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

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Trump weakens Endangered Species Act, California state promises to put up a fight -- Already, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has threatened to sue the federal government over the changes while California lawmakers are reaffirming support of legislation that would counter the move, at least in the Golden State. Known as the “Trump Insurance” law, Senate Bill 1, if passed, would empower local and state governments in California to maintain all federal environmental laws in place before President Trump took office. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Judge orders Vallejo to release cop’s employment records in excessive force lawsuit -- United States Magistrate Judge Allison Claire issued her 19-page ruling this week ordering Spencer Muniz-Bottomley records be turned over to the plaintiffs in a federal excessive force case against the city of Vallejo and several of its police officers. John Glidden, Nate Gartrell in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/12/19

San Jose mayor wants to require liability insurance for gun owners -- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is today proposing a city ordinance that would require firearm owners to either carry liability insurance or pay a fee to cover public costs of gun violence to the city. Kim Hart Axios Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19

Bricks, death threats and fury: A last-ditch fight against California’s vaccine crackdown -- Lawmakers sponsoring the bill say they’ve been receiving death threats for months. Someone in June mailed Assembly members dozens of bricks etched with appeals to kill the measure. On Twitter, celebrities heckle vaccine proponents and each side warns of deadly consequences. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Parents block California’s effort to investigate ‘fake’ vaccine exemptions -- California medical regulators have been flooded with complaints about doctors accused of writing improper vaccine exemptions for children, with at least 186 accusations filed in the last four years. But a large number of those complaints— more than 40% so far — have been closed. Only one doctor has been disciplined. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19

Sexual misconduct allegations against California doctors rise sharply since #MeToo era began -- The Berkeley pediatrician was treating a teenager for anxiety and panic attacks. A few months into his therapy appointments, he began showing the boy pictures of men masturbating as well as other pornographic images, according to state documents. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

California lawmaker’s chief of staff ‘grabbed’ colleague’s breasts, investigation finds -- An investigation into sexual harassment allegations against a California assemblyman’s former chief of staff found merit to claims that he inappropriately touched a colleague, according to a Friday announcement from the Legislature. The heavily redacted documents outline allegations against Mark Lomeli, including two claims made in 2018 by unidentified legislative employees. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

CalRecycle’s ‘gross mismanagement’ led to recycling chain’s closure, letter to Newsom says -- The leadership of CalRecycle must drastically change or else be sacked and replaced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a letter written to the governor from the head of a consumer advocacy group, just days after the largest recycling chain in California shuttered all remaining locations. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Sacramento County left $126M in state mental health funds unspent. Now it has a new plan -- Under the plan, the county will expand existing programs helping children and adults with mental health issues, and fund community organizations focused on prevention and early intervention services. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Pregnant or trying? Here’s how to get the most out of California’s new paid family leave law -- California recently approved a longer paid family leave, allowing workers whose blessed events fall on the right side of the new law to take up to eight weeks off with partial pay to bond with a new baby. How’s that going to work? We asked the experts and read the fine print to help you figure it out now, before you’re too sleep deprived to think straight. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters -- 8/12/19

Horse Racing Doesn’t Have a Standard Concussion Protocol For Jockeys. Now, California Wants To Create One -- After riding horses for 37 years — much of it as a professional jockey — Frank Alvarado has seen his share of head injuries. Scott Rodd Capital Public Radio -- 8/12/19

Covered California draws more insurers after state moves to bolster Obamacare -- Felicia Morrison is eager to find a health plan for next year that costs less than the one she has and covers more of the medical services she needs for her chronic autoimmune disease. Steven Findlay Kaiser Health News via the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Oakland dominates SF in housing production -- Builders in Oakland are on course to create more new housing units than San Francisco this year, a notable role reversal for a city that has long produced far less residential development than its wealthier and more bustling neighbor across the bay. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19

7 women report being drugged while drinking in Davis. 3 were sexually assaulted, police say -- After a May report that three women believed they were drugged while drinking at downtown Davis bars, police in the university town said Monday they have received seven more reports from victims who also believe they were drugged while drinking in Davis, authorities say. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Equinox developer targeted by anti-Trump protesters is big player in downtown L.A. -- The billionaire real estate developer whose support for President Trump sparked calls for a consumer boycott is also behind one of the flashiest redevelopment projects coming to downtown Los Angeles. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

New Trump rules would further restrict legal immigration -- The Trump administration is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration, denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance, officials said announced Monday. Colleen Long Associated Press -- 8/12/19

Churches struggle to comfort Latinos feeling besieged in a Trump era marked by hate, fear -- Estrada’s sermon on Sunday at the Church of the Epiphany centered on embracing immigrants and dealing with fear. He spoke of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Missippipi and the shooting in El Paso that have instilled deep-seated anxiety in the Latino community. He urged parishioners to use vigilance and unity to overcome their apprehension . Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Trump overhauls endangered species protections -- The Trump administration on Monday rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades to enforcement of the landmark Endangered Species Act, allowing the government to put an economic cost on saving a species and other changes critics contend could speed extinction for some struggling plants and animals. Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press -- 8/12/19

Fox: The Governor Wants Rent Caps -- Calling for a rent cap bill for all California, Governor Gavin Newsom said such a measure is long overdue. While Newsom sees this as a temporary solution to the state’s housing crisis, his advocacy for a new law will renew the debate over rent control and set into motion some interesting political machinations. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/12/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

L.A.'s Green New Deal polarizes voters in a district haunted by environmental disaster -- For decades, campaigns for city office in the San Fernando Valley foothills have been animated by intensely local issues such as traffic congestion, real estate development, and preserving the culture of horse keeping. But this year, an idea that has erupted on the national stage — the Green New Deal — has become a polarizing issue in Tuesday’s special election to fill a northwest Valley council seat. Emily Alpert Reyes, David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Hamid Hayat, freed after 14 years in terror case: ‘I can’t believe this day came’ -- Hamid Hayat, the Lodi man who spent 14 years behind bars in a one of the most controversial terrorism cases of the post-Sept. 11 era, said Sunday that he’s “still in shock” after his release from federal prison in Arizona. Demian Bulwa, Bob Egelko and Tatiana Sanchez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Elaine Chen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Buses roll again at SF’s Transbay transit center, declared safe after nearly a year -- For the first time in nearly a year, commuters are able to use the $2.2 billion Transbay transit center in downtown San Francisco, its cracked support beams repaired and its bus deck reopened for business. Tatiana Sanchez and Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19

Skelton: San Diego’s city attorney is taking away hundreds of guns from those who shouldn’t have them -- Mara Elliott was dropping her two boys off at school when she heard every parent’s worst nightmare over the car radio. Students her children’s age had been massacred by a crazed shooter in Connecticut. She soon became a gun control crusader. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Walters: Achievement gap question still unanswered -- As a species, politicians tend to like inputs more than outcomes. It’s more fun, in political terms, to appropriate money for a new program or cut the ribbon of a new public works project than it is to delve into whether they actually performed as promised, and take responsibility for those results. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 8/12/19

Schnur: Obesity costs California billions each year. What experts say we can do about it -- Obesity has become a deadly epidemic – it kills roughly 300,000 Americans every year, about ten times the number of people who died from synthetic opioid overdose in 2018. It accounts for 18 percent of deaths for Americans 40-85 years old. Dan Schnur in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California Fostered America’s Tech Industry. It Is Becoming a Great Adversary -- California, the birthplace of the American tech industry, is emerging as a great foe. On Monday, the state legislature resumes and will consider a bill that, if passed, could classify drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. as employees, entitled to better wages and benefits. Sebastian Herrera and Abigail Summerville in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 8/12/19

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans -- Government-owned utilities and companies are buying batteries that can be larger than shipping containers. Some like Tesla Inc.’s new utility-scale battery can hold enough energy to power every home in San Francisco for six hours. Battery makers also are working on more advanced models that will hold more power and last longer. Neanda Salvaterra in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 8/12/19

Los Angeles apartment owners race to add luxury amenities -- Competition for tenants who can pay top rents has grown so fierce that landlords are loading up their new buildings with goodies unheard of in years past when a swimming pool and laundry room were considered ample enticements for renters. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Warren’s curb on top pension investment abuses -- The highest-yielding investment for public pensions like CalPERS and CalSTRS has been partnering with private equity firms, which buy companies, make them more efficient and profitable, and then sell them. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 8/12/19


San Diego mid-year housing report: Fewer sales, rising prices -- As sales drop, the number of homes for sale has risen. Affordability challenges appear to outweigh favorable interest rates, modest wage gains and low unemployment. Phillip Molnar, Daniel Wheaton in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/12/19


A whiff of the music festival future? Outside Lands sells cannabis for the first time -- On a misty morning Saturday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Janna Lutz sat sheltered in a grove of Monterey pine and eucalyptus trees carving a bong from an eggplant. Anita Chabria, Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/19

Oakland’s artist warehouses, targeted after Ghost Ship, face new threat from pot -- In the past year, the city has issued permits to 87 cannabis operations, including greenhouses, farms, laboratories, dispensaries and delivery services — many of which are willing to pay a premium for rent. Rachel Swan and Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19


Nationwide project provides free science materials to meet California’s new standards -- While California students began taking a new statewide science test this past spring, school districts were still struggling to get teaching materials aligned to the state’s new science standards into classrooms. Sydney Johnson EdSource -- 8/12/19


California Will Check on 'Forever Chemicals' in Drinking Water. What You Need to Know -- Over 75 years, a billion-dollar industry has grown up around a group of toxic chemicals that helps keep carpets clean, makes water roll off of camping equipment, and stops your food from sticking to frying pans. There are nearly 5,000 of these chemicals in a class called PFAS, for perfluoralkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Molly Peterson KQED -- 8/12/19

Also . . . 

Security researchers find that DSLR cameras are vulnerable to ransomware attack -- Ransomware has become a major threat to computer systems in recent years, as high-profile attacks have locked users out of personal computers, hospitals, city governments, and even The Weather Channel. Now, security researchers have discovered that another device that might be at risk: a DSLR camera. Andrew Liptak The Verge -- 8/12/19

POTUS 45  

President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days -- President Trump’s proclivity for spouting exaggerated numbers, unwarranted boasts and outright falsehoods has continued at a remarkable pace. As of Aug. 5, his 928th day in office, he had made 12,019 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement the president has uttered. Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly in the Washington Post$ -- 8/12/19

The brand label that stokes Trump’s fury: ‘Racist, racist, racist.’ -- President Trump considers himself a branding wizard, but he is vexed by a branding crisis of his own: how to shed the label of “racist.” Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker in the Washington Post$ -- 8/12/19


Kamala Harris, in a Pivot, Makes Her Play for Iowa -- Senator Kamala Harris ordered tacos at a Mexican joint in Storm Lake (two chicken, one pork). She mingled with the masses at a New York-themed bar in Sioux City. (“You’ve got the whitest teeth,” one patron told her. “That’s a plus right there.”) She sampled apple egg rolls and flipped pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. “I can also flip Republicans,” she grinned while gripping a metal spatula. Shane Goldmacher in the New York Times$ Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/19


-- Sunday Updates 

Analysis: Impact of key California gun laws -- California has the strictest gun regulations in the country, but it also has had more mass shootings than any other state in recent years, from killings in Santa Barbara and San Bernardino to Tehama County and now Gilroy. In some cases, shooters have circumvented the state’s gun laws, even when the legislation has functioned as intended. In other cases, the laws may have disarmed people who otherwise would have gone on to commit mayhem. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/19

Mass shootings like Dayton, El Paso, Gilroy more than doubled since Columbine -- When two troubled students with military-style guns fatally shot 11 classmates, a teacher and themselves at Colorado’s Columbine High School two decades ago, it shocked a nation where random mass shootings had been an occasional bloody horror. John Woolfolk, Tony Saavedra and Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/10/19

Hamid Hayat, freed after 14 years in terror case: ‘I cannot describe the sense of joy’ -- A Lodi man who spent 14 years behind bars in a one of the most controversial terrorism cases of the post-Sept. 11 era plans to make his first public appearance Sunday in California since a judge overturned his 2006 conviction, freeing him from a federal prison in Arizona. Demian Bulwa and Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/19

Oakland shuttered artist warehouses after Ghost Ship. Cannabis may take the rest -- Nearly three years after the Ghost Ship fire, the scruffy, low-rent art spaces that helped give Oakland its edge are disappearing. Rachel Swan and Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/19

‘Put in a corner,’ El Cerrito scraps just-cause eviction law -- El Cerrito city council voted reluctantly to scrap the law rather than put it on a future ballot. Ali Tadayon in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/19

At 80, San Rafael woman finds Uber driving a ‘wild ride to self-love’ -- Eighty-year-old Yamini Redewill spends her days driving for Uber and listening to her passengers’ musings about life — and she couldn’t be happier. Colleen Bidwill in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/19