Newsom will decide whether Trump must release tax returns to get on 2020 ballot
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "California lawmakers approved a bill on Thursday to force President Donald Trump to publicly release his tax returns ahead of the 2020 election, setting the stage for another legal showdown between the state and the Trump administration."
"The proposal dubbed the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” passed both chambers of the Legislature on a party-line vote. Democrats say the measure will serve as a model for providing voters with information about candidate’s finances, while Republicans argue it is unconstitutional."
"The bill by state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who released six years of his own tax returns during his 2018 run for governor and is expected to sign it."
READ MORE related to Trump Tax Returns: Lawmakers OK giving Trump a choice: Release taxes, or skip California primary -- The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF
California governor orders firing of oil, gas regulator
From the AP's ANDREW OXFORD: " Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the firing of California’s top oil and gas regulator Thursday over an increase in state permits for hydraulic fracturing and allegations of conflicts of interest among senior government officials."
"Newsom’s chief of staff asked the state’s natural resources secretary to dismiss Ken Harris, who was appointed to lead the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources in 2015. She also told Secretary Wade Crowfoot to continue an investigation into reports that employees at the agency own stock in companies that they regulate."
"Ann O’Leary’s request came hours after advocacy groups Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Allliance released data showing regulators have been issuing permits for hydraulic fracturing at twice the rate this year when compared to 2018."
California passes $26B plan to deal with wildfire threats
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "A costly $26 billion proposal to deal with the state’s ongoing wildfire threats is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom."
"Newsom, who had worked with lawmakers behind the scenes to pass a comprehensive plan ahead of a month-long summer recess, is expected to sign the bill Friday."
"Under the plan, utility companies would need to pay $5 billion in order to access a fund of up to $21 billion, with PG&E contributing the greatest share of the burden."
Tom Steyer facing tough deadline to qualify for crucial Democratic debates
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Tom Steyer may have only just now entered the presidential race,but there’s a chance the former hedge fund manager from San Francisco could qualify for the Democratic Party’s crucial next round of debates at the end of the month."
"A slim chance, but a chance."
"Candidates must have at least 65,000 donors from 20 states or reach 1% in three polls to make it onto the stage in Detroit, under the requirements set by the Democratic National Committee. That’s the same bar that everyone had to clear to make the first debates in Miami, and hey, Eric Swalwell made it. So how hard can it be?"
They're young, they have a college degree, they're coming to California. Who are they?
Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER: "It’s no secret that not everybody loves the Golden State. In fact, more people are moving out of California than are moving into it from other states."
"Yet the population of California continues to expand. Births, an influx of international immigration and a wave of young, college-educated adults moving in are combining to keep the state growing."
"From 2012 to 2017, an estimated 186,000 adults, most of whom were under 40, moved into the state, with the majority coming from New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, according to the Public Policy Institute of California."
READ MORE related to Education: California to pay off $10.5M in student debt -- Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON
Trump abandons census citizenship question, but demands agencies' data on immigrants
Sacramento Bee's KATE IRBY/EMILY CADEI: "President Donald Trump announced Thursday that his administration would no longer seek to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, ending his campaign to ask respondents about their immigration status."
"The move follows weeks of scrambling by the Trump administration to salvage the question after the Supreme Court last month ordered the federal government to exclude a citizenship question from the upcoming census."
"(Pursuing it) would have produced even more litigation and considerable delays,” Trump said in an announcement in the Rose Garden. “These delays would have kept us from completing the census on time."
READ MORE related to Immigration: After protests, Rep. Matsui announces Mexico border trip to tour immigration sites -- Sacramento Bee's ELIZABETH SHWE; Even immigrants in US legally deal with fear and 'chaos' as ICE raids loom -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI; Protesters rally at ICE SF office, slam planned deportation raids slated for Saturday -- The Chronicle's EDUARDO MEDINA; Trump called the Oakland mayor a 'disgrace' for revealing ICE raids. Then he did the same thing. -- LA Times's BRITTNY MEJIA
Ghost Ship trial: Prosecutors use defendant's words against him
The Chronicle's MEGAN CASSIDY: "Nearly two years ago, Ghost Ship trial defendant Derick Almena sat for an emotional interview with a local television station, firing back at his critics and professing his innocence in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people."
"The whole structure of my defense is, like, pointing and blaming,” he told the reporter."
"Those words came back to haunt Almena on Thursday, as prosecutor Autrey James used them to round out two days of blistering cross-examination."
Climate change is threatening freshwater fish populations. And we can do something about it
Sacramento Bee's CAROLINE GHISOLFI: "Fish are dying of heat by the hundreds every summer, officials say. And climate change is causing it."
"Researchers from UC Davis and Reed College in Portland, Ore., found a strong link between fish deaths in freshwater lakes in Wisconsin and hot summers. They predict that fish “die-offs” will double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100 in Wisconsin."
"Andrew Rypel, a UC Davis wildlife, fish and conservation biology researcher, said we should expect similar effects in California."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: Heat wave expected to bring bad air quality, officials say -- LA Times's ALEX WIGGLESWORTH
Family of Anaheim girl shot by an officer cries for 'answers that we deserve'
LA Times's ANH DO: "On the evening she died, Hannah Williams jumped into a rental car to run an errand a few miles from her home. But without a driver’s license — the teen lifeguard had just applied for a learner’s permit — her family believes that it’s likely she didn’t know what to do when she ended up on an Anaheim highway."
"Yet something unfolded on July 5 that forced her to maneuver onto the 91 Freeway. That’s where an on-duty Fullerton police officer’s bullet struck her, officials said, leaving her loved ones desperately trying to piece together her final minutes while demanding the release of footage attached to the shooter’s body camera."
"On Thursday, the 17-year-old’s father, mother, sister and grandmother gathered in Santa Ana, some of them quietly weeping outside the Orange County district attorney’s office, to renew cries for “answers that we deserve to hear."
Labor Secretary Acosta stepping down amid criticism over Epstein deal
LA Times's CAROLINE S ENGELMAYER: "Embattled Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta is stepping down amid mounting criticism of a plea deal he struck with a convicted sex offender while Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida, President Trump said Friday."
"Trump told reporters that Acosta called him Friday morning. Calling Acosta a “great” Labor secretary, the president said, “It’s his [Acosta's] decision."
"Acosta said he was stepping down to avoid becoming a distraction and allow the administration to focus on the economy."