March 20, 2017


Political Stories

Top stories


Dan Walters: Jerry Brown would undermine a spending limit he sponsored — Brown’s proposed 2017-18 budget would put spending just a few billion dollars under the Gann Limit, Taylor’s office has calculated. Furthermore, Taylor believes that state revenues are likely to be several billion more than Brown has projected, which could bring the Gann Limit into play. Also, Brown wants a multibillion-dollar increase in transportation revenues, which could also push spending over the limit. Walters column in Sacramento Bee


George Skelton: Here’s an idea for legislators: Figure out how to pay for spending bill before proposing it — Here’s my suggestion for a new law — an old but scoffed-at idea: No spending bill can advance through the Legislature that doesn’t pinpoint precisely its source of money. Skelton column in LA Times


Gov. Brown 


Jerry Brown takes international stage on nuclear danger: ‘We all ought to wake up’ – Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking more than a year ago to the scientists who measure civilization’s proximity to global disaster, lamented that it’s difficult to talk about big problems such as the threat of climate change and the nuclear arms race. Sacramento Bee article


Gov. Brown requests 4th federal disaster declaration for California storms — Gov. Jerry Brown asked the federal government Sunday to provide additional help for California’s storm recovery, including repairs at the damaged Oroville Dam. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article




Trump’s crackdown focuses on the people in the U.S. illegally – but not on the businesses that hire them – In the never-ending political and rhetorical war over illegal immigration, immigrants usually have received most of the blame, while businesses have gotten a relative pass — from enforcement and vitriol alike.  LA Times article


Malibu becomes a sanctuary city – in solidarity with its gardeners, cooks, and others in the U.S. illegally – The discussion inside Malibu City Hall over whether to become a sanctuary city last week bore the usual hallmarks of the heated national debate over illegal immigration. While some residents praised the proposal, others blamed those who are in the country illegally for crime and called the move a thinly disguised rebuke of President Trump. LA Times article


Border searches can pry into personal technology — In a small community center tucked away at the back of a business park in Hayward, dozens of men and women sat fidgeting with their phones. As lawyers explained that the devices they held and everything stored on them could be searched at a U.S. border crossing, the men and women exchanged glances. Like most of us, they store everything on their phones — photos of their children, sensitive work emails, passwords, social media accounts. Even, perhaps most damningly, conversations with friends and family back home, perhaps in Sudan, one of the six countries targeted by President Trump’s travel ban. San Francisco Chronicle article


Waiter fired after asking Latinas for ‘proof of residency’ at upscale Huntingdon Beach eatery — Brenda Carrillo wasn’t sure she’d heard the waiter right. She and a friend had just been seated and were waiting for two others on the outdoor patio of Saint Marc, an upscale eatery in Huntington Beach, when he posed the question. LA Times article


Other areas


With Spanish still missing from, Rep. Lou Correa pushes for Spanish language government websites — The day Donald Trump became president, the Spanish language translation of the White House’s website went down. An aide quickly said that Spanish version would return once the site was fully updated. Nearly two months later, there is still no Spanish version of, and Rep. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) is turning to his colleagues in Congress for a fix. LA Times article


Presidential Politics


Former dairy farmer leads Trump-Russian investigation – Devin Nunes once said all he wanted to do was work on a dairy farm. Now the Republican from the rural Central Valley of California is running one of the most scrutinized, complex and politically fraught congressional investigations in recent memory. AP articleNew York Times article


Grassley and Feinstein: The pair who will lead Gorsuch’s Senate hearings — She is a female trailblazer in a Senate where women remain a minority, a formal and wealthy institutionalist from one of the nation’s most liberal states whose partisanship is at times eclipsed by propriety. He is a plain-spoken Midwesterner who has long prided himself on his tough-mindedness with officials from both parties in Washington and a compulsive availability to voters back home, with a reputation for thrift perhaps best validated by his habit of cutting the engine on his car as he rolls it into the Senate garage, just to save on gas. New York Times article


Next step for Trump resistance: Get organized, fight burnout — Even though it is only a few months old, the fledgling resistance to President Trump is realizing it needs to address three big questions: How do we keep people from burning out? With so many new groups addressing the same issues, how do we keep from duplicating our efforts? And perhaps the most daunting: How do we transform all this street energy and anger into some electoral wins in 2018 and beyond? San Francisco Chronicle article


White House installs political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears — This shadow government of political appointees with the title of senior White House adviser is embedded at every Cabinet agency, with offices in or just outside the secretary’s suite. The White House has installed at least 16 of the advisers at departments including Energy and Health and Human Services and at some smaller agencies such as NASA, according to records first obtained by ProPublica through a Freedom of Information Act request. Washington Post article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories


State and federal legislation take aim at predatory ADA lawsuits — The legislative fight against disability-based predatory lawsuits continues on state and national levels with new bills by Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray and Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham. Both lawmakers condemn shakedowns of businesses by plaintiffs demanding thousands of dollars to settle lawsuits based on the Americans with Disabilities Act and California laws making such challenges especially lucrative in this state. Modesto Bee article


Bakersfield council to debate continued participation in PACE home loan program — At a Bakersfield City Council meeting last month, the issue of PACE financing was fiercely debated during the public comment period by people on both sides. A representative of Renovate America’s HERO Program and several contractors who partner with the program said the PACE loans are quick and relatively easy to obtain, and the expected energy savings and potential increase in the value of the home may defray or even cover the cost of the increased tax bill. Besides that, the program is a job creator. On the other side of the issue, real estate professionals hammered the program for allegedly misleading homeowners, using hard-sell tactics and saddling residents with higher interest rates than a home equity line of credit. Bakersfield Californian article


Jobs and the Economy

Sacramento Bee: Ending homelessness just got more complicated — Sacramento County supervisors on Tuesday will weigh recommendations to redirect federal housing vouchers and other resources to help 1,755 homeless adults and youths. But the plan will rely on federal funding, which, under President Donald Trump, is less dependable than it once was. Sacramento Bee editorial


UC paper argues full pension funding not needed — A paper issued by Stanford graduates seven years ago helped shift public focus to what critics call a “hidden” pension debt. Now a paper issued by UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute last month argues that full pension funding is not needed and may even be harmful. Calpensions article




Gray persists in Bay-Delta Plan criticism—to the last day — On the last day to submit public comment, Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, submitted one last letter in opposition of the Bay-Delta plan and recommended the State Water Resources Control Board to start over on the study process. Merced Sun-Star article


Turlock Irrigation District board could OK abundant water deliveries — The Turlock Irrigation District would be back to normal water deliveries after five years of drought if its board approves the idea Tuesday. Directors will consider a 48-inch allotment, as outlined by the district staff at a Feb. 28 meeting. That’s 4 vertical feet over a season tentatively scheduled to run March 30 to Nov. 1. Modesto Bee article


‘Big dream’ for San Joaquin County’s water future — It would add just a trickle of water, for now, but a potentially historic vote by April could change how San Joaquin County addresses droughts and floods for decades to come. County supervisors may agree to conduct an experiment of sorts with a longtime nemesis on water issues, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which exports much of the Mokelumne River to 1.3 million people in the Bay Area.  Stockton Record article


Criminal Justice/Prisons


Traci Gallian: Cops are building relationships with the community, one cup of coffee at a time — Removing the barriers between uniformed police officers and the public, eliminating an agenda, and meeting on mutual turf is why the Coffee with a Cop concept works. The CHP wants to build this trust one cup at a time.  Gallian column in Fresno Bee


Police shut down north Stockton sideshow 49 cited, 4 vehicles towed — An impromptu car show known as a “sideshow” involving an estimated 200 participants on a northwest Stockton thoroughfare was shut down Saturday night before it ever got started, police reported.  Stockton Record article



Two-decade old legal battle over special education oversight nears resolution, brings major changes – The California Department of Education said last week that it will comply with a federal court order to improve significantly its system for monitoring special education, after years of legal maneuvering to block the changes. EdSource article


To retain teachers, lawmakers push to exempt them from state income tax – Teachers on the job for at least five years would be exempt from paying state income taxes under a bill that aims to increase the number of teachers entering and staying in the profession. EdSource article


Beyer robot defender of winning alliance, heads to world contest — Beyer High Iron Patriots turned an epic fail into a whopper of a win, and will be heading to Houston, Texas, to take on top teams from around the world. Modesto Bee article



A grant to plant: Nonprofit will beautiful Stockton with 261 trees — Fathers and Families of San Joaquin and a host of volunteers will be spending the next several weeks turning a vacant lot at the corner of Lafayette and Sutter streets into an urban forest the entire community can enjoy.  Stockton Record article


Health/Human Services 


San Francisco library workers may get training to have heroin addicts’ lives — In addition to checking out and re-shelving books, San Francisco library staffers may soon be trained to give lifesaving medication to reverse overdoses among the growing number of heroin users mixing in with the homeless in and around the Main Library. San Francisco Chronicle article


Land Use/Housing


Sacramento council considers new homeless center with fewer restrictions — The Navigation Center and a sister operation several blocks away gave city outreach workers enough space and credibility with homeless people to fully clear several tent cities so far, said Sam Dodge, deputy director of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. The model’s success led city leaders to approve more centers, three of which will open this year.  Sacramento Bee article




Pedestrians want California cities to give them head start crossing the street — You know that moment when the “walk” sign has turned to “don’t walk,” but the light hasn’t changed yet, and you think you can make it across if you hurry, but technically, you’d be disobeying the sign? It’s a real issue. In Los Angeles, people are getting hit with tickets for that. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, just introduced a bill to clarify. If the pedestrian light has a countdown head (like a NASA launch: 10, 9, 8, 7 …), you’d have the right to scurry out after “don’t walk” flashes if you can get to the other side before the countdown hits zero. Sacramento Bee article


Other areas


Merced eyes quiet zones on its railroads; moves to sell police HQ — The Merced City Council will discuss the possibility of quiet zones on railroads, and the city is moving on the purchase of its next police station during the Monday meeting. Merced Sun-Star article


Merced County supervisors will discuss road map, vision for county in workshop — The new Merced County Board of Supervisors will get a rare opportunity on Monday to get out of town and discuss their priorities and mold a unified board vision. Merced Sun-Star article


Valley Editorial Roundup


Sacramento Bee – Sacramento County supervisors on Tuesday will weigh recommendations to redirect federal housing vouchers and other resources to help 1,755 homeless adults and youths. But the plan will rely on federal funding, which, under President Donald Trump, is less dependable than it once was.