In summary

CalMatters has launched an election guide with everything you need to know about California voting for the June 7 primary.

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It’s election season, baby!

Today is the final day for San Francisco voters to cast or mail in their ballots in a special election runoff that will determine who fills the state Assembly seat vacated by David Chiu when he was appointed San Francisco city attorney — the latest in a slew of special elections prompted by a “Great Resignation” of state lawmakers.

And, in exactly seven weeks, the statewide June 7 primary election will be upon us.

But don’t worry: CalMatters is here to help.

We’ve launched a revamped, better-than-ever version of our renowned Voter Guide to walk you through all you need to know about the quickly approaching election, including:

  • Key election dates and a voting FAQ.
  • An interactive tool to find your newly redrawn congressional and legislative districts — and the candidates competing in them.
  • Candidate resumes and job descriptions — if you’ve ever wondered how much a governor earns, or the difference between state controller and treasurer, now’s your chance to find out!
  • Hot races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state Assembly and Senate.
  • Side-by-side comparisons in key, contested races of top candidates’ stances on major issues, including housing and homelessness, education, justice, health care, the economy and the environment.
  • The most comprehensive campaign finance data we’ve ever provided.
  • And a curated selection of must-know election news and analysis.

“We made the CalMatters Voter Guide so you could find these answers from expert, independent reporters who ask the tough questions, look at the research and talk to all sides,” said Editor-in-Chief David Lesher. “We want you to feel confident in the decisions you need to make.”

2022 Election

Your guide to the 2022 general election in California

You got a sneak peek of the Voter Guide in Monday’s newsletter, which shared key takeaways from CalMatters’ 90-minute interview with GOP state Sen. Brian Dahle, the Lassen County farmer seeking to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom.

And here’s our newest offering: the top things you should know from our 70-minute interview with Nathan Hochman, a Republican former federal prosecutor running for attorney general against Democratic incumbent — and Newsom appointee — Rob Bonta.

2022 Election

Latest coverage of the 2022 general election in California

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The coronavirus bottom line: As of Thursday, California had 8,536,943 confirmed cases (+0.1% from previous day) and 88,907 deaths (+0.2% from previous day), according to state data now updated just twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. CalMatters is also tracking coronavirus hospitalizations by county.

California has administered 74,133,081 vaccine doses, and 75.1% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated.

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1. Instacart withdraws tax credit proposal

Instacart worker Saori Okawa loads groceries into her car for home delivery in San Leandro on July 1, 2020. Photo by Ben Margot, AP Photo
Instacart worker Saori Okawa loads groceries into her car for home delivery in San Leandro on July 1, 2020. Photo by Ben Margot, AP Photo

Instacart has withdrawn its application for a $21 million California Competes Tax Credit, the gig-economy company told me Monday — a move that follows vehement opposition from labor groups and raises questions as to whether Instacart will continue its planned expansion in San Francisco.

The news came a few days after I reported on Instacart’s tentative agreement with Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Under the terms of the deal, Instacart’s tax credit was conditional on it creating 1,155 new full-time jobs in California and making at least $21 million of capital investments in additional office space in San Francisco. Without the tax credit, Instacart certified in its application, the “project may occur in another state.” A GO-Biz spokesperson noted that Instacart’s secondary U.S. headquarters in Atlanta could house the planned expansion.

  • Instacart told me in a statement: “Instacart is proud to call California home and to have created thousands of jobs and contributed millions in tax revenue to the state over the past decade. At this time, we have decided not to further pursue a grant through the Cal Competes Tax Credit Program. We appreciate the opportunity to work with state leaders and look forward to continued discussions about how we can build on Instacart’s long legacy of growth, job creation, and community impact across the state.”
  • Heather Purcell, GO-Biz deputy director of communications, told me in a statement: “Instacart informed us (Monday) that they have withdrawn their application as companies have the right to do at any point and for any reason.”

The proposed tax credit was met with strong union pushback. Following this newsletter’s coverage and outcry from incoming California Labor Federation leader Lorena Gonzalez, a coalition of labor groups sent Dee Dee Myers, GO-Biz director and chair of the California Competes Board, a letter urging the board to reject the tentative deal. The unions cited Instacart’s financial backing of Proposition 22, a 2020 ballot measure that exempted it and other gig-economy giants from a controversial state labor law Gonzalez authored as a state Assemblymember: “Given that Instacart’s business model is based on violating labor law, exploiting workers, and replacing good union jobs with low-wage jobs, this proposal is not only a poor use of taxpayer funds — it also adds insult to injury for the tens of thousands of Instacart shoppers who have been systematically denied their rights and protections as employees in the state of California.”

2. Protests collide at state Capitol

Members of the Peoples’ Convoy waved flags, banners and used megaphones to disrupt the Victims of Crime Rally for Change on the steps of the California State Capitol on April 18, 2022. Photo by Fred Greaves for CalMatters
Members of the People’s Convoy waved flags and used megaphones to disrupt the Victims of Crime Rally for Change at the state Capitol in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. Photo by Fred Greaves for CalMatters

No sooner did state lawmakers return to Sacramento after an 11-day spring recess than things started heating up. Two rallies converged outside the state Capitol on Monday, resulting in chaos as some members of the People’s Convoy — apparently associated with a trucker caravan crisscrossing the country in opposition to vaccine mandates and COVID restrictions — screamed over the attendees of another event calling for expanded resources for crime victims. That rally, sponsored by the California Prosecutors Alliance, featured several of the Democratic lawmakers who unveiled victim protection bills in February.

  • Fred Greaves, who was photographing the crime victims event for CalMatters, was hit by a man seemingly affiliated with the People’s Convoy protest. The man “smacked my camera back into my face” and then “said something snarky and kind of laughed and just walked away,” Greaves told me. “As somebody that’s been a journalist for more than 30 years and covered all kinds of stuff … it was pretty outrageous.”
  • Greaves wasn’t injured and decided against pressing charges, though he discussed the incident with California Highway Patrol officers monitoring the protest. “My sense is that he was looking to … generate some sort of conflict or strife,” Greaves said. He noted that some protesters — who were yelling slogans such as “Elected officials are all child rapists!” — seemed to think that “because we were paying attention to this other event and not the People’s Convoy, that … (was) proof of some collusion or media coverup.”
  • Cristine DeBerry, executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, told me in a statement: “Members of the convoy wandered into our event and many were hostile and disruptive. After the victims spoke, however, many apologized and expressed support for the changes we’re trying to make. These are reforms that everyone can get behind.”

Groups affiliated with the People’s Convoy are slated to return to the Capitol today and Wednesday for daylong protests, according to the California Highway Patrol’s permit calendar. Also scheduled for today: Two protests in opposition to a bill that would prevent women from facing civil or criminal liabilities for their pregnancy outcomes; the California Family Council alleges it “decriminalizes infanticide.”

3. Roundup of Capitol news

Workers prepare outgoing shipments at an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy on Nov. 30, 2014. Photo by Noah Berger, Reuters

Let’s dive into other key Monday happenings at the state Capitol:

  • Democratic Assemblymember Ash Kalra of San Jose unveiled a bill that would force employers to tell workers when they’re being monitored or tracked — and ban surveillance outside of work, CalMatters’ Lil Kalish reports. The proposal also would ban the use of facial recognition technology and prevent employers from using algorithms to decide when and whether an employee should be be disciplined or fired. 
  • Meanwhile, as Newsom and lawmakers wrangle over the best way to provide financial relief to Californians hurting from high gas prices, Democratic Assemblymember Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles and anti-poverty advocates called on the state to send one-time payments of $2,000 per child to families making up to $30,000 a year, CalMatters’ Jeanne Kuang reports. The proposed payments are intended to partly make up for the expiration of last year’s expanded federal child tax credit.
  • GOP lawmakers introduced a proposal to use $10 billion of the state’s budget surplus to create a Mental Health Infrastructure Fund to help build new county mental health and addiction treatment facilities and expand the behavioral health workforce. Democratic lawmakers — and Newsom — have their own ideas for mental health reform.
  • And a key Assembly committee advanced a bill that would build on California’s law mandating diversity on corporate boards by expanding the list of “underrepresented communities” to include people who identify as Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh, or who have a disability. However, a superior court judge recently ruled the law was unconstitutional.

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CalMatters commentary

CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Californians bear one of the nation’s highest tax burdens — and two new polls indicate they resent it.

Proposed health care contract would benefit vulnerable Californians: A single state contract with Kaiser Permanente to provide Medi-Cal services in counties where it operates will further California’s goals of making quality health care more accessible and affordable, argues Dr. Bechara Choucair, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Permanente.

Other things worth your time

Los Angeles’ eviction moratorium holds as Supreme Court refuses to hear landlords’ challenge. // LAist

A rising tally of lonely deaths on California’s streets. // New York Times

How do people fall into homelessness? Three stories of hardship. // San Luis Obispo Tribune

These airlines are making masks optional after federal mandate struck down. // CNN

Some state-issued digital vaccine cards may have incomplete information. // San Diego Union-Tribune

Battle lines are drawn over California deal with Kaiser Permanente. // California Healthline

UC Davis, Kaiser try to place more doctors in Central Valley. // Sacramento Bee

California needs more medical workers, but are they being stalled at community colleges? // Fresno Bee

5,000 Stanford nurses and families could lose health insurance if they go on planned strike. // ABC7 San Francisco

Thousands of Sutter nurses strike at Bay Area facilities for better staffing, health and safety measures. // Mercury News

CalPERS considers new rules for working after retirement. // Sacramento Bee

Silicon Valley’s COVID windfall raises alarms about region’s economy. // Mercury News

Is San Diego getting enough out of Tailgate Park deal with Padres development team? // San Diego Union-Tribune

Rick Caruso missed nearly 40% of meetings as LAPD commissioner. // Los Angeles Times

Sonoma State president separates from husband amid sexual harassment, retaliation scandal. // Los Angeles Times

Why so many California school board recall efforts fizzled during the pandemic. // Mercury News

New LAUSD superintendent plans to fill hundreds of teacher vacancies by reassigning school staff. // The 74

He spent 30 years in prison on a wrongful murder conviction. A Chesa Boudin campaign promise will free him. // San Francisco Chronicle

Kamala Harris to focus on portfolio issues on trip to California. // CNN

PG&E’s Tesla Megapack battery in California now operational. // Associated Press

Toxic shower water. Sewage pits. ‘Infuriating’ woes in east Coachella Valley mobile parks. // Palm Springs Desert Sun

See you tomorrow.

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Emily Hoeven wrote the daily WhatMatters newsletter for three years at CalMatters . Her reporting, essays, and opinion columns have been published in San Francisco Weekly, the Deseret News, the San Francisco...