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


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Newsom delays threat to block transportation funds to cities that flunk housing goals -- The move, which comes after fellow Democrats pushed back on the idea, is part of a larger acknowledgment that revamping how California plans for growth will be more arduous than the governor implied on the campaign trail. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

Newsom Details Housing Plan, But Faces Bipartisan Pushback -- The governor's idea to link the road maintenance dollars that cities get from the state to the progress they are making on housing development received bipartisan pushback from state lawmakers. And in order for Newsom to even be around for the plan's implementation, he'll have to win a second term. Guy Marzorati KQED -- 3/12/19

California’s Voter Registration Rate Is Now Higher Than Any Time In The Past 25 Years -- A higher percentage of eligible Californians are now registered to vote than at any time since the final weeks of the 1996 presidential campaign. New data released Monday by the Secretary of State’s office show a 79 percent voter registration rate. The previous high was just over 80 percent in October of 1996. Ben Adler, Emily Zentner Capital Public Radio -- 3/12/19

Personal data for 1,000 pensioners accessed from Orange County Sanitation District -- District retirees, former employees and board members were being notified of the data breach in the utility’s deferred compensation plan, which occurred in December after a file at NFP Corp. was accessed via a phishing email, said a district fact sheet. Tony Saavedra, Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 3/12/19

The Fight To Get Public Records From LA County's Sheriff -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva scored his upset victory last year on the promise he'd bring greater transparency to the historically troubled agency, which holds the tremendous power to accuse and arrest and is responsible for the wellbeing of those in its jail system. But when KPCC/LAist sought records about those activities, a pattern emerged: routine delays or fees for records often provided more quickly and cheaply by other agencies. Annie Gilbertson laist -- 3/12/19

Overtime pay soared at Cal Fire amid record wildfires -- Wildfire overtime increased Cal Fire’s payroll by $91 million last year, a sharp increase from what was already an expensive year before it, underscoring the budget challenge the state may face if major fires are now the norm. Wes Venteicher and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/12/19

8 injured in ‘mass casualty’ incident at Victorville federal prison -- A “mass casualty” incident at a federal prison in Victorville on Monday evening left eight people injured, officials said. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/11/19

California’s Universal Health Care Goals Are On Paper. Here Are 21 Bills To Keep An Eye On -- Patient advocates and a handful of lawmakers rallied on the steps of the Capitol last week to push a universal health care agenda they hope will bring the state closer to getting everyone insured. Democratic Sen. Richard Pan says it all comes down to cost. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 3/12/19

Socialism and straws: Nunes tweet a joke to some, precise political messaging to others -- Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, ignited social media over the weekend with a series of viral tweets likening California’s stricter rules on plastic straw use in restaurants to socialism, drawing widespread online criticism and responses from several prominent fellow Congress members. Rory Appleton in the Fresno Bee -- 3/12/19

Was this San Francisco Airbnb worker's tragic bicycle death preventable? -- Rothstein was riding a rented Ford GoBike on Friday when a truck struck her on Howard Street near Sixth around 8:20 a.m., police say. Witnesses reported seeing Rothstein swerve in front of the vehicle to avoid an opening car door. Michelle Robertson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

Cyclist’s death in SoMa prompts outcry, but action, if any, could come slowly -- It was a tragic I-told-you-so moment for bicycle advocates who’ve long pressed the city to build more traffic barriers and speed up safety improvements. But it was also a cold reminder that fatal crashes in San Francisco provoke the same response we often see with mass shootings: an outpouring of grief and calls for action, followed by little movement. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

Flying out of Sacramento? How to check if you’re on a Boeing 737 Max 8, involved in 2 crashes -- Southwest Airlines, Sacramento’s largest air carrier, says it is continuing to fly the type of jet involved in two recent crashes, even as passenger advocates and some politicians call for the jets’ grounding. American Airlines, another Sacramento carrier, also is continuing to fly the jets. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/12/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Appeals court debates possible resolutions to San Diego pension case -- State appellate judges expressed support Monday for requiring San Diego to financially compensate 4,000 city employees who don’t have pensions because of a 2012 voter-approved measure called Proposition B that was placed on the ballot illegally. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/12/19

California cities could open their own banks under bill backed by Democratic lawmakers -- California Assemblymen Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, and David Chiu, D-San Francisco, have introduced Assembly Bill 857, which would enable local governments to charter their own public banks. North Dakota, with a population of fewer than 1 million people, has America’s only state-owned bank. The Bank of North Dakota this year is celebrating its centennial anniversary. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/12/19

Google parent firm Alphabet agreed to $45 million payout to exec accused of groping: lawsuit -- To quietly clean up two major sexual misconduct scandals, Google’s parent firm Alphabet agreed to pay $135 million to a pair of former executives — including a $45 million offer to a powerful leader who allegedly groped a colleague at a party, a new lawsuit alleged. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/12/19

Future of Electric Vehicles in Pasadena Gets Big Charge From New Proposal -- A new proposal going before a City committee this week could result in Pasadena developing the largest electric vehicle charging station in the Western United States. Eddie Rivera Padadena Now -- 3/12/19

New reality: More retirees find themselves caring for their very elderly parents -- At a time in life when 60- or 70-something seniors anticipate retirement, and maybe some downtime, some are becoming caregivers and guardians of their parents. No stats exist on how widespread this is, but the trend is expected to intensify. “People are living longer,” said University of Southern California gerontology professor Donna Benton. Amita Sharma, KPBS via Calmatters -- 3/12/19


BART, Cisco Hunting for Root Cause of Computer Network Trouble That Shut Down Service -- The agency said Monday that Cisco is probing the failure of a networking switch that brought down most of the agency's computer network and made it impossible to dispatch trains for the system's normal 6 a.m. Saturday opening time. Dan Brekke KQED -- 3/12/19


Kaiser expands homelessness efforts with another $3 million -- Kaiser Permanente on Monday pledged $3 million to fight homelessness in several Northern California communities, expanding the healthcare giant’s efforts to eradicate the crisis that has swept through its hometown of Oakland and beyond. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/12/19


Forget YIMBY vs. NIMBY. Could PHIMBYs Solve the Housing Crisis? -- The housing crisis has given rise to acronyms that define the battle over new developments: "Yes in My Backyard" (YIMBYs) vs. “Not In My Backyard" (NIMBYs). And now there's a new acronym: PHIMBY, as in "Public Housing in My Backyard." Jessica Placzek KQED -- 3/12/19


Supervisors propose plan to improve backcountry fire safety -- Since the Cedar Fire ripped through much of the San Diego County backcountry in 2003, killing 15 people and destroying more than 2,200 homes, county officials have spent more than $500 million trying to prevent new wildfires. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/12/19


USC student was with friends when robbers demanded money and killed him, police say -- Victor McElhaney was with friends at a liquor store Sunday morning when they were confronted by a group of armed robbers, police said Monday. The USC student, who was studying at the Thornton School of Music, had just exited the store when the suspect approached the group of nine friends. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/12/19

Fliers displaying Nazi symbols posted throughout Newport Harbor High campus -- This incident came exactly a week after a viral photo on social media showed a group of Newport-Mesa Unified high school students, some of them from Newport Harbor High, gathered around a swastika formed by red Solo cups, doing a Nazi salute. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 3/12/19

University of San Diego raises tuition above $50,000 for the first time -- The University of San Diego has raised its annual tuition above the $50,000 level for the first time, placing the campus among a relatively small number of private liberal arts schools nationwide who charge at least that much money. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/12/19

Accidental alcohol poisoning caused death of UC Irvine student after party, coroner says -- The death of a UC Irvine freshman after an off-campus party in January was caused by accidental alcohol poisoning, the Orange County coroner’s office said Monday. Noah Domingo, 18, of La Crescenta died around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 12, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Julia Sclafani in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/12/19

Immigration / Border 

Bay Area Cambodians face deportation amid Trump administration crackdown -- It’s the latest round of these deportations, as ICE cracks down on Cambodian refugees who committed crimes years or even decades ago, often as teenagers, that cost them their green cards and put them on a track to deportation. Tatiana Sanchez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19


California water agencies fight over multistate drought plan -- A major Southern California water agency is trying to push the state through a final hurdle in joining a larger plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people. Felicia Fonseca and Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 3/12/19

Also . . . 

Big Bear bald eagle lays second egg of the season, live on webcam -- Don’t let the cool weather keep you from birdwatching: A second egg has been laid in a Big Bear bald eagle’s nest, and you can watch it from your sofa. Beau Yarbrough in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 3/12/19

Need a ‘safe’ place to wear your MAGA hat? A new app will help conservatives find one -- Are you a conservative who is wary of dining out while wearing your red “Make America Great Again” hat? Do you wish you knew where you could freely sport a “Trump 2020” shirt while out running errands? There’s an app for that. Amy B Wang in the Washington Post$ -- 3/12/19

Harry Potter breaks the internet: “We apologize for any inconvenience” -- So, people really, really want to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” — so much so, in fact, that they basically broke the internet trying to score presale tickets to the San Francisco run at The Curran theater. Jim Harrington in the San Jose Mercury$ Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

A Death Row inmate dies in California — 40 years after being sentenced -- Death Row inmate Ronald Lee Bell, whose 1979 conviction for killing a Richmond jewelry store clerk became a test case for the racial makeup of juries in capital cases, has died, officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

Hundreds of names removed from court-approved gang injunctions in San Diego County -- Hundreds of people who for years have lived under restrictions on where they could go, whom they could interact with and what they could wear under permanent gang injunctions in place in cities around the county have been freed from the orders by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/12/19

POTUS 45  

'That's not what I said': Gavin Newsom tells his version of phone call with Trump -- California Governor Gavin Newsom denied calling President Donald Trump a "great president" and "one of the smartest people" he's ever met during a private phone call with the president. Eric Ting in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/12/19

GOP searches for way out of border clash with Trump -- Senate Republicans are eager to avoid conflict with the president — who just made things harder for them with his new demands for wall funding. Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine Politico -- 3/12/19

Medicare-for-all v. Medicare-for-less: Trump’s proposed cuts put health care at center of 2020 race -- A new proposal by President Trump to slash Medicare spending puts Republicans in a political bind ahead of the 2020 election as Democrats are pitching an expansion of the popular health-care program for all Americans. Toluse Olorunnipa and Sean Sullivan in the Washington Post$ -- 3/12/19

Nancy Pelosi on Impeaching Trump: ‘He’s Just Not Worth It’ -- In a wide-ranging interview, the country’s most powerful Democrat says Trump is unfit to be president — “ethically,” “intellectually” and “curiosity-wise” — but impeachment would be too divisive. Joe Heim in the Washington Post$ -- 3/12/19


Woolsey fire devastation gives 2020 contender Jay Inslee a climate-centered backdrop -- Democratic presidential contender Jay Inslee on Monday toured the scorched remnants of homes destroyed in November’s Woolsey fire, portraying the devastation as emblematic of the risks posed by climate change. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/12/19


-- Monday Updates 

Cities will lose gas tax money if they don’t meet housing goals under Gavin Newsom’s plan -- California cities that aren’t making plans to build affordable housing could lose money for roads starting in 2023, if Gov. Gavin Newsom gets his way. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/11/19

California wants to reform PG&E, but just how is uncertain -- They could split the gas and electric sides of the business into separate companies. Some or all of PG&E could be owned by the government. Or they could break up PG&E, the state’s largest utility, in another way — perhaps making the electric business a “wires only” company focused solely on distributing and transmitting power. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Alejandro Lazo and Sam Goldfarb in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 3/11/19

California has a giant surplus—of ideas for new taxes. What’s up with that? -- California is enjoying a projected $21.4 billion surplus. Three-quarters of the state believes any new revenue increase should be for voters to decide. By population and percentage of personal income, this state already has the nation’s 10th highest tax burden. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 3/11/19

Latino voting power is rising in the age of Trump. Will the surge continue in California? -- Long considered a sleeping giant of the electorate by many, Latino voters in California are increasingly flexing political muscle at the ballot box — a development possibly sparked by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against undocumented immigrants. Yesenia Amaro in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/11/19

San Francisco Bay: Trump administration gives new life to development on huge Cargill Salt property in Redwood City -- A decade ago, Cargill Salt and DMB Associates, an Arizona developer, proposed building 12,000 homes on 1,400 acres of industrial salt-making land that Cargill owns in Redwood City east of Highway 101. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/11/19

The battle to tame Orange County traffic now rages over fees for high-priced consultants -- The warnings have been ominous for motorists winding their way to and from San Diego along a busy stretch of Interstate 5 in South Orange County — a future of crushing gridlock unless something drastic is done. Adam Elmahrek in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/11/19

Veteran Prison Industry chief departs -- The head of the California Prison Industry Authority, an internationally known agency that trains inmates for such diverse occupations as carpentry, deep-sea diving, computer coding and farming, is retiring after more than a decade on the job. Jessica Hice Capitol Weekly -- 3/11/19

San Francisco mayor picks Manohar Raju as city’s next public defender -- Breed announced the appointment at a private meeting early Monday with the staff of the public defender’s office. Multiple people present said the announcement was met with a standing ovation for Raju. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Don Clyde KQED -- 3/11/19

New pension-cut rulings begin with little change -- Voter-approved pension cuts were the first wave of court cases after public pension investment funds had huge losses in a stock market crash a decade ago, creating the need for big bites out of government budgets to pay alarming debt. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 3/11/19

Oakland teachers strike infuses union talks at districts across Bay Area -- Oakland teachers took a risk by going on strike and came back with more than double what the school district originally offered. Now the strike threat is playing out in other cities, and teachers say district officials should take their demands — and commitment to getting them — seriously. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/11/19

Trump Administration Shortcuts Science To Give California Farmers More Water -- When then-candidate Donald Trump swung through California in 2016, he promised Central Valley farmers he would send more water their way. Lauren Sommer NPR -- 3/11/19

No one is inspecting California’s sober living homes, but bill would require minimum standards if they want funding -- Sober-living-home operators have been accused of exploiting recovering addicts for sex, and even of giving drugs to drug addicts. Operators and their customers have generated neighborhood complaints, lawsuits and allegations of behavior so rowdy it borders on the criminal. Teri Sforza in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/11/19

Renter protections failed these Bay Area tenants. Now they’re demanding change -- As members of the Freedonia Tenants Union brace for rent hikes that will more than double their payments — forcing them out of their homes, and maybe even out of the state — they’re finding no help in their city’s new renter protection ordinances. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/11/19

Tesla’s U-turn: Car prices rising as half of stores to remain open -- In an about-face, Tesla will be closing only half its stores, but it will be raising prices of its vehicles as it continues to try to cut costs. The $35,000 price on the cheapest Model 3 — promised in 2016 but reached only a couple of weeks ago — will not change, the electric-vehicle maker said in a blog post Sunday. Levi Sumagaysay in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/11/19

Levi’s expects valuation of up to $6.2 billion in IPO -- In paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Levi’s said it expects to offer 36.7 million shares priced between $14 and $16 a share. The company is majority owned by the Haas family, descendants of Levi Strauss, who control 60 percent of the company. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/11/19

Misconduct probes in San Francisco Sheriff’s Department spiked in 2018 -- The department opened 119 internal investigations against sworn members in 2018 — more than twice the 58 documented the prior year, according to statistics released by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. In 2016, there were 62 investigations. Evan Sernoffsky and Gwendolyn Wu in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/11/19

Fox: Trust Busting the Silicon Valley -- I could direct this column at Silicon Valley with an “I told you so.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Friday proposal to break up big tech companies bears out my warning on this site from last September that tech companies’ actions are setting the stage for a return to Teddy Roosevelt type trust-busting. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/11/19