Greetings from under the Dome. In the final week of the legislative session before breaking for the fall, we’re in Committee meetings or on the Floor constantly, with a break for lunch. Speaking of lunch breaks, Rich Pedroncelli, the world-famous photographer for Associated Press, caught me working on my laptop yesterday in the first piece below, courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
The Highland Community News provides the list of bills that were signed by Governor Brown on Monday in the second piece below. The good news, he signed my fourth bill of this year, SB 764 (see http://district37.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-764-client-trust-fund-protection and (MOORLACH UPDATE — Legislative Efforts — June 29, 2017).
SB 764 started with a conversation on one of my flights back to the District. Jeff Eales was sitting next to me and mentioned that his C.P.A., Jay Wikum, used to work for me. From there he explained the result of a recent state audit of his employer. The audit checklist did not have a box for insurance coverage for trust funds. So he had to double up with the acquisition of a bond. SB 764 permits the use of insurance. Thank you, Jeff.
The San Francisco Examiner provides the details of a bill, AB 186, that failed to get enough votes to pass, a rarity up here. It would allow for Supervised Injection Services (SIS) for drug users and is covered in the third piece below.
The fourth piece is from the LA Times. It has a website that stays up to the minute, and it provides this morning’s Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee meeting. I had indigestion with a provision wanting to unionize the largest manufacturing plant in California. The plant belongs to Tesla and is located in Fremont. It begs the question, “Who is?”
The fun life continues.
BONUS: You’re invited to an informal California Historical Landmark plaque unveiling at Crystal Cove. This state park has erected the marker where the plaque is placed. Come on Monday at 2 p.m. for the private ceremony.
State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, works as his desk as the Senate takes a break for lunch Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP Photo
Governor Brown Issues Legislative Update
SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bills:
AB 242 by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) – Certificates of death: veterans.
AB 395 by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) – Substance use treatment providers.
AB 400 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) – Crimes: alcoholic beverages: State Capitol.
AB 593 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) – Structural Fumigation Enforcement Program.
AB 711 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) – Beer manufacturers: free or discounted rides.
AB 1108 by Assemblymember Tom F. Daly (D-Anaheim) – Self-service storage facilities.
AB 1398 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Annuities: cash surrender benefits.
AB 1487 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) – Public Employees’ Retirement System: limited term appointments.
AB 1504 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) – State parks: concessions: contracts.
AB 1613 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – San Mateo County Transit District: retail transactions and use tax.
SB 65 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) – Vehicles: alcohol and marijuana: penalties.
SB 157 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Invasion of privacy: distribution of sexually explicit materials: protection of plaintiff’s identity.
SB 335 by Senator Anthony J. Cannella (R-Ceres) – Nursery Advisory Board.
SB 401 by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) – Child care facilities: state employees.
SB 407 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Common interest developments: noncommercial solicitation.
SB 410 by Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) – Civil service: veterans’ hiring preference: active duty members.
SB 427 by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) – Public water systems: community water systems: lead user service lines.
SB 455 by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Pupil enrollment: military dependents.
SB 489 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) – Workers’ compensation: change of physician.
SB 525 by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) – Public employees’ retirement.
SB 554 by Senator Jeff E. Stone (R-Temecula) – Nurse practitioners: physician assistants: buprenorphine.
SB 628 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Local educational agencies: governing board elections: Los Angeles Community College District.
SB 654 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) – Local moratorium: gambling tables.
SB 666 by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) – California Gambling Control Commission and Department of Justice: postemployment restrictions.
SB 684 by Senator Patricia C. Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) – Incompetence to stand trial: conservatorship: treatment.
SB 704 by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) – Division of Boating and Waterways: invasive aquatic plants control programs.
SB 764 by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) – Real estate trust fund accounts: fidelity insurance.
The Governor also announced that he has vetoed the following bills:
AB 662 by Assemblymember Steven Choi (R-Irvine) – Restitution: tracking. A veto message can be found here.
SB 663 by Senator Jim W. Nielsen (R-Gerber) – Packages and labels of cannabis or cannabis products: children. A veto message can be found here.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Wiener fails to pass bill in California Senate to allow safe injection sites for drug users
However, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco — a co-author of the bill — intends to ask the Senate to reconsider the proposal before the legislative session ends Friday.
“We all want people to get off of drugs,” Wiener said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “To my colleagues I would just ask, ‘How the heck are we doing in terms of getting people off of drugs?’ I think pretty darn poorly when you look
at the absolute explosion of injection drug use in cities, in rural areas, in California, in states across the country.”
He added, “The approach we’ve been using is a failure.”
The most recent estimates of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. shows a 21 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, with 64,070 people dying of drug overdoses compared to the 52,898 recorded overdose deaths in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
San Francisco has been studying opening up safe injection sites and could possibly become the first city in the nation to open a sanctioned one as early
as 2018, but that effort will likely be derailed if the state bill doesn’t pass. A
safe injection task force, established at the urging of Board of Supervisors President London Breed, is expected to recommend in a report this month
that San Francisco open such facilities.
Assembly Bill 186, introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman,
D-Stockton, and co-authored by Wiener, would provide legal protections for
San Francisco, along with seven other counties, to open safe injection sites.
The Assembly passed AB 186 in June by a 41 to 33 vote.
Republican senators blasted the bill on the Senate floor Tuesday when
Wiener called for the vote. Wiener managed to pick up 19 votes for it by Tuesday night, two shy of the required 21 votes to pass.
But Wiener is expected to have the Senate reconsider the bill before Friday’sdeadline, when the legislative session ends. If approved by the Senate, Gov. Jerry Brown would need to sign it into law.
Wiener built support for the proposal on the Senate floor by highlighting that it doesn’t mandate the eight counties actually open the facilities, there is no
state funding tied to it and studies show they work.
Safe injection sites allow drug users to inject drugs under supervision of
“I want to just really emphasize that this is not new,” Wiener said of safe
injection sites. “The United States is behind other countries. There are over 100 programs around the world that have implemented safe injection sites. And in
all of these programs there has never been a single reported case of a lethal overdose in one of these centers.”
Wiener said studies have proven that the sites reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis, reduce litter of syringes and guide people into treatment programs.
He also said the sites would free up emergency personnel from responding to drug overdose reports. “When you stop sending paramedics on runs to
respond to overdoses, for example, in public restrooms, abandoned cars, or homeless encampments you free them up to respond more quickly to other emergencies like heart attacks or strokes,” Wiener said.
Wiener dismissed concerns that the sites would encourage drug use. “People are already injecting drugs. But they are doing it on the streets,” Wiener said. “Why not do it in a safe sterile environment off of our streets?”
Republican senators sided with law enforcement groups like the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association and the California District Attorneys Association, which are opposing the bill.
State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, argued that the sites wouldn’t end drug
use. Nielsen said “there is little hope” someone who uses the sites would “dedicate themselves to rehabilitation.”
State Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said, “One of our jobs on the floor is to promote virtue and not encourage vices like drug use.”
“I don’t think we should be enabling people here with broken hearts and
souls,” Morrell said.
State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills, said safe injection sites would
“create sanctioned shooting galleries for street heroin.”
“Let’s not tell people who are slaves to drugs that the best we can do for them
is to provide a ‘clean, well-lighted place’ for them to throw away their lives,” Gaines said.
Other Democratic state senators spoke in favor of the the bill.
Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said new strategies are needed to address the drug epidemic. “We’ve tried things that don’t work,” Atkins said. “It makes
sense to try pilot programs.”
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said he had visited a safe injection facility
in Sydney, Australia, and saw it was effective. “We keep losing our young
folks. The epidemic continues to grow,” Lara said. “We have to treat this issue differently. Because what we’ve been doing does not work.”
Under AB 186, San Francisco along with Alameda, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Joaquin and Santa Cruz counties could operate a safe drug consumption program for those 18 or older, until Jan. 1, 2022.
Those involved in the programs couldn’t be charged with drug offenses and those operating the program would have to provide annual reports detailing syringes distributed, demographics of drug users, overdoses and referrals to treatment programs.
How the California Senate voted Tuesday on Assembly Bill 186
Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica
Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego
Sen. Jim Beall, D-Campbell
Sen. Steven Bradford, D- Gardena
Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa
Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo
Sen. Bill Hueso, D-San Diego
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens
Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino
Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg
Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel
Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland
Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont
Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco
Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon
Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel
Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte
Sen. Anthony J. Cannella, R-Ceres
Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills
Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda
Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa
Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga
Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton
Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove
Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama
Sen. Anthony Portantino D-La Cañada Flintridge
Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside
Sen. Jeff Stone R-Riverside County
Andy Vidak, R-Hanford
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley
Did not vote:
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton
Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento
Sen. Henry Stern, D-Agoura Hills
Hearing on cap-and-trade spending deal gets testy
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders may have reached a deal on spending $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade revenue, but some Democrats still have concerns.
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) wondered during a budget hearing on Wednesday how much of the appropriations “were designed to meet certain expectations” of different interest groups and lawmakers who supported extending the cap-and-trade program earlier this year. The program requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, and the revenue is supposed to be spent on initiatives that further reduce emissions.
“There are a lot of Christmas trees out there,” Jackson said. “Everybody wants to pluck a bit of the ornaments, but my concern overall is the whole accountability issue. As you identify these projects, are there certain expectations that you think that they are going to accomplish, because I haven’t seen them.”
Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) questioned a last-minute provision in the spending legislation that could give unions more leverage in negotiations with automakers.
“Who is running this state?” he said.
The provision would ask state regulators to create a process for determining if automakers are “fair and responsible” in their treatment of workers. If they fall short of that standard, their vehicles could become ineligible for electric car rebates in the future.
Moorlach asked what “fair and responsible” meant. Amy Costa, chief deputy director at Brown’s Department of Finance, said it would be up to state officials to develop the guidelines.
This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District.Ifyou no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.