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Legislative Updates From Allison Olson

Governor Newsom's Emergency Response
 
Governor Newsom has written a letter to President Trump, asking for healthcare aid to California this past week. The Governor projects that over half of California, 25 million people, will be infected with COVID-19 in the next eight week period. Governor Newsom went so far as to ask President Trump for the use of a Navy hospital ship for a triage center- just in case. Governor Newsom has also stated that the use of Martial Law is not off the table in his response to the spread of the virus and he has already put the National Guard in California on notice. Unfortunately, the Governor's response to Californians as teetered between alarmist and prudent. Californian's deserve clear instructions in regards to the "shelter-in-place" without our Constitutional rights (both state and Federal) being manipulated. We urge the Governor to continue with Californian's best health and safety interests at heart and resist the urge to play partisan politics in the time of crisis. 
 
CA Inmates Released 
 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 40 other inmate advocacy groups have called on Governor Newsom to release inmates in California to allow other inmates to properly "social distance" in our jails and prisons. This came out in light of 1 inmate and 5 corrections employees testing positive for COVID-19. The advocacy groups are urging the Governor to release all medically fragile inmates, those 60 years of age and older, and all those set to be paroled through the next year. It has been reported that hundreds of inmates have already been released in San Francisco county, Los Angeles County, among others. Governor Newsom claimed in a statement that " We will do it in a very deliberative way, and to the extend we have to have a release valve... it will be for those nonviolent offenses and we will do it in a systemic way and we are working in real time with our sheriffs to see what that looks like, and with the folks at the state system." But, as you will recall, Prop 57 redefined what a "nonviolent" offender is. Domestic violence, solicitation of murder, human trafficking, rape of an unconscious person have all been reclassified as "serious" and not "violent." Again, we must insist the Governor act with the safety of ALL Californians in mind. 

 

Closed for COVID-19

The California Legislature announced that it is suspending meeting until April 13th in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. It is believed that this is the first suspension of its kind in 158 years. The only other recorded instance of a legislative work stoppage was in 1862 when most of Sacramento flooded. Governor Leland Stanford took a boat to his inauguration and then the legislature reconvened a few days later in San Francisco. According the unofficial California Legislature historian, the state capitol even continued to work through the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, when 5 legislators showed symptoms of Spanish Flu and had to be quarantined. Our current state legislators under the age of 65 are prepared to return to work at a moment's notice, in case of extraordinary emergency measures. Those over 65, which includes 25 of our state legislators, would presumably stay sheltered in place, per the Governor's mandate. 

 

$1 Billion Approved 

Before leaving the capitol, lawmakers approved up to $1 billion in emergency spending to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The bills, SB 86, SB 89, and SB 117 were all designed to give Governor Newsom power, by the legislature, to act in the best interest of the state during this time of crisis. The legislation was overwhelmingly bipartisan, giving Governor Newsom $500 million to spend for any purpose related to his declaration of a state of emergency. The Governor can increase that spending by increments of $50 million, but he must give the legislature three day's notice of the spending. This spending is capped at $1 billion. Lawmakers also passed legislation to keep schools funded despite their closures and allocated $100 million for hygiene safety and cleaning efforts for schools. A final bill was passed allowing the state to lease and activate two hospitals and acquire the necessary equipment to prepare for care and prevention. 

 

Veto Edition

It's the very end of session, and all that's left to do is for Governor Newsom to either sign or veto the bills on his desk. Unfortunately he has already signed AB 5 (Gonzalez, D), which is a direct attack on our growing "gig" economy in the state. There are dangerous bills still awaiting his action, so please call the Governor's office ASAP and let them know we OPPOSE these bills. The Governor has until October 13th to veto these bills or they automatically become the law.

Governor Newsom, please VETO the following:

AB 891 (Burke, D) This bill mandates that cities with populations greater than 330,000 establish a "safe parking program" which allows people to live in their cars in a designated area of the city. Think tent cities, but with cars. This sounds like a public safety nightmare.

AB 1482 (Chui, D) Despite the will of the voters, who voted down the Rent Control Proposition just this last election, the legislative Democrats think they know better, so they passed this statewide rent cap. It'll place a limit of 5% rent increases, plus inflation, and mandates that landlords provide "just cause" before evicting a tenent after a year. The bills only redeeming quality is that it has a 10 year sunset.

AB 1505 (O'Donnell, D) This is a systematic chipping away of our charter school rights. AB 1505 makes it more difficult for charter schools to extend their charters or appeal decisions made on their charter status by school districts to the county boards of education.

SB 1 (Atkins, D) Although Governor Newsom has signaled that he intends to veto this bill, he hasn't yet. This is a direct attack on President Trump's EPA regulation rollbacks and a huge state water grab. Basically if state water agencies feel that local businesses, agriculture, or other water agencies do not have high enough "environmental standards", then the state can step in and take control. This is a dangerous precedent to set, and water policy should not be set by making a political statement toward the Trump Administration. SB 1 potentially threatens the water supply for millions of Californias and could disrupt agriculture production for the rest of the nation

SB 310 (Skinner, D) Convicted felons will be allowed to serve on juries if this bill passes, regardless of what their felony conviction was for. It seems that it would be difficult for a felon to have an unbiased approach to jury service, but Senatoe Skinner thinks we should give them a shot passing judgement anyway. This is ridiculous and needs to be vetoed!

SB 127 (Wiener, D) How's your new gas tax dollars helping your commute? This bill would divert even more highway rehabilitation funds from our roads and use it for bike paths, pedestrian walk-ways, and transit upgrades. The California Republican Party called this bill a "gas tax bait and switch". Voters need to know what is happening with their gas taxes. They were promised our crumbling transportation infrastructure would be fixed, and instead the legislative Democrats want to build facilities for bikers, walkers, and transit users with it!

You can call his office at?(916) 445-2841. 

 

 
 
 
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