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


Updating . .  

LAUSD teachers’ strike, Day 5: The sun’s out and hopes rise for a settlement -- The length of the first day of talks was one hopeful sign. Another, perhaps, was a mutual understanding that neither side would discuss the content of negotiations in public. Competing news conferences had become a forum for harsh rhetoric and accusations of bad faith. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

Navigating LAUSD strike is especially tough for parents of students with special needs -- Gloria Perez-Stewart was adamant: Her son would not attend school while his teachers at Eagle Rock Jr./Sr. High School were on strike. But for Perez-Stewart and her son, Aidan Villasenor Walker, skipping school involves much more than filling an extra six hours of free time. Matthew Ormseth and Leila Miller  in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

The Camp Fire 911 Calls -- Smoke filled the air as flames approached. But worried 911 callers were told of ‘no threat to Paradise.’ Within minutes, homes were burning and thousands were fleeing from another California town caught off guard. Megan Cassidy, Joaquin Palomino and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Gov. Gavin Newsom offers unemployment benefits to TSA workers, defying Trump administration -- In a public display of defiance, Gov. Gavin Newsom encouraged Transportation Security Administration employees to apply for unemployment insurance through the state after the Trump administration warned California that the workers are ineligible for the benefits during the federal shutdown. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times Maddy Ashmun in the Sacramento Bee Nadine Sebai Capital Public Radio -- 1/18/19

Furloughed IRS workers back on job to send out refunds, and they’re not happy -- It’s nice to be called essential, said Internal Revenue Service employees recalled to work in Oakland on Thursday, but it would be even nicer to get paid. Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/18/19

This is why federal corrections officers, unpaid during shutdown, worry for their safety -- “We’re in an environment where we’re constantly looking over our shoulder,” said Lindsay, a 24-year corrections officer who works at MDC Los Angeles, a detention center in Downtown L.A. with 700 inmates. “We have murderers, rapists, child molesters — anything and everything you can think of.” Assaults in prisons are a daily occurrence, Lindsay said. And as the shutdown continues, the danger grows. Emily Rasmussen in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 1/18/19

Will PG&E customers pay more in bankruptcy? Not if state watchdog can stop it -- The consumer watchdog arm of the California Public Utilities Commission says millions of Pacific Gas & Electric customers should not have to bear the brunt of the utility’s misdeeds if it was responsible for two of the most destructive wildfires in California. Judy Lin Calmatters -- 1/18/19

Judge overseeing PG&E’s probation links fires to power poles -- The federal judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s criminal probation issued tentative findings Thursday that described woodlands containing PG&E power poles and lines as scenes of wildfires waiting to happen. Bob Egelko and J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/18/19

California law enforcement unions seek to block release of officer disciplinary records -- A landmark attempt to open up records of police use of force and misconduct in California has turned into a broad legal battle as law enforcement unions across the state have gone to court to stop the release of some of the documents. Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

Orange County sheriff’s union wins court order blocking release of deputy disciplinary files under new law -- The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, following a trend by other police unions in California, contends the law should not be enforced retroactively — meaning documents relating to events before 2019 would remain secret. Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 1/18/19

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy to plead guilty in robbery of marijuana warehouse -- In a plea agreement he signed this month, Deputy Marc Antrim admitted to the elaborate ruse in which he and a team of accomplices posed as narcotics deputies on a legitimate raid in order to steal more than half a ton of marijuana and safes filled with cash. Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

California’s thriving LGBT caucus: Because sometimes, lawmaking is personal -- When Sheila Kuehl of Santa Monica became California’s first openly gay or lesbian legislator in 1994, a cartoonist depicted the occasion. The drawing’s first panel was “The gay and lesbian caucus goes to lunch.” The second was “Kuehl, party of one.” Elizabeth Castillo Calmatters -- 1/18/19

Lawsuit links ramped-up surveillance of foreign and U.S. citizens to Trump’s immigration crackdown -- The federal government has ramped up its surveillance of the social media feeds of citizens and non-citizens amid an immigration crackdown, and won’t disclose what it’s doing, a new lawsuit claims. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/18/19

Politifact CA: Gavin Newsom proposes ‘down payment’ on universal healthcare in California -- Creating a system where all California residents have health coverage and access, also known as universal healthcare, is a tall order. When the newly-inaugurated Democratic governor unveiled several budget proposals on the topic last week, we decided to examine whether they move his pledge forward on our Newsom-Meter and, if so, by how much. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 1/18/19

Gavin Newsom’s family plans move to $3.7 million Fair Oaks mansion -- California’s new governor and his family plan to move to a $3.7 million, six-bedroom house in Fair Oaks they bought in December, according to property records obtained by The Sacramento Bee. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/18/19

KQED Political Breakdown: Buffy Wicks -- Buffy Wicks, talks about juggling parenting and politics, her childhood in the Sierra foothills, working for President Obama, and facing challenges from the left in her race for State Assembly. Link here -- 1/17/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

California dealers try to stop Volvo’s car subscription service -- A trade group representing California car and truck dealerships has filed a petition with the state’s New Motor Vehicle Board to stop Volvo from offering cars on a subscription model. Sean O'Kane The Verge -- 1/18/19

Restaurants offer free or discounted meals to federal employees affected by the shutdown -- With the government shutdown dragging on, local and national restaurants are extending a helping hand to federal employees by offering freebies and discounts. Anne Valdespino in the Orange County Register -- 1/18/19

The city of LA is prepping for an earthquake on these 5 fault lines -- The San Andreas Fault in the Southern California desert gets most of the local earthquake press and the starring roles in summer blockbusters. But scientists are getting better at mapping the fault lines beneath Los Angeles that have the potential to inflict as much—if not more—devastation. Alissa Walker Curbed LA -- 1/18/19

Hungry for cash, Musk says company can no longer afford free Supercharging for new buyers -- Tesla needs more cash. To help keep what it’s got from flying out the door, Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday announced the end of a customer referral program that offers free Supercharging to new buyers. Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19


California sees its first home sales drop in four years -- California’s housing market ended 2018 on a down note, with sales for 2018 as a whole down for the first time in four years and home price gains showing signs of leveling off, Realtor economists reported Thursday, Jan. 17. Jeff Collins in the Orange County Register -- 1/18/19

Southern California builders are cutting prices to move glut of unsold homes -- According to real estate watcher Zillow, 25.9 percent of new homes on the market in Los Angeles and Orange counties in the fourth quarter had price cuts — No. 17 of 34 major markets studied nationally. Jonathan Lansner in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 1/18/19


Dispute over rules riles California’s legal pot market -- California has finalized its rules governing the nation’s largest legal marijuana market, a milestone coming more than a year after the state broadly legalized cannabis sales for adults. But a dispute over home deliveries into communities that ban pot sales could end up in court. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 1/18/19

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Border patrol releases dramatic ‘civil unrest readiness exercise’ video amid shutdown -- U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents posted a dramatic video to Twitter on Wednesday showing a “large scale civil unrest readiness exercise” that took place in California last month, sparking criticism because the heavily-produced clip was released during a weeks-long government shutdown. Jared Gilmour and Don Sweeney in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/18/19

New Central American caravan met with warm response from Mexico -- Hundreds of Central American migrants filed peacefully from Tecan Uman, Guatemala into this small southern Mexican border city on Thursday, the first large group from a caravan that launched from northern Honduras on Tuesday. Sandra Dibble in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/18/19


Who could come out strong in the LAUSD teachers' strike when all is said and done? -- As the L.A. teachers’ strike enters its fifth day and a new round of negotiations begin, two realities are emerging: The tremendous enthusiasm over the walkout and the toll its taking on the school system. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

See how San Diego schools stack up against Los Angeles in teacher salaries, class sizes -- Issues of pay, class size and school staff are far from unique to L.A. Unified, the state’s largest district with 467,000 students. Recent state data show that several school districts in San Diego County have larger average class sizes or lower teacher salaries than L.A. Unified. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/18/19

Teacher Sickout Looming in Oakland as Anger Boils Over -- After more than a year and a half without a contract, Oakland teachers are preparing to vote on a strike. But teachers frustrated with how slowly the formal bargaining process works say they want to show the district they're willing to strike. So for the second time in two months some teachers plan to call in sick en masse Friday in what they’re calling a "sickout." Vanessa Rancaño KQED -- 1/18/19

UC regents relax rules restricting paid outside jobs for chancellors and top managers -- UC rules had required pre-approval for all paid and unpaid activities. But before wrapping up a two-day meeting in San Francisco, regents agreed to drop requirements for pre-approval for any outside activity — such as a position on a corporate board — that pays less than $2,500 from a single source in a year, unless required by a higher-up. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

California student debt is way up -- Californians owed $133 billion in student loan debt in late 2018, more than double the amount owed a decade earlier, according to a new analysis from credit tracking firm Experian. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/18/19

Gun found under gym bleachers at Elk Grove High School leads to two arrests --Two students were arrested at Elk Grove High School on Thursday after a handgun and ammunition were found under the bleachers in the school’s gym, according to Elk Grove police. Hannah Darden in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/18/19

California’s student suspension rates are far higher in rural schools -- While California has made substantial progress in reducing school suspensions, it faces a challenge in often overlooked rural regions of the state, where student suspension rates are significantly higher than those of urban areas. Lee Romney and Daniel J. Willis EdSource -- 1/18/19

County oversight will add wrinkle to LA Unified's teacher contract talks -- Debra Duardo won’t be in the room during the negotiations between Los Angeles Unified officials and striking teachers that resumed on Thursday. But the district may feel like she’s casting a shadow on the wall. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/18/19

Also . . . 

Family of camper killed in Malibu Creek State Park files $90-million damage claims -- The family of a man who was shot to death while camping at Malibu Creek State Park with his children filed claims for more than $90 million against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other state and local agencies, accusing them of failing to warn the public about several shootings in and around the area before the slaying. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/18/19

Family of man killed by Pittsburg police last year files lawsuit -- Three family members of Terry Amons Jr. filed the lawsuit Thursday, through the offices of San Francisco-based civil attorney Stanley Goff. The suit seeks unspecified damages and alleges negligence and excessive force, naming Officers Dillon Tindall and Jesus Arellano as defendants. Nate Gartrell in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/18/19

Sacramento County poised to pay $7 million in wrongful-death settlement over deputy shooting -- Sacramento County is set to pay $7 million to the family of a man who was shot and killed in front of their Citrus Heights home by sheriff’s deputies in 2016, as part of a settlement stemming from a wrongful-death lawsuit. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/18/19

Custody fights: Who gets the pets? -- California judges can now consider what is in the best interests of a pet when deciding animal custody cases in divorce disputes. Lisa Renner Capitol Weekly -- 1/18/19

POTUS 45  

Democrats demand investigation after report that Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress -- Democratic leaders reacted with fury and demanded an investigation late Thursday following a new report that President Trump personally directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the president’s push for a lucrative condo project in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Tim Elfrink in the Washington Post Quint Forgey Politico -- 1/18/19


Republican lawmaker who yelled ‘go back to Puerto Rico’ apologizes to Latino colleague -- A Republican lawmaker apologized Thursday for shouting “Go back to Puerto Rico!” on the House floor earlier that day, said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who Democrats initially suspected was the target of the verbal attack. Herman Wong in the Washington Post -- 1/18/19

McCarthy’s challenge to Steve King after years of GOP inaction stands as first test for minority leader -- When Rep. Steve King was ushered into House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office Monday night, after sparking outrage for questioning whether the term “white supremacist” is offensive, he expected to be scolded. He did not expect his career in congressional politics to effectively end. Robert Costa and Mike DeBonis in the Washington Post -- 1/18/19

The circular firing squad: Mueller targets turn on each other -- After Rudy Giuliani's latest comments, it’s everyone for themselves. And it's a prosecutor’s dream for the special counsel. Darren Samuelsohn Politico -- 1/18/19


-- Thursday Updates 

An ugly call about Trump's wall reaches an LAUSD strike picket line -- A Los Angeles Unified employee working at South Gate Middle School during the teachers’ strike was removed from the school after she shouted, “Build the wall!” at picketers. The district said it was investigating the incident, which went viral when a video was posted on Facebook. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/17/19

Judge blames deadly California wildfires on PG&E’s uninsulated power conductors -- A federal judge Thursday blamed uninsulated power conductors owned by PG&E for the bulk of Northern California’s wildfires the past two years – including the deadly Camp Fire in Butte County – adding to the legal woes the utility is confronting. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/17/19

What would a deal to end the LAUSD teachers’ strike look like? -- The outlines of a deal that could resolve the three-day-old Los Angeles teachers’ strike are emerging, but sticking points and animosity could stymie a quick resolution. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/17/19

PG&E bankruptcy plan threatens California’s electric car goals -- California has set its sights on having millions more electric cars on the road over the next decade, but the planned bankruptcy of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the state’s largest investor-owned utility, could complicate efforts to achieve that goal. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/17/19

Big earthquake would topple countless buildings, but many cities ignore the danger -- The Northridge earthquake that hit 25 years ago offered alarming evidence of how vulnerable many types of buildings are to collapse from major shaking. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/17/19

Should children attend full-day kindergarten? -- California may soon require that all the state’s kindergarteners attend a full day of school, if a bill introduced last week becomes law. Under the legislation, schools must transition from half-day programs to full-day programs by the 2021-22 school year. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/17/19

Thousands more migrant children likely taken from their families than previously disclosed, report says -- The Trump administration likely separated thousands more children from their families at the border than has been previously acknowledged, a federal watchdog said Thursday. Paloma Esquivel in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/17/19

Fox: Doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposes to deal with the poverty issue in part by doubling the size of the Earned Income Tax Credit designed to put extra money in the pockets of low income workers. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/17/19

Michael Cohen does not dispute report that he paid tech firm to rig polls for Trump -- Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, did not dispute a report Thursday that he hired a technology company to help rig online polls in his boss’s favor ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign and said what he did was at Trump’s direction. John Wagner and Philip Rucker in the Washington Post -- 1/17/19