sports Officials. Why? Seventy-five percent of officials said “adult behavior” is the primary reason. “The CIF does a really good job of getting their message to their schools,” Avila said. However, it often does not translate to the fans, namely parents. Julian A. Lopez in the Modesto Bee -- 1/29/19

Education: Tony Thurmond’s silver bullet -- Abandoned by his father and orphaned at age 6 after the death of his mother to cancer, Tony Thurmond believes he could have easily ended up in prison. Instead, the 50-year-old Richmond resident is the new state superintendent of public education. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 1/29/19


New nuclear rule passed by federal regulators will not apply to San Onofre -- A controversial rule passed late last week by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission based on lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster in 2011 will not apply to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station because the plant, also known as SONGS, no longer produces electricity. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/29/19

Endangered gray wolf in California must be protected, court rules -- A state court judge ruled Monday that the gray wolf, North America’s most controversial symbol of conservation success, should remain protected under the California Endangered Species Act. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Christopher Weber Associated Press -- 1/29/19

Ban on fur-trapping? California lawmakers consider shutting down shrinking industry -- New bill would ban commercial fur trapping statewide; more than 1,500 mink, foxes and other animals killed annually. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/29/19

How California's Worst Oil Spill Turned Beaches Black and the Nation Green -- On January 28, 1969, an oil well off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., experienced a blowout. The result was an oil spill that at the time ranked as the largest in U.S. waters. The disaster, which made headlines across the nation, helped create the modern environmental movement. Jon Hamilton NPR -- 1/29/19

Also . . . 

Lawsuit in Stephon Clark death seeks over $20 million from Sacramento, police officers -- The long-expected federal civil rights lawsuit in the March 2018 Stephon Clark shooting was filed Monday and seeks at least $20 million from the city of Sacramento and the two officers who gunned him down in his grandparents’ backyard. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/29/19

Sacramento District Attorney To Delay Release Of Stephon Clark Shooting Review -- The Sacramento District Attorney's Office announced Monday it will need more time to complete its review of whether to file charges against the two officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark. Nick Miller Capital Public Radio -- 1/29/19

Tijuana Medical Examiner's Office overwhelmed by bodies -- The smell is what hits you first within a block of Baja California’s Medical Examiner office in Tijuana. It’s the unmistakable odor of rotting corpses, and a grim indication of a city overwhelmed by unprecedented levels of violence. Wendy Fry in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/29/19

Keeping up with Kim Kardashian West? Here’s why she visited the California Capitol today -- Kim Kardashian West, celebrity taste-maker and internet-breaker, paid a visit to the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday to advocate for criminal justice reform. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

POTUS 45  

Trump campaign says president bolstered by shutdown -- President Donald Trump’s political team has concluded that shutting down the government hasn’t damaged his 2020 prospects — if anything, they’re convinced it’s bolstered his standing in key electoral battlegrounds. Alex Isenstadt Politico -- 1/29/19

Pelosi re-invites Trump to deliver State of the Union -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to deliver the State of the Union address on February 5. John Bresnahan Politico -- 1/29/19


Harris turns tables on gender question -- Can a woman beat Donald Trump in 2020? Kamala Harris, in her first visit to Iowa for a town hall hosted by CNN, was asked a variation of the question. Christopher Cadelago Politico -- 1/29/19

In Iowa debut, Kamala Harris lays out vision of big government -- Kamala Harris, meeting Iowa voters face-to-face on Monday for the first time since becoming a presidential contender, laid out a progressive pitch centered on sweeping government initiatives on healthcare, climate change and middle-class tax cuts. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/29/19

Harris: Unpopular positions part of being attorney general -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris defended positions she took as California’s attorney general that are unpopular with some Democrats, saying they reflected her duty as the state’s top law enforcement officer. Thomas Beaumont Associated Press -- 1/29/19

Republicans may block Trump from another shutdown -- The Senate GOP has no appetite for another political debacle and is pushing Trump away from closing the government again. Burgess Everett, John Bresnahan and Sarah Ferris Politico -- 1/29/19


-- Monday Updates 

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 Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 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