Hello, California. It’s Monday June 7th.
State of emergency to stay
Friday was not a lucky day for Governor Gavin Newsom.
The stage was set – literally – for a positive announcement. Newsom, standing in front of shimmering gold and red curtains and a Wheel of Fortune-style gadget in the randomly selected California Lottery Building in Sacramento the first 15 winners a cash prize of $ 50,000 from the state vaccine lottery program. Confetti rained down on the Governor as he waved an oversized check emblazoned with “Vax for the Win” and “FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS”.
But then the tough questions from reporters started pouring in, and the state’s grand reopening on June 15 started looking a bit hazy.
First, Newsom suggested it would take no executive action to overturn rules passed Thursday night by the California Workplace Safety Agency requiring many employees to continue wearing masks after June 15. Then, in response to a question from Laurel Rosenhall of CalMatters, he said he would not end the state of emergency in California on June 15.
- New: “This disease is not extinct. He did not disappear. It’s not about taking time off in the summer months.
Maintaining emergency status allows California to bypass certain rules and expedite federal funding even when businesses reopen, which the Newsom administration says is necessary to manage the lingering effects of the pandemic. But it also provides fodder for Newsom’s critics, who accused it on Friday of wanting to retain the emergency powers that allowed it to unilaterally affect more than 400 laws and regulations.
Just like that, the main takeaway from Friday’s event changed from “cash prizes for getting the vaccine” to “Newsom doesn’t plan to end the state of emergency.” The rapidly evolving narrative underscores how the outcome of the almost certain recall election can depend on the timing. As Laurel reports, some leading Democrats appear to be pushing for elections to be held as early as mid-September – a move that could capitalize on promising polls and narrow the window of political traps.
Meanwhile, Newsom continues to collect donations, according to a CalMatters tracker, and endorsements. California Teachers Association Saturday said he would support Newsom against the recall, the latest influential union to do so.
The net result of the coronavirus: Sunday California had 3,689,994 confirmed cases (+ 0.03% compared to the day before) and 62,470 deaths (+ 0.4% compared to the day before), according to a CalMatters tracker.
More: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline by tracking the state’s daily actions. We are also tracking state-by-county coronavirus hospitalizations and lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.
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Other stories you should know
1. Judge blocks ban on assault weapons
California’s three-decade ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled on Friday evening – upsetting the political leaders of the state, who had made statements a few hours earlier recognition of the National Armed Violence Awareness Day. In his ruling against the state, US District Judge Roger Benitez likened the AR-15 rifle to a “Swiss Army Knife”, describing both “the perfect combination of an internal defense weapon and ‘national defense equipment’. Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta criticized Benitez for the analogy and said the state would challenge the ruling, that Benitez himself stayed for 30 days to allow an appeal. As CalMatters’ Ben Christopher reports, California has already appealed two other decisions by Benitez: one overturning the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines and the other blocking the background check requirement. state to buy ammunition. (Part of the problem? The state’s glitchy websites.)
The move came just a day after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have taxed guns and ammunition to fund gun violence prevention programs and weeks after Newsom called for stricter gun laws following a mass shooting in San Jose.
2. Teacher unions back in the news
Two of California’s most powerful teachers’ unions have again embroiled themselves in controversy – this time the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a deadly outbreak of violence last month, the San Francisco Teachers Union called on the United States to boycott, step aside and launch sanctions against Israel for propagating “apartheid and war crimes” against the Palestinians. The Los Angeles Teachers Union is due to vote on a similar resolution in September. The resolutions have sparked backlash from some Jewish families and organizations, who say the resolutions are inappropriate and could make Jewish students and teachers feel unsafe. Other critics have questioned why unions are focusing on Israel and Palestine instead of reopening schools – an argument also made against the San Francisco school board when he voted in January to rename 44 schools named after historical figures he said linked to racism or oppression (a decision has since returned). Some Palestinian groups, however, applauded the unions for tackling such a hot issue.
This is not the first time that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has surfaced in public schools in California. The State Board of Education in March adopted an ethnic studies curriculum that took four years and four drafts to develop – largely due to fears that the original drafts were anti-Semitic and did not include experiences of American Arabs.
3. The group tracks anti-Asian hatred
Following a series of unprovoked attacks on elderly Asian Americans in California and a mass shooting in Atlanta in which the eight victims included six women of Asian descent, a report documenting anti-Asian discrimination amid the pandemic has started to circulate. The report comes from a small California-based volunteer organization called Stop AAPI Hate, which quickly became one of the nation’s top sources for reporting hate incidents and in February received $ 1.4 million from the state for better monitor and respond to anti-Asian violence. Mallika Seshadri of CalMatters introduced the founders and volunteers who brought Stop AAPI Hate to national prominence.
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CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: California’s recent history is replete with programs and projects that deserve a merciful death, but which have continued to absorb billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars.
Lower healthcare costs: An office of healthcare affordability would put an end to California’s scorching approach, say Bill Kramer of the Buyer Business Group on Health and Anthony Wright of Health Access California.
Everyone deserves a walk in the park: Newsom’s budget includes innovative ideas to remove barriers to park access for underprivileged communities, writes Rachel Norton of the California State Parks Foundation.
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Other things are worth your time
Caitlyn Jenner discusses her gubernatorial candidacy, voting record, Kim Kardashian and more in the first California TV interview. // FOX 11 Los Angeles
California housing bill aimed to find a compromise between warring factions. No chance. // Chronicle of San Francisco
As disasters worsen, California plans to curb construction in high-risk areas. // New York Times
California K-12 funding formula is subject to change, but disagreement on how. // EdSource
For environmentalists, the California legislature has been “a bloodbath” this year. // Chronicle of San Francisco
Barbara Ferrer mourns the 24,000 dead in Los Angeles County and wonders if she’s done enough. // Los Angeles Times
Changes in Northern California County Declaration of deaths due to COVID-19. // Associated press
Could Antonio Villaraigosa come back At the mayor ? // Los Angeles Times
Can Kamala Harris Slow Migration to the United States from Central America? // New York Times
Federal Court vacancies put pressure on California senators, President Biden. // Chronicle of San Francisco
COVID-19 has slowed down foreign investment in California in 2020. // Orange County Register
Cops who are not on duty find it difficult to drink. The LAPD rules do not prevent it. // Los Angeles Times
The Boogaloo militia plotted a “war” on the California cops, say the feds. // Mercury News
Illegal drone scares terns, who drop 2,000 eggs on the nesting island of Bolsa Chica. // Orange County Register
Discovery of ticks carrying Lyme disease near the beaches of California. // Los Angeles Times
How Chamath Palihapitiya became Silicon Valley Pied Piper of ad hoc acquisition companies. // New Yorker
See you tomorrow.
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