Trump’s tax returns required under new California election law
From the LAT's JOHN MYERS: "President Trump will be ineligible for California’s primary ballot next year unless he discloses his tax returns under a state law that took effect immediately Tuesday, an unprecedented mandate that is almost certain to spark a high-profile court fight and might encourage other states to adopt their own unconventional rules for presidential candidates."
"The law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on the final day he could take action after it passed on a strict party-line vote in the Legislature earlier this month, requires all presidential candidates to submit five years of income tax filings. They must do so by late November to secure a spot on California’s presidential primary ballot in March. State elections officials will post the financial documents online, although certain private information must first be redacted."
"“As one of the largest economies in the world and home to one in nine Americans eligible to vote, California has a special responsibility to require this information of presidential and gubernatorial candidates,” Newsom said in a statement that accompanied his signature on the bill. “These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence. The disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”
READ MORE related to SB27: California to Trump: Release your taxes or you're barred from the primary ballot -- The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF; California's new law could keep other candidates off its ballot -- Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON
California's new ammo law has bumpy start
NAHIMA SHAFFER in Capitol Weekly: "Under a new law barely a month old, California is the nation’s first state to require point-of-sale background checks for ammunition sales."
"But pieces of the voter-approved statute already are under fire in the courts."
"The background check requirement was passed in November 2016 as part of Proposition 63, but only took effect this July. The proposition also bars people from bringing out-of-state ammo into California, unless the ammunition goes first to a state-licensed distributor."
Newsom signs law banning condoms as evidence of sex work
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Tuesday that prohibits condoms as evidence of prostitution when prosecuting someone for sex work crimes."
"Sex workers are also protected under the new law from arrest when they report rape and other serious felonies."
"State Sen. Scott Wiener, the San Francisco Democrat who wrote Senate Bill 233, said the legislation would increase safety for sex workers who are often exposed to violence and use condoms to prevent health risks."
Gilroy shooter meticulously planned attack, was armed for battle
LA Times's ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN/DAVID MONTERO/RICHARD WINTON/RUBEN VIVES: "In the hours before the Gilroy Garlic Festival attack, Santino William Legan went shopping alone at several big- box stores in the area. It’s unclear what he bought, but sometime in the afternoon, authorities say he drove to the festival to carry out a rampage."
"He parked on the northeast side of the festival grounds, carrying a bag of ammunition and an AK-47-style rifle he’d recently purchased in Nevada. He left a shotgun behind in the car and made his way up a heavily wooded creek— ditching the bag on the way— and eventually cut through a fence line to get inside."
"Investigators said they have retraced Legan’s final day with video footage and a thorough search of the creek area. But they are still struggling to understand what motivated the 19-year-old Gilroy native to open fire Sunday, killing three young people and leaving a dozen more injured at the famed food festival. Authorities said they believe their best chance is through the gunman’s digital footprint."
News Analysis: Debate highlights Democrats' key question: Will big plans thrill voters or terrify them?
LA Times's JANET HOOK: "The Democrats’ raucous presidential debate Tuesday highlighted a fundamental choice facing the party in 2020: Whether to pick a presidential nominee who calls for big, ambitious policies for healthcare, the environment and the economy, or one with a more centrist, pragmatic approach."
"The exchanges exposed intraparty divisions about policy, ideology and political strategy that pitted two leading progressive voices who are top-tier candidates — Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — against an array of rivals who warned that the party risks losing to President Trump if it moves too far to the left."
"The group of lesser-known candidates served as a kind of debating proxy for former Vice President Joe Biden, the top-polling candidate who is scheduled to be on stage Wednesday night and who has opposed Medicare for all and other progressive policies that form the core of both Sanders’ and Warren’s campaigns."
US to set up plan allowing prescription drugs from Canada
AP: "The Trump administration said Wednesday it will set up a system to allow Americans to legally import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, weakening a longstanding ban that had stood as a top priority for the politically powerful pharmaceutical industry."
"Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made the announcement Wednesday morning. Previous administrations had sided with the industry on importation, echoing its concerns that it could expose patients to risks from counterfeit or substandard medications."
"Azar, a former drug industry executive, said U.S. patients will be able to import medications safely and effectively, with oversight from the Food and Drug Administration. The administration’s proposal would allow states, wholesalers and pharmacists to get FDA approval to import certain medications that are also available here."
California farmers are planting solar panels as water supplies dry up
LA Times's SAMMY ROTH: " Jon Reiter banked the four-seat Cessna aircraft hard to the right, angling to get a better look at the solar panels glinting in the afternoon sun far below."
"The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. Reiter, a renewable energy developer and farmer, built these solar panels and is working to add a lot more to the San Joaquin Valley landscape."
"The next project is going to be 100 megawatts. It’s going to be five times this size,” Reiter said."
(OP-ED): Berkeley banned natural gas. The rest of California should too
LA Times's JACQUES LESLIE: "By becoming the first city in the nation to ban natural gas in new low-rise buildings and homes, Berkeley did something momentous in mid-July: It signaled the beginning of the end of the natural gas era. This is an altogether good thing."
"California has set a climate mandate of 100% clean, renewable energy by 2045. It won’t reach that goal unless it eliminates natural gas from buildings. Burning natural gas emits carbon dioxide and other pollutants, and its distribution and storage infrastructure leaks methane. In many cities, including Berkeley, buildings are the second leading greenhouse gas-emitting sector, after transportation. Now that regulations aimed at the 2045 mandate are in place for cars, trucks and coal-fired power, natural gas has to be next."
"The popular image of gas cooking and heating — clean, cheap and reliable, a “bridge fuel” from coal to renewables — requires drastic revision. Natural gas is in fact the new coal; its greenhouse gas emissions overall in the U.S. have surpassed coal’s since 2015. The California Air Resources Board calculates that natural gas emissions from the state’s 12 million buildings account for 12% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Add to that a reasonable estimate of the leaks from the state’s natural gas pipelines, and according to Bruce Nilles, an electrification advocate at the Rocky Mountain Institute, that percentage likely doubles, surpassing emissions from all the state’s power plants."
California ethnic studies curriculum would be a first in US. The state wants feedback
Sacramento Bee's ELAINE CHEN: "The California Department of Education has posted a draft of its proposed ethnic studies curriculum – the first state-level curriculum on the academic subject in the country – and is asking for public feedback."
"Until Aug. 15, members of the public can view the high school curriculum on the department’s website, fill out a feedback form and send it to email@example.com."
"The publication of the draft curriculum marks a step in the implementation of a bill passed in 2016 that requires the State Board of Education to develop an ethnic studies curriculum by 2020 to serve as a guideline for local school districts."
Contract deal gives 10% raise or more to state safety and law enforcement employees
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "Pay for dispatchers, security officers, inspectors and other public safety and law enforcement employees at the state will go up at least 10 percent over the next four years in a tentative agreement their union reached with the state."
"Additional pay raises of up to 24 percent for specific job classifications will boost pay further for the majority of the California State Law Enforcement Association’s members, according to a union summary of the agreement."
"The 7,300-member union is the second to reach an agreement with state negotiators this summer. The agreement includes a general salary increase of 2.75 percent starting this month, followed by annual increases of up to 2.5 percent through 2022, when members will receive either 2.25 percent or 3.75 percent depending on classification."
Tucker fire grows to 14,000 acres, becoming largest blaze in California this year
LA Times's ALEX DIAZ: "The Tucker fire in Modoc County has burned more than 14,000 acres with 10% reported containment, making it the largest wildfire in California so far this year, officials said Tuesday."
"Officials with Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service said the fire started in rural northeastern California on Sunday afternoon off California Highway 139 and Tucker Butte Road, about six miles southwest of Clear Lake Reservoir. The fire, which is believed to have been caused unintentionally by humans, grew 10,000 acres in one day. The latest reported acreage of the blaze is 14,419 , making it the biggest active fire burning in the state and the largest in California so far in 2019."
"No homes are threatened and no evacuations have been ordered as of Tuesday afternoon, but affected residents in the County Road 114/202, Coyote Butte, Horse Mountain area have been issued a warning that they will be contacted if an evacuation is necessary."
Mass shootings in California: Rare but increasingly deadly
The Chronicle's JOAQUIN PALOMINO: "Sunday’s tragic killings in Gilroy have placed the small agricultural community among dozens of cities and towns in California that have been forced to grapple with the trauma of increasingly devastating mass shootings."
"A Chronicle analysis of state data found that over the past two decades, there have been at least 67 mass-casualty shootings in California, claiming a total of 251 lives and leaving scores more injured or traumatized. That number is based on federal guidelines published in 2013 that define such incidents as a single shooting where three or more people are killed in a public place."
"By that standard, The Chronicle found that the number of mass shootings has ebbed and flowed in California since the late 1990s, neither increasing nor decreasing dramatically. But when the tragedies do occur, they have grown more devastating, a trend researchers have also noted nationally."