Budget deal

Jun 10, 2019

Governor abandons water tax, rejects some new spending in state budget deal


From the LAT's JOHN MYERS: "Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders announced Sunday the broad outlines of a new state budget, one that provides a boost for California’s low-income adults and children but excludes a controversial tax to pay for clean water in distressed communities."


"The details of key parts of the agreement were unveiled during a late afternoon hearing in which legislators from both houses met to approve the proposal. Though it does not signal the end of the budget process — legislators cited numerous places where the plan includes placeholder language, thus leaving the details to be determined later — the action brought to an end principal budget negotiations at the state Capitol, the first for Newsom since taking office this year."


"“The budget adopted by the Conference Committee is balanced, creates historic reserves and expands budget resiliency,” Newsom said in a written statement."


Undocumented immigrants to get health care in Newsom's budget deal


Sac Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG/ADAM ASHTON: "California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget won’t look exactly like he wanted, but a deal lawmakers released late Sunday largely fulfills the objectives he set six months ago when he first outlined his spending plan."


"Lawmakers want to use an “extraordinary” state budget surplus to expand health care options for undocumented people while stockpiling billions of dollars in reserves in anticipation of an economic downturn, according to documents the Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee released."


"The agreement marks the end of months of negotiations between Newsom and the Legislature. Lawmakers face a June 15 deadline to pass the budget, which will take effect in July."


Utilities in fire-weary California strategize for long, hot summer


From the LAT's LOUIS SAHAGUN: "With temperatures soaring and strong winds blowing through forests across Northern California over the weekend, rural areas in the Sierra Nevada foothills plunged into darkness after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. shut off high-voltage transmission lines to avoid sparking wildfires."


"The first formal deployment of its new “public safety power shutoff” rules left more than 20,500 PG&E customers in portions of Butte and Yuba counties without power as 260 utility personnel conducted safety patrols, repaired electrical infrastructure and inspected 800 miles of transmission and distribution lines, officials said."


"The aggressive power shutoffs began at 9 p.m. Saturday and continued through Sunday. “We’re asking impacted customers to be prepared for a 24- to 48-hour outage,” Karly Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the utility, said in an interview Sunday."


California wildfire panel doubles down on push to ease liability rules for PG&E


The Chronicle's DUSTIN GARDINER:  "Despite resistance from the state’s top political leaders, California’s special wildfire commission doubled down Friday on its recommendation that the state loosen liability laws for utilities whose equipment ignites disastrous blazes."


"Commissioners defended their proposal during a meeting at which they voted to send the recommendation to the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom. They urged the state to overhaul its legal doctrine that holds utilities responsible for wildfires started by their equipment, even if the companies were not negligent."


Does this vaxx bill go too far? Concerned families say they 'll leave the state if it passes


Sac Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Orange County mom Michelle Sabino says her daughter experienced 16 seizures in two months after she was vaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough when she was a baby."


"She’d never considered that vaccines could be dangerous. But after consulting with two physicians who both recommended brain scans, and a medical review of her family’s history and records, Sabino said she was shocked when a doctor said future vaccines could be “fatal."


"A speech pathologist, Sabino now says she’s ready to quit her job and leave California to protect her daughter from a proposed law she fears would force her child to receive vaccines."


State lottery director stepping down amid scrutiny


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON/WES VENTEICHER: "California State Lottery Director Hugo Lopez is stepping down immediately, he announced in an email to lottery staff on Friday."


"Lopez has led the department since 2015. It’s been under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and the State Controller’s Office since August, when anonymous employees sent a letter to former Gov. Jerry Brown’s office alleging misconduct among senior executives at sales conferences."


"Lopez in his message said he was proud of the department’s performance, particularly in growing annual revenue to more than $7 billion. A decade ago, the department brought in less than $3 billion a year.


OP-ED: SF has a case of the vapors over Juul


The Chronicle's Editorial Board: "A city beset by daunting difficulties could use a scapegoat. So San Francisco politicians must be grateful for Juul Labs, the nicotine-delivery sensation that did them the favor of locating its corporate headquarters at Pier 70. Being closely associated with a recent surge in vaping among teenagers, Juul is an obvious political target on the order of Big Tobacco, but with an irresistible sheen of trendy relevance that cigarettes have long since lost."


"Enter City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton, who propose no less a sanction for Juul and its ilk than banishment from the city. Their plan, expected to be considered by a Board of Supervisors committee Friday, would take the draconian step of prohibiting e-cigarette sales throughout the city and banning the companies that make them from public property — e.g., the space currently leased by Juul. As Walton put it, “We don’t want them in our city."


Plan to prop up Obamacare as key budget debate for California Democrats


Sac Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "As the Democrats who run California government hash out the final details of the state budget, some lawmakers and advocates are raising doubts about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to shore up Obamacare with a tax penalty on people who don’t buy insurance."


"Newsom’s office argues fining people without insurance, a plan known as the individual mandate, will stabilize the state’s health insurance market and generate money to subsidize insurance for middle-income people. But others say the money it will generate isn’t enough to make health insurance truly affordable, as the governor’s office is planning."


"That’s one of the big debates in the budget this year,” said Anthony Wright of Health Access California."


When conservatives went to war over SF post office murals


The Chronicle's GARY KAMIYA: "In recent years, most of the attacks on public art in San Francisco have come from the left — the fight to remove from Civic Center the “Early Days” statue with a supine Indian and the uproar over “Life of Washington” murals at George Washington High School depicting a black slave and dead American Indian being the latest examples."


"This is a remarkable reversal. Throughout the city’s history, conservatives almost invariably were the ones leading the charge to remove “objectionable” art."


Keeping an eye on sheriffs: California Democrats want to empower investigators


Sac Bee's KYUNG MI LEE: "A dispute between Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and the inspector general who investigated a deputy-involved shooting is shaping a statewide proposal to create powerful law enforcement oversight bodies."


"Within months of the dispute, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, wrote a bill that would be a new check on California’s 58 elected sheriffs, enabling counties to create oversight boards with authority to issue subpoenas."


"“This timely measure ensures that those sheriffs who have refused oversight will no longer be able to operate in the shadows,” McCarty said in a written statement about his Assembly Bill 1185."


Planned trips to moon could launch era of space-based commerce


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "Hovering, cube-shape robots with blinking eyes will soon be greeting astronauts when they dock at a space station orbiting the moon. Down below, smart machines will be zipping around mapping mineral deposits, locating water and digging up materials that could help sustain life."


"A new age of space exploration has arrived 50 years after Neil Armstrong made the first giant leap for mankind, and planned excursions to the moon and beyond could fundamentally change the world economy by ushering in space-based commerce."


SF approves huge office project, first in central SoMa


The Chronicle's ROLAND LI: "A large central South of Market office complex won city approval Thursday, ushering in a wave of development in the San Francisco neighborhood. The longtime industrial area is set to transform into a shiny new district of tech offices, housing projects and hotels and become the city’s newest jobs center."


"The Planning Commission voted in favor of developer Tishman Speyer’s 598 Brannan St., a three-building complex with room for nearly 5,000 workers."


Trump still hangs tariff threat over Mexico despite deal


AP's JILL COLVIN: "President Donald Trump on Sunday dangled the prospect of renewing his tariff threat against Mexico if the U.S. ally doesn't cooperate on border issues, while some of his Democratic challengers for the White House said the last-minwute deal to avert trade penalties was overblown.

unknown reason" cooperation fails, "we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs."


"Still, he said he didn't believe that would be necessary."

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