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


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Deported Oakland nurse to be Barbara Lee guest at Trump’s State of the Union -- Maria Mendoza-Sanchez fought for 16 months to return to Oakland and be reunited with her family after being deported to Mexico under President Trump’s hardline immigration policies. On Tuesday, she’ll get a chance to face him in person. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/4/19

California lawmakers form gun-violence working group after meeting with Gabrielle Giffords -- Sixteen California lawmakers met Monday with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was gravely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, and agreed to form a working group to develop and pass gun control laws that can serve as a model for other states and the nation. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19

Mistrial declared for white supremacist accused of assault in 2016 Capitol brawl -- After days of testimony before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Stacy Boulware Eurie and days more deliberation, jurors at 9:17 a.m. Monday declared they were hopelessly deadlocked in the trial of William Scott Planer. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/4/19

San Diego launches bipartisan plan to welcome immigrants -- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, will announce on Monday a new position in his office to carry out a five-year plan to make the city more welcoming to immigrants. Kate Morrissey in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19

All too often, California’s default mental institutions are now jails and prisons -- Jeffrey Jurgens stood in a cage in an orange jumpsuit, screaming that he was Jesus Christ. From her seat in the Sacramento courtroom, his mother watched through tears. Jocelyn Wiener Calmatters -- 2/4/19

Bay Area restaurant workers collect lost wages as California strengthens protections -- Gordo Taqueria, which has five popular locations around the Bay Area, has agreed to pay its workers $690,000 in a class-action lawsuit involving allegations of wage violations. Jonathan Kauffman in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/4/19

California to thrash out gig worker status in upcoming bills -- Gig worker or employee? California will wrestle with that question this year with efforts under way in Sacramento to either codify or limit a groundbreaking state Supreme Court decision issued in April. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/4/19

At beach overrun by elephant seals, visitors get an, ahem, intimate view of the giant mammals -- A colony of elephant seals that took over a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore while the federal government was shut down is not giving up its new digs. The giant mammals are getting comfortable. Really comfortable. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19

Hate crimes go up in San Francisco -- More hate crimes were reported last year in San Francisco than in any year in the past decade. The uptick is part of a national trend of racial and anti-Semitic attacks linked by some experts to the public emergence of white supremacists and other hate groups. Lauren Hernández and Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/4/19

Trump’s response to concerns about his handling of race relations sends a clear message -- Since the days before he entered the White House, Donald Trump’s critics have called him racist because of his controversial comments and policy ideas. Even some of his supporters have deemed him “racially insensitive.” Eugene Scott in the Washington Post -- 2/4/19

Spread of measles from other states puts California at risk, doctors warned -- California’s public health officials are alerting doctors and other medical providers to be on the lookout for measles after first New York state and now nearby Washington state wrestle with a wily virus that health experts say can cause deafness and autism in its survivors. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/4/19

'Tijuana Trump' fends off critics -- Just as Trump wins support among a specific segment of the U.S. population when he uses inflammatory rhetoric, there are certain segments of the population in Tijuana that Gastélum has been able to mobilize by playing to their fears of migrant populations, Espinosa said. Wendy Fry in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/4/19

Quinn: Kamala Harris is the New George McGovern -- Shades of the past. Kamala Harris is setting up the Democrats to repeat history and lose a perfectly winnable election. In a throwaway line in her first television interview Harris called for ridding 180 million Americans of the private health insurance they find perfectly acceptable. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 2/4/19

A big leak rattles the White House -- The big picture: White House insiders said the leak sowed chaos. Cliff Sims, the former White House official who wrote the dishy "Team of Vipers," told me: "There are leaks, and then there are leaks. If most are involuntary manslaughter, this was premeditated murder. People inside are genuinely scared." Mike Allen Axios -- 2/4/19

Howard Schultz may run for president and here's why it will likely end in failure -- Howard Schultz, who turned Starbucks into an international hot-beverage behemoth, is brewing up a possible run for president, and, no, that’s not the last bad coffee pun you will hear between now and when he decides. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

‘Your brand is toxic’: Bay Area’s last GOP lawmaker couldn’t overcome Trump -- Catharine Baker was the only Republican representing the Bay Area in either the Legislature or Congress, until she lost her re-election bid to the Assembly in November. Now there is none. The two-term incumbent practically ran as a Democrat, and still lost to a political neophyte. That raised the question: If Baker can’t win in the Bay Area, what Republican can? Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/4/19

Skelton: Spending on free community college for Californians would pay off big for the state -- A little-noticed gem in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget would return California partway back to its glory days of tuition-free college. It’s a relatively tiny, $40-million item in a $209-billion state budget — and a bargain. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19

Walters: So far, prison inmate rehab isn’t working -- The state prison system’s official title, “Department of Corrections,” was for decades nothing more than a euphemism, as was the official nomenclature for the system’s guards of “correctional officer.” Dan Walters Calmatters -- 2/4/19

Wife of Orange County man imprisoned in Vietnam invited to State of the Union speech -- Helen Nguyen is the wife of Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen, an Orange County resident who has been imprisoned in Vietnam since July. He was arrested while touring the country and is under investigation for “actions” to overthrow the government. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/4/19

Motorized scooter tickets leap in San Diego -- There were only 11 scooter-related citations issued in the city of San Diego from 2014 through 2017. Fast forward to 2018, after start-up companies deployed thousands of colorful, dockless rental scooters throughout Southern California. The number of citations leaped to 1,560 over a recent eight-month period. Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/4/19

Here's how much California is spending to put electric cars on the road -- California policymakers are committed to making sure that electric vehicles — and the charging stations and other infrastructure needs associated with them — transform the state’s transportation sector. But it won’t come cheaply. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/4/19

Democrats Tap Leader Of 'Resistance' To Trump For Spanish State Of The Union Response -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — the son of immigrants who has sued the Trump administration 45 times over a wide range of issues — will deliver the Spanish-language response to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday. Scott Shafer NPR -- 2/4/19

‘It felt like a bomb': Small plane crashes into Yorba Linda home, leaving five dead -- A small plane slammed into a two-story house in Yorba Linda on Sunday, killing five people including the pilot, and creating a chaotic scene as neighbors ran out to discover the home on fire and pieces of the aircraft strewn across their yards. Maya Lau, Cindy Carcamo and Laura Newberry in the Los Angeles Times Eric Licas, Richard K. De Atley, Josh Cain in the Orange County Register -- 2/4/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

What delaying a big rate increase cost CalSTRS -- CalSTRS has been the great exception among California public pension systems, different from the others in two important ways. The state helps pay some of its pension costs, and the board lacked the power to set employer rates, needing legislation instead. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 2/4/19

Low salaries for San Diego city workers blamed for rash of vacancies, defections -- San Diego pays its city employees an average of 30 percent less than other local cities for doing the same jobs, which has created a staffing crisis where thousands of vacant positions can’t be filled and hundreds of workers are fleeing to other cities. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/4/19


California’s retail marijuana industry is struggling. Will tax breaks and banks help? -- Unfriendly banks, high taxes and black-market competitors are some of the obstacles that licensed cannabis companies say hold them back as they try to cultivate a new industry in California. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/4/19


As EPA Eases Wetlands Rule, California Makes a Countermove -- Home builders cheered a Trump administration move in December to ease environmental regulations on development in wetlands. But in California, the celebration didn’t last long. Heidi Vogt in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 2/4/19

Also . . . 

Northern California town is sinking, according to state survey -- New data released last Tuesday shows that Arbuckle is sinking. And portions of Yolo County aren’t far behind. Jim Smith in the Woodland Daily Democrat via the San Jose Mercury -- 2/4/19

POTUS 45  

Trump refuses to comment on whether Mueller report should be made public -- President Trump declined to say Sunday whether he wants the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation made public, instead promising to defer to the Justice Department. Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post -- 2/4/19

‘A watershed moment’: Trump faces crossroads amid mounting threats on all sides -- When President Trump delivers his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, a Democrat will be seated at the rostrum over his shoulder for the first time. The presence of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will bring into fresh relief not only the power shift in the Capitol, with the opposition party now able to thwart the president’s agenda, but also the converging pressures on Trump that have brought his presidency to a crossroads. Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Toluse Olorunnipa in the Washington Post -- 2/4/19

Leaked private schedules show Trump spent 60% of last 3 months in "Executive Time" -- What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day's schedule places Trump in "Location: Oval Office" from 8 to 11 a.m. But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge. Instead, he spends his mornings in the residence, watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers. Alexi McCammond, Jonathan Swan Axios -- 2/4/19


-- Sunday Updates 

A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build -- In 1950, Californians voted to put a provision in the state Constitution that makes it harder for poor people to find a place to live. Article 34, which remains in effect, requires voter approval before public housing is built in a community. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/3/19

You think Bay Area housing is expensive? Child care costs are rising, too -- Over the past four years, the median cost of childcare in the nine-county Bay Area increased 40 percent, according to research from Oakland’s Insight Center for Community Economic Development. In San Francisco and Marin counties, the median cost rose more than 50 percent. Karen D’Souza in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/3/19

PG&E renewable energy contracts tied up in bankruptcy battle -- As it begins the long process of reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is locked in a related legal fight over renewable power contracts that involves some of the biggest names in the energy industry. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/3/19

Sacramento police change tracking of misconduct complaints after AG flags inconsistencies -- The Sacramento Police Department has changed the way it tracks complaints of misconduct against its officers, one of the first changes the department is making in response to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s sweeping report on the force’s training and policies released last week. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/3/19

Thieves stole architectural gems from USC in a heist that remained hidden for years -- The thieves seemed to know exactly what they were looking for. Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/3/19

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America. The head of the Anti-Defamation League explains why -- When 11 people were killed in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in modern U.S. history at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in October, many Americans saw it as a shocking one-of-a-kind moment of raw hate. For the Anti-Defamation League, it was part of a larger trend. Jaweed Kaleem in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/3/19

Myers: There's a chance that Trump has altered California politics for years to come, political watchers say -- Delaine Eastin, the former California schools chief and legislator whose longshot bid for governor fizzled last year, has been in enough elections to know the difference between a stormy campaign season and a fundamental shift in the political climate. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/3/19

California craving more tax revenue from recreational cannabis sales -- California’s high cash expectations from recreational marijuana are going up in smoke as most people are opting to buy their weed on the cheaper, more available and tax-free black market. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/3/19

Cars still hold No. 1 spot for getting around in San Francisco — and it’s getting worse -- Despite millions of dollars spent on new bike lanes and other transit improvements, people still favor cars when it comes to commuting in and around San Francisco, a new report by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency concludes. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/3/19

‘Complete Streets’ spreading in California -- The phrase means hundreds of planned street improvements will factor in all people using our streets and not just drivers, which has been the case since the Korean War. Roads may be reduced and lanes narrowed, parking spaces eliminated, bike lanes added and the walk from curb to curb shortened. Gary Richards in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/3/19