Good morning, California. 

The Bureau of Cannabis Control proposes to reject the California Police Chiefs’ and League of California Cities’ position and permit home delivery of weed to people age 21 and older. A 15-day comment period is underway.

Two companies—Weedmaps, which advertises cannabis delivery services, and Eaze, which delivers cannabis—contributed $257,250 to California politicians and parties this year, and spent $315,000 on lobbying in the first half of 2018.

 

The block that Prop. 13 built

California's signature property tax initiative turns 40 this year.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Proposition 13, the landmark property tax initiative that reshaped how state and local government works in California.
  • Critics blame Prop. 13 for California ills from struggling schools to the affordable housing shortage.
  • Supporters say Prop. 13 protects Californians from runaway taxation and keeps homeowners in their homes, and remains overwhelmingly popular with voters for a reason.
CALmatters teamed up with public radio stations across California to tell the story of how Prop. 13 shaped one block in North Oakland. The winners and losers may surprise you. For a closer look at this fascinating project, part of the California Dream collaboration, click here. 

CA labor takes a hard line on gas tax

Proposition 6 would repeal California's gas tax and eliminate road repair funding.

Earlier this month, Orange County Democrat Katie Porter, challenging Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in one of the nation’s most hotly contested congressional races, lost the endorsement of the Laborers’ International Union of North America for opposing California’s gasoline tax.

Now, the California Labor Federation, the umbrella for organized labor, is abandoning Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar’s campaign to unseat indicted Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter in San Diego. The issue? Again, the gas tax, on which Campa-Najjar has taken an ambiguous stand.

Federation spokesman Steve Smith: “We made the decision that it’s not a district that California Labor Federation will be engaged in.”

At the same time, the federation intends to campaign hard for Jessica Morse, another first-time Democratic candidate challenging Republican Congressman Tom McClintock of Elk Grove in a heavily Republican district that includes much of the Sierra.

  • In both races, labor’s decision turned on how the candidates framed their answers to perhaps the biggest question facing Californians in the Nov. 6 election: how to pay to repair California’s rutted highways and bridges.

To go deeper, please click here.

Follow the money: Organized labor has spent $17.1 million to defeat Proposition 6, the initiative that would repeal the 12-cent per gallon gasoline tax approved by the Legislature last year. The tax generates $5.2 billion a year to pay primarily for road and bridge repair.

  • Labor’s share represents 42 percent of $42.7 million raised so far to kill the initiative. Construction companies and their consultants have given the bulk of the rest, $23.4 million, my analysis of campaign finance filings shows.

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It's time to make behavioral health solutions a top priority in California.


Emergency room-mental illness connection

People with severe mental illness are more likely to use emergency rooms than the general population and account for more repeat visits, according to a study of California hospital admissions from 2012 to 2014.

  • The analysis of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development data included 3 ,446, 338 individuals who made 7, 678 ,706 visits between 2012 and 2014.

The key finding of the study in the JAMA Network Open, part of the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Mild, moderate, and severe mental health diagnoses were associated with increases of 2.9 percent, 12.1 percent, and 22.6 percent respectively in emergency room use.”

Also: “Among patients with a mental health diagnosis, those with four or more emergency department visits, or 16.8 percent of patients, made up 39.6 percent of the total visits.”

Voters may find the study relevant as they decide what to do about Proposition 2, which promises $2 billion to house mentally ill people. To get a run-down on the measure, check out our election guide. Or check out our Prop-in-a-Minute video here.

CALmatters Face-Off: Lieutenant Governor

Compare and contrast the Democrats vying to succeed Gavin Newsom.

The “lite gov,” in the parlance, chairs the California State Lands Commission and the California Commission for Economic Development, sits on the University of California Board of Regents and California State University Board of Trustees and, most importantly, steps in if the governor cannot serve or leaves the state.

  • Ed Hernandez and Eleni Kounalakis are vying to succeed Gavin Newsom in the lieutenant governor’s office—without the name recognition Newsom had as a former mayor of San Francisco.
  • Both are Democrats, both oppose tuition hikes and both want to increase CAL Grant funding. Their campaign finances differ dramatically.

Click here to spend 7 minutes and 30 seconds—exactly—getting to know the candidates, via this short, snappy video from CALmatters’ Byrhonda Lyons. And for a deeper dive, check out our CALmatters voter guide.

Commentary at CALmatters

Dan Walters, CALmatters: California officials are straddling a fine legal line as they use public funds to persuade voters to approve billions of dollars in taxes, fees and bonds.

Jennifer Page, Yes on Proposition 4: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been a part of my family since Max’s diagnosis with a congenital heart defect. As a team, we have experienced our highest highs and lowest lows at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. For us, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is not just a hospital. It is a vital support system. On Nov. 6, Proposition 4, the Children’s Hospital Bond, will give Californians the opportunity to ensure that children’s hospitals in our state continue to offer that kind of high-quality care to young patients like Max.

Please email or call me with tips, suggestions and insights, [email protected]g, 916.201.6281. Thanks for reading, please tell a friend and sign up here.

See you tomorrow.