Supreme Court tosses California equal-pay case, saying ruling died with judge
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A federal appeals court ruling that prohibited employers from taking past salaries into consideration to pay women less than men was set aside by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday because the judge who wrote it died before it was issued."
"The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in April that the federal Equal Pay Act, banning sex discrimination in wages, bars taking salary history into account if a man and woman are doing the same job. The ruling went a step beyond other federal appeals courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had allowed employers to consider previous pay as one of several salary factors, along with skills and experience."
"All 11 judges on the appeals court panel agreed that Fresno County school officials had violated the law by relying entirely on a female math consultant’s past salary to pay her at least $13,000 less than a male colleague. But only six, led by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, said that any consideration of previous pay would be illegal."
Amid fiscal turmoil, Sac Unified faces possible state takeover
LISA RENNER in Capitol Weekly: "As the Sacramento City Unified School District faces a $35 million budget shortfall and a possible takeover by the state, the teachers’ union is pointing fingers of blame at district administration."
"The Sacramento City Teachers Association wrote a lengthy letterearlier this month to newly elected state Superintendent Tony Thurmond asking for the California Department of Education to investigate potential misuse of public dollars and a potential conflict of interest involving Superintendent Jorge Aguilar."
"Taken as a whole, it’s a pattern of questions we have,” said David Fisher, the teacher’s union president. “We want a comprehensive investigation that won’t just look at one individual thing out of context."
READ MORE related to Education: Even when districts want more school, nurses they have trouble finding them -- EdSource's DAVID WASHBURN
SF DA to wipe out 9,000+ pot cases going back to 1975
The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that his office will wipe out more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions in an unprecedented step following California’s cannabis legalization more than two years ago."
"Gascón last year teamed up with Code for America — a nonprofit focused on using open-source technology to improve government — to find every marijuana case eligible for expungement or resentencing under Proposition 64. San Francisco will be the first city in the country to clear all eligible pot convictions."
"On Monday, the district attorney’s office said it has identified 9,362 eligible cases dating back to 1975. Gascón will present the cases to a judge in the coming weeks for expungement."
Newsom: 'I want to continue to have a relationship' with Trump
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s spending his time in the nation’s capital building relationships — including with President Trump."
"Still, even as he told The Chronicle he hopes to keep politics out of his conversations with the president, he was also talking with other states about joining a lawsuit California is leading to block Trump’s use of emergency powers to build his wall along the border with Mexico."
"It’s evidence of the narrow line Newsom has had to thread as governor — reliant on the federal government for support on issues like disaster relief while running the state that is a hotbed of Trump resistance and a favorite target of the president."
READ MORE related to Newsom Administration: Newsom tries to sidestep California's clash with Trump in visit to Washington -- LA Times's PHIL WILLON
California district stalls West drought plan over Salton Sea money
AP's FELICIA FONSECA: "A California irrigation district with the highest-priority rights to Colorado River water is using its power to demand federal funds to restore the state's largest lake, hoping to capitalize on one of its best opportunities to tackle a long-standing environmental and human health hazard."
"The Imperial Irrigation District wants $200 million for the Salton Sea, a massive, briny lake in the desert southeast of Los Angeles created when the Colorado River breached a dike in 1905 and flooded a dry lake bed. The money would help create habitat for migratory birds and suppress dust in communities with high rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses."
"The district says that if the federal government doesn't commit to giving California the money, it won't sign off on a multistate plan to preserve the river's two largest reservoirs amid a prolonged drought."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: California utilities and fire costs in focus as new commission starts work -- The Chronicle's J.D. MORRIS; Not just earthquakes but volcanoes too? Study details California's volcanic hazards -- AP
California Democrats propose tax cuts and aid to renters
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Democrats often are painted by their Republican adversaries as being the party of tax-raisers, and it’s true that California Democrats have introduced a raft of new proposed taxes and fees in the Legislature."
"But Democratic lawmakers have also introduced a number of tax-reducing proposals for consideration."
"Among the proposals aimed at providing tax relief to Californians include bills to exempt diapers and menstrual products from the state sales tax, a bill to temporarily lower the cannabis excise tax and outright eliminate the cultivation tax, and a tax credit aimed at addressing the state’s skyrocketing rent."
READ MORE related to Death & Taxes: Soda, water, guns, and tires: They could all be taxed if California Democrats have their way -- Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER
California AG looks to expand new data privacy law
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "The state attorney general is aiming to give more teeth to a new data privacy law before it takes effect next year by expanding his and Californians’ right to sue companies for damages."
"Under SB561, unveiled Monday by Attorney General Xavier Becerra and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), consumers would be able to take a business to court for sharing or selling their personal information without permission. The attorney general’s office also would be allowed to take action against a company without first giving it a chance to correct violations of the data privacy law."
"Becerra said the proposed changes were based on concerns he raised last year as the original bill was being drafted that it was not enforceable."
SF police officials investigating leaked report on death of Jeff Adachi
The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "San Francisco police officials said they are conducting an investigation into “allegations of improper conduct” around the unauthorized release of a police incident report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachithat was obtained by numerous media organizations, including The Chronicle."
"The 16-page initial incident report describes the police response to an apartment at 46 Telegraph Place, where Adachi suffered a medical emergency on Friday night before paramedics took him to California Pacific Medical Center’s Pacific Campus, where he was pronounced dead."
"The department is concerned with the unauthorized release of the police report and is investigating allegations of improper conduct and release of the report,” said Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco police spokesman. “The department understands and respects the sensitivity and privacy of investigations of this nature."
LA County weighs a tax on Uber and Lyft to curb traffic congestion
LA Times's LAURA J NELSON: "Transportation officials are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft rides in Los Angeles County, saying the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region."
"The ride-hailing fee is in the early stages of discussion at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with more than a dozen other strategies to manage congestion and fund transportation projects before the 2028 Olympic Games."
"Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax. The directors also will consider approving a study on congestion pricing, which would analyze the effects of converting more carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee for motorists to enter certain neighborhoods."
In echoes of Watergate, Trump's ex-lawyer is expected to tell all to House committee
LA Times's CHRIS MEGERIAN: "After more than a decade as the keeper of Donald Trump’s secrets, Michael Cohen has been spilling the beans about the president’s private business deals, foreign interests and alleged mistresses to federal prosecutors in Washington and New York."
"But apart from brief comments in the courtroom where he pleaded guilty to several crimes and received a three-year prison sentence, the president's former lawyer and fixer has not spoken publicly about what he now calls Trump’s “dirty deeds."
"That is likely to change Wednesday when Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee in a hearing that could be the most damaging for a president since former White House Counsel John Dean helped bring down Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal."
McConnell uses his control of the Senate to put pressure on 2020 Democratic candidates
LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORN: "With nearly one in five Democratic senators now eyeing the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is using his control over the chamber to make life a little more difficult for President Trump’s 2020 challengers."
"On Monday, McConnell — the top Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate — forced a vote on a controversial anti-abortion bill. It has no hope for passage but it required some Democrats to take an uncomfortable vote that will almost certainly be used against them during the campaign."