Winners and losers

Jun 12, 2019

Who takes home more cash under California's budget deal -- and who pays more?


Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first state budget steers billions of dollars to programs that help undocumented immigrants, new parents and low-income taxpayers."


"He calls it a “California for All” budget that eases burdens on lower income and middle class residents in the expensive state. But there’s a cost to the new programs, and many Californians will see new fees if the deal lawmakers released on Sunday passes the Legislature and is signed by Newsom."


"Here’s a look at which Californians will take home more money next year, and who will pay more:"


California electric grid operators issue 'flex alert,' ask for conservation


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "The managers of California’s electric grid issued the first “flex alert” of the year Tuesday, urging Californians to conserve energy starting at 4 p.m."


"With temperatures soaring past 100 degrees, the Independent System Operator said energy demand would reach a peak of 42,800 megawatts sometime in the evening. Supplies are further constrained because two major power generators, capable of producing a combined 1,260 megawatts, have gone offline because of mechanical failures."


"A megawatt can power 750 to 1,000 homes."


Newsom and legislators are at odds over spending to address homelessness


LA TImes's LIAM DILLON: "Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders have agreed to roughly $1 billion in spending to fight California’s growing homelessness problem, but they haven’t yet decided how to divvy up much of that money."


"At issue is $650 million earmarked for local governments for the fiscal year beginning July 1, on which lawmakers are scheduled to vote ahead of a deadline Saturday. Left unresolved is who is going to get that money and what it could be spent on."


"The governor wants to reserve some of the money in the budget for counties while legislators are pushing for the entire amount to go to the state’s 13 largest cities or regional agencies known as “continuums of care,” which coordinate services for the homeless across the state."


A California desert town sees surge in migrants as border crisis worsens


LA Times's RUBEN VIVES: "The little boy playing in the parking lot of a Seventh-day Adventist Church here was startled when three U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicles pulled in."


"Favio Ferreira, a 7-year-old from Guatemala, ran inside to tell the others."


"Come, come, la migra!” he said."


California seeks 100% clean energy. Why PG&E's bankruptcy could imperil that plan


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "California’s crusade to turn its electricity grid green is running into an increasingly serious obstacle: PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy."


"The utility last week won a key court ruling when a bankruptcy judge said federal regulators can’t stop PG&E from unraveling billions of dollars worth of pricey contracts to buy electricity from solar and wind farms and other renewable energy sources."


"Although PG&E said it hasn’t decided whether to walk away from those deals, it fought for the legal right to do so. Green-energy advocates say PG&E’s efforts are casting a cloud over their entire industry and will make it harder to borrow money for future projects, whether it’s PG&E or some other utility buying the power."


OP-ED: Renewable gas: A sound option to fight organic waste


NINA KAPOOR in Capitol Weekly: "Let’s play a game: what would you do with 25 million tons of organic waste annually?"


"Here are a few tidbits to spark your imagination: Organic waste includes food and green waste, landscaping and pruning waste, lumber, fiber, sewage and sludges."


"The Puente Hills Landfill in Los Angeles is the largest landfill in the United States (rising 500 feet high and covering 700 acres) and it has a capacity of 700 million tons. However, there is one caveat for this exercise that I forgot to mention — none of the organic waste can go to a landfill."


Towing a car can be financially ruinous. Should cities do it anyway?


From the LAT's LAURA NELSON: "Over the objections of anti-poverty advocates, Los Angeles lawmakers on Tuesday came out against legislation that would prevent California cities from towing vehicles left on the street for more than 72 hours."


"The bill, introduced in Sacramento by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), would prevent cities from impounding cars with five or more unpaid parking tickets, or registration that is six months out of date."


"The City Council heard nearly two hours of heated, sometimes angry, public debate before opposing the bill on a 12 to 1 vote. Some lawmakers said they would support an end to towing for unpaid parking tickets and expired registration, but not for cars left parked on the street for more than three days."


California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers crackdown on industry


The Chronicle's DUSTIN GARDINER: " Even in an eco-conscious city like San Francisco, more than 9,000 tons of recyclables are dumped in landfills every year largely due to one culprit: flimsy plastics."


"Low-grade plastics, such as shopping bags, padded online shipping envelopes and food packaging, are piling up in recycling centers. Part of the reason is that overseas markets such as China and the Philippines — which used to buy America’s trash by the shipload — are turning most plastics away."


FB's Mark Zuckerberg reached out to Pelosi over doctored video


The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the company declined to remove a doctored video of the San Francisco congresswoman, according to a person familiar with the interaction."


"Pelosi has not personally responded to the outreach, however, as she has publicly criticized the company’s decision not to take down the video."


Aide to Newsom, 32, dies of natural causes


Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Chona Sarte, a 32-year-old aide to Gov. Gavin Newsom, died Monday night of natural causes, the governor’s office announced Tuesday."


"Sarte, who had a heart condition, served as deputy director of external affairs in the Newsom administration."


"Born and raised in Sacramento, Sarte attended Sacramento State for college and UC Davis for her business degree, said Priscilla Cheng, her supervisor in the governor’s office. The only introvert working on team of extroverts, Sarte was a respected and talented colleague, Cheng said."


First presidential debate spots at stake: Eric Swalwell on the bubble?


The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Wednesday is deadline day for Democratic presidential candidates hoping to make the first debate stage — and some are going to be disappointed."


"The Democratic National Committee has capped the first debate at 20 candidates, and set a polling and donor threshold to make the stage. Twenty hopefuls have already qualified, including California Sen. Kamala Harris and Dublin Rep. Eric Swalwell, according to multiple news outlets tracking the field."


Uber, Lyft to make wage concessions to keep California drivers contractors


The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID: "Uber and Lyft are joining forces to fight legislation that would turn their California drivers and other gig workers into employees."


"The rivals are poised to campaign for an alternative to AB5, which passed the Assembly 51-11 last month and soon will go to the Senate. AB5 codifies and clarifies a California Supreme Court decision called Dynamex that toughens standards for companies to claim workers are not employees."


Looking for the best state to live in right now? Look away from California, study says


Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI: "California may be the most populous state in the United States, but a recent study suggests it may not be the best place to live."


"WalletHub, a personal financial services website, conducted a study that looked at several criteria including jobs and crime, and determined that the best state to live in is Massachusetts."


"California, burdened with high housing costs and low rates of homeownership, was deemed the 23rd-best place in the country to live, according to WalletHub."


Grizzlies' Ocasio-Cortez video controversy won't die. Councilman disagrees with apology


Sacramento Bee's BRIANNA CALIX: "Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld this week sharply criticized two colleagues for spending taxpayer money for a trip to Washington, D.C., where they apologized to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the 75th anniversary of D-Day – and he doesn’t believe their explanation."


"Councilmembers Miguel Arias and Esmeralda Soria spent about $2,400 total from their council budgets on the trip, but they said the visit with Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the purpose of the trip. They went to D.C. to advocate for Congress to pass the Dream Act and for safe drinking water infrastructure."


"Quite honestly, I don’t believe the trip would’ve happened except for their desire to meet with this socialist congresswoman,” Bredefeld said in an interview on Tuesday with The Bee."

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