Good morning, California.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Arizona and San Diego Monday announced a new border enforcement policy in which parents who cross illegally could be separated from their kids: “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra: “As a father, the last thing I would do is separate fathers and mothers from their children and I would hope the federal government thinks twice about doing this.”
End of watch
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, a Stockton Democrat at the peace officers memorial ceremony.
The annual California Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony never fails to be a moving event. So it was on Monday.
Thousands of officers in dress uniforms came to Sacramento to honor officers who were killed in the line of duty. Bagpipes, honor guards and political leaders paid homage to the fallen officers and their families.
Gov. Jerry Brown, referring to the monument for the officers: “This is something that will outlive all of us. It will outlive us by capturing and recreating the memory of those who served us by giving the ultimate sacrifice.”
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, whose husband was a Sacramento police lieutenant, was there, as were Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators.
Names of eight officers were added to the memorial, which now includes more than 1,600 names. This year’s ceremony came at a time when officers have been ambushed because of who they are, and as protests continue over police use of force.
“Divisions have intensified. The way we all try to make it all work is becoming more difficult. We’re in a very dangerous period,” Brown said.
There is, Brown added, a “larger danger of a world divided. As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘A house divided cannot stand.’”
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Brown and cop killers
Gov. Jerry Brown has pardoned far more felons than any past governor and reduced more sentences than any governor other than his father.
But he stops short when the crime involves killing a police officer. Lawmakers can count 10 instances in which Brown has overturned parole board decisions to grant parole to cop killers. It’s an indication that Brown believes people who kill officers are particularly dangerous.
John Lovell, police lobbyist: “It isn’t the politics. It’s the policy. He takes these cases very seriously.”
Sen. Josh Newman, a Democrat from Fullerton, is carrying legislation that would require future governors adhere to Brown’s strict criteria for releasing cop killers.
Police unions and their lobbyists are backing Newman’s measure. The ACLU opposes it. On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee bottled up the bill, to the dismay of its supporters, especially on the day when thousands of cops gathered to remember officers who were killed in the line of duty.
UC’s strike dilemma
Thousands of registered nurses will walk off their jobs at University of California medical centers today in sympathy with striking members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Walk-outs by AFSCME and the California Nurses Association, both of them major players in Democratic campaigns, will last until Wednesday.
Fallout: UC hospitals canceled elective surgeries. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris won’t deliver a commencement at UC Berkeley because of the labor dispute.
The issue: Custodians, vocational nurses, landscapers and others who are part of AFSCME are angry that UC seeks to raise the retirement age to 65 from 60, limit wage increases to 3 percent and require greater health care contributions by workers, said union spokesman Todd Stenhouse. Outsourcing of jobs to private contractors remains a threat to union jobs.
The dilemma: In April, UC put off a decision on whether to increase tuition, hoping the Legislature will give it more money as budget negotiations turn serious. If the Legislature refuses, UC could raise tuition to pay for additional labor costs. Either that, or run a deficit.
In his latest commentary, CALmatters’ Dan Walters looks at the state’s demographic data and notes that California could lose one of its 53 congressional seats as a result of the 2020 census. That’s why California leaders will spend whatever it takes to insist that the feds fully count all Californians.
You’ve got mail
Check your mailboxes. Vote-by-mail ballots probably have arrived for the June 5 primary if you requested them. But Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo counties are replacing neighborhood polling places with fewer one-stop vote centers and sending vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters. Mindy Romero of the UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project called it the “single biggest change we’ve seen in our elections in California.” Democrats hope it will improve anemic voter turnout, CALmatters’ Byrhonda Lyons reports.
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