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


Updating . .   

Poll: California voters divided on Kamala Harris as president -- Forty percent of voters in overwhelmingly Democratic California say the first-term senator would make a good president, and 38 percent say she would not, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Carla Marinucci Politico Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle Ben Christopher Calmatters Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Campaign for Rep. Duncan Hunter spends at amusement park, disputes drone charges -- In the last five weeks of 2018, Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign reported spending hundreds of dollars at a local amusement park and made $2,000 in charges — now disputed — to a technology company that flies drones. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/6/19

California National Guard to transgender troops: ‘Nobody’s going to kick you out’ -- One of the highest-ranking officers in the California National Guard told lawmakers on Tuesday that the state is not removing transgender soldiers and airmen from its ranks despite efforts by the Trump administration to bar transgender people from the Armed Forces. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Sutter-Anthem contract dispute means 20,000 patients must find new doctors -- Anthem Blue Cross and Sutter Health are still trying to resolve their Medi-Cal contract disagreement, representatives of the companies told The Sacramento Bee this week, but as of Feb. 1, roughly 20,000 patients around Northern California have had to seek new doctors. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

California gets a rare wet winter, with lots of rain and impressive snow levels -- Snowcapped mountains are pretty typical in California — just not the peaks that got dusted this week. Javier Panzar and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19

BART, Amtrak assess building new shared transbay crossing -- BART and Amtrak are teaming up on assessing the possibility of building a second Bay Area crossing, one that would give passengers a “one-seat” ride on the Capitol Corridor train from downtown San Francisco to Sacramento. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/19

As social networks tighten up, they’re taking your data hostage -- You can delete your Facebook account, of course, though as many have pointed out, that’s an act of privilege that ignores how critical the social network is to organizers and activists around the world. And, as Zuckerberg has insistently pointed out, you can download your data. But what does that mean, when there’s nowhere to take it? Owen Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/19

Sacramento City teachers ask state schools chief to investigate district, superintendent -- The teachers union in the financially troubled Sacramento City Unified School District on Tuesday sent a letter to California’s schools chief requesting an investigation of the district and its superintendent, alleging misuse of district resources and conflict of interest. Sawsan Morrar and Vincent Moleski in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

College athletes could soon get paid in California, but not from the NCAA -- A proposal introduced by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would allow players to get compensated for sponsorship opportunities. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Diverging bills aim to curb police shootings: Tougher legal standards vs. better training and policies -- Negotiations have broken down between law enforcement and civil rights advocates on legislation to curb police shootings, with each side proposing their own bill meant to reduce the number of Californians killed by police—a development that indicates the Capitol’s dominant Democrats will likely be divided as the emotional issue of police shootings takes center stage this spring. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters -- 2/6/19

It’s a crime to refuse to help the police in California. This bill could change that -- A California law straight out of the Wild West could soon be no more. A state lawmaker is calling for the repeal of a law that makes it a crime to refuse to help the police. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

In State of the Union response, Becerra warns legal action if Trump seeks national emergency for border wall -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra warned in a national televised address Tuesday that he is prepared to take President Trump to court if he declares a national emergency to fund a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border while cutting federal funds to fire-damaged communities in this state. Jazmine Ulloa and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times Yesenia Amaro in the Sacramento Bee Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/19

How did California Dems win close House races? They outspent GOP, by a lot -- The blue wave that drowned California Republicans in the November election had a distinctly greenish tinge. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/19

There Will Be Two Police Use-Of-Force Bills In California This Year After Negotiations Experience Setback -- After months of negotiations, law enforcement and civil liberties groups are introducing rival police use-of-force bills. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 2/6/19

California Voting Rights Act survives legal challenge, but it’s not over -- A federal judge has rejected a challenge to the California Voting Rights Act, which has required numerous local governments to switch from at-large to district elections to empower their minority populations. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/6/19

Walters: Weak authority undermines Sacramento Mayor’s agenda -- After a lengthy and noteworthy career in the Legislature, Darrell Steinberg segued into the Sacramento mayor’s office and laid out an ambitious agenda to tackle the city’s most serious problems. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 2/6/19

Abcarian: MAGA hats and blackface are different forms of expression, but they share a certain unfortunate DNA -- Two potent racial symbols — MAGA hats and blackface — have been in the news. They may not appear related at first blush, but they belong on a political continuum that ranges from racial provocation to outright racism. They share DNA. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19

Can this Riverside County Libertarian make a fringe party mainstream? -- The Libertarian Party’s reputation for attracting exotics is infamous in political circles. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19

Vargas spends $100K on holiday cards for constituents -- For some politicians, spreading holiday cheer can be a costly investment. Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/6/19

Sacramento To Reconsider Proposal To Ban Items From Protests -- A proposal to ban protesters from carrying things like bats and pepper spray during demonstrations failed to get approval from council members on Tuesday — but that doesn't mean the proposal is dead. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

CA120: Behold the real numbers of California's 2018 election -- There are plenty of things to look at now that California counties have updated their voter files with the 2018 general election vote history. This is our first chance to see what really happened, as opposed to what people thought had happened based on the outcomes. Paul Mitchell Capitol Weekly -- 2/6/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

CalPERS and other big pension funds are getting more conservative, report says -- A new survey of public pensions suggests the financial health of California’s largest pension system is roughly in line with that of the majority of funds around the country. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

What California’s ‘nonbinary’ gender designation will cost teen drivers -- In a little-noticed side impact of California’s 2018 law granting drivers the option of listing their gender as nonbinary, California’s Department of Insurance has decreed that auto insurance companies can no longer grant breaks in insurance rates to teen drivers who are female or charge young men more. Dan Morain Calmatters -- 2/6/19


Southern California Edison and Boeing sued over devastating Woolsey fire -- A lawsuit filed Tuesday against Boeing and Southern California Edison alleges that the two companies failed to protect the public from the threat that fire posed at the Santa Susana Field Lab, a former rocket testing facility where the devastating Woolsey fire broke out in November. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19


Gov. Newsom asks to review impact of California charter schools on district finances -- In one fallout from the recently settled strike of teachers in Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to establish a panel of experts to examine the impact of charter school growth on district finances. Louis Freedberg and Mikhail Zinshteyn EdSource -- 2/6/19

California State University graduation rates show uneven progress, some backsliding -- While the California State University has boasted about improved systemwide graduation rates, new statistics show a more troubling picture at many of CSU’s 23 campuses. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 2/6/19


Why fixing a common defect in preemies no longer requires cutting open tiny chests -- Weighing little more than 3 pounds 7 ounces, tiny Marcellus Brown had a life-threatening problem with his blood flow, one that is common for preemies. To fix it, surgeons at most medical centers cut into these infants’ delicate chests and spread them open to work. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19


This Sacramento Valley town has sunk more than 2 feet in less than 10 years -- Arbuckle, a Colusa County community of 3,028 people, sank 2.14 feet between 2008 and 2017. While the subsidence was most severe in Arbuckle, it was widespread in Yolo County, where the DWR registered ground levels sinking from a third of a foot to 1 foot at 31 sites. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19


Will Trump’s California water plan send more to Republican farmers and short Democratic cities? -- While campaigning for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised a cheering Fresno crowd he would be “opening up the water” for Central Valley farmers who’d been victimized by “insane” environmental rules to protect fish. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Also . . . 

Podcast Reveals History Of KKK On Camp Pendleton -- In the 1970s, one of America’s oldest hate groups was operating openly on Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego’s North County. Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh KPBS -- 2/6/19

The Rise of the Robot Reporter -- As reporters and editors find themselves the victims of layoffs at digital publishers and traditional newspaper chains alike, journalism generated by machine is on the rise. Jaclyn Peiser in the New York Times -- 2/6/19

POTUS 45  

Fact check: What Trump got right and wrong in his State of the Union address -- Here’s a look at what President Trump got right and what he got wrong Tuesday night. Jim Puzzanghera and Molly O'Toole in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/19

Fact Check: Did San Diego build a wall and end illegal border crossings? -- Whether that’s true is a nuanced answer — San Diego did see fewer apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the border south of San Diego after a barrier was finished there in 1996, though it’s generally considered fencing and not a wall. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/19

Mar-a-Lago on $1 Million a Day: Taxpayer Costs for Trump Trips -- Four of President Donald Trump’s trips to his Florida home in 2017 cost taxpayers about $13.6 million, amounting to nearly $1 million a day, the U.S. government’s watchdog reported Tuesday. Jennifer Epstein Bloomberg -- 2/6/19


-- Tuesday Updates 

Workers waiting ‘on call’ must be paid, court rules -- Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled Monday. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

Vallejo officer on leave after video shows him pulling a gun, detaining a man filming him -- A Vallejo, Calif., police officer has been placed on administrative leave and is facing a lawsuit after a video showed him pulling his gun on a motorcyclist and then forcefully detaining another man for recording the incident on his phone. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/5/19

Barack Obama and Stephen Curry to headline 3-day Oakland event -- Former President Barack Obama, Warriors star Stephen Curry and singer John Legend are headlining a three-day event in Oakland this month. The Obama Foundation announced Tuesday the trio will all be speakers at the first national convention for the former president's My Brother's Keeper Alliance. Katie Dowd in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

San Francisco Transit boss catches heat for Muni rush hour breakdown -- A Muni switch failure that caused major delays Tuesday morning drew a scalding rebuke from the chair of San Francisco’s transit board, who said it pointed to larger problems with the bus and rail system. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

Can the canisters filled with San Onofre's nuclear waste be opened if damaged? Definitely maybe -- A key element of the plan to store nuclear waste on the beach at San Onofre -- at least until policymakers agree on a more permanent location -- is what’s known as the rule of retrievability. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/5/19

California elections officials will investigate whether DMV voter registration errors changed the outcome of races -- Faced with evidence that some voter registration forms weren’t properly filed by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, state officials will now investigate whether any votes were wrongly rejected and whether the final results in any sstate or local races should be reconsidered. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/5/19

Did costs for past PG&E problems end up in consumers’ bills? -- PG&E is back in bankruptcy court facing billions of dollars in anticipated liability claims over wildfires sparked by its equipment, the latest in a series of costly fiascoes involving the beleaguered utility that have left state officials fuming and ratepayers bracing for higher bills. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/5/19

Oakland teachers vote to authorize strike over pay, class size -- Oakland teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, ratcheting up their dispute with administrators of the financially troubled district over wages and class sizes, the union said Monday. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

This corner of California is suffering economic misery despite boom all around it -- As California has rebounded from the Great Recession, the Imperial Valley has largely defied attempts to expand its economy beyond seasonal farming and government work, and the county continues to suffer the highest unemployment rates in the state. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/5/19

For people who call vehicles home, San Francisco supe wants to provide safe haven -- Tony Lawrence has been parking his Chevy RV all over San Francisco for three years, always staying one step ahead of police. And if the city wants to give him a place to keep his rig in peace without the threat of tickets, he might be fine with that. Kevin Fagan and Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

Knight: Mayor’s call for housing seeks to speed glacial pace -- She proposed a charter amendment for the November ballot that would make it easier to build 100 percent affordable housing projects — teacher housing included. If a proposed project fit the city’s zoning regulations and other requirements, it would get the green light. There would be no appeal, no way for angry neighbors to block it. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

San Jose: Mayor in talks with Elon Musk’s Boring Company -- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has been in talks with Elon Musk’s Boring Company about the possibility of creating an underground tunnel between Diridon Station and Mineta San Jose International Airport. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/5/19

New scale to rank atmospheric river storms like hurricanes -- They are giant conveyor belts of water in the sky, moisture-rich storms that roll in from the Pacific Ocean a few times a year to fill California’s reservoirs, blanket the Sierra Nevada with snow and sometimes cause deadly flooding and mudslides. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/5/19

Valley Fever cases in California continue to increase -- Simply passing through an area with Valley Fever and breathing in a small number of spores can lead to an infection of the lungs with flu-like symptoms. About half of the infections produce no symptoms, but in a few cases, the infection can spread from the lungs to the brain, bones, skin or eyes, causing blindness, skin abscesses, lung failure and, occasionally, death. Ted Andersen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/5/19

Democrats took the House. Now they want to save California’s clean car rules from Trump -- For two years California Democrats have battled President Donald Trump on climate change with lawsuits from Sacramento. Now they’re challenging Trump on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from their newly empowered positions in the House majority. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/5/19