Kamala Harris, known for caution, finds a risky move pays off against Joe Biden
From the LAT's DAVID LAUTER and MELANIE MASON: "For weeks, supporters of Sen. Kamala Harris had pointed to the first Democratic debate as the opportunity to break out of her campaign doldrums."
No sales tax on diapers, new phone charges: How California's new budget will affect you
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "California’s new $215 billion budget will cut costs for some Californians and raise taxes on others though a sweeping set of new policies ranging from ending sales taxes on diapers and tampons to fining people who don’t buy insurance."
"Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the budget Thursday evening. The deal boosts spending on child care, health insurance subsidies and homelessness. It also relies on a big surplus to fill the state’s reserve accounts with more than $19 billion."
"Here’s a look at how Newsom’s first budget, which takes effect July 1, will affect Californians."
SCOTUS rejects Trump's argument for census citizenship question. What that means for California
Sacramento Bee's EMILY CADEI/ADAM ASHTON: "The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census, finding that the administration’s explanation for the question appeared to be “contrived."
"The ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices sends the case back to a federal court in New York for further consideration, but it leaves the Trump administration little time to make a new case for the citizenship question because the government must soon begin printing materials to carry out the decennial census."
"Gov. Gavin Newsom said his administration will make every effort to deliver a thorough count, regardless of ultimate court outcome."
Thousands mourn fallen Sacramento police officer Tara O'Sullivan
The Chronicle's ASHLEY MCBRIDE: "Thousands of law enforcement officials, community members, and family and friends of Tara O’Sullivan gathered at Bayside Church on Thursday to mourn the loss — and celebrate the life — of the Sacramento officer killed last week in the line of duty."
"Speakers at the ceremony warmly recalled the 26-year-old East Bay native who knew she wanted to be a police officer from a young age and excelled at the job. Eulogies from O’Sullivan’s peers in law enforcement remembered her as a determined, standout recruit."
"Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn read a self-evaluation O’Sullivan wrote at the end of her training: “It’s done. Oh wow … this is the end of a chapter I’ve worked to achieve since I was 16,” she wrote. “Time to achieve my newest goal: field training."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Judge tosses drug case amid claims that LA Sheriff's team targeted Latinos on I-5 -- LA Times's BEN POSTON/JOEL RUBIN
Californians could vote on legalizing sports betting
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Californians could soon get to vote on whether to legalize sports betting."
"Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced a constitutional amendment Thursday that would lift the state’s prohibition on sports wagering. It would also apply new regulations to the industry."
"I look forward to working with stakeholders in a collaborative effort to help bring this out of the shadows,” Dodd said in prepared remarks. “By legalizing sports wagering we can avoid some of the problems associated with an underground market such as fraud and tax evasion while investing in problem gambling education."
Cities face $600K fines if they break state housing law in Newsom's budget deal
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "California will punish cities and counties that don’t meet their housing goals under a deal Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced Thursday."
"If a court finds that a city or county violates a state law that sets targets for how much housing a community must plan to build, the fines could range from $10,000 to $600,000 per month, according to the bill language published Thursday."
"Local governments would have a year to comply before the fines kick in after a court finds them in violation of the law. The fines would increase over time if the local government remains out of compliance."
OP-ED: Vaping: Controversial, but it has saved lives
DOUGLAS OTTER in Capitol Weekly: "Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding proposed legislation to ban flavored vaping products. I’ve seen and read many articles that cast vaping in a negative light. But, before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, I encourage you to consider the true impacts. Restricting access to flavored vapor products is restricting access to a product that has saved lives and helped smokers quit- including myself."
"I was a smoker who made many attempts to quit smoking cigarettes. I tried many different techniques—cold turkey, cutting back, reducing nicotine strengths—nothing worked. The uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms hurt my body and affected my personality, I would grow angry and nervous until I was able to have that regularly scheduled cigarette. I just couldn’t stop. Every failed attempt led me back to smoking."
Speedy California housing construction is goal of carrot-and-stick deal
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "State officials could fine California cities that do not meet their obligations to plan for new housing while rewarding those that make it easier to build, under a proposal announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders."
"Communities would also lose much of their ability to block navigation centers, the service-oriented homeless shelters that aim to connect people to long-term housing, as the state tries to get its surging homelessness crisis under control."
"It was the final piece of a broader stage budget deal that Newsom signed Thursday evening. Negotiations dragged on as the governor pushed for a mix of incentives and penalties to spur more housing construction, one of his major campaign promises."
Bay Area home prices fall 1.7%m in May, biggest year-on-year drop in 7 plus years
The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "The median price paid for a Bay Area home or condo last month was $860,000, up 1.2% from April but down 1.7% from May of last year, representing the biggest year-over-year percentage drop in more than seven years, according to a CoreLogic report released Thursday."
"To put that year-over-year decline in perspective, it’s important to remember that in May of last year, the market was in a frenzy and the median price was one month away from its all-time high of $875,000, set in June."
"After home sales rose at double-digit rates in the first half of last year, growth began slowing in the second half, to almost a crawl this year. In March, the median price actually dipped 0.1%, its first year-over-year decline in seven years, and in April it was unchanged from the previous year."
Trump vs. 'Dreamers': SCOTUS to decide on DACA during the election year
LA Times's DAVID G SAVAGE: "The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether President Trump may end Obama-era protections for the young immigrants known as Dreamers."
"Under the court’s schedule, a decision would not be handed down until late spring of next year, just as the presidential campaign moves into high gear."
"The long legal dispute has been a source of anxiety for the nearly 700,000 young adults now in the U.S. who were brought here illegally as children. They have been living and working here legally under the Obama administration program. But if Trump’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is allowed to proceed, they could be subject to deportation to foreign countries they have never known."
$1.2B CalPERS lawsuit over long-term care gets go-ahead from judge
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Public workers and retirees who sued CalPERS over an 85 percent rate increase to long-term care insurance plans could find out next week whether their lawsuit will move forward."
"The lawsuit cleared a potential hurdle when a judge tentatively ruled that it shouldn’t be thrown out based on how much time passed before it was filed, and a decision on a second piece of the trial is expected Monday or Tuesday."
"A few people who bought the plans filed a class-action lawsuit after the California Public Employees’ Retirement System notified them it planned to hike premiums in 2015 and 2016. The suit’s class includes up to about 100,000 people who faced the rate hikes. Plaintiffs claim the increases and associated costs amount to about $1.2 billion."
SF's budget for new trees surges, but city falls far short of planting goal
The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "For 51 ficus trees lining 24th Street in the Mission District, the end is near."
"Despite their impressive canopies, the trees have been condemned by San Francisco Department of Public Works as too hazardous to safely leave standing."
"For Susan Cervantes and many other residents of this bustling stretch from Mission to Potrero streets, the trees are an integral part of the neighborhood."
The Paradise Principle
The Chronicle's LIZZIE JOHNSON: "Empty white chairs lined the football field at Paradise High School. Families seated on metal bleachers clutched programs listing their children’s names. They had anticipated this moment for so long — for 210 days, to be exact."
"The seniors bunched on the turf, a sea of green and white gowns, the boys in creased khakis and the girls with lipsticked mouths and curled hair stiffened with aerosol spray."
"Students always seem older on graduation day, but this group had grown up fast, aged by a disaster. Seven months had passed since the Camp Fire, but on June 6, the flames were a distant memory. That this ceremony was happening in a town that had mostly burned down was a small miracle"
Schwarzenegger's latest role? The world's worst used car salesman
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest role is sure to get people talking."
"No, not his role in the upcoming “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Rather, his role as “Howard Kleiner, used car salesman."
"Schwarzenegger donned a cheesy fake mustache and pony-tail wig for his role in “Kicking Gas,” an ad that’s part of the Electric For All campaign promoted by nonprofit electric car advocacy group Veloz."
BART says recent breakdown of new trains caused by air compressor malfunction
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "BART has pinned down a possible cause of the major breakdown Monday that delayed the rail system for more than an hour and forced passengers to walk through a dark Oakland tunnel."
"Engineers found that air compressors malfunctioned on two adjacent cars that are part of BART’s new-generation fleet, causing train line communication to sputter between cars."
"This resulted in the train failing in a safe mode and being rendered unable to move,” agency spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in a statement released Thursday."