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

Updating . .   

California’s AB5 gig-work bill gets key backing from Gov. Gavin Newsom -- Gov. Gavin Newsom jumped directly into one of California’s hardest-fought legislative battles of the year, calling on lawmakers to pass a gig-work bill that would reclassify hundreds of thousands of independent contractors as company employees covered by labor laws. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19

California boat fire rescue suspended after no signs of other survivors; 20 bodies found, 14 still missing -- Rescuers have suspended their search off the coast of Santa Cruz Island for passengers who were trapped aboard the Conception when the diving boat caught fire and sank early Monday. The rescuers said there are no signs of additional survivors. Soumya Karlamangla, Hannah Fry, Mark Puente, Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ David Rosenfeld in the Orange County Register -- 9/3/19

Biologist missing in boat fire had ‘a love for marine life’ -- Kristy Finstad first swam the waters of California’s Channel Islands as a toddler, tucked under her father’s arm. The 41-year-old marine biologist had since returned hundreds of times to the area’s swaying kelp forests and arrays of coral. Laura J. Nelson, Dakota Smith, Louis Sahagun, Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ Stefanie Dazio, Janie Har and Julie Watson Associated Press -- 9/3/19

‘Majority’ of 34 people presumed dead in boat fire from Bay Area, Santa Cruz -- Most of the victims of the deadly boat fire off of Santa Cruz Island in Santa Barbara County were from Santa Cruz and the Bay Area, authorities said Tuesday morning. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Nico Savidge, Joseph Geha and Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/3/19

California boat fire: Rescuers face psychological toll as they recover bodies -- In the hours after the Conception caught fire, officials expressed hope they might find some of the missing alive. They searched the waters off the Channel Islands as well as the shore of Santa Cruz Island, hoping some might have been able to swim there. But it became clear through the day those hopes were fading. Rescuers found only bodies. Matthew Ormseth, Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

How did crew members survive California boat fire? Their location allowed for escape, sheriff says -- Five crew members survived the fire aboard the diving boat the Conception early Monday because they were stationed on the deck rather than below it, officials said. Soumya Karlamangla, Matthew Ormseth, Dakota Smith, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

Torrance resident says ‘divine intervention’ kept him off deadly dive boat -- If not for complications from a hip-replacement surgery, Torrance resident Dale Sheckler, 62, could have been one of the victims in Monday’s tragic dive boat incident in the Channel Islands. David Rosenfeld in the Orange County Register -- 9/3/19

Charter school compromise could intensify L.A.'s school board battles -- A major agreement aimed at setting stronger standards for charter schools stands to intensify power struggles for seats on the Board of Education in Los Angeles, setting the stage for more contentious and costly election battles between charter advocates and allies of the teachers union, a cross section of education leaders and experts said. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

PG&E tells judge it’s improving tree trimming around power lines -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. told a federal judge Tuesday that flaws in its tree-trimming program described recently by a court-appointed monitor were consistent with the company’s own internal findings and it has already sought to rectify the problems. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19

Hedge funds fight over wreckage of PG&E. How much will California wildfire victims get paid? -- Dueling packs of Wall Street hedge funds are waging a down-to-the-wire battle for control of PG&E Corp. But it’s wildfire victims from places like Paradise and Santa Rosa who could tip the balance. Dale Kasler and Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/3/19

Why California is close to banning schools from suspending disruptive kids -- California schools are suspending fewer students for unruly behavior, and advocates are hoping to bring that number down even lower with a proposed law now on the governor’s desk. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/3/19

Proposed bill would protect Concord family from deportation after federal policy change -- A newly proposed bill introduced to Congress would allow a Concord resident facing deportation to stay in the U.S. to continue receiving life-saving treatment for a rare disease, if passed by the legislature. Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/3/19

Dr. Bob Sears’ views on vaccines have inspired loyal followers — and a crush of criticism -- Sears’ practice caters to parents the public largely labels as anti-vaxxers, people who no longer trust the scientists, doctors or government representatives who say vaccines are safe and that the risk of disease is far greater than the chance of an adverse reaction. Parents travel from across the state to Sears’ family practice in affluent Capistrano Beach, all of them paying out of pocket for checkups. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

It’s no longer a crime to refuse to help a cop after Gavin Newsom signed this law -- A legal vestige from California’s Wild West days is no more. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill striking down a law that makes it a crime to refuse a police officer’s request for help. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/3/19

Fox: 2020 Election Fireworks will be provided by Ballot Propositions -- Ballot questions, not candidate races, are destined to dominate voters’ interest in California’s November 2020 elections. Candidate races are very predictable at this time in the state. Democrats have a huge registered voter advantage and are likely to sweep away any challenges to their current dominance, while the presidential preference race in the Golden State is over before it starts. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 9/3/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Coast Guard: 25 bodies found after California boat fire -- A middle-of-the-night fire swept a boat carrying recreational scuba divers anchored near an island off the Southern California coast early Monday, leaving at least 25 dead and nine others missing. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr Matthew Kroll said Monday night that 25 people had died. Five of six crew members on the Conception escaped by jumping into an inflatable boat they steered to a nearby vessel. Stefanie Dazio Associated Press Dakota Smith, Brittny Mejia, Louis Sahagun, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ Trisha Thadani , J.K. Dineen and Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Alma Fausto and David Rosenfeld in the Orange County Register -- 9/3/19

Owner of Santa Cruz dive company missing after deadly California dive-boat fire -- Kristy Finstad — a diving instructor and marine biologist who runs Worldwide Diving Adventures out of Santa Cruz with her husband Dan Chua — was on the Conception, a 75-foot commercial diving vessel, helping to lead a weekend diving trip off the Channel Islands, according to a Facebook post by her brother, Brett Harmeling. Joseph Geha and Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/3/19

‘I can’t breathe.... there’s no escape hatch': Dramatic mayday call from California boat on fire -- In a mayday call alerting authorities to the fire aboard a boat in the Channel Islands off Ventura County early Monday, the caller said he could not breathe and that there was no escape hatch for 33 people below the deck. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

Final hours on the Conception: Diving, birthday parties, then horrific fire -- It was a quiet night in Platts Harbor, near Santa Cruz Island. Shirley Hansen and her husband, Bob, had spent the day on the water and anchored their fishing boat Grape Escape in the cove. They cooked a calico bass Shirley had caught and went to bed. Then, they were woken by a loud thumping noise on the side of their 60-foot vessel. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

California lawmakers eye bills on vaccines, guns, housing -- California state lawmakers have just two weeks remaining in their session to sort through hundreds of bills, some addressing volatile topics such as vaccinating children and shootings by police. The session that began in January will end Sept. 13 after lawmakers pile bills on the desk of freshman Gov. Gavin Newsom. He’ll have until mid-October to approve or veto the legislation. Associated Press -- 9/3/19

Walters: Charter schools cheat the hangman -- Elections have consequences – often beneficial ones for those on the winning side and detrimental to the losers. Operators of California’s charter schools – public schools that operate independently of school districts – knew they would be targeted when Gavin Newsom won the governorship last year, and union-backed Democrats increased their legislative supermajorities. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 9/3/19

Times change, but politicians still turn out on Labor Day in the East Bay -- Billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer, clad in jeans and an olive green “Fight for $15” T-shirt, spent much of Monday doing what politicians traditionally do on Labor Day: He attended a picnic. “In every single campaign I’ve had — all the (ballot) propositions that I’ve done everywhere — my best partner is always labor,” said Steyer, who announced his long-shot bid for the White House in July. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19

In California, a buzzy campaign idea gets a test run -- Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to give cash to every American each month. Susie Garza has never heard of Yang. But since February, she’s been getting $500 a month from a nonprofit in Stockton, California, as part of an experiment that offers something unusual in presidential politics: a trial run of a campaign promise, highlighting the benefits and challenges in real time. Adam Beam Associated Press -- 9/3/19

Scientists combing human DNA for ‘gay genes’ spark debate about quest for genetic link to sexuality -- Neil Risch was vacationing in Hawaii when he started getting calls from journalists and his peers in genetics about a paper about to be published in the prominent journal Science. The paper, he was told, was finally going to put to rest the question of whether sexual orientation was determined by genetics. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19

Getting food stamps to poor Californians is surprisingly difficult -- In May 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors set an ambitious goal: enroll 70,000 new families in food stamps in two years. Jackie Botts and Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado Calmatters via in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/3/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Kaiser workers involved in Oakland civil disobedience over contract talks -- On a day created to honor the labor movement, 68 Kaiser Permanente workers formed a human circle to block a busy intersection outside the Oakland hospital Monday in an act of civil disobedience to publicize their anger and frustration over on-going contract negotiations with the health care giant. Harry Harris in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/3/19

Musk's China Charm Offensive Nets Tesla Tax Break Amid Trade War -- Musk also toured a factory Tesla is building in the country, its first outside of the U.S., and reportedly met China’s Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng on Friday. Later that day, China announced Tesla cars will be exempted from a 10% purchase tax, something typically reserved for domestic makers of electric vehicles. Lisa Du Bloomberg -- 9/3/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

San Diego Water Rates Going Up 6.3 Percent This Year -- Water customers in the City of San Diego will be seeing another increase on future bills, but not quite as high as it could have been. The increase will be a combination of the city rate increase that took effect Sunday, September 1st, and another increase from San Diego County. Maya Trabulsi KPBS -- 9/3/19


BART Powell Station to stop selling paper tickets Tuesday -- BART officials will stop selling paper tickets at the Powell Street Station on Tuesday, making it the latest station to undergo the change as part of a pilot program to phase out disposable tickets. Alejandro Serrano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19


Modesto tent city attracting interest from other cities dealing with homelessness -- As homeless men, women and children in Sacramento wait for three new shelters to open, another model that Sacramento officials repeatedly have rejected over the years is now quickly gaining traction. Kevin Valine and Theresa Clift in the Modesto Bee -- 9/3/19


Hot issue: as wildfires spread, so do private firefighting firms -- Private firefighters can help contain fires and minimize damage, but their goals aren’t always in sync with their municipal, state and federal colleagues. Peter Rowe in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/3/19

Homeowners in fire-prone areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties losing insurance -- When Mary Morse’s insurance company declined to renew the policy for her Pine Cove home, she found herself in a difficult situation common among homeowners in the mountain communities and other fire-prone areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Morse, who has lived in her home for 13 years, said she has never filed an insurance claim. She has a fire hydrant in her front yard, and there’s a fire station two blocks down the road. Sandra Emerson in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 9/3/19


Homeless California families get help finding child care -- For almost two years, Eva Morales moved from homeless shelter to homeless shelter. Sometimes she stayed with friends. On the worst nights, she slept in a friend’s car. Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 9/3/19

Immigration / Border 

Faced With Criticism, Trump Administration Reverses Abrupt End to Humanitarian Relief -- The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would reconsider its decision to force immigrants facing life-threatening health crises to return to their home countries, an abrupt move last month that generated public outrage and was roundly condemned by the medical establishment. Miriam Jordan in the New York Times$ -- 9/3/19

Trump is stripping immigrant children of protections, critics say. Supporters say he’s closing loopholes -- In the nearly four years since Alexis arrived alone in the United States as a 17-year-old from El Salvador, he has been granted asylum, learned English, secured a job at a bakery and studied for his upcoming driver’s license exam. This month he’ll file an application for permanent residency. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

Why Trump may protect one group of immigrants -- The president may offer Venezuelans protections, in a move that could help win over Hispanic voters in Florida ahead of the 2020 election. Anita Kumar and Daniel Lippman Politico -- 9/3/19

Also . . . 

The Scanner: Crafty car thieves in Vallejo using tech to block door locks -- Random smash-and-grab car break-ins are yesterday’s crime du jour. At least in Vallejo, where police are urging people not to leave cell phones in their cars — even if they’re hidden — because thieves are using technology to pick their targets. Alejandro Serrano and Anna Bauman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/3/19

Death, made in Mexico: Traffickers embrace fentanyl -- Today, officials say the majority is smuggled from Mexico, where it is remaking the drug trade as traffickers embrace it over heroin, which is more difficult and expensive to produce. While heroin is made from poppy plants that grow only in specific climates and take months to cultivate, fentanyl and other so-called synthetics are cooked from chemicals in makeshift laboratories in a matter of hours. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/3/19

POTUS 45  

President Trump, Weatherman: Dorian Updates and at Least 122 Tweets -- Over the long weekend, President Trump monitored Hurricane Dorian from a golf cart at his club in Virginia, calling for regular updates from an aide trailing him around the course. By 8 p.m. Monday, as Dorian churned toward Florida and Mr. Trump’s boarded-up Mar-a-Lago resort, the president had golfed twice and since Saturday morning pelted the American public with 122 tweets. Katie Rogers in the New York Times$ -- 9/3/19

Congressional Democrats plan to launch inquiry into Trump’s alleged role in scheme to silence affair accusations -- House Democrats plan to make President Trump’s alleged involvement in a 2016 scheme to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with him a major investigative focus this fall, picking up where federal prosecutors left off in a case legal experts say could have led to additional indictments. Rachael Bade and Tom Hamburger in the Washington Post$ -- 9/3/19


Why black voters are backing two old white guys -- A divide among African Americans between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders has major implications for the race heading into the fall. Maya King Politico -- 9/3/19

It's now Biden, Warren, Sanders — and everyone else -- The bottom is falling out of the Democratic presidential primary. And the top-tier — no longer five candidates, but three — is becoming more insurmountable. David Siders and Elena Schneider Politico -- 9/3/19