Reheat – POLITICO
PROGRAMMING NOTE: California Playbook PM will not be released on Monday, May 31. We will be back on Tuesday June 1st.
HEAT: Stay cool this Memorial Day weekend, Playbook readers.
Many longed for this three-day break after a period of intense work. Those of you in California politics have had a nascent recall election, a flood of laws from the Capitol, and a record-breaking budget filled with new proposals to assess. Not to mention the rapidly changing Covid-19 rules and an increasingly deep drought.
There might be relief from labor, but not heat. Interior California will see triple-digit temperatures by Monday, and no one will have them worse than those between Chico and Redding, where they could reach 108 degrees.
As you venture out this weekend, note the reservoirs and rivers, which are already dangerously low. Residents of the Sacramento area could normally head to Folsom Lake to cool off, but the water level is so low that several boat launch areas have closed and the park has implemented a speed limit. of 5 mph.
It’s a reminder of what the state will face In the coming months. Already, the Bay Area water agencies are preparing to impose mandatory conservation orders, writes Debra Kahn of POLITICO.
CALIFORNIA’S WATER AGENCIES SUPPORT for supply cuts after the Bureau of Reclamation announced smaller deliveries this week as rainfall runoff fell well below projected levels. During the month of April, projected runoff to the Sacramento River and its major tributaries fell 685,000 acre-feet – enough to supply about 1.2 million households. The basin is on course for its second driest year on record, only behind the record drought of 1977.
“The climate is hotter, it is drier”, said James Peifer, executive director of the Regional Water Authority, which represents 20 water agencies in the Sacramento area. “The climate is changing. And I think that surprised people.”
HAPPY FRIDAY BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY! Welcome to California PM Playbook, a new POLITICO newsletter that serves as an afternoon temperature check on California politics and a look at the direction of excess dollars this budget season. We will go through June 18 before returning in August for the legislative homestretch. Do you have any advice or suggestions? Send an e-mail to [email protected] and [email protected] or send a yell at Twitter. DMs are open!
WELCOME TO SACRAMENTO: Democrat Isaac bryan was sworn in today as a new assembly member after winning the 54th District special election this month and just passing 50% to avoid a runoff in Los Angeles. He replaces Sydney kamlager, who joined the state Senate after winning his own special election. “At 29, I just became the new member of the California State Legislature. I know my mom is proud. Now the work begins ”. Bryan said on Twitter.
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT STORE: So, was it about the merchandise?
Republican gubernatorial candidate and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner caught the eye on Thursday when she tweeted, “Once elected Governor of California, I will CANCEL, cancel cultivation, and wake the awakened.” The reactions were strong, even rabid grammarians for her regarding the use of a comma after “CANCEL”.
Then came the Friday sales pitch. Jenner’s gift shop launched a black “Wake up the WOKE” flat-billed hat for $ 32 and a black “Cancel Cancel Culture” t-shirt, also for $ 32 (and without the superfluous comma). You could attribute this to overly aggressive marketing staff, but Jenner herself promoted the shirt and hat in separate tweets this afternoon.
The gift shop is clearly a big deal for Jenner, considering that she launched the online store before adding an issues page to her website, as POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci pointed out in April.
UNEMPLOYMENT DEBT: California borrowed a lot to write all those pandemic unemployment checks last year, turning to the federal government when its funds dried up. Soon these invoices are due.
Employers must repay the capital – all of about $ 20 billion – in the form of progressive federal tax hikes that will last for nearly a decade. This surcharge goes into effect in 2023, costing around $ 20 per employee and ultimately increasing to around $ 190 per worker, according to recent projections by the Office of the Non-partisan Legislative Analyst.
Meanwhile, taxpayers will see billions of dollars embezzled from the general state fund over the next decade to cover interest payments on these loans. According to LAO’s “low cost” scenario, the state will pay a total of $ 2.5 billion in interest over the next decade. The “expensive” projection? $ 5.2 billion.
Congress has repeatedly cut states off lending hiatus, delaying when that interest will start to accrue. But those first interest payments – at least for now – are due in September.
Governor Gavin Newsom has offered to pay off about $ 1.1 billion in debt using federal aid. This would save the state a bunch of interest charges, LAO notes, but it won’t help businesses for another decade, as it would only shorten the payback period.
And no, California’s $ 20 billion unemployment debt has little or nothing to do with the multibillion dollar fraud scandals. which plagues its unemployment department. Almost all of these programs targeted federal pandemic assistance programs, like the one for contract workers – programs funded by Congress.
SOLAR CONCESSIONS: A bill to reduce rooftop solar incentives was given a makeover on Friday in an apparent effort to appease critics before the June 4 legislative deadline.
The latest version of Assemblymember By Lorena Gonzalez AB 1139 would allow existing solar customers to enjoy vested benefits for 20 years, instead of just 10. It would also give the Public Utilities Commission six more months – until August 2022 – to revise the popular incentive program known as name of “net metering”; a review process is already underway.
If the PUC does not act within this time the legislation would go into effect, reducing bill credits and charging solar homeowners a monthly fee. Gonzalez argues that the status quo is unfair and benefits wealthier Californians who can afford the signs at the expense of those who cannot.
But if the changes were aimed at neutralizing the opposition, they failed. “The amendments are not good. This bill is not good, ”said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association. – Colby Bermel
– The tribe-backed sports betting initiative qualified for the 2022 poll. (Sacramento Bee)
– Black residents now have highest risk of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County. (Los Angeles Times)
– Santa Clara Sheriff’s investigators found 12 guns and 22,000 cartridges of ammunition at the home of mass gunman Samuel Cassidy. (AP via KTLA)
– Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who will set the recall date within specified limits, offers his final thoughts on the election during a shutdown in Fresno County. (GV wire)
– An earthquake of magnitude 4.2 hit South Lake Tahoe at 8:25 a.m. this morning. (Chronicle of San Francisco)