Governor Newsom Signs SB 359
Thank you, Governor Newsom, for signing SB 359 last evening.
SB 359 developed after observing a clever procedural technique to slow down petition gatherers in the district. Although it was legal, it was a hurdle and burden to electoral liberty. This bill creates an additional simplified, cost-effective referendum methodology for parties who are interested in overturning an ordinance passed by a city council.
Under the current referendum process, city councils can require proponents to include thousands of pages of documents within a single petition. SB 359 allows parties who are interested in overturning an ordinance to now have the ability to choose the existing method in code or this new pathway if it better suits them.
Thank you, Dr. Susan Skinner, for your assistance on this bill. Dr. Skinner, I offer sincere condolences on the recent loss of your father, Jack Skinner, to whom I dedicate this bill. Jack was a professional, a friend, and someone who was easy to laugh with. He played a big role in Newport Beach and I wish his widow, Nancy, and the family my deepest sympathies at this time of great loss.
Five of my bills made it to the Governor’s desk at the end of Session and he has signed two of them. It will be a few more days before we learn the fate of the other three (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Bills to Watch After the Summer Break — July 20, 2019). The Governor’s press release was published in the Mojave Desert News and Lake County News.
Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Created by Wildfires
The California Air Resources Board should be required to also include greenhouse gases generated by wildfire conflagrations in their reporting. I have been attempting to address wildfires caused by electrical power lines for four years. One of my bills in this year’s efforts that did not make it to the Governor’s desk is SB 535, which was held in Assembly Appropriations by its Chair in the final days of Session (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-535-tracking-greenhouse-gas-emissions-wildfires).
Yesterday’s LA Times addressed my concerns in, “The Flames’ Menacing Air: Fires threaten state’s progress in cutting greenhouse gases, report says” (see https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-10-08/california-must-triple-its-pace-of-emissions-reduction-or-miss-its-2030-climate-goals).
At least the LA Times appreciates the concerns I tried to address. For someone focused on measurements, not actively including wildfires in the mix is a huge blind spot and an expression of dis-ingenuousness by those expressing public concern about climate change.
Here are a couple of graphics from the LA Times piece:
School District Rankings — Group 10– #847 – #940
We’ve reached the 10th and final grouping of California’s school districts ranked by per capita unrestricted net positions. The bottom 10 percentile includes 6 districts that represent nearly 16% of the state’s population. Ironically, one is where the state capitol is located, Sacramento City, and is already interacting with its County Department of Education and the state’s Fiscal and Crisis Management Team.
Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest district in California and second-largest in the nation. It serves 4.7 million, but landed in 938th place. The per capita deficit for LAUSD is more than four times larger than that of Oakland USD, which landed at #593.
This final group also includes Santa Ana Unified School District, serving 269,899 constituents, or about 9% of Orange County, and lands in 898th place.
The other nine groups can be found by going to MOORLACH UPDATE — Invitations and Group 9 — October 8, 2019 and following.
The combined unrestricted net deficit for California’s school districts grew by 40% in one year; that’s an additional $20 billion in debt that is reported on their balance sheets. But no one is compiling this information and sharing the fiscal plight faced across the Golden State’s school districts. So we’ve measured it and published it. Now it’s time for the Capitol to manage it.
The Governor and Sacramento will find school districts requesting relief from the capitol when a recession starts. Lower tax revenues and higher pension and retiree health costs will create a crisis. I want the Legislature to lead on this issue now, before it becomes an unmanageable mess.
25th Anniversary Look Back
On Sunday, October 9, 1994, the LA Times had two mind-blowing editorials. The first was titled “Warning Flag for Investors – Careful look is needed before buying into mutual funds holding ‘derivatives’.” You can’t make this up. The second editorial was titled “Please, Fed, No Itchy Trigger Finger.”
This editorial board that stated that my concerns were a “bum rap” (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Undergrounding In Paradise — May 28, 2019). Five months later it was opining like a market expert on derivatives and the direction of interest rates. Ironic, to be sure.
To show the irony, here is one paragraph that will shock you on the inconsistency shown by the LA Times Editorial Board, including on the topic of marking to market (also see http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/7072/The+Money+Market+Fund+That+Broke+the+Dollar ):
When used intelligently and with care, derivatives can help to hedge risks and can provide immense benefits by creating a pool of worldwide financial resources. But mutual funds certainly have had their problems with derivatives lately. Last month’s collapse involved Community Bankers U.S. Government Money Market Fund in Denver. Fortunately, damage was small and contained. The 94 shareholders, all institutional clients, will get back 94 cents on the dollar.
The next day, I reacted with the following letter to the editor:
Not all of your readers are investors in mutual funds. However, all of your readers are taxpayers and, as such, may have indirectly invested in derivatives.
Therefore, I found your Sunday editorial (Warning Flag for Investors) a little disingenuous. The Treasurer for the County of Orange invests funds for over 180 municipalities and has some $5.5 billion, or 25 percent of his investable dollars, in derivatives. About $3.5 billion are in “inverse floaters,” the very same investment that collapsed Community Bankers.
When my campaign raised concerns about this type of investment five months ago your same editorial page described it as looking “like a bum rap.”
Either your editorial board has selective memory or, because our Treasurer is a registered Democrat, you have obvious biases that are betrayed by your inconsistencies.
We have a Treasurer who has a portfolio that has a yield which decreases as interest rates go up. That’s why your parallel editorial, “Please, Fed, No Itchy Trigger Finger,” really hits home. For Orange County taxpayers, that is the bum rap.
Very truly yours,
John M. W. Moorlach
The letter was never printed. Two months later, Orange County filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection after the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates another 75 basis points. For the last LOOK BACK, go to MOORLACH UPDATE — Mail Bag and Group 8 — October 2, 2019.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bills to strengthen California’s elections
Governor signs 17 bills into law to expand voting access and improve the integrity of California’s elections
Governor signs SB 72 to create same-day voter registration opportunities at every polling place in the state
Governor signs AB 571 to create campaign contribution limits at the local level
Governor signs SB 47 and AB 201 to improve transparency and require greater disclosure of funders on petitions and campaign text messages
Governor’s action builds on $87.3 million in the state budget to upgrade and replace aging voting systems
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a series of bills aimed at expanding access to early and same-day voting, increasing civic engagement and improving transparency in campaign finance and redistricting.
“Voting is the foundation of our democracy,” said Governor Newsom. “It is critical that we expand access to the ballot box for all eligible voters, while strengthening the integrity of our elections. The package of bills I’m signing today represent a forward-looking, responsible approach to improving elections in California.”
In the November 2018 election, nearly 12.7 million Californians cast their ballot – the highest voter turnout in a midterm election in 36 years.
These bills build on the 2019-20 state budget, which includes $87.3 million one-time funding for upgrading and replacing voting systems and technology in all 58 counties. This investment will support counties in their effort to replace voting systems and strengthen the security of California’s election infrastructure. In addition, the budget includes $2.7 million ongoing funding to support the Secretary of State’s continued efforts in identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks associated with voting and other sensitive information technology systems.
Expanding access at the ballot box
- SB 72 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) requires conditional voter registration and provisional voting to be available at all county elections satellite offices and polling places.
- AB 49 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) ensures people have more time with their ballots by requiring county elections officials to begin mailing vote by mail ballots no later than 29 days before Election Day and complete the mailings within five days.
- SB 523 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) aligns the timeline for notices and the submission of an unsigned vote by mail ballot envelope with the deadlines established for mismatching signatures to give voters more flexibility to correct their signatures.
- AB 1707 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) allows voters to use an electronic device at a polling place. The bill will allow voters to access information on their phone, tablet or other handheld device while voting.
- SB 47 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) helps voters make informed decisions by requiring initiative signature gatherers to disclose the top three funders of the committee organizing the campaign to voters before they sign to qualify the initiative for the ballot.
- AB 201 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) requires a text message that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure to disclose the entity that paid for the text message, unless certain conditions are met and as specified.
- AB 571 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) establishes default campaign contribution limits for county and city office and allows local governments to establish their own limits.
- SB 71 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) prohibits the expenditure of campaign funds and legal defense funds to pay or reimburse a candidate or elected officer for penalties, judgements, or settlements related to claims of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.
- AB 59 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) requires county elections officials to consider placing a vote center on a university or college campus and allows public college and university buildings to be used as polling places or vote centers.
- AB 963 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) establishes the Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act to be administered by the Secretary of State, which requires each campus of the California Community Colleges (CCCs) and the California State University (CSU), to provide students with civic and election dates and information, and designate one person per campus as a Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinator.
- AB 1666 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) requires the California Complete Count – Census 2020 to partner with local educational agencies to make information about the 2020 federal census available to students and parents.
Strengthening local elections
- SB 359 by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) permits a municipal referendum petition to contain an impartial summary of the ordinance instead of the text of the ordinance itself.
- SB 681 by Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) authorizes the proponent of a local referendum or charter amendment initiative to withdraw the measure prior to election.
- AB 849 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) reforms California’s local redistricting laws to improve criteria, transparency and public engagement to make sure the process is more fair and consistent.
- AB 864 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) makes minor technical, and clarifying changes to the content and format of disclosure statements required to appear on campaign communications.
- AB 1829 by the Committee on Elections and Redistricting makes minor, technical, and corresponding changes to the Elections Code.
- SB 151 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) permits an elected state official who is subject to a recall election to have their party preference identified on the recall ballot.
Previously, the Governor signed SB 641 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), which extends the timeline the Governor has to declare a special election to enable more special elections to be consolidated – saving taxpayer money and increasing voter turnout – as well as AB 220 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), which allows candidates to use campaign funds for child care expenses, which can encourage more parents to run for office.
In total, the Governor today announced signing the following election-related bills:
- AB 49 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) – California Voter Protection Act of 2019.
- AB 59 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Elections: polling places: college and university campuses.
- AB 201 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) – Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign disclosure: text messages.
- AB 571 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Political Reform Act of 1974: contribution limits.
- AB 849 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) – Elections: city and county redistricting.
- AB 864 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Political Reform Act of 1974: disclosures.
- AB 963 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) – Public postsecondary education: Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act.
- AB 1666 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) – The California Complete Count: local educational agencies.
- AB 1707 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) – Polling places: handheld devices.
- AB 1829 by the Committee on Elections and Redistricting – Elections.
- SB 47 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) – Initiative, referendum, and recall petitions: disclosures.
- SB 71 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) – Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign expenditures: limitations.
- SB 72 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Conditional voter registration: provisional ballots.
- SB 151 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Elections.
- SB 359 by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) – Elections: referendum.
- SB 523 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) – Elections: vote by mail ballots.
- SB 681 by Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) – Local referenda and charter amendments: withdrawal.
|Rank||School District||Population||Per Cap||2017||Chg|
|850||La Canada Unified||18,329||($1,817)||842||-8|
|851||San Bernardino City Unified||266,861||($1,820)||861||10|
|852||Elk Hills Elementary||295||($1,824)||305||-547|
|854||Arena Union Elementary||3,260||($1,836)||862||8|
|856||El Rancho Unified||62,304||($1,860)||820||-36|
|857||Pajaro Valley Unified||115,323||($1,873)||829||-28|
|858||San Marino Unified||15,502||($1,876)||884||26|
|859||Silver Valley Unified||14,380||($1,880)||880||21|
|862||Culver City Unified||40,461||($1,890)||832||-30|
|871||Mountain Empire Unified||12,216||($1,955)||878||7|
|872||Hillsborough City Elementary||11,598||($1,971)||848||-24|
|873||Lake Tahoe Unified||31,147||($1,976)||898||25|
|876||Baldwin Park Unified||77,304||($1,994)||885||9|
|877||Kingsburg Elementary Charter||15,505||($2,000)||630||-247|
|878||Center Joint Unified||29,649||($2,018)||926||48|
|880||Colton Joint Unified||119,728||($2,038)||841||-39|
|884||Mission Union Elementary||324||($2,063)||892||8|
|885||Buena Vista Elementary||453||($2,077)||324||-561|
|886||West Contra Costa Unified||257,928||($2,083)||854||-32|
|888||Valley Center-Pauma Unified||26,605||($2,108)||894||6|
|891||Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified||62,934||($2,175)||883||-8|
|892||Lone Pine Unified||2,478||($2,192)||659||-233|
|893||Las Virgenes Unified||66,237||($2,196)||905||12|
|894||Los Banos Unified||42,064||($2,214)||895||1|
|896||Magnolia Union Elementary||190||($2,247)||909||13|
|897||South Pasadena Unified||26,500||($2,297)||906||9|
|898||Santa Ana Unified||269,899||($2,299)||901||3|
|899||Albany City Unified||20,426||($2,309)||873||-26|
|900||Palo Alto Unified||87,658||($2,330)||927||27|
|903||Pierce Joint Unified||7,047||($2,388)||792||-111|
|905||Rio Bravo-Greeley Union Elementary||5,123||($2,417)||923||18|
|907||Owens Valley Unified||658||($2,449)||824||-83|
|909||Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified||9,086||($2,486)||71||-838|
|911||Le Grand Union Elementary||2,406||($2,509)||722||-189|
|912||Saint Helena Unified||10,164||($2,528)||907||-5|
|914||Muroc Joint Unified||5,970||($2,539)||866||-48|
|916||Southern Kern Unified||20,772||($2,600)||868||-48|
|917||Winters Joint Unified||9,636||($2,632)||917||0|
|920||Coachella Valley Unified||94,381||($2,663)||904||-16|
|922||El Segundo Unified||17,178||($2,795)||930||8|
|924||Oak Park Unified||14,389||($2,836)||932||8|
|926||San Marcos Unified||123,198||($2,885)||156||-770|
|927||Beverly Hills Unified||35,174||($2,960)||918||-9|
|929||Sacramento City Unified||350,139||($3,043)||867||-62|
|930||Piedmont City Unified||11,766||($3,051)||925||-5|
|931||Saratoga Union Elementary||21,416||($3,078)||934||3|
|934||New Jerusalem Elementary||2,004||($3,522)||933||-1|
|938||Los Angeles Unified||4,701,006||($4,160)||922||-16|
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