The Roundup

Jun 11, 2018

Tight with a buck

Citing past budget anxiety, Gov. Brown vetoes several new tax credits


From the LAT's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed nine bills that would have provided new tax credits to benefit California lawmakers' priorities, including low-income housing, energy efficient appliances, seismic retrofits, small businesses, food bank donations and hiring."


"Brown reminded lawmakers that when he took office in 2011 the state faced a $26.6-billion budget deficit and estimated shortfalls of $20 billion and it has taken tough measures to turn around the state's finances. He also said there are new budget issues on the horizon because lawmakers failed to deal with the expiration of a healthcare tax."


"Despite strong revenue performance over the past few years, the state's budget has remained precariously balanced due to unexpected costs and the provision of new services," Brown said in his veto message. "Now, without the extension of the managed care organization tax that I called for in special session, next year's budget faces the prospect of over $1 billion in cuts."


London Breed adds to her narrow lead over Mark Leno in San Francisco mayoral race


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA: "San Francisco Supervisor London Breed added to her narrow lead over former state Sen. Mark Leno in the tight race to become San Francisco’s next mayor, according to the latest batch of preliminary election results released Sunday afternoon."


"Breed leads by 1,580 votes — 50.38 percent to Leno’s 49.62 percent — according to the latest update from the Department of Elections. She was up by fewer than 500 votes on Saturday, a lead of 50.13 percent to 49.87 percent. There are still 25,540 ballots left to count, the bulk of which should be processed by the department’s 4 p.m. update Monday."

“Obviously this is a nail-biter, but we’ve certainly been buoyed by the progress we’ve made over the last five days,” said Tara Moriarty, Breed’s campaign spokeswoman."


READ MORE related to politics: A new definition for California's political sweet spot -- CalBuzz; In defense of California's top-two primary -- JOHN DIAZ, Chronicle; GOP embraces single-payer healthcare attack in California -- PETER SULLIVAN and LISA HAGEN, The Hill


 LA billionaire Ron Burkle buys Bob Hope estate for $15 million


From the WSJ's CANDACE TAYLOR: "Ron Burkle, a billionaire investor and architecture fan, has purchased the longtime Los Angeles home of the late entertainer Bob Hope for $15 million."


"Mr. Burkle, co-founder of the investment firm Yucaipa, also owns the Hopes’ former home in Palm Springs, Calif., a futuristic structure often described as looking like a U.F.O. that was designed by architect John Lautner. Mr. Burkle paid $13 million for that property in 2016, according to public records."


Charter Schools Regroup After Big California Election Loss


From AP's SALLY HO: "Charter school supporters are deciding where to direct their considerable resources after pouring money into the California governor primary to support a longtime ally who failed to move on to November's election."


"The fallout may signal future uncertainty for the school choice movement in a state with some of the most robust charter school laws in the United States."

"The front-runner for governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, could hamper or threaten the progress of charters — privately run schools that use public money and have divided parents and politicians. He has mostly emphasized his support of traditional public schools and called for more charter school accountability."


Fear drives forced labor underground along U.S.-Mexico border


From REUTERS' ELLEN WULFHORST: "Fear of tightened border patrols and tough new immigration laws is driving victims of human trafficking into hiding in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation."


"Stretching more than 100 miles (160 km) along the river that divides the two nations, the Valley in Texas has long been a major entry point for Central American migrants who stay and find jobs as farmworkers, ranchhands and housekeepers."


"But worried and silenced by the nation’s hardened attitude toward migrants, frightened workers face greater risk of falling victim to forced labor, trafficking, wage theft and debt bondage, advocates and officials told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during several trips over a five-month period."


Hundreds protest outside at Otay Mesa Detention Center calling for release of asylum seekers


The Union-Tribune's JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH: "Protesters and immigrants’ rights organizers gathered outside of the Otay Mesa Detention Center on Sunday morning to demand the release of asylum seekers fleeing gang violence and state repression in their home countries."


"Roughly 200 people, from activists in bandannas to mothers with small children, listened as organizers read handwritten letters penned collectively by roughly 50 people held in the facility who arrived in a caravan at the border in Tijuana in late April. The words of those detained boomed over speakers echoing off the walls of the facility."


“They force us to work for six hours (a day) for a payment of a $1.60,” said David Obud, with immigrants’ rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, translating one of the letters. “They threaten to report us to judges when we don’t want to work. They threaten … to damage our cases."


Elon Musk says new state rule punishes Tesla for doing business in California


From the Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "The only large-scale car manufacturer in California argues that doing business in the state is hard enough without a fast-developing labor regulation backed by organizations that want to unionize its Fremont plant."


"Elon Musk's Tesla is fighting a rule under development by two state agencies that would require it be certified as a "fair and responsible workplace" for its customers to be eligible for taxpayer-backed state electric vehicle rebates."


"Those rebates are key incentives in Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to put 5 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030. They take thousands of dollars off the price of buying a new Tesla car, and unions want lawmakers to withhold them from companies they believe have unfair labor practices."


Give California’s top-two primary some more time, and if it doesn’t get better, junk it


From the LAT's GEORGE SKELTON: "Like evolving insects, politicians have adapted and learned how to strategically use California’s top-two open primary system to help them survive."


"But voters have not adapted and don’t seem interested in doing so. They’re essentially ignoring the substantial election changes they approved eight years ago and behaving as if we were still back in the era of closed party primaries."


"The problem is that California now has a nonpartisan election system for selecting partisan politicians for partisan office. And three-fourths of the voters are registered as party partisans. Trying to blend a nonpartisan election process with partisan politics is like mixing oil and water."

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