Good morning, California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, their four kids, two dogs and one rabbit won’t live in the Governor’s Mansion after all, The Sacramento Bee reports.
Instead, they’ll move a few miles from downtown Sacramento to what Realtors called a “sophisticated Santa Barbara Montecito styled home” with a wine cellar, pool, guest house and tennis court. The Newsoms paid $3.7 million for the spread.
PG&E bankruptcy could upend California’s climate change fight
A PG&E bankruptcy would impact climate goals.
Alternative energy producers have warned Gov. Gavin Newsom that Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s looming bankruptcy threatens California’s ambitious goals to combat climate change.
Producers of wind, solar and geothermal energy said in a letter to Newsom and legislative leaders earlier this week that they “are deeply concerned that existing contracts and procurement processes are about to be overtaken by the utility’s bankruptcy filing.”
The letter: “What is at stake is not just the future of PG&E but also California’s ability to meet its ambitious climate change mitigation goals, which will require billions of dollars in additional investment in renewable energy over the next several years.”
In bankruptcy, PG&E could seek to renegotiate high-cost alternative energy contracts, a step that could force providers to restructure in domino fashion.
The New York Times: “For power producers, especially those in renewable resources, a bankruptcy filing by PG&E could be wrenching.”
To see the implications of PG&E’s likely bankruptcy, look at the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo. The massive farm spans 4,700 acres, provides electricity for 180,000 households and is wholly dependent on PG&E to buy its power.
Ratings agencies downgraded Topaz, a step that could force it to restructure, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.
What’s ahead: Newsom, who says he is focused on PG&E problems, could make energy-related appointments as early as today.
Newsom tweaks Trump as he reassures TSA workers
Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday assured Transportation Security Administration workers, who aren’t being paid during the federal government shutdown, that California will pay unemployment benefits.
Stepping into the shutdown fight, Newsom last week promised 140,000 federal workers including TSA agents in California that they could obtain unemployment benefits during the shutdown.
Newsom revealed Thursday that the U.S. Department of Labor this week told California that the feds would not reimburse the state for unemployment benefits paid to federal workers who are working but not getting paid during the shutdown.
Capitol Public Radio quoted Newsom as calling the letter “jaw-dropping.”
Newsom tweeted: “The people of CA should not have to suffer from Washington’s games.”
Meeting with TSA agents at the Sacramento International Airport, Newsom said: “So, the good news is, we’re going to do it, and shame on them.” California will seek reimbursement from Uncle Sam later.
Newsom says he’s not running for president in 2020. He probably isn’t. But from his perch as leader of the largest and one of the bluest states in the union, expect Newsom to tweak President Donald Trump regularly between now and November 2020.
Taking stock of the Legislature’s LGBT caucus
Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell argue for a bill banning the advertising or sale of "gay conversion therapy" in 2018. Photo by Robbie Short for CALmatters
A quarter-century after Sheila Kuehl made history as the first openly gay candidate elected to the California Legislature, the LGBT caucus now numbers seven and has chalked up hard-fought legislative victories—and a to-do list for the future, CALmatters Elizabeth Castillo reports.
All of its members are Democrats. No openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans Republican has ever won a seat in the Legislature.
Castillo spoke to Roy Ashburn, a former Republican legislator from Bakersfield who had been among U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s political allies. Ashburn was closeted for much of his tenure in the Legislature.
Ashburn: “‘I did not live an authentic life. I hurt people who were adversely affected by the votes that I cast.’”
To read more about the caucus’ wins and losses, click here.
Parsing Newsom’s family leave proposal
There's more to Newsom's family leave proposal
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to guarantee parents up to six months paid leave to care for a newborn is not quite as generous as it initially seemed, CALmatters Laurel Rosenhall concludes after digging through the details.
Newsom’s proposal is far more generous than current law, but doesn’t call for each worker to get six months of paid leave. Rather, it calls for each baby to get up to six months of care from a family member, dividing the time between two adults, each taking a paid leave of two to four months.
That’s still more than the six weeks of partially-paid family leave that most workers get under current state law.
For more details, click here.
Commentary at CALmatters
Housing Californians should start with affordable options
Lisa Hershey, Housing California: If our government is going to truly prioritize housing all Californians, cities and counties must put state incentive funding directly toward the production of homes at levels affordable to people most in need.
Joshua Pechthalt, California Federation of Teachers: The Los Angeles Unified School District and state can’t plead poverty while young people receive an education where counseling ratios are in the hundreds to one, classes are overcrowded, and art and music are only for the privileged.
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