Newsom's budget rises to $213B as surplus grows
Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG: "Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spend $1 billion on programs to help the homeless in a $213 billion revised budget he released on Thursday."
"The updated proposal unveiled Thursday builds on the $209 billion budget the governor laid out in January. It keeps in place spending to expand health coverage for undocumented immigrants and $1.75 billion to spur housing construction."
"Newsom still wants to fine Californians who don’t buy health insurance and raise taxes to clean up drinking water in communities with unhealthy water sources."
READ MORE related to Budget Balancing: Newsom adds spending, boosts reserves in revised budget proposal -- The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF; Newsom wants to prevent wildfires, but won't fully commit -- AP's DON THOMPSON, Sac Bee's DALE KASLER/SOPHIA BOLLAG; Budget spends big, saves more -- Sacramento Bee's SOPHIA BOLLAG; Health care budget has more help for Covered California, less for undocumented -- USC's SAMMY CAIOLA; Newsom wants to double spending on homelessness -- to $1B -- LA Times's JOHN MYERS
Q&A: Wade Crowfoot, state's new Natural Resources Secretary
Water Education Foundation's GARY PITZER in Capitol Weekly: "One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then, within weeks, the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that Crowfoot, 45, is now charged with executing."
"That agenda includes the governor’s desire for a “fresh approach” on water, scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calling for more water recycling, expanded floodplains in the Central Valley and more groundwater recharge."
"Crowfoot and Newsom have worked together in the past, when Newsom was San Francisco’s mayor and Crowfoot served as his senior environmental adviser."
A run-down mansion, the Getty connection and a man the neighbors never saw: The tale of the huge weapons cache at a Los Angeles home
LA Times's HANNAH FRY/SONJA SHARP/RICHARD WINTON/MARIA L. LA GANGA: "The scene was straight out of a B movie: Run-down mansion. Tony neighborhood. Anonymous tip. The whiff of celebrity. And a jaw-droppingly large cache of weapons, some of questionable legality."
"Investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives descended on the tatty Bel-Air mansion along with members of the Los Angeles Police Department in the early morning darkness."
"What they found there Wednesday was both lethal and perplexing. The sprawling white clapboard house — two stories, five bedrooms hidden behind a discolored gate and a tall hedge — was in complete disarray. Guns were everywhere in what authorities described as a hoarder’s paradise in the 100 block of North Beverly Glen."
Trump administration opens possibility of new oil drilling in Bay Area
The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "The Trump administration brought its pro-drilling agenda to Northern California on Thursday, disclosing a plan to make more land available for oil and gas development, including parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains and East Bay hills."
"Documents released by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management show the agency is looking to nearly double the amount of federal property and mineral deposits in its Central Coast region that can be leased by fossil fuel companies compared to what was proposed by the previous administration."
Will smoggy LA have 'zero bad air' in 2025? Don't hold your breath
LA Times's TONY BARBOZA: "It was one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s most dramatic pledges in his sweeping “Green New Deal” for Los Angeles: “We will have zero days of unhealthy air quality by 2025."
"The goal, it turns out, was not as ambitious as it sounded."
"Rather than using current federal health standards, the mayor’s plan relied on an outdated measure of whether the air in the nation’s worst-polluted metropolis is safe to breathe."
Harris says black press more important now than ever
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "The press, and especially the black press, is more important than ever at a time when people truly need the information it provides, Sen. Kamala Harris told a San Francisco audience Thursday night."
"Harris, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke to more than 850 people at a dinner celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Sun-Reporter, a newspaper that has long been the voice of San Francisco’s black community."
"The Sun-Reporter is an example of the significance of the black press in America,” she said. “There are issues that are unique to the black community, and until we have true diversity in the press we must rely on papers like the Sun-Reporter."
How Schiff used Trump's taunts for his gain
Sacramento Bee's EMILY CADEI: "California Rep. Adam Schiff spent more money on his campaign in the first three months of 2019 than all but two other House Democrats — and they’re both running for president."
"Even though it’s not yet an election year and he is not expected to face a competitive race , the Los Angeles Democrat spent roughly $1 million in the first quarter of the year, a majority of which went towards digital ads rebutting attacks from President Donald Trump."
"Only Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Eric Swalwell of California spent more among the House Democratic caucus, due largely to transfers they made to their presidential campaigns."
A name for 'Doe D'
The Chronicle's LIZZIE JOHNSON: "Bill Godbout was stubborn. He’d always been that way."
"As the Camp Fire raced toward his property in Concow last fall, the flames circling the tiny town’s reservoir, he refused to leave his double-wide mobile home. He didn’t leave when the lights sputtered out, or when the generator kicked in, or when his stepdaughter, Brandi Tuck, began collecting cat carriers from the garage and medications from the bathroom cabinet."
102 layoffs, including 77 teachers, approved by SCUSD board
Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI: " The Sacramento City Unified School District approved 102 layoffs Thursday evening as it continues to struggle financially and contends with a possible government takeover."
"The district’s Board of Education unanimously voted to authorize the layoffs, which will affect only certificated employees and 77 of which will affect teaching positions. Most of the teachers who face layoffs were hired less than a year ago, district spokesman Alex Barrios said."
"The district will eliminate a total of 178 full-time positions, Barrios said, but only 102 employees will be terminated as other positions were removed through attrition."
Flagging ridership puts BART in budget bind, raises specter of more fare hikes
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "A third year of declining ridership is putting a strain on BART’s budget plans and raising the specter of more fare hikes."
"Riders’ demands are escalating. They want cleaner stations, more police officers and more barriers to prevent cheats."
"All of these items get expensive for a transit system that leans heavily on its fare box. BART relies on riders to cover two-thirds of its operating costs, and riders are peeling off. The rail system peaked at 128.5 million passengers in 2016 and has fallen for the two years since — to 124.2 million in 2017, and 120.6 million last year."
READ MORE related to Transportation: Berkeley's municipal pier may have a second life -- as a ferry terminal -- The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN
Trump's tariff hike on Chinese goods takes effect as the two sides keep talking
LA Times's DON LEE: "Sharply raising the stakes in the trade battle with China, the Trump administration moved ahead with plans to significantly hike tariffs on imports from that country — even as U.S. and Chinese negotiators continue to talk in Washington in hopes of reaching a deal."
"The onset of new duties ends a cease-fire agreed to by President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping six months ago after a series of tit-for-tat tariff actions. And it increases the odds of a full-on trade war between the two largest economies that would have ripple effects around the world."