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

Updating . .   

California escapes brunt of Pentagon funding deferrals to pay for Trump’s border wall -- The Pentagon will defer spending about $8 million that had been earmarked for a flight simulator facility in Ventura County, a casualty of President Trump’s effort to fund construction of 175 miles of new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Alexa Díaz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

California vaccine bill with tougher school exemption rules heads to governor -- The state Senate gave final legislative approval to controversial vaccine legislation Wednesday, prompting a chaotic scene among protesters in the chamber as the bill heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Senate’s 28-11 vote came less than 24 hours after the Assembly approved the measure on Tuesday. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ Dustin Gardiner and Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Don Thompson and Kathleen Ronayne in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/4/19

California becomes first state to ban fur trapping after Gov. Newsom signs law -- California has enacted a new ban on fur trapping for animal pelts, making it the first state to outlaw a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier. The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, prohibits commercial or recreational trapping on both public and private lands. Louis Sahagun, Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

Search begins for last victim of California boat fire. 33 bodies recovered from the water -- Coast Guard officials have recovered the bodies of 33 people who died in a massive fire aboard Conception that started as the 75-foot vessel was anchored off the coast of Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day. One person is still missing, authorities said Wednesday. Mark Puente, Matthew Ormseth, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

It’s seen as one of L.A.’s most successful housing programs. A lawsuit seeks to strike it down -- A nonprofit group focused on planning issues is seeking to strike down one of L.A.'s signature programs for building affordable housing and bringing taller, denser apartment buildings to the city’s public transit corridors. David Zahniser, Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

Lopez: He died Sunday on a West L.A. sidewalk. He was homeless. He is part of an epidemic -- The balding, middle-aged man was facedown on a flattened piece of cardboard, arms at his side, a small pool of blood near his mouth. He wore bluejeans, his feet were bare, and headset buds were still in his ears. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

SF counts 4,000 homeless, addicted and mentally ill, but timeline for help still unclear -- Public health officials will release a grim tally Wednesday identifying some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents: Those who struggle with homelessness, mental illness and addiction. The new data are intended to direct the city’s efforts to confront a worsening behavioral health crisis. Dominic Fracassa and Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

San Francisco assessor sues over Giants’ tax win on Oracle Park -- San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu is suing both the San Francisco Giants and the city’s own Assessment Appeals Board over a multimillion-dollar property tax assessment break granted to the team’s Oracle Park. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

Stanford sex assault survivor ‘Emily Doe’ reveals name with new memoir -- Emily Doe, the woman who delivered a gripping courtroom statement that drew national attention after she was sexually assaulted in 2015 by a Stanford University swimmer, publicly stepped forward Wednesday after writing a memoir in which she reveals her identity. Anna Bauman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Nico Savidge in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/4/19

Bay Area restaurateurs want to charge diners for using credit cards. But they’re scared -- At Kiraku, a busy izakaya in Berkeley, dinner might come with a surcharge that you won’t see at many Bay Area restaurants. Notices can be found at the entrance, by the cash register, on the menu and on a little card that comes at the end of the meal. The culprit for a higher bill? Using a credit card. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Burning boat takes clues of fatal fire down to watery grave -- Officials vowed to find what sparked the inferno aboard the dive boat Conception that killed 34 people in waters off Southern California but vital evidence may have gone down with the ship or drifted out to sea. Brian Melley Associated Press Soumya Karlamangla, Hannah Fry, Mark Puente, Matthew Ormseth, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

Deadly California boat fire devastates community of local divers -- The area around Santa Cruz Island is a diving mecca where underwater explorers can see reefs and seaweed teeming with fish flashing kaleidoscopically vivid colors, octopuses as big as basketballs and bright orange garibaldi, the California state marine fish. Louis Sahagun, Soumya Karlamangla, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

Family, teenagers among 34 presumed dead in boat fire -- High school students, a science teacher and his daughter, an adventurous marine biologist and a family of five celebrating a birthday are among those presumed to have died when fire tore through a scuba diving boat off the Southern California coast, trapping dozens of sleeping people below deck. Stefanie Dazio Associated Press -- 9/4/19

Passengers of doomed dive boat were likely trapped below deck by fire -- The 33 passengers of the dive boat that caught fire off the Santa Barbara County coast were likely trapped in the below-deck sleeping quarters by flames that blocked the only ways out, officials said Tuesday as they revealed that most of the victims were from the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. Michael Cabanatuan, Anna Bauman and Alejandro Serrano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

What we know about the victims of the Santa Cruz Island boat fire -- A family of five from Stockton, two high school students and the owner of a Santa Cruz diving company are among the passengers of a boat that was engulfed by flames in Southern California, sending shock waves across the Bay Area, where most of the victims hailed from. Leonardo Castañeda, Thy Vo, Maggie Angst and Nico Savidge in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/4/19

5 members of Stockton family on birthday trip lost in horrific boat fire -- News that five members of the same close-knit Stockton family died in a horrific diving-boat fire early Monday morning off the Southern California coast has sent shockwaves through relatives, a medical institution and two school districts in the city. Roger Phillips in the Stockton Record -- 9/4/19

How could a fire incinerate a 75-foot dive boat so fast? -- But two things could have turned the ship into a raging inferno — whether added oxygen was being used for the divers’ air tanks, and the boat’s wooden hull construction, according to a marine forensic consulting expert. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/4/19


California Assembly advances crackdown on vaccine exemptions, but governor wants to change the bill -- The California Assembly passed contentious vaccine legislation on Tuesday, a vote immediately met with an announcement from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom that changes to the legislation would be required before it reaches his desk. Melody Gutierrez, Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/4/19

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$ -- 9/4/19

Insurance commissioner halts campaign fundraising to rein in contributions from firms he regulates -- California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara apologized Tuesday for taking campaign contributions from — and scheduling meetings with — insurance industry-connected donors, and said he would halt all political fundraising until the end of the year while he works to put a stop to it. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/4/19

Addiction treatment bills aim to change troubled industry – but it’s slow in coming -- The rehab industry is getting more scrutiny from lawmakers. More than two dozen treatment- and recovery- related bills were introduced in Sacramento this session, proposing major reforms to what has been described as a “Wild Wild West” lack of regulation in California’s treatment industry. Most of those proposals ran into familiar brick walls. Teri Sforza and Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 9/4/19

San Francisco Officials Designate NRA a Domestic Terrorist Organization -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization and urging other municipalities to do the same. Lakshmi Sarah KQED -- 9/4/19

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Let’s talk about ‘electability’ -- Political data maven Paul Mitchell joins the Capitol Weekly Podcast’s John Howard and Tim Foster to talk about the latest buzzword in the 2020 election lexicon — electability. Electability is that indefinable something that every candidate wants but few have. It’s hard to nail down, but you know it when you see it. Link here -- 9/4/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Chase Center ribbon cutting: Impossible dream becomes Warriors’ reality -- More than seven years after the Warriors announced they were building an arena in San Francisco and 959 days after they put a shovel in the ground, the team cut the ribbon on Chase Center. Ann Killion in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Kate Wolffe KQED -- 9/4/19

A new push for Anaheim and Orange County to officially designate ‘Little Arabia’ -- A state Senate resolution introduced in August is calling for official acknowledgement of Anaheim’s Little Arabia district — an ethnic enclave that centers around Brookhurst Street in West Anaheim — with highway signs on Interstate 5. Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

California adopted the country’s first major consumer privacy law. Now, Silicon Valley is trying to rewrite it -- For the past two months, residents here in California’s capital have been inundated by mysterious ads on Facebook and Twitter, warning that the government is about to destroy the Internet as they know it. “The FREE websites and apps you use every day could start costing you,” announced one such ad on Twitter. Tony Romm in the Washington Post$ -- 9/4/19

Concord weapons station has fraught history, but development concept has promise -- Considering that 130,000 people live there, Concord has a low profile in the Bay Area. It’s the city above Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County, or the string of exits along Interstate 680 on your way north to the Benicia Bridge and points beyond. John King in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

Walmart to stop selling handgun ammunition: Small risk, big statement -- Walmart Inc. will phase out sales of ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles, eliminating a small chunk of its sales to make a big political statement. The decision, announced Tuesday, also shows the growing power of shoppers who want companies’ social and political stances to align with their own. Samantha Masunaga, James F. Peltz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

Inland Empire wages lowest among big U.S. counties, L.A., O.C. middle of the pack -- In 2019’s first quarter — the freshest edition of this data — Riverside County bosses paid an average weekly wage of $927. That was dead last among major employment centers, the 50 U.S. counties with the largest number of workers. The good news is Riverside County wages were up 4.2% in a year, the eighth-best increase among those big counties. Jonathan Lansner in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 9/4/19

Sacramento, California’s booming downtown may double in size with Railyards project -- It’s roughly eight times larger than New York’s Hudson Yards, this year’s big-ticket megadevelopment. Patrick Sisson Curbed -- 9/4/19

The World’s First Ambassador to the Tech Industry -- Casper Klynge, a career diplomat from Denmark, has worked in some of the world’s most turbulent places. He once spent 18 months embroiled in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. For two years, he led a crisis management mission in Kosovo. Yet Mr. Klynge, 46, says his toughest foreign posting may be the one he has now: as the world’s first foreign ambassador to the technology industry. Adam Satariano in the New York Times$ -- 9/4/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Bill creating tax authority for proposed Oakland A’s stadium heads to governor -- Legislation that would make it easier for Oakland to finance the infrastructure needed for a proposed A’s ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal cleared its final hurdle at the state Capitol. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19


SF’s iconic cable cars will be down for 10 days for gear-box replacement -- The shutdown begins Sept. 13, when the Municipal Transportation Agency will run bus shuttles along the Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California lines. Regular bus fares of $3 ($2.50 for MuniMobile and Clipper users) will apply, and buses will stop near the cable car turntables. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19


Two SF homes for elderly and formerly homeless plan to close amid rising costs -- At least two residential care facilities in San Francisco that provide long-term care for 26 vulnerable people — some elderly, others formerly homeless — plan to shut their doors in the next few months, the latest in a spate of board-and-care closures around the city. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

Sacramento may get its first Airbnb-style ‘hotel’ near downtown tourist venues -- A developer has proposed what appears to be a housing first in Sacramento: a six-story short-term rental complex that would sit two blocks from Memorial Auditorium and the Sacramento Convention Center. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/4/19

San Diego home building continues to plummet. Biggest drop in SoCal -- San Diego County had the biggest drop in homebuilding in Southern California in the first six months of 2019. The county constructed 43 percent fewer homes in the six-month period compared to the same time last year, said the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/4/19


USC officials discussed how much wealthy parents could donate when their children applied, records show -- The emails, which were made public Tuesday when an attorney for a father facing charges in the college admissions scandal filed them in court, turn an unsparing light on how the university flags children of possible donors and other influential families for special consideration in the application process. Joel Rubin, Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ Kate Taylor in the New York Times$ -- 9/4/19

Entry-level teachers will spend 85% of pay on median rental in LA-OC, report says -- Entry-level teachers in the Los Angeles-Orange counties area will spend 85.1% of their salary to afford a median-priced apartment or home rental this school year, according to a new Zillow analysis. That’s well beyond the 30% the industry has long recommended should go toward housing. Kevin Smith in the Orange County Register -- 9/4/19

UC Davis shuts down student-run marching band. Investigation found binge drinking, harassment -- The freshmen were blindfolded and driven nearly an hour, told they going to a “bonding” event hosted by older students in the UC Davis marching band. Molly Sullivan and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/4/19

Bill to allow homeless students to park on college campuses overnight dead for year -- Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) announced Tuesday he would make AB 302 a two-year bill and go back to the drawing board after the Senate Appropriations Committee weakened the proposal. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/4/19

Gov. Newsom, legislative leaders agree on certification for all charter school teachers -- As a result of an agreement reached last week between Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders, California charter school teachers will have to get the same background checks and the same credentials, certificates or permits as teachers in regular public schools. Diana Lambert EdSource -- 9/4/19

Immigration / Border 

Some migrants have found jobs, settled into Tijuana -- Nearly a year after a giant caravan of Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana intent on crossing into the United States, some have opted instead to settle down in this border city where there is ample work and cheap apartments. Wendy Fry in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/4/19


California at odds over whether to make insurers cover infertility treatments -- Lawmakers aren't requiring health insurers to more broadly cover infertility treatment. But an advancing bill would compel insurers to cover fertility preservation for cancer patients if treatment endangers their ability to have children. Elizabeth Aguilera Calmatters -- 9/4/19

Also . . . 

Ghost Ship jury resumes deliberations after a week off -- Tuesday’s session marked the fourth day of deliberations for the newly seated jury in the case against Derick Almena and Max Harris, each charged with 36 involuntary manslaughter charges related to the Ghost Ship warehouse blaze Dec. 2, 2016 in East Oakland. Angela Ruggiero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/4/19

Hardly Strictly announces new security measures: Leave your cooler at home -- In the wake of the recent spate of mass shootings around the country, the organizers of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival plan to implement stringent security measures for the free three-day concert in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, scheduled to take place Oct. 4-6. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

Gang crimes jump in San Diego -- After a year of declines, gang-related crime in San Diego has jumped in recent months, with the city logging twice as many homicides as the same time last year and 20% more gang-related crimes overall. Greg Moran, Lyndsay Winkley in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/19

POTUS 45  

Trump administration raids military construction projects for border wall -- The Trump administration is carrying out plans to raid $3.6 billion in military construction projects to build the border wall, further inflaming lawmakers who have accused President Donald Trump of illegally overriding Congress’ spending decisions. Jennifer Scholtes, Sarah Ferris and Jacqueline Feldscher Politico -- 9/4/19


Tom Steyer didn’t make the cut for CNN climate debate, so he held his own — in Oakland -- Presidential candidate Tom Steyer didn’t have enough poll support to be one of the 10 Democrats invited to Wednesday’s climate forum on CNN, so the billionaire former San Francisco hedge fund manager held his own Tuesday in Oakland. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 9/4/19

A rap legend ripped Kamala’s marriage to a white man. Then she won him over -- The California senator has a ways to go to win over African American voters. This is the story of how she converted one prominent voice. Christopher Cadelago Politico -- 9/4/19


-- Tuesday Updates 

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