Good morning, California.

“With so many unnecessary deaths, I think everyone agrees that we need to change how deadly force is used in California.”—Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, after a compromise was reached on her bill to limit officer-involved shootings.

A deal on lethal force legislation

Salena Manni, the fiancee of Stephon Clark, who was shot by police last year.

A compromise has been struck over legislation to restrict police use of force, one of the most contentious bills of the year, CALmatters’ Laurel Rosenhall reports.

  • On Thursday, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon signed on as co-sponsors of the measure, Assembly Bill 392, all but ensuring it will win passage in both houses.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom also embraced the accord, saying in a statement that it would “help restore community trust in our criminal justice system.”

As introduced, the bill said police could use deadly force if it were “necessary” to save their lives or the lives of others. Law enforcement worried such a standard would cause officers to hesitate and could cost them their lives.

The compromise authorizes lethal force when “an officer reasonably believes, based on the totality of the circumstances, that deadly force is necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person.”

Lizzie Buchen of the American Civil Liberties Union: “Assuming this bill passes, then California will have one of the strongest use-of-force laws in the nation.”

Police groups announced they dropped their opposition and were now neutral on the bill.


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E-cigarette bill flames out

A bill banning flavored tobacco was pulled by its author.

Legislation to curb e-cigarettes favored by teenagers died Thursday after a Senate committee agreed to industry-backed amendments that all but gutted the measure.

Democratic Sen Jerry Hill of San Mateo pulled his Senate Bill 38 from consideration after the measure’s main backers—the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association in California and the American Heart Association—withdrew their support.

  • The bill would have banned flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products.
  • Amendments included one that would have permitted flavored hookah tobacco at hookah lounges, something hookah aficionados contended was important culturally .

Hill said in a statement: “I find it hard to believe that use of gummy bear and bubble gum-flavored tobacco in any form is a cultural tradition.”

Aguilera writes: “Never doubt the power of the tobacco lobby in California.”


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Newsom: We must solve housing crisis

A homeless person sleeps in downtown Sacramento on Thursday.

Addressing the California Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Gavin Newsom called California’s housing crisis the state’s greatest challenge but offered no specific solutions, the Sacramento Business Journal reported.

Newsom, speaking to the annual Sacramento Host Breakfast, told business leaders there are efforts to solve the crisis:

“There is something bigger happening on this issue that is bigger than just one week or one month or one legislative cycle. There is commitment and a resolve to reconcile this.”

Details and action: TBD.


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Drink till 4, but don’t smoke at the beach

Sen. Steve Glazer is again trying to ban smoking at state beaches.

Some legislators want to snuff smoking at state parks and beaches. Others hope to permit bars in certain cities to stay open until 4 a.m.

  • They’re all banking on a new day under Gov. Gavin Newsom, after Jerry Brown vetoed previous attempts.

Once again, Sen. Steve Glazer, a Democrat from Orinda, is pushing Senate Bill 8 to ban smoking at state beaches and parks. It passed the Senate on Thursday on a party line vote, 28-10, with Republicans opposing it. On Thursday, the Assembly approved a similar bill by Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine of Marin County. Lawmakers passed similar bills many times before.

Brown vetoed the most recent one, writing: “If people can’t smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of government.”

CALmatters’ Adria Watson writes that San Francisco Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener again is pushing Senate Bill 58 to let bars in certain cities stay open till 4 a.m.

Brown rejected that notion: “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”

Newsom spokesman Brian Ferguson said the governor will evaluate the bill if it makes it to his desk.

  • Newsom has put his holdings in a blind trust but did co-found San Francisco-based PlumpJack, a chain of restaurants, bars and wineries. Not that that would matter.

Take a number: $2.7 billion

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.

California’s national parks recorded 39.9 million visitors in 2018, generating $2.7 billion in economic activity, including 37,500 jobs, the National Park Service reports. That’s up from $1.9 billion the year before. Park service sites in Washington, D.C., counted 40 million visitors. The Golden Gate Recreation Area received the most visits at 15.2 million in California, followed by Yosemite with 4 million visitors.

Paper receipts

A bill placing restrictions on paper receipts was approved by the Assembly.

Californians would no longer receive paper receipts under legislation approved by the Assembly on Thursday and sent to the Senate.

  • Retailers, paper manufacturers, bankers, the American Chemistry Council and pharmacists oppose Assembly Bill 161 by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting. The bill says people would have to request paper receipts. Otherwise, they’d receive email receipts.

The bill passed the 80-seat Assembly 43-21, with two Democrats joining all 19 Assembly Republicans opposing it. Several others failed to vote.

Commentary at CALmatters

Loren Kaye, California Foundation for Commerce and Education: Some California legislators are considering a sales tax on services. A services tax won’t reduce California’s budget volatility and would worsen the state’s affordability crisis. With record budget surpluses, talk of new taxes should be political malpractice.

Letters: CALmatters’ columnist Dan Walters severely misconstrues Assembly Bill 626.

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See you Tuesday.