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POLITICAL PULSE 8/29/16
Posted On: Aug 29, 2016

POLITICAL PULSE

Monday, August 29, 2016

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Almost 200 proposed laws await governor’s OK — or not -- The fate of hundreds of bills will be decided by Wednesday, when state lawmakers wrap up their two-year session. There are already nearly 200 bills on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, including legislation to eliminate the statute of limitation on rape prosecutions, limit the use of solitary confinement at juvenile detention facilities, and eliminate sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/29/16

Legislature whiffs on major issues like housing and transportation -- Overcoming fierce opposition from Big Oil last week to pass sweeping new climate change legislation was a big win for Gov. Jerry Brown and other top Democrats. But as the legislative session enters its waning hours, it's becoming increasingly clear that the victory is the exception, not the rule. Jessica Calefati in the East Bay Times -- 8/29/16

Why time is running out on plan to fix California’s roads -- As the current legislative session winds down, a long-term fix for California’s inability to fully pay for road repairs and other transportation needs remains elusive despite an ongoing special session that first convened on the matter last summer. Jeff Horseman in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/29/16

More electric cars, more solar power expected as state struggles to reach tough new climate standards -- California is already a world leader in developing environmental policies that address climate change. But under a landmark bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday requiring far steeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than anything the state has ever attempted, the next 15 years will likely see big changes for California residents. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/29/16

Even rivals say Mark Leno is one of Sacramento's most accomplished lawmakers. And now, his time is up -- Mark Leno flashes a broad smile when a conversation about his political legacy pivots to an earlier part of his life, when he was a restless young man who abruptly decided to walk away from rabbinical school without any plan for what would come next. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/16

Loretta Sanchez's Senate campaign says it can overcome hurdles -- If Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez manages to prevail in the race to replace retiring U.S. Barbara Boxer, it would be an upset on the magnitude of her historic 1996 defeat of entrenched conservative Rep. Bob Dornan. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 8/29/16

Even after reforms, the state's energy regulator can still have private meetings with utility companies -- For years, state lawmakers have been trying to crack down on private meetings between utility companies and members of the California Public Utilities Commission after revelations that top officials and industry executives had frequent dinner dates, shared talking points and even sketched out details of the multibillion-dollar closure of a Southern California nuclear power plant during a secret rendezvous in a luxury hotel in Poland. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/16

As U.S. cuts ties with private prisons, state to keep using them -- The Justice Department recently decided to phase out the confinement of federal inmates in private prisons, but tens of thousands of state prisoners — including 10,700 from California — will remain in the corporate-owned institutions that a government report has criticized over safety and security. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/29/16

Lt. Gov. Newsom on Guns and Ammo: "Will of Voters" Should Trump Legislature -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom strongly defended his gun and ammunition control ballot measure, Proposition 63, saying it goes "much much further" than the package of gun control bills passed recently by the California legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Conan Nolan NBCLA -- 8/29/16

Abcarian: Latinos hold the key to pot legalization, but will people of color share in its economic riches? -- The town hall meeting, in a cavernous garage on an industrial side street in Gardena, was billed as an opportunity to learn about cannabis from some of the industry’s experts. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/16

Walters: Achieving big cut in California carbon emissions will be chess game -- Gov. Jerry Brown and other politicians celebrated last week when the Legislature passed two bills that require deeper reductions in California’s carbon emissions. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/29/16

Jewelry, wine, clothing and sports tickets: D.A. collects more than $10,000 worth of gifts -- Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey has accepted more than $10,000 worth of gifts over the last four years from criminal defense attorneys, police unions, business owners, prosecutors in her office and others who could have an interest in influencing her decisions as one of the most powerful law enforcement officials in the county, according to state records. Adam Elmahrek in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/16

Water   

Drones meet drought in skies of storied California farmland -- In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. And Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco. Scott Smith Associated Press -- 8/29/16

Education 

Students, teachers sweat out lack of air conditioning at Long Beach Unified schools -- In Long Beach, school isn’t cool. That’s generally speaking. It’s cool at about 40 percent of the 87 school buildings in the Long Beach Unified School District that are lucky, or modern, enough to have air-conditioned classrooms. Tim Grobaty in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 8/29/16

Cal State University looks to boost 4-year graduation rates -- The concept of a “four-year university,” at least at Cal State University campuses, has long been something of a polite fiction for many students. The reality is, a majority of students still need at least six years of schooling to attain an undergraduate degree, and it’s something educators across the CSU system are being pressured to change. Andrew Edwards and Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/29/16

Oakland schools nearly fully staffed after starting summer with teacher shortage -- At the end of the school year in June, Oakland Unified faced a daunting teacher shortage, with 400 vacancies. As school started last week, the district has just three. Theresa Harrington EdSource -- 8/29/16

How good is your kid's school? A new color-coded system will tell you -- From 1999 to 2013, California’s Academic Performance Index boiled down everything about the state’s K-12 public schools to a single number between 200 and 1,000. That type of accountability is going away, to be replaced by a more nuanced system that is under construction. Beau Yarbrough in the Orange County Register -- 8/29/16

Environment 

Why some environmental activists say the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument plan is toothless -- The U.S. Forest Service’s management plan for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was described as vague and toothless by numerous stakeholder groups who have reviewed the plan since its release earlier this week. Steve Scauzillo in the Washington Post$ -- 8/29/16

Also . . . 

Despite reform pressure, at least 25 want to be SFPD chief -- The jostling to become San Francisco’s next top cop has intensified, with the acting chief and at least 24 other applicants working to line up support while asserting they have the skill to guide a police force under pressure in the wake of controversial shootings and accusations of bias. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/29/16

'No, that can't be true': Angelenos react to the death of Mexican crooner Juan Gabriel -- At a plaza off Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, Joanna Franco, 25, swayed Sunday evening to the sound of banda music with her fiancé. Earlier, Franco was leaving a nearby museum when an employee asked whether she had heard that popular Mexican singer Juan Gabriel had died. Emily Alpert Reyes and Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/16

Unfounded fears of shooting at LAX create panic, chaos, gridlock -- Panic apparently sparked by loud noises sent thousands of harried, screaming passengers scurrying out of Terminal 8 at LAX Sunday night, prompting chaos outside and gridlock in the Central Terminal Area and nearby roads. Cynthia Washicko in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 8/29/16

Beltway 

Trump plans detailed immigration talk as questions remain -- Donald Trump says he'll deliver a detailed speech on his proposal to crack down on illegal immigration on Wednesday in Arizona — but it's anyone's guess what he might say. Laurie Kellman Associated Press -- 8/29/16

Hillary Clinton had the chance to make gay rights history. She refused. -- During her first run for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton had an opportunity to become an undisputed leader in the gay rights movement. Robert Samuels in the Washington Post$ -- 8/29/16

-- Sunday Updates 

This wealthy farmer is taking on Sacramento: ‘God help you if you disagree with him’ -- Proposition 53, into which Cortopassi and his wife, Joan, have poured about $4.5 million, is in one way a referendum on Brown’s $15.5 billion plan to build two tunnels to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south. But to conservative interests in California, the initiative is also regarded as a bellwether. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/28/16

Matier & Ross: San Francisco sets low ba r for police chief’s job -- Acting San Francisco Police Chief Toney Chaplin’s bid to win the job permanently is getting plenty of political support — even encouragement from Mayor Ed Lee — but his biggest ally may be the city’s loose job requirements. Take, for example the educational criteria. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/28/16

Otto’s big rigs drive into autonomous future with Uber -- An overladen pickup abruptly veered in front of our big-rig cab as we headed south on Interstate 280 from San Francisco. Luckily, we slowed just in time. Sitting in the back of the truck’s cab, Eric Berdinis drew a breath. “Whew, we got past that fine,” he said. Our truck, a Volvo VNL 780 tractor cab, was driving itself. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/28/16

Jim Doti, Chapman's renaissance man, downshifts from school president to professor -- Doti – who’s had one of the longest runs of any university president in the nation – made sure the university lived up to its own hype. David Whiting in the Orange County Register -- 8/28/16

'Granny flats' left in legal limbo amid City Hall debate -- John Gregorchuk had a plan: He would buy a house with ample room in back, enough room to build another unit. He would rent out that “granny flat” to help cover the mortgage. And then, when he and his girlfriend were ready to marry and start a family, his mother-in-law could move in and help take care of the kids. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/16

Lopez: After five weeks and 1,100 miles, a deeper love of the California coast, a greater desire to watch over it -- It was late on a chilly night when I descended a winding mountain road to Shelter Cove, one of the few California coastal communities I’d never visited. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/16

Abcarian: Latinos hold the key to pot legalization, but will people of color share in its economic riches? -- The town hall meeting, in a cavernous garage on an industrial side street in Gardena, was billed as an opportunity to learn about cannabis from some of the industry’s experts. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/16

Trump might already be out of time -- With negative perceptions hardened, his late adjustments on policy and rhetoric could sway too few people to matter. Eli Stokols Politico -- 8/28/16


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