Police use-of-force bill wins bipartisan backing
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "A sweeping police use-of-force bill passed a major legislative hurdle on Wednesday with bipartisan backing, paving the way for a new legal standard California officers must meet to justify deadly shootings."
"Assembly Bill 392 passed its chamber floor on a 66-0 vote on Wednesday, a week after the proposal was changed to allow officer shootings “based on the totality of the circumstances” instead of only when “necessary.” Current law allows officers to use lethal force if it’s considered “reasonable."
"Both Democrats and Republicans supported the legislation and praised its author, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, for striking a “balance” and pursuing an issue that “few people would take on."
Facing possible loss of House seat, California awaits census
LISA RENNER in Capitol Weekly: "As California’s population growth flattens out, the state could lose a congressional seat for the first time in its history."
"The state’s most recent demographic report shows that California added only 186,807 residents last year, showing a growth rate of .47 percent, the slowest ever."
"With some experts predicting an undercount in the 2020 census, it appears more likely that the state could drop from 53 Congress representatives to 52."
State's Democratic Party's sex harassment turmoil leads to raucous election
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "California Democrats will replace their disgraced former chair this weekend, but if the campaign for the post is any indication, the election will do little to end more than a year of internal turmoil."
"Complaints of personal financial failings, the party’s lack of fiscal controls and fallout from former party chair Eric Bauman’s resignation in the face of sexual harassment complaints swirl around this Saturday’s vote at the California Democratic convention in San Francisco to decide who will lead the party."
"One of the leading candidates for party chair is Kimberly Ellis of Richmond, a progressive activist who lost to Bauman by 62 votes in a rancorous 2017 election. Even after the results were announced, she refused to concede, charging that party leaders had conspired against her."
READ MORE related to Democratic Party: As the California Democratic Party regroups after scandal, Newsom distances himself -- LA Times's PHIL WILLON/CHRISTINE MAI-DUC
California dairies appeal for more state climate change money
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON/ANDREW SHEELER: "It wasn’t cheap. The total project cost more than $30 million, but a grant from the state’s cap-and-trade program that’s meant to help dairies slash greenhouse gas emissions and comply with a global warming law made Airoso’s decision an easier call."
"None of this stuff is free. It’s important to support the dairy farmers who are trying to be sustainable,” the Tulare County dairyman said."
"So far, California has steered at least $260 million in those grants to methane digester projects like the one Airoso joined. The California Air Resources Board projects they’ll remove millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking lawmakers to put another $35 million into the dairy grants."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Thirsty Silicon Valley water agency might buy a Central Valley farm. Why agriculture is worried. -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER; Leaders call for protecting utilities, spreading costs after catastrophic wildfires -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER; Newsom doesn't want to change strict liability laws for PG&E yet -- The Chronicle's JD MORRIS/DUSTIN GARDINER; 1 million Californians use tainted water. Will state pass a clean-water tax? -- The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF
Lawmakers approve UC wage bill after 'hundreds if not thousands' of missing paychecks
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "The University of California would be required to pay its employees on a regular payday under a measure moving through the California Legislature in response to the university system’s ongoing payroll problems."
"Senate Bill 698, sponsored by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, would mandate that employees paid monthly receive their wages no later than five days after the close of monthly payroll, while those employees paid on a frequent basis would get their wages according to a regular pay schedule."
"It won unanimous approval in the state Senate and now moves to the Assembly. A UC system spokeswoman said that the university president’s office has been tracking the bill closely “and is in discussions with (Sen. Leyva) on the bill."
Assembly passes gig work bill, limiting contractor status
The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID: "The Assembly on Wednesday passed “gig work” legislation that could send seismic changes across California’s employment landscape if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor."
"Hundreds of thousands of independent contractors, ranging from Uber and Lyft drivers to manicurists, could become employees under AB5, which codifies a groundbreaking California Supreme Court decision known as Dynamex."
"The court decision and the bill both apply three-part criteria, called the ABC test, to determine whether a worker is an employee. To be a true independent contractor, it says, a worker must be free from a company’s control, doing work not central to the company’s business, and have an independent business in that trade."
Pelosi says FB 'lying to the public' by not pulling altered video
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Facebook on Wednesday, saying the social media giant’s refusal to take down a video altered to make her look bad raised questions about how concerned the company was about Russian disinformation that was posted on the site during the 2016 presidential campaign."
"By leaving up a slowed-down video designed to make Pelosi appear halting or even drunk, the company was saying, “‘I know this is false and it’s a lie, but we’re running it anyway,’” Pelosi said in an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco."
"The video was posted after Pelosi, D-San Francisco, spoke at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., on May 22, the day she accused President Trump of a “cover-up” for refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations into his administration."
Ro Khanna's quest to marry Silicon Valley capitalism with progressive populism
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "Rep. Ro Khanna calls representing Silicon Valley the “first line” of his identity. It’s a statement that rings profoundly true — for better or worse."
"The Fremont Democrat’s success has largely come from his ability to fit in with the culture of the tech world. His ability to appeal to some of big tech’s wealthiest political donors helped propel his election to Congress over an eight-term Democratic incumbent."
"But the same traits that help him connect with the valley are at the root of skepticism he faces, as he gains prominence nationally and leans into an independent streak that puts him at odds with some Democratic colleagues. His closeness with the epicenter of American wealth has also raised eyebrows as Khanna takes a progressive line, including joining the presidential campaign of a self-described democratic socialist who laments the “proliferation of millionaires and billionaires” in an unequal society and has embraced calls to break up Facebook."
Feds return $13M to Sac Kings after bizarre theft by top team executive
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "Four months after a former top Sacramento Kings official pleaded guilty to siphoning off more than $13 million from the franchise to purchase beachfront homes, the team says it has been repaid in full."
"The team said in a brief announcement the U.S. Justice Department has “granted full restitution to the Kings in the amount of $13.4 million, which was previously seized by the U.S. DOJ and is directly traceable to the fraud committed by former Kings employee Jeff David."
"This decision to return the funds owed to the team is the direct result of the timely filing and successful completion of a civil asset forfeiture case filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California in August 2018, just days after the investigation began,” the team said."
Bill to cap rent increases advances in Legislature
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "A bill to protect Californians from spiking rents narrowly passed the Assembly on Wednesday, after a last-minute deal to scale back the proposal."
"Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, agreed to make amendments in the Senate, where AB1482 heads next, to reflect changes requested by the California Association of Realtors."
"Under the deal, the measure would limit annual rent increases to 7 percentage points above the regional change in the cost of living, rather than the 5 percentage points plus inflation that Chiu originally proposed. He said would have preferred a lower rate, but “this is the political process."
BART seizes on Bay Bridge gridlock to lobby for delayed $1.25B federal grant
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "Bay Area officials say a critical upgrade to increase BART’s passenger capacity is being held up needlessly in Washington, where a $1.25 billion federal grant application has languished for 18 months."
"The issue picked up momentum this month as California’s U.S. senators sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation secretary urging immediate action on the grant application."
"On Wednesday, BART officials upped the pressure, saying that a fatal crash on the Bay Bridge, which jammed traffic into the city for hours and brought 10,000 additional passengers to the train system, illustrated the need for improvements."
These solar workers will lose their jobs if Trump doesn't get a China deal
LA Times's RICHARD READ: "President Trump’s trade war with China could cost American families an extra several hundred dollars a year for everyday items such as suitcases, furniture and shampoo."
"But 150 workers at a central Washington solar factory face far greater consequences. If Trump doesn’t seal a trade deal by the end of June, they’ll lose prime jobs not easily replaced in farm country about 150 miles east of Seattle."
"The trade drama playing out at REC Silicon — which makes polysilicon, the raw material for solar cells — illustrates the perils of levying tariffs, which can escalate and backfire. In this case, China appears to have outplayed the United States, using tariffs, subsidies and cheap financing to take over each step of the global solar manufacturing industry."
Tom McClintock accuses Mueller of 'pettifoggery,' says he should testify before Congress
McClatchy's EMILY CADEI: "When it comes to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, one California Republican agrees with leading House Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff on one point."
"Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove wants Mueller to testify before Congress after the special counsel spoke publicly about his investigation into President Donald Trump."
"But while Pelosi, the speaker of the House, and Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, praised Mueller in statements Wednesday, McClintock attacked him for his press briefing and the way he has handled the nearly-two-year investigation. McClintock is a member of the House Judiciary Committee that is currently conducting investigations into the White House related to the special counsel’s work. "
READ MORE related to POTUS45: Mueller statement ramps up impeachment pressure on Pelosi and House Dems -- LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORNM/JANET HOOK