MOORLACH UPDATE — Be Well Orange County — October 17, 2019

25th Anniversary Look Back

After Orange County filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on December 6, 1994, there was a focus on replacing the County’s Executive Officer with someone of national repute.  The number of names offered was impressive. The process resulted in the hiring of William Popejoy, former CEO of American Savings.

I’m sad to report that Bill Popejoy passed away (see

I worked with him after the Board of Supervisors appointed me on March 17, 1995, until he decided to move on.  It was a Master’s Degree program, as we met as county executives every week to address the numerous aspects of the recovery efforts.

The obvious answer that almost every city and county municipality turns to is a sales tax rate increase.  We’re seeing it around Orange County and the state to address ever-increasing defined benefit pension plan contribution costs.

Voters defeated the sales tax ballot effort, Measure R.  It failed not because Bill Popejoy didn’t try hard enough.  It failed because voters were not going to enable the county to force them to pay for the dysfunctional mismanagement that created the mess.

In honor of a man who stepped out of his comfort zone to help his fellow residents, I’m providing a sampling of references in my earlier UPDATEs (including a copy of a segment that eulogizes Bill well):

* MOORLACH UPDATE — We’re Out! Sort Of — July 2, 2017

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Auditor-Controller Legislation — April 11, 2017

* MOORLACH UPDATE — New Geography — September 4, 2013

* MOORLACH UPDATE — I-405 Hearing — July 24, 2013

* MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register — January 26, 2013

In steps a charismatic, experienced and determined CEO in Orange County resident Bill Popejoy, who immediately pursued an agenda that he felt was the most appropriate for the county’s recovery.  He did the dirty work of overseeing massive layoffs and instigating the pursuit of the parties that participated in Citron’s inappropriate investment strategies. He was the right person at the right time.

Unfortunately for Popejoy, the majority of the Board of Supervisors, as well as the majority of the populace, disagreed with Popejoy’s advocacy of a sales-tax increase as a response to the county’s bankruptcy.  Working at cross-purposes with your bosses does not make for a healthy environment, and Popejoy stepped out.  

With the county still in bankruptcy protection and need of restructuring long-time insider Jan Mittermeier was tapped for the position.  She was strong, knew where the skeletons were buried, and knew the players to get a restructuring and comprehensive bankruptcy settlement agreement accomplished.  She was the right person at the right time. 

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Reminiscing — January 19, 2013 (Robert Citron’s passing)

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Robert L. “Bob’ Citron — January 18, 2013

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Merry Christmas — December 22, 2012

* MOORLACH UPDATE — OCMA — December 14, 2012

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Proper Etiquette — December 4, 2012

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law – Plus — November 22, 2011

* MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Fair — March 18, 2010

* MOORLACH UPDATE — — February 22, 2010

* MOORLACH UPDATE — Daily Pilot — February 18, 2010

Be Well Orange County

I’ve had the privilege of working behind the scenes on an ongoing effort to help those with mental illness.  I’ve also been front and center on a few visible efforts, like implementing Laura’s Law (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law Journey — August 11, 2014, MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law Resolution Passes — May 13, 2014 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Catalyst — March 14, 2015).  It has been adopted by 17 other counties in California (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 689 – Needle Exchange — March 1, 2019).

Senate Bill 585 (Steinberg – 2013) made my efforts possible.  Former State Senator and now Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, was in town yesterday and it allowed me an opportunity to publicly thank him for his efforts in the mental health space.  We have since worked on a number of bills, including SB1273 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1255 and SB 1273 — July 25, 2016) and SB 1004 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1004 and CIRM — September 10, 2018).

We had the opportunity to enjoy a groundbreaking ceremony for Be Well Orange County’s upcoming facility in the city of Orange (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — Recognizing Movement — June 7, 2019).  The OC Register covers this critical milestone in the first piece below.

P.S. I’m still a State Senator, not an Assemblyman.

Mental Health: Make It Top Priority

On the subject of Mental Health, please attend our Forum on Saturday, October 26th at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.   You’ll learn about the problems with the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act of 1967 and Solutions for our community’s mental health problems. Register by clicking on Reserve My Seat.

Motor Voter

The Pew Foundation provides a national perspective on automatic (motor) voter registration in the second piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — CSU versus DMV — August 13, 2019, MOORLACH UPDATE — Rushing Motor Voter — January 31, 2019, and MOORLACH UPDATE — Motor Voter Accountability — December 21, 2018).

Be Well OC mental and behavioral health services hub touted as a place for ‘hope’ at groundbreaking ceremony

State and local officials alike praise the collaborative effort behind the one-stop shop facility.


It’s one thing for local officials to view the Be Well Orange County Regional Mental Health and Wellness Campus as a potential role model of specialized healthcare, something that someday might be emulated around the state.

But that becomes more than hometown boasting when the project gets endorsements from the author of California’s landmark Prop. 63 Mental Health Services Act of 2004, and from the state’s so-called “mental health czar” recently appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Accolades flowed during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Orange, to mark the start of construction for the Be Well OC hub on south Anita Drive.

“Be Well OC, you literally are leading the way,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, chairman of the state commission on Homelessness & Supportive Housing and a longtime advocate of mental health services who, as a state legislator, authored and championed Prop. 63.

Steinberg — one of about 20 local, state and federal representatives who spoke Wednesday — noted that he was marking his 60th birthday: “I can’t think of a better birthday gift.”

Moving forward

Joining Steinberg in support of the county’s $40 million public-private initiative was Dr. Tom Insel, a psychiatrist who led the National Institute of Mental Health for more than a decade. In May, Insel was tapped by Newsom to be his special adviser on mental health.

“This is an investment that pays off in so many ways,” said Insel, who in his new role has been visiting different areas of the state to see how they help the mentally ill and homeless populations.

Insel serves as the chair of the Steinberg Institute, a public policy agency founded by Sacramento Mayor Steinberg to focus on mental and behavioral health. Insel also is co-founder of the Silicon Valley mental health care startup Mindstrong.

In speaking to the nearly 200 people gathered beneath a white tent in the middle of the dirt lot where late next year the Be Well campus is expected to open, Insel talked about “the three C’s” that he views as keys to providing mental and behavioral health services: commitment, capacity and compassion.

Commitment from local leadership, he said of Orange County, “is exactly what is happening here” and “is so exciting to see.”

Compassion, according to Insel, is equally important to help people who struggle with mental health challenges: “This is the most disenfranchised and, in many ways, the most difficult and suffering part of our population.”

Former county Supervisor and current state Assemblyman John Moorlach evoked the name of Kelly Thomas, the mentally ill homeless man who died after a 2011 altercation with Fullerton police officers. In the aftermath of Thomas’ death, Moorlach worked to make Orange County the second county in the state to adopt Laura’s Law, which provides a court process through which adults struggling with serious mental illnesses can be ordered to receive outpatient treatment.

Be Well OC represents another step to helping that population, Moorlach said, calling it an answer to many people’s prayers.

In the eyes of supporters, the county’s initiative is strong and unusual because it will offer centralized mental health services. As a public-private entity, Be Well will provide help to all comers, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett noted that clients could range from homeless people to others with great health insurance, saying “we’re here to serve all of Orange County.”

The 60,000-square-foot facility is expected to house everything from short and long-term mental health treatment, to psychiatric crisis-stabilization units, residential programs and programs to help people battle substance abuse.

In 2017, the county spent $7.5 million to purchase the land and a now-demolished office complex. In January, the Board of Supervisors committed another $16.6 million to the Be Well OC partnership that includes the county’s Health Care Agency; CalOptima, the Medi-Cal insurance provider in Orange County; as well as hospital systems Kaiser Permanente, St. Joseph Hoag Health, and St. Jude Medical Center.

The funding includes $11.4 million from CalOptima and $12 million in private dollars from the hospitals.

Mind OC was formed as a nonprofit to coordinate and oversee project construction and delivery of services.

The Anita Street campus, off Orangewood Avenue and not far from where hundreds of homeless people once lived in encampments along the Santa Ana River Trail, will be the first of three planned regional hubs for mental health treatment. The goal is to build similar projects in south and central Orange County.

‘Day of hope’

First District Supervisor Andrew Do shared the story of a friend, Marry Lue, and her challenge to find help for her son.

“I dedicate today, the day of hope, to Marry Lue and to all of the families struggling with mental health,” Do said at the ceremony. He later described how his friend, who lives in Huntington Beach, at times had to corral her son as he ran naked in the street, fearful he would encounter someone and be arrested. Or worse.

“I was scared to death for him, and for her,” said Do, who added that the son, now in his mid-30s, is stabilized and living in a group home.

But Do and other supervisors faced criticism, including from a federal judge, for stockpiling county money available from the Mental Health Services Act, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually from a 1% tax on millionaires. Those purse strings have loosened, including a $90.5 million allocation for permanent supportive housing last year.

But Orange County is not alone in sitting on such funds. A February 2018 state audit showed that many of California’s counties had large reserves of unspent Prop. 63 dollars, something that Steinberg commented on in an interview after the Be Well OC ceremony.

“The needs are tremendous,” he said. “So the money can not sit there.”

Glitches in California Embolden Automatic Voter Registration Foes

By: Matt Vasilogambros

California’s rollout of automatic voter registration didn’t go as planned.

It seemed like a good idea: Cut the bureaucracy by adding voters automatically and welcome more residents to political participation. Since April 2018, when California residents go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register a car or get a license, they are added to the state voter rolls — unless they opt out.

But DMV officials later found more than 100,000 registration errors in the first year, including some voters registered to the wrong party. And at least one noncitizen (state officials still are investigating how many in total) was accidentally signed up — a significant error since noncitizens aren’t allowed to vote.

Across the country, proponents of automatic voter registration often laud its ability to dramatically increase a state’s voter rolls, bringing more people into the political process. Since Oregon became the first state to pass automatic voter registration in 2015, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have followed with their own version of the policy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Among many states and different models, automatic voter registration has been shown to increase voter rolls, from an increase of nearly 10% in the District of Columbia to as much as 94% in Georgia, according to an April report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

But at a time when momentum around automatic voter registration is building, the latest struggles in California have emboldened critics who have long held that the system could allow noncitizens to vote, even as officials and experts point out that’s happened only a handful of times.

Republican state Sen. John Moorlach said he is not sure whether California’s registration mistakes could have changed the results of any election, but the past year has proved the state needs to make several improvements to its registration system “so we don’t make a mockery of the process.” He voted against enacting automatic voter registration in 2015.

“It seems to me if you’re voting and not a U.S. citizen, that’s a serious crime,” Moorlach said. “The irony is we’re making such a big deal in Russia’s supposed involvement in the 2016 election, and here we have actual abuse in voting and potential voter fraud and mismanagement of voter registration.”

Earlier this month, three Republican California voters, two of whom are naturalized citizens, sued Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla and DMV Director Steve Gordon over the errors, accusing them of “a pattern and practice of doing nothing to verify that a potential voter is a United States citizen, thus causing non-citizens to be placed on the voter rolls.”

The law firm representing the plaintiffs is run by the former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, Harmeet Dhillon.

The lawsuit calls on state officials to develop a better system to prevent future citizen-related errors. Mark Meuser, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said state agencies struggle to maintain databases and share information to keep voter rolls accurate.

“There’s a much bigger problem than noncitizens voting,” said Meuser, who lost a 2018 Republican bid for California secretary of state. “I’m much more concerned about the integrity of our system and people thinking their vote is diluted.”

Meuser said he thinks Californians are worried about a program that made 105,000 voter registration errors and allowed an unknown number of noncitizens to be added to the voter rolls. At least 1,500 people who are ineligible to vote were registered in the months following the April 2018 rollout, election officials said, six of whom voted in the midterm elections, according to a state review.

The California DMV would not comment to Stateline about any aspect of automatic voter registration because of pending litigation. Padilla’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

In response to the lawsuit, Padilla told the Sacramento Bee at the time, “The plaintiffs claim they are protecting voters, but this is nothing more than an underhanded attempt to bring their voter suppression playbook to California.”

DMV officials have said they added safeguards and other protections to their processes to prevent future errors.

State Stopgaps

An independent audit — ordered in September 2018 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and released in February 2019 — found that California’s registration program was “confusing to the public,” among other issues outlined in the 113-page report about the months after the error-laden rollout.

Automatic voter registration works, said Myrna Pérez, director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, but she stressed that states need to prevent avoidable mistakes.

Using tools ranging from public information campaigns to soft rollouts to further testing among county clerks and DMV workers, she said, states should be able to filter out noncitizens.

“Automatic voter registration has been shown to effectively increase registration in states big and small, blue and red, rural and urban, all across the country,” she said, citing Brennan Center research. “But like any policy, it needs to be designed strategically and smartly.”

Some states have taken extra precautions to prevent costly errors.

When Vermont began its new system in 2017, for example, officials prepared for potential problems with the thousands of noncitizens who work on the state’s dairy farms. Some 60,000 residents have gone to the DMV for driver privilege cards, a license available to anyone regardless of citizenship status.

The state had to make sure it was registering only citizens, said Will Senning, the state director of elections and campaign finance.

Vermont will register only DMV customers who both say they are citizens and don’t opt out of the registration, Senning said. The applications then go every night to town clerks, who approve them.

“It’s not truly automatic,” he said. “You still have a human element. Problems are not rampant.”

While designing this new process, Senning said, he was less concerned about noncitizens registering on purpose and more that they would register by accident and risk deportation. That’s why his office worked with immigration advocacy groups to share information across the state.

Since implementing the program, Senning said he has seen only a handful of instances where noncitizens were mistakenly registered, tracing them to data entry errors by DMV staff. Such errors, he said, are inevitable given the volume of applications and updates they process. He expects those errors will decrease as the state updates its registration technology.

“I believe I could count them on two hands,” he said. “Overall we have been very satisfied with the significantly low error rate.”

In Colorado, residents must indicate their country of citizenship to get their driver’s license. For noncitizens, such as green card holders, who qualify for state driver’s licenses, the computer system asks DMV customers twice whether they are U.S. citizens, said Melissa Polk, internal operations and legal manager at the Colorado Department of State. She said no noncitizen has been registered to vote under the new system.

The state has streamlined data between the DMV and the secretary of state’s office, and it will expand automatic voter registration in the coming years, Polk said, registering Coloradans who interact with state agencies beyond the DMV, like the state’s Medicaid program.

Republican state Sen. Owen Hill in April voted against the measure that expands the state’s automatic voter registration program to other state services. Keeping noncitizens off voter rolls in Colorado, he said, is a legitimate concern.

“In order to keep people’s trust in democratic institutions, I think we have to go above and beyond,” he said. “Automatic voter registration creates concerns with the overall integrity of the system.”

But the safeguards might not be enough for critics.

Looming Concerns

Simply asking DMV customers whether they are citizens isn’t sufficient, said Logan Churchwell, communications and research director at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative organization in Indianapolis led by lawyers who have worked on election law cases. The group has long opposed automatic voter registration.

While some states offer residents an option to opt out of their voter registrations on forms at the DMV or on postcards sent to homes, Churchwell fears that an immigrant, new to this country and without enough English proficiency, might mistakenly ignore the reminders and remain on voter rolls.

“Automation cranks errors into the system,” Churchwell said. “It is not designed to worry if the person is a citizen. The reality is, noncitizens are the victims.”

In rare instances, noncitizens who have registered to vote and later cast a ballot have been deported. Such was the case in 2017, when a Peruvian immigrant was deported after voting twice in Illinois illegally as a legal permanent resident. She said she was misled by DMV workers to register to vote. When she applied for citizenship, government officials discovered her voting history and returned her to Peru.

It’s outrageous to say that Churchwell and his colleagues are concerned about noncitizens, said Pérez at the Brennan Center. The group received heavy criticism for putting out a 2016 report, “Alien Invasion,” with a flying saucer on the cover. It also printed home addresses of Virginians mistakenly labeled as noncitizens who registered to vote. The individuals were all citizens; they sued the group for defamation last year.

The group’s president, J. Christian Adams, who sat on President Donald Trump’s now-disbanded voter fraud commission, apologized to the affected voters as part of a settlement agreement.

But these concerns over citizenship have led some Republican-led state legislatures to attempt to require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Some of these efforts were inspired by Trump’s unsupported claim that millions of noncitizens may have voted during the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this year, Texas ended a botched review of its voting records that questioned the citizenship status of 100,000 registered voters. State Republican leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, said during the review that noncitizens were voting in Texas elections. Many of the voters in question were naturalized citizens.

Even still, states continue to adopt automatic voter registration.

In the past year, the New Mexico and Maine legislatures enacted automatic voter registration, while Michigan implemented its program. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose earlier this year called on lawmakers to embrace a similar “opt-out” voter registration system.

As more states adopt this program, they must ensure there are protections for noncitizens, Pérez said.

“It can be done in a way that makes it easier for people who are noncitizens to opt out,” she said. “We need to make sure that noncitizens are acutely aware what the rules are for voting, where they might be asked about voting and how they should say no.”


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Health-Related Bills Signed — October 14, 2019

Health-Related Bills

The Governor signed and vetoed a massive number of bills over this last weekend, the deadline for doing so.  Due to the volume, expect a number of articles over the next few days culling through his actions.

The California Healthline provides its perspective on a number of health-related bills in their piece below.

Of the bills mentioned in the piece, I voted for SB 159, SB 464, SB 496 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Governor Signs SB 496 — September 9, 2019), SB 223 and AB 45 and against AB 824, SB 24, SB 142, SB 8, SB 227 and SB 290.  I abstained on SB 600.

25th Anniversary Look Back

The OC Register‘s two pieces published on October 13, 1994, caused many to react (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Burying Electric Lines and Bills — October 13, 2019).

I was not alone in fearing an implosion of the Orange County Investment Pool and being frustrated that the OC Register could not focus on the core issues of the quagmire.

Larry T. Smith of Newport Beach, a Certified Public Accountant and banker, was kind enough to FAX me this letter to the editor that he sent that very same day:

It was fascinating to read Chris Knap’s articles regarding the County Treasurer, Mr. Citron.  On the one hand, Mr. Citron admits that the investment portfolio incurred substantial losses due to a misjudgment on his part and on the other hand he says not to worry–things are going great.  Balderdash!

The truth of the matter is simple and easy to understand.  If the OC investment fund was forced to mark to market as all non-governmental private funds are, he would have to record hundreds of millions, perhaps, billions in losses.  He says we shouldn’t worry, however, because they will hold these investments to maturity and will thereby avoid the losses that now exist. That statement is patently untrue.

The only way these losses will be avoided is through a significant reduction in interest rates over the next three years.  If rates stay the same or go up, the losses that exist now (and in the case of higher interest rates, additional losses) must be absorbed by the OC investment pool.  These losses will manifest themselves in one or two ways–either by sale, which will result in the recognition of the losses at that point, or incrementally through a reduced interest return.

When these losses drive the OC investment pool’s return below the return his investors can receive in the private sector, there is a potential for a disastrous run on the pool which will force an immediate recognition of the remaining unrecognized losses and could result in huge losses of principal by the investing agencies.

In summary, unless interest rates drop significantly, the losses Mr. Citron has admitted to must be absorbed by the investors in the OC pool.  It is simply a bullet that cannot be dodged. Mr. Citron is a smart man. He understands these facts. In my humble opinion, his obfuscating of the above realities raises serious questions that need to be asked by the press and our elected officials.  Perhaps, they could start by asking Mr. Citron why shouldn’t he be required to observe the same standards as the private sector by marking to market.

Larry T. Smith

Although I had vowed not to take Chris Knap’s calls, on October 14,1994 I did FAX him the two recent articles from The Bond Buyer (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Cuyahoga County and  MOORLACH UPDATE — Mail Bag and Group 8 — October 2, 2019).

Here’s what my transmittal letter stated:

  1. Cuyahoga County (parallels to O.C. are frightening); October 12 Bond Buyer article (also see Wall Street Journal of October 13, page C20).
  1. Bond Buyer of October 13 — “I wish we had been right. . . .”
  1. Have your editor put a business reporter on this story, someone who understands bond and equity markets (not a political reporter), and I’ll be glad to talk to him or her.  


After the above, and who knows how many others submitting input, the OC Register would infer that the upcoming bankruptcy filing would be a complete surprise.

For the last Look Back, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Burying Electric Lines and Bills — October 13, 2019.

How Newsom’s Bill-Signing Marathon Affects Your Health Care

Gov. Gavin Newsom wrapped up his bill-signing marathon Sunday, capping the end of a legislative session that will have a big impact on Californians’ health care and coverage.

Some of the most high-profile — and contentious — measures of the year were health care-related: Who hasn’t heard of the bill that spawned raucous protests at the Capitol by anti-vaccine activists? After some hesitation, Newsom signed SB-276 and an accompanying measure, which will give state public health officials authority to review and, in some cases, revoke questionable medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

In a blow to Big Pharma, the Democratic governor also signed what health advocacy groups deem this year’s biggest effort to lower prescription drug costs. AB-824 will give the state attorney general more power to go after pharmaceutical companies that engage in “pay for delay,” a practice in which makers of brand-name drugs pay off generic manufacturers to keep the lower-cost generic versions of their medications off the market.

And legislation adopted as part of the state budget this year will require Californians to have health insurance next year or face a penalty. The budget also funded new state-based tax credits for Californians who purchase health insurance through Covered California, including some who earn too much to qualify for federal financial aid.

Also starting next year, young adults in the country illegally will be eligible for Medi-Cal if their incomes qualify.

“This was a landmark year in health care,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. “Over a million Californians will be getting help to access or afford coverage.”

But many lesser-known health care measures could also have a dramatic impact on Californians’ lives, including college students, dialysis patients, older adults and new moms. Some of the laws put California in the forefront nationally, such as a measure to expand access to HIV prevention drugs.

Most of these measures take effect Jan. 1:

HIV Prevention

California will be the first state to allow people to access HIV prevention drugs from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once-a-day pill for HIV-negative people that may keep them from becoming infected, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is medication that can help prevent the virus from taking hold if they have been exposed to it. SB-159 by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) will allow pharmacists to dispense a 60-day supply of PrEP, or a 28-day course of PEP. Patients will need to see a physician to obtain more medication. The bill prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before obtaining the medication.

Abortion Pill

Students at California’s 34 California State University and University of California campuses will have access to medication-induced abortion — commonly known as the abortion pill — at on-campus student health centers by Jan. 1, 2023. Under SB-24 by state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino), students who are up to 10 weeks pregnant will be eligible. Initial costs, such as the purchase of medical equipment, will be paid for with private, not state, dollars.

Maternal Health

Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth and from other pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SB-464 by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) will require perinatal health care providers to undergo bias training with the goal of reducing preventable maternal deaths among black women. “The disproportionate effect of the maternal mortality rate on this community is a public health crisis and a major health equity issue,” Newsom said upon signing the bill.

Some new moms returning to their jobs who want to pump milk at work will face fewer barriers. SB-142 by Wiener will require employers to provide new mothers with a private space that includes a table, chair, electric outlet and nearby access to running water and refrigeration. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be eligible for an exemption. “Too many new mothers are unable to express milk at work or are forced to do so in a restroom or other unsuitable space,” Wiener said.

Financial Abuse Of Older Adults

Investment advisers and broker-dealers will be required to report suspected financial abuse of elder or dependent adults. SB-496 by state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) allows these financial experts to temporarily delay requested transactions, such as stock trades and disbursement of funds, when they suspect potential abuse. “With growing Alzheimer’s and dementia concerns, it is critical that we provide safeguards to prevent financial abuse for those in the beginning stages of a difficult life journey,” Moorlach said in a statement.

Smoking In State Parks

Californians will be prohibited from smoking or vaping at state beaches and parks, except for paved roads and parking areas. Violations of SB-8 by state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) will carry a fine of up to $25. Similar efforts were vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Nurse Staffing

State health officials who make unannounced inspections of hospitals will start reviewing nurse staffing levels. Some California hospitals disregard the state’s current nurse-to-patient ratio requirements, Leyva, the bill’s author, argued. SB-227 establishes penalties for violations: $15,000 for the first offense and $30,000 for each subsequent violation.

Medical Marijuana On School Grounds

Even though medicinal cannabis has been legal for years in California, it has not been allowed on school grounds. SB-223 by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), will allow school boards to adopt policies that authorize parents or guardians of students with severe medical and developmental disabilities to administer medicinal cannabis on campus, as long as it is not via smoking or vaping. This allows students to “take their dose at school and then get on with their studies,” Hill said.

Dialysis Industry Profits

One new law could disrupt the dialysis industry’s business model. Dialysis companies often get higher reimbursements from private insurers than they do from public coverage. One way low-income patients remain on private insurance is by getting financial assistance from the American Kidney Fund, a nonprofit that receives most of its donations from the two largest dialysis companies, Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita Inc. AB-290, by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), will limit the private-insurance reimbursement rate that dialysis companies receive for patients who get assistance from groups such as the American Kidney Fund.

Health Care In Jails And Prisons

County jails and state prisons will be prohibited from charging inmates copays — usually $3 to $5 — for medical and dental services with the passage of AB-45, by state Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley). Some states already prohibit copays in prison, but California is the first to eliminate copays in county jails.

Cancer Patients

Californians undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy will have insurance coverage for fertility preservation treatments. Under SB-600 by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), private health plans must cover procedures such as the freezing of eggs, sperm or embryos for patients who want to try to have children in the future.

Ana B. Ibarra: aibarra, @ab_ibarra


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Burying Electric Lines and Bills — October 13, 2019

Greenhouse Gas Generator

Since 2016, the year that I could officially start introducing legislation, I’ve been working in the wildfire space. This year I had two bills, SB 584 and SB 535.

SB 584 is referred to in the USA TODAY piece on the topic it addresses, the possibility of undergrounding electricity distribution lines (see

My bill was simple. For more than 50 years, electric utilities have Rule 20 funding which can be used to underground for beautification purposes. For those cities that do not avail themselves of the funds, then redirect them to those cities that have a clear and high risk need. After passing without opposition in two Senate committees, it was unceremoniously killed in Senate Appropriations Committee without explanation, other than the Chair just can.

SB 535, would require the California Air Resources Board to include greenhouse gases created by wildfires in their total calculations and published graphics. Such data would shame the electric utilities to do more in California’s efforts to address climate change. This bill went successfully through both chambers, but also died an unceremonious death in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, for the same reason (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Group 10).

One wonders if those on the other side of the aisle are truly serious about reducing electric utility caused wildfires and the impact they have on our planet.

Last Three Bills

The deadline for signing or vetoing bills is today (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Bills to Watch After the Summer Break — July 20, 2019).

Yesterday, the Governor signed SB 754, which will save the homeowners associations in Laguna Woods significant printing and mailing costs when they hold elections where there are not enough candidates to fill the slate. Those candidates would win by acclamation and the administrative costs would be avoided.

The Governor vetoed SB 598, reviewing the implementation of iXBRL at the state and local levels. It is currently used by members of the SEC and FDIC. It was going to be overseen by the State Treasurer and included in her budget. Why a Governor who added $40 million to the state’s budget for “digital innovation” would veto the bill is difficult to understand. It’s either dis-ingenuousness, insincerity, or confusion.

Today, the Governor also vetoed SB 184, my three-year effort to remedy what is known as cliff-vesting for California’s judges. This very important class of employees has a pension formula that is unlike any offered in the state. My office worked with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System on the language. We appealed to the Governor’s office to include the minor cost in his budget to address this iniquity in all 58 counties. He didn’t. But, he did give your hard-earned tax dollars to the Democrats in the Legislature to dole out in their districts. He had a chance to boost the morale of the bench and he missed this opportunity. The priorities reflected by favoring the crass doling out of pork over rectifying a critical pension formula flaw for judges is very disturbing.

25th Anniversary Look Back

The October 13, 1994 edition of the OC Register had the following Metro section, front-page headline, “Citron says he zigged, Fed zagged — GOVERNMENT: The county’s investment chief says he erred in believing that interest rates would stay low.” The piece was by Chris Knap (see MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register Coverage Look Back — September 16, 2019).

The piece addressed Orange County Treasurer Robert Citron’s upcoming report to the Board of Supervisors (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Reducing Debt Transparency? — September 25, 2019).

Here are the last two of this five paragraph coverage:

In his report, which Citron submits to the Board of Supervisors next week, he assures the cities, school districts and other investors that their principal remains safe. But he said his forecasting error will mean reduced interest earnings in the coming year.

“Nobody’s going to lose a penny of principal,” Citron said in the interview. “And we’ll still be earning on average more than other government treasuries.”

This was not enough for Chris Knap, who would also provide another piece in the Metro section on page 5, titled “Citron’s investment report rebuts primary challenger — GOVERNMENT: The treasurer-tax collector defends his strategy on securities.” Chris Knap attempted to contact me for his stories. But, as I promised his publisher, David Threshie, I would no longer accept his calls (see MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register Coverage Look Back — September 16, 2019).

Here are two selected paragraphs:

In an annual report sent last week to 187 public agencies that invest in the county fund, Citron strives to refute that criticism, saying the “paper losses” that Moorlach pointed to will never be realized because the fund seldom sells an investment before it matures at full value.

Moorlach was not available for comment late Wednesday.

The last two LOOK BACKS can be found at MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Cuyahoga County and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Group 10.

California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?

Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun


  • Experts say the answer is simple: money.
  • It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines
  • It would take more than 1,000 years to bury all the lines at the current rate

Why can’t California’s fire-prone power lines be buried underground, out of harm’s way?

That was the question many were asking this week as hundreds of thousands of customers lost power in the Sacramento and San Francisco areas in preemptive shutoffs by Pacific Gas & Electric. Further south, another 200,000 customers of other utilities faced warnings that they too could lose power due to high winds.

Experts say the answer is simple: money.

“It’s very, very expensive,” said Severin Borenstein, a UC Berkeley professor of business administration and public policy who specializes in energy. Borenstein was speaking through the crackly static of a cellphone outside his darkened home in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda on Thursday evening. The Berkeley campus was shut down and his home had lost power, too, after PG&E instituted a mandatory “de-energization” across nearly 40 counties due to high fire threats.

It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines from overhead, while the cost to build a mile of new overhead line is less than a third of that, at approximately $800,000 per mile, according to a section on PG&E’s website called Facts About Undergrounding Power Lines.

California has 25,526 miles of higher voltage transmission lines, and 239,557 miles of distribution lines, two-thirds of which are overhead, according to CPUC. Less than 100 miles per year are transitioned underground, meaning it would take more than 1,000 years to underground all the lines at the current rate.

$15,000 for every PG&E customer?

PG&E, the state’s largest utility, maintains approximately 81,000 miles of overhead distribution lines and approximately 26,000 miles of underground distribution lines. It also has about 18,000 miles of larger transmission lines, the majority of which are overhead lines.

At a cost of $3 million per mile, undergrounding 81,000 miles of distribution lines would cost $243 billion. PG&E has 16 million customers; distributing that expense equally would amount to a bill of more than $15,000 per account.

“It’s very expensive,” said Constance Gordon, a public information officer with the California Public Utilities Commission. “The utilities don’t want to pay for it out of their pockets, so ratepayers would have to pitch in, and people don’t want to pay for that.”

PG&E is not flush with cash: The investor-owned utility filed for bankruptcy in January, facing $11 billion in liabilities related to wildfires. This week, the company’s shares tumbled after a federal bankruptcy judge ruled that the utility no longer had the sole right to shape the terms of its reorganization.

Background: California power outages aim to reduce risk of wildfires caused by dry and windy weather

Watch: Power cuts affect many across Northern California

Underground costs can vary depending on trenching and paving. If gas and telephone utilities share costs with electric companies, conversion costs can come down, but it all comes out of the customer’s pocket eventually.

A report prepared by the Edison Electric Institute, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind, An Updated Study on the Undergrounding of Overhead Power Lines,” found that while most new commercial and residential developments across the United States tuck electrical facilities underground, burying existing above-ground electric distribution systems can cost up to $5 million a mile in urban areas.

Environmental concerns would also be high if thousands of miles of trenches were dug through forests or brushland habitat, Borenstein noted. Opposition could also arise from residents in existing neighborhoods confronted with the prospect of heavy-duty earth-moving projects.

Neighborhoods can tax themselves to bury lines

Since 1967, the California Public Utilities Commission has had a rule requiring utilities to contribute funds to communities for utility conversion projects from overhead to underground infrastructure, paid for partially by ratepayers.

The CPUC has a longstanding policy that if a neighborhood wants underground power lines, it can have it done if residents pay for it themselves, with some required contributions from utilities. Sometimes developers and cities are willing to pitch in for certain areas, but the process is still labyrinthine.

That program does not prioritize lines in high wildfire hazard risk zones, but some residents in communities that experienced wildfires, including coastal Malibu and Rancho Palo Verde, have pushed for that policy to change to prioritize risky areas.

Sometimes the concerns are more centered on aesthetics than safety, and communities are willing to pay, or to have their local governments work to find funding. In the city of Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, for example, residents’ demands to bury unsightly lines led the city council to approve a $600 million underground utility plan in October 2018. But that’s just the beginning of the process.

If residents want the utility lines moved underground, they have to initiate creating a special district to tax themselves to pay for the project. To create a special district, residents need to collect signatures, and residents within the district’s boundaries need to vote on the issue. In Palm Desert, the city hopes to help fund some of these projects, such as by paying for the portion of the move underground that is on public property.

Electric wires are increasingly placed underground in areas of new construction for aesthetic reasons, with developers picking up the cost. And in Paradise, where the devastating 2018 Camp Fire sparked by a power line flattened most of the town and killed 86 people, PG&E is preparing to lay underground lines.

Traffic: Saddleridge Fire shuts down multiple freeways, creating a traffic nightmare in Los Angeles and beyond

“I don’t know if I agree with it,” said Borenstein of that plan, who thought it could offer a false sense of security. “Though when you are starting from scratch, it is much cheaper if all the houses have burned.”

But Borenstein and others noted that problems can occur underground as well. Animals can chew buried lines or lightning can short out ground connections, just as animals can damage lines overhead, or a dry tree branch can drop. The state’s extremely varied landscapes are another challenge.

“In some places undergrounding works, and in some places it doesn’t,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “California’s topography is challenging. … I do know PG&E has taken a concerted effort, as well as all the utilities, to do undergrounding where possible.”

Governor signs more than 20 fire-related bills

The solutions for PG&E’s fire-prone wires are straightforward, but will take time after years of neglect, said a clearly irritated Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Thursday press conference. PG&E needs to be brought into the 21st century in terms of technology, and the utility’s equipment needs to be “hardened” against fire threats and maintained properly, he said.

“But to harden and upgrade 100,000 miles of line, come on, that’s not gonna happen in a week or two, or even a month or two, or a year or two,” Newsom said.

Earlier this month, Newsom signed into law over 20 wildfire-related bills.

One example: SB 584, introduced by Sen. John Moorlach, would require electrical corporations to invest funds for overhead to underground electrical infrastructure conversion projects by July. The projects would be partially funded by grants from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But the bill has languished on the floor.

Borenstein agreed that vegetation management and hardening transmission and distribution lines are better, more easily implemented alternatives than burying 100,000 miles of lines.

“That means mowing, cutting trees, perhaps replacing wooden poles with concrete poles, and all the rusted transmission towers,” he said. “They’re trying to do these things, but they have a huge backlog of work.”

Other possible measures include insulating exposed lines or installing sensors, including cameras or devices that can detect a spark or a short and even shut down a line automatically.

What about solar panels and batteries?

So if you can’t bury your power line outside your front door, what about going “off the grid” with batteries in case of power outages?

Borenstein said that for most people, it’s out of reach. A Tesla-produced Powerwall — a big battery that can store energy produced by solar power on a home rooftop, or electricity sucked from the conventional grid — starts at $6,000. There are additional expenses for installing a switch to “island” a building’s electric system, isolating it from the grid.

Oct. 11: Two dead near Los Angeles as Saddleridge fire forces 100,000 people to evacuate

One thing is for sure: With a warming climate increasing the frequency and ferocity of wildfires, blackouts could become a far more regular occurrence in California, joining New England with its snow-induced outages, or the Southeast or Midwest with hurricane and flood-related power losses.

“I think this climate change is a major factor,” Borenstein said. “Electric lines have been sparking and starting fires for years. But they’re much bigger now, with much more vegetation.”

More and more people moving into wildlands only compounds the problem, creating a flammable mix.

His personal solution? Lots of LED battery flashlights, and a large supply of ice to protect food supplies.

Contributing: Gabrielle Paluch and Gabrielle Canon. Follow Janet Wilson on Twitter: @janetwilson66


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MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Cuyahoga County

I still have three bills on the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature.  SB 359 was signed this week (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Group 10).

My witness for SB 359, when it was presented to the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, submitted a letter to the editor with the Daily Pilot and is the first piece.  Our release was provided by the Orange County Breeze and is the second piece.

Mental Health Forum

Saturday, October 26, 2019
Vanguard University, Costa Mesa
9 am – 11 am

Make It Top Priority

Learn about 
Problems with the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act of 1967
Solutions for our community’s problems

Reserve My Seat

25th Anniversary Look Back

The October 12, 1994 edition of The Bond Buyer had the following top-of-the-fold headline:  “Ohio County Halt Fund Amid Losses To Investors” (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — Last Day of Session — September 15, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 598 Moves On — May 16, 2019).  It was written by Karen Pierog.

The piece had a remarkable eeriness to it, as it would be mirrored a few weeks later by Orange County.  I FAXed the article to Gebe Martinez of the LA Times, with the following note: “The parallels are frightening (but predicted!).”  Crickets.

Cuyahoga County would make its mark in history, but it would be eclipsed (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Encyclopedia of Municipal Bonds).  The reporters for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose work is referred to in the piece, would be recognized for their journalistic tenacity (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Last Day of Session — September 15, 2019).

Here is most of the piece (commissioners are the same as supervisors here in California):

Commissioners in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, have shut down the county’s local government investment fund in light of revelations about undisclosed investment practices and concern over losses in the fund.

Yesterday, the county began to return principal invested in its Secured Assets Fund Earnings, or SAFE, Fund to its approximately 75 local government investors.  The county also hired financial and legal experts to help determine expected financial losses to the county as a result of  its exposure in the fund.

Roger Deike, the county’s controller, said that the SAFE Fund was terminated for several reasons, including a local newspaper report that the fund had concealed entering into a reverse repurchase agreement as well as borrowing money at low interest rates to buy intermediate and long-term bonds with higher rates in an effort to bolster falling rates of return for investors.

The newspaper report, which indicated the fund’s paper losses had reached $122 million, caused some local government investors to pull their money out of the fund, Deike said.

As of the middle of September, the fund was investing about $1.1 billion of public funds for Cuyahoga County and for about 75 cities, villages, school districts, and other counties in Ohio.

At that time, fund officials told The Bond Buyer that despite the bear market in bonds, the fund had been able to offer governments a return of about 6.6% through investment techniques such as repurchase agreements with dealers and through the arbitrage of proceeds from a taxable note issue sold last year by the county.

County funds make up 35% to 40% of the money invested in the SAFE Fund.

Cuyahoga County commissioner Mary Boyle said yesterday that commissioners took exception to the fund’s investment strategy.  The fund is run by county treasurer Francis Gaul, who agreed to relinquish control of the fund to the commission.

“We sensed that it was sell short and buy long, which was not a good strategy in this market,” Boyle said.

In a press release, the county commission said it would honor its guarantee of principal by returning “every dollar of the amount each [government] has on deposit in the SAFE program.”

Yesterday, the county hired Banc One Investment Advisors Corp. to manage the county’s investments, Coopers & Lybrand to audit the SAFE Fund, and the law firm of Squires, Sanders & Dempsey to provide legal advice.

Bruce Jones, a partner at Squires, said the financial experts will be working to reduce the interest rate risk incurred by the fund’s investment strategy and to determine the degree of losses for the county.

“The county expects there will be significant losses, but we’re not in the position to quantify that at this time,” Jones said.

Despite anticipated losses, the county believes it can meet its financial obligations, he said.

Rating agency officials expressed concern for the county in light of the investment trouble.

Jeanne Wilson, a senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said the agency will be monitoring the situation “very closely.”  While the immediate concern is the county’s financial standing, the agency will have to see if any of the local government investors in the fund will face any financial problems as a result of their investments, Wilson said.

Moody’s rates about $250 million of Cuyahoga County’s general obligation debt Aa.

Officials at Standard & Poor’s Corp., which gave an SP-1-plus rating earlier this year to $246 million of tax anticipation notes sold by the county, said they were waiting to receive cash flow projections from the county to determine the extent of losses.

County Treasurer Gaul, who ran the fund, and Tim Simmerly, the fund’s chief investment officer, did not return phone calls.

A 1993 audit of Cuyahoga County released last week by the state auditor cited the county for not providing documentation showing the money invested by the SAFE Fund, for inadequate documentation of investments for some of its government investors, and for the apparent lack of statutory authority to guarantee principal.


Museum House opponents should cheer legislative action

In November 2016, the Newport Beach City Council, knowing that Line in the Sand planned to challenge its approval of the 25-story Museum House condo tower through a referendum, very intentionally added 3,700 pages to the referendum petition that we were required to carry. This action was taken with the clear intent of undermining the residents’ rights to petition their government — and it failed spectacularly when Line in the Sand obtained the required signatures to reverse the decision.

In Sept 2017, I submitted a complaint to the Orange County grand jury and the district attorney, and both opened investigations into the actions of the council, and both also concluded that it was not against the law for them to have taken this step.

The only remedy remaining was to change the law. In Jan 2019, I approached state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) with a request to carry a bill in Sacramento that would prevent this abuse from occurring again.

To his credit, Moorlach had already introduced Senate Bill 359, which would allow referendum proponents to submit a 5,000-word summary in lieu of adding thousands of unnecessary pages to a petition if a future unethical city council tried to take the same action. I was invited to address the Elections Committee as the bill started its process through the Legislature and took the 10-pound Museum House petition with me to show the legislators why this was necessary. The bill sailed through both houses with no opposition and was signed into law on Tuesday.

Anyone who carried the Museum House petition in 2016 will appreciate the fact that good people of both parties still respect the underlying democratic principles of our great nation and are willing to work together to protect our rights

Susan Skinner
Newport Beach

Fair Referendum Practice Bill SB 359 now law

Senator John M. W. Moorlach’s (R-Costa Mesa) fair referendum practice bill, Senate Bill 359, Municipal Referendum Petitions, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This bill creates an additional simplified, cost-effective referendum methodology for parties who are interested in overturning an ordinance passed by a city council.

“I am so happy to have the support of the governor and my colleagues in the legislature to right a serious impediment and improve future citizen efforts of the referendum process,” said Senator Moorlach. “The ability to petition one’s government is among the most precious rights we have. This will eliminate certain tactics that discourage citizens from participating in local government by unburdening their efforts.”

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.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.


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MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 359 and Group 10

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

Yesterday’s LA Times addressed my concerns in, “The Flames’ Menacing Air:  Fires threaten state’s progress in cutting greenhouse gases, report says” (see

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 ):

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:

Dear 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.

Campaign accountability

  • 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.

Civic engagement

  • 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.

Additional legislation

  • 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
847 Moorpark Unified 37,405 ($1,792) 855 8
848 Fillmore Unified 20,232 ($1,801) 796 -52
849 Newark Unified 46,884 ($1,802) 593 -256
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
853 Mammoth Unified 9,575 ($1,827) 890 37
854 Arena Union Elementary 3,260 ($1,836) 862 8
855 Lynwood Unified 70,797 ($1,856) 857 2
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
860 Pittsburg Unified 61,151 ($1,889) 846 -14
861 Edison Elementary 6,279 ($1,889) 850 -11
862 Culver City Unified 40,461 ($1,890) 832 -30
863 Glendora Unified 38,898 ($1,902) 872 9
864 Chawanakee Unified 4,876 ($1,912) 891 27
865 Downey Unified 125,426 ($1,917) 860 -5
866 Hayward Unified 182,723 ($1,917) 840 -26
867 Fowler Unified 10,509 ($1,919) 856 -11
868 Jurupa Unified 106,754 ($1,925) 875 7
869 Hilmar Unified 10,551 ($1,947) 871 2
870 Natomas Unified 77,248 ($1,948) 889 19
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
874 ABC Unified 109,825 ($1,984) 893 19
875 Tahoe-Truckee Unified 33,420 ($1,992) 887 12
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
879 Riverbank Unified 15,753 ($2,032) 870 -9
880 Colton Joint Unified 119,728 ($2,038) 841 -39
881 Montebello Unified 169,536 ($2,047) 899 18
882 Lamont Elementary 17,260 ($2,049) 786 -96
883 Palmdale Elementary 134,476 ($2,051) 735 -148
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
887 Alvord Unified 116,132 ($2,099) 879 -8
888 Valley Center-Pauma Unified 26,605 ($2,108) 894 6
889 Caruthers Unified 9,490 ($2,119) 897 8
890 Ukiah Unified 39,110 ($2,160) 902 12
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
895 Gilroy Unified 63,161 ($2,224) 911 16
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
901 Rocklin Unified 62,422 ($2,366) 924 23
902 Pleasanton Unified 77,798 ($2,383) 843 -59
903 Pierce Joint Unified 7,047 ($2,388) 792 -111
904 Dixon Unified 23,001 ($2,390) 908 4
905 Rio Bravo-Greeley Union Elementary 5,123 ($2,417) 923 18
906 Plaza Elementary 346 ($2,424) 817 -89
907 Owens Valley Unified 658 ($2,449) 824 -83
908 Calexico Unified 40,905 ($2,483) 900 -8
909 Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified 9,086 ($2,486) 71 -838
910 Healdsburg Unified 17,405 ($2,497) 733 -177
911 Le Grand Union Elementary 2,406 ($2,509) 722 -189
912 Saint Helena Unified 10,164 ($2,528) 907 -5
913 Clovis Unified 203,253 ($2,535) 913 0
914 Muroc Joint Unified 5,970 ($2,539) 866 -48
915 Arvin Union 21,024 ($2,573) 877 -38
916 Southern Kern Unified 20,772 ($2,600) 868 -48
917 Winters Joint Unified 9,636 ($2,632) 917 0
918 Coalinga-Huron Unified 27,930 ($2,639) 819 -99
919 Benicia Unified 29,244 ($2,647) 931 12
920 Coachella Valley Unified 94,381 ($2,663) 904 -16
921 Duarte Unified 28,699 ($2,670) 920 -1
922 El Segundo Unified 17,178 ($2,795) 930 8
923 Selma Unified 31,011 ($2,833) 914 -9
924 Oak Park Unified 14,389 ($2,836) 932 8
925 Williams Unified 6,075 ($2,844) 560 -365
926 San Marcos Unified 123,198 ($2,885) 156 -770
927 Beverly Hills Unified 35,174 ($2,960) 918 -9
928 Lennox 30,163 ($2,989) 915 -13
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
932 Midway Elementary 490 ($3,133) 936 4
933 Parlier Unified 16,537 ($3,367) 928 -5
934 New Jerusalem Elementary 2,004 ($3,522) 933 -1
935 Fresno Unified 405,796 ($3,800) 910 -25
936 Woodside Elementary 3,384 ($3,985) 935 -1
937 Maricopa Unified 1,918 ($4,138) 937 0
938 Los Angeles Unified 4,701,006 ($4,160) 922 -16
939 Wiseburn Unified 12,929 ($4,528) 938 -1
940 Mattole Unified 636 ($5,415) 939 -1


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Invitations and Group 9 — October 8, 2019

Senate Bill 640 Addressing Seriously Mentally Ill and Homeless

I have been working in the homeless and mentally ill space for many years.  And SB 640 is a continuation of my efforts. Consequently, I am hosting a conference on this topic on Saturday, October 26th, at Vanguard University of Southern California from 9 to 11 a.m. (see  You are invited to attend.

The LB Report provides a perspective on homelessness and mental health concerns in Long Beach.  It concludes with a perspective on Senate Bill 640, my efforts to address the concern of those who have serious mental illness and cannot take care of  themselves (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Bills 511, 584, 598, 496 and 640 — April 15, 2019)   People who are gravely disabled should have temporary involuntary treatment to address their needs, as opposed to incarcerating people with mental illness in county jails.

It is time for a thorough review of what California is doing for the seriously mentally ill. Digging into the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of the late 1960s is forcing me to conclude it was a failure to systematically decide to end institutionalization.

In presenting SB 640 to the Senate Health Committee, it became apparent the Chair and many of the members have not come to the same conclusion.  Consequently, I requested SB 640 become a two-year bill. In the meantime, my office has done significant research and we are looking for a way to address short-term housing.  The writer of the LB Report piece, in the first piece, has an appreciation for what I am trying to do and included my presentation to the committee (see 

Richard Dunn’s 25th Anniversary Look Back

Speaking of invitations, former Daily Pilot sports writer extraordinaire Richard Dunn will be introducing his 25th anniversary book of the historic Newport Harbor High School 1993-1994 football season.  The Daily Pilot provides the announcement in the second piece.  The date is Sunday, October 20th, at the Newport Beach Golf Course, at 5 p.m.  You are invited to attend.

OCC’s Ground Breaking Event

Two of my three children have benefited from the Orange Coast College Rowing experience and had an excellent opportunity to use the crew facilities on Pacific Coast Highway’s Mariner Mile area.  The Community College is now building another facility on the east side of this iconic roadway and connecting both facilities with a pedestrian bridge. The ceremony is covered by the Newport Beach Independent in the third piece.

Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce

The Newport Beach Independent announces my speaking engagement Thursday morning at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in the fourth piece.  The announcement can also be found in the Stu News Newport (see  Again, you are invited to attend.

U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Block Case Over Access to Websites

On the theme of invitations, today’s LA Times provides a story in its Business section, top-of-the-fold, that should make business owners nervous (see

Trying to assist in the area of the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, my office and the Civil Justice Association of California are co-hosting a seminar to provide assistance on October 30th at 10 a.m. at the Tustin Community Center.  The details are on my website, see and the flyer can be found at

School Group 9, #753 – #846  

Welcome to the 20th percentile group of 94 school districts ranked by per capita unrestricted net positions.

With 944 school districts and 940 financial statements to review, as four districts have combined audits, the reasons for the changes in the unrestricted net position are numerous.  

Placentia-Yorba Linda, #796, finds that its unrestricted net deficit increased by $101 million, a 63% increase in one year.  Three separate reasons may have combined to cause this increase:

  1. The pension plan unfunded liability increased by $27 million.
  2. The other post-employment benefits liability increased by $29 million.
  3. The capital assets in the Net Assets section increased by $49 million, thus reducing the unrestricted net assets by the same amount.

If you need to know the specifics of your school district(s), I would recommend contacting the Business Services Department or the Chief Business Officer for an explanation.

The listing is the fifth and final piece.  For the previous listing, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Mail Bag and Group 8 — October 2, 2019.

Developing / Perspective

Homeless Data Bombshell: L.A. Times And CA Policy Lab/UCLA Find L.A. And Nat’l Homeless Data Understate Persons With Mental Illness/Substance Abuse; LBDHHS Reviewing Newly Published Data, Response Pending

Some public perceptions proven correct? New data arguably invite rethinking some current responses to homeless/vagrant issues

LB’s Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing separate reports in the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 7) and by the UCLA-based California Policy Lab (Oct. 6) indicating that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and homeless data nationally have significantly under-interpreted and thus under-represented percentages of homeless populations suffering from mental illnesses or substance abuse or both.

The Oct 7 LA Times story — headlined “Are many homeless people in L.A.mentally ill? New findings back public’s perception” — found that the L.A. Homeless Service’s Authority’s use of federal reporting guidelines effectively resulted in significantly understating the percentage of L.A.’s homeless population with a mental illness or substance abuse disorder(s).

[LATimes text] “The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which conducts the annual count, narrowly interpreted the data to produce much lower numbers. In its presentation of the results to elected officials earlier this year, the agency said only 29% of the homeless population had either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and, therefore, 71% “did not have a serious mental illness and/or report substance use disorder.”The Times, however, found that about 67% had either a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. Individually, substance abuse affects 46% of those living on the streets — more than three times the rate previously reported — and mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, affects 51% of those living on the streets, according to the analysis.

The homeless services authority did not dispute what The Times found. Rather, Heidi Marston, the agency’s acting executive director, explained that its report was in a format required by federal guidelines, leading to a different interpretation of the statistics.

“We’re acknowledging that there are more layers to the story,” Marston said.

The Times analysis aligns with a national study released Sunday by the California Policy Lab at UCLA, which found even higher rates in most categories. It also found that a mental health “concern” affected 78% of the unsheltered population and a substance abuse “concern,” 75%.” [end Times text]

The Times story noted that a day earlier, the UCLA-based CA Policy Lab issued a report (“Health Conditions Among Unsheltered Adults in the U.S.”) that found the national data disparity even greater than what the LATimes analysis found in L.A.’s homeless count. In a summary of its findings, the UCLA-based CA Policy Lab states:

…Unsheltered adults are far more likely to report suffering from chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and experiences with trauma and substance abuse problems as compared to homeless people who are living in shelters. As policymakers design interventions for unsheltered individuals and balance investments in emergency housing and permanent housing, they will need to consider whether emergency housing is adequate or appropriate for a highly vulnerable population, half of whom are trimorbid.

Earlier today (Oct.,7), invited comments/response from LBDHHS Dir. Kelly Colopy who indicated she’s reviewed the information with her team and some questions remain at day’s end…and thus she’s seeking further clarity prior to providing a response.

In June 2019, LB’s Dept. of Health and Human Services released details results of its Jan. 2019 Point in Time homeless count. Its June report indicated that 24% of LB’s counted homeless population had a “substance abuse disorder” and 34% had “serious mental illness.”

In reporting those figures LBDHHS acknowledged that its reported homeless subpopulations are “self-reported” and also include “duplicate counts.”


The LA Times and UCLA studies arguably invite rethinking some assumptions underlying current government and private sector policies toward homeless/vagrant populations that, critics say, have contributed to — or worsened — public safety, public health, neighborhood and taxpayer impacts. A majority of homeless advocacy groups and government agencies currently advocate a “housing first” approach, but that view has been increasingly questioned by others who say mental illness and substance abuse are the primary drivers of increasingly visible homeless/vagrant issues. Critics of current policy acknowledge that a housing shortage plays a role in the problem, but argue that housing-focused policies alone are ultimately incompassionate toward mentally ill/drug addicted homeless/vagrant persons and have invited threats to public health.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (who doesn’t set city policy) has acknowledged homelessness in LB is complex with multiple aspects but has sought to steer discussion mainly toward Sacramento policies that emphasizing housing (including below market/subsidized “affordable” housing.) In 2018, Garcia created an “Everyone Home Task Force” for which he selected a combination of developers (including “affordable housing” developers), homeless service providers and a number of LB establishment figures. His Task Force then produced a Dec. 2018 “Everyone Home” report contending LB needs thousands of new housing units, expansion of current policies and millions of dollars for additional programs.

On a separate track, Councilman Rex Richardson has been soliciting contributions (as of June 30 over $200,000) from affordable housing developers and homeless service providers for a future revenue-raising (read: tax imposing) LB ballot measure ( coverage here.)

At last week’s (Oct. 1, 2019) City Council meeting, Councilwoman Suzie Price prevailed in a 4-3 vote (Yes: Price, Supernaw, Mungo, Austin; No: Richardson, Uranga, Pearce…with Andrews absent) to have the City Attorney draft a resolution — scheduled to return to the City Council for voted approval this coming Tuesday Oct. 8 — supporting a “Friend of the Court” brief approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn the 9th circuit federal appeals court opinion in Martin v. City of Boise. Three appeals court judges held that it’s “cruel and unusual punishment” to enforce criminal provisions of local laws against vagrants/homeless unless local gov’t provides sufficient shelter beds for all of its homeless/vagrants. [The L.A. County Supervisors vote was 3-2 (Yes: Hahn, Ridley-Thomas, Barger; No: Kuehl, Solis.) to urge the Supreme Court to hear the Boise case and overturn the lower court opinion.]

Council discussion on Oct. 8 could be similarly intense with an uncertain outcome. Council discussion on Oct. 1 was sharply polarized. Lead-agendizer Councilwoman Price framed the issue as supporting the right of the City to enforce its local anti-camping ordinances. Councilman Richardson opposed her motion, framing the issue as local capacity in providing sufficient shelter beds.

Mayor Garcia exited earlier in the meeting and wasn’t present on the Council vote. It’s currently unclear how Vice Mayor Andrews will vote when the item returns to the Council on Oct. 8. (If Andrews were to vote “no” and the other Councilmembers maintain their Oct 1 positions, the result would be a 4-4 deadlock and no action would be taken by the City of Long Beach. If Andrews votes “yes” (producing a 5-3 Council vote) will Mayor Garcia veto the Council action, requiring six Council votes to override?

And the issue could have upcoming election implications. A November 5, 2019 special election will decide who fills the currently vacant 1st dist. Council seat. To our knowledge, to date none of the 1st district candidates have indicated whether they favor overturning the federal appeals court opinion. Garcia’s stance, and Richardson’s could become issues in that campaign as they’ve both endorsed candidate Mary Zendejas in the race.

In March 2020, incumbents will seek re-election in districts 2, 4, 6 and 8. Challengers have surfaced thus far in districts 2, 6 and 8. Austin district 8 (and Supernaw in district 4) are on record as favoring review and potential overturning of the lower court opinion; 2nd dist. incumbent Pearce has already voted once on Oct. 1 to oppose U.S. Supreme Court review.

Sacramento / statewide impacts

As also previously reported by, earlier this year Sacramento lawmakers refused to advance a bill — SB 640 — by state Senator John Moorlach (R. Irvine) that proposed to amend state law that already permits the involuntarily treatment of individuals who are “gravely disabled” to also include [legislative counsel’s digest] “a condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is incapable of making informed decisions about, or providing for, the person’s own basic personal needs for food, clothing, shelter, or medical care or shelter without significant supervision and assistance from another person and, as a result of being incapable of making these informed decisions, the person is at risk of substantial bodily harm, dangerous worsening of a concomitant serious physical illness, significant psychiatric deterioration, or mismanagement of the person’s essential needs that could result in bodily harm.”

SB 640 gained early support from the CA District Attorneys Association, the CA Police Chiefs Association — and the politically progressive City of Santa Monica — but was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, CA Hospital Association (unless amended), Disability Rights California, Mental Health America of Northern CA, SEIU California and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

At an April 8, 2019 hearing in the state Senate Health Committee, Sen. Moorlach explained his basis for reforming current state law; he brought witnesses offering compelling testimony in support of SB 640; Committee Dems politely thanked Sen. Moorlach and his witnesses for raising the issue but raised various objections to it in its initially offered form. Several indicated they’d vote “no” on it (blocking it), leading Sen. Moorlach to offer to make SB 640 a “two year bill” that he could try to amend to address objections they raised. To see/hear in detail what was said and what took place, see VIDEO below:

The Committee withheld a vote on SB 640, which remains in the state Senate Health Committee; if/when it returns with offered amendments, one of the state Senate Health Committee members who may hear it and vote on it is former LB Councilwoman/now state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, LB/SE L.A. County).

Although the politically-progressive City of Santa Monica supported SB 640, the City of Long Beach took no position on it. The LB City Council’s “State Legislation Committee” (Austin, Richardson and [now-exited] Gonzalez) didn’t discuss it or hold any Committee meetings on any advancing state legislation in 2019.


Richard Dunn honors Newport Harbor’s 1994 championship team in book


OCT. 7, 2019
9:45 PM

This season marks the 25th anniversary of the first CIF Southern Section title for the Newport Harbor High football team.

Newport Harbor went 14-0 in 1994 under then-coach Jeff Brinkley.

Richard Dunn, a former Daily Pilot sports editor, has written a book commemorating that season, entitled, “14 Weeks: The Most Improbable High School Football Season in History.”

A celebration of the team and a book signing will take place on Oct. 20 at Newport Beach Golf Course. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will include a hosted dinner, drinks and festivities.

Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon, Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill, council members Duffy Duffield and Kevin Muldoon, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel and state Senator John Moorlach are among those expected to attend.

As Newport Harbor celebrates its undefeated season of 1994, the current Sailors are putting together a season to remember of their own.

Newport Harbor improved to 6-0 overall with a 38-24 win over Fountain Valley on Friday night at Davidson Field. The Sailors have won their first six games to start a season since the 1994 campaign.

OCC Breaks Ground on Mariner Training Center

Sara Hall

Orange Coast College officials, city of Newport Beach representatives, and others break ground on OCC’s new Mariner Training Center on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©

Mariners’ Mile will soon have a training center fit for the neighborhood’s longtime name, as Orange Coast College officials and others held officially broke ground for the planned facility at an event recently.

Representatives from OCC, as well as Coast Community College District and the city of Newport Beach, held a groundbreaking ceremony for OCC’s new Mariner Training Center on Sept. 23. The new center is located at 1700 West Coast Hwy., across from the College’s School of Sailing & Seamanship at 1801 PCH.

The two-story, 12,000-square-foot project is the result of more than 15 years of planning by the Coast Community College District, according to a Sept. 17 press release.

Brad Avery, OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship director and Newport Beach city councilman, speaks at the Mariner Training Center groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©

According to Brad Avery, OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship director and Newport Beach city councilman, the new building represents a major leap forward for the college’s boating education programs.

“When completed and connected to our waterfront facility, we will have a fully integrated maritime education center,” Avery said in a prepared statement. “This helps us greatly in our mission of helping students acquire the knowledge and skills required for success in a variety of maritime careers.”

Once construction is complete, expected by fall 2021, the building will be the new home for OCC’s growing professional mariner program, which is dedicated to students who are pursuing careers in boating and maritime related fields, officials note in the press release.

Senator John Moorlach, whose district covers Newport Beach, speaks at the West Coast Highway site of the planned Mariner Training Center during a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©

Beyond classrooms, the facility will include a state-of-the-art laboratory space, a full mission bridge simulator, a radar training room, conference room, and a student lounge.

The college purchased the land from Orange County Sanitation District in 2016.

The center will be built above ground-level parking and connected to OCC’s harbor side facility by a “skyway” pedestrian bridge over PCH, officials explain in the statement. The $22 million project is funded by the local Measure M school bond, passed by voters in 2012.

In 2017, the California Coastal Commission approved the footbridge, which will connect the two maritime-related facilities and be open to the public for better access to the water.

Orange Coast College President Dr. Angelica Suarez speaks at the Mariner Training Center groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©

Plans for the bridge describe it as 12 feet wide by 120 feet long, and approximately 10 feet high from the bridge deck to the canopy.

In addition to stairways, it would include 35-foot elevator shaft towers on each side (the highest points of the structure), which complies with the city’s Local Coastal Program’s shoreline height limitations.

OCC’s Marine Program currently serves more than 1,500 students and adults annually. Professional mariner students pursue certificate and degree programs, while local residents take advantage of the dozens of boating and seamanship courses regularly offered. While some professional mariner students choose to go straight into the industry, others transfer to four-year maritime academies.

For more information, visit and

A rendering of the planned Mariner Training Center at 1700 West Coast Hwy.
— Art courtesy OCC ©

Calendar: City, County Government Meetings and Events

Newport Indy Staff


  • Good Morning Corona del Mar featuring guest speaker Senator John Moorlach, from 7:30–9 a.m. at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Dr. Moorlach represents Newport Beach in California’s 37th District. He will present state updates and review current legislation. The meeting will also feature updates from other city and legislative office representatives. The CdM Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting is open to the community and free to attend (including free parking). Coffee and pastries will be served. No RSVP required. For more information, visit, email, or call (949) 673-4050.
Rank School District Population Per Cap 2017 Chg
753 Vista Unified 157,940 ($1,429) 783 30
754 Murrieta Valley Unified 115,847 ($1,432) 830 76
755 Kings River-Hardwick Union Elem 2,610 ($1,433) 823 68
756 Southern Humboldt Joint Unified 8,684 ($1,435) 393 -363
757 Farmersville Unified 11,762 ($1,436) 758 1
758 Antioch Unified 116,946 ($1,436) 763 5
759 Greenfield Union 52,366 ($1,438) 737 -22
760 Eastern Sierra Unified 4,247 ($1,438) 691 -69
761 Alta Vista Elementary 3,207 ($1,438) 738 -23
762 Le Grand Union High 8,760 ($1,440) 417 -345
763 McFarland Unified 14,428 ($1,440) 775 12
764 Golden Plains Unified 7,722 ($1,444) 572 -192
765 Mount Pleasant Elementary 23,873 ($1,446) 620 -145
766 Alvina Elementary Charter 688 ($1,446) 810 44
767 Mendocino Unified 5,667 ($1,450) 802 35
768 Walnut Valley Unified 58,654 ($1,453) 638 -130
769 Terra Bella Union Elementary 6,087 ($1,453) 662 -107
770 Burbank Unified 106,984 ($1,458) 801 31
771 Calistoga Joint Unified 7,313 ($1,467) 863 92
772 Kings Canyon Joint Unified 48,867 ($1,475) 707 -65
773 Traver Joint Elementary 1,271 ($1,477) 151 -622
774 Calaveras Unified 26,024 ($1,480) 696 -78
775 Woodlake Unified 13,252 ($1,481) 710 -65
776 Fairfax Elementary 14,918 ($1,493) 781 5
777 Covina-Valley Unified 80,029 ($1,498) 812 35
778 Knightsen Elementary 2,696 ($1,502) 750 -28
779 Hamilton Unified 3,458 ($1,503) 694 -85
780 Windsor Unified 29,847 ($1,511) 808 28
781 Colusa Unified 7,853 ($1,516) 761 -20
782 Buellton Union Elementary 5,949 ($1,519) 770 -12
783 Sanger Unified 52,832 ($1,519) 807 24
784 Alhambra Unified 175,264 ($1,521) 308 -476
785 Soledad Unified 27,901 ($1,525) 745 -40
786 Ross Elementary 2,816 ($1,526) 772 -14
787 Lammersville Joint Unified 12,387 ($1,527) 676 -111
788 Long Beach Unified 528,865 ($1,530) 719 -69
789 Meadows Union Elementary 2,277 ($1,544) 844 55
790 Mt. Baldy Joint Elementary 399 ($1,548) 888 98
791 Templeton Unified 10,952 ($1,552) 851 60
792 Washington Unified 53,152 ($1,552) 874 82
793 Pleasant View Elementary 2,636 ($1,554) 535 -258
794 Paso Robles Joint Unified 48,531 ($1,559) 785 -9
795 Buttonwillow Union Elementary 2,270 ($1,564) 836 41
796 Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified 167,520 ($1,565) 663 -133
797 San Diego Unified 1,095,339 ($1,566) 831 34
798 Bakersfield City 197,765 ($1,568) 545 -253
799 Oxnard School District 130,698 ($1,570) 818 19
800 Willows Unified 9,435 ($1,570) 595 -205
801 Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified 19,523 ($1,571) 645 -156
802 Taft City 20,356 ($1,576) 532 -270
803 Mt. Diablo Unified 273,977 ($1,581) 813 10
804 Corona-Norco Unified 283,522 ($1,585) 821 17
805 San Juan Unified 346,462 ($1,585) 795 -10
806 Claremont Unified 42,668 ($1,589) 799 -7
807 Newman-Crows Landing Unified 14,037 ($1,592) 815 8
808 Pacific Grove Unified 18,519 ($1,610) 765 -43
809 Ceres Unified 57,385 ($1,611) 826 17
810 Larkspur-Corte Madera 14,178 ($1,614) 858 48
811 Alameda Unified 81,286 ($1,616) 822 11
812 Washington Unified 19,275 ($1,618) 760 -52
813 Stockton Unified 216,086 ($1,625) 681 -132
814 Central Unified 74,455 ($1,626) 776 -38
815 Orland Joint Unified 13,940 ($1,627) 797 -18
816 Compton Unified 160,212 ($1,629) 790 -26
817 Durham Unified 5,375 ($1,633) 788 -29
818 Fairfield-Suisun Unified 139,439 ($1,640) 804 -14
819 Napa Valley Unified 119,320 ($1,640) 838 19
820 Upland Unified 77,946 ($1,642) 794 -26
821 Fremont Unified 235,749 ($1,644) 756 -65
822 Mojave Unified 20,083 ($1,657) 581 -241
823 Rosedale Union Elementary 46,549 ($1,660) 601 -222
824 Fontana Unified 187,130 ($1,663) 882 58
825 Bassett Unified 28,047 ($1,665) 816 -9
826 Lindsay Unified 17,091 ($1,682) 779 -47
827 Union Hill Elementary 2,447 ($1,694) 896 69
828 Bishop Unified 12,624 ($1,697) 768 -60
829 Golden Valley Unified 10,817 ($1,698) 929 100
830 Delhi Unified 13,696 ($1,699) 869 39
831 Dinuba Unified 30,404 ($1,701) 782 -49
832 San Ramon Valley Unified 156,923 ($1,728) 828 -4
833 Cardiff Elementary 12,012 ($1,735) 912 79
834 Pixley Union Elementary 5,461 ($1,736) 827 -7
835 Hawthorne 76,248 ($1,738) 773 -62
836 Azusa Unified 69,181 ($1,740) 833 -3
837 Orinda Union Elementary 19,451 ($1,740) 809 -28
838 Temple City Unified 35,818 ($1,740) 825 -13
839 Folsom-Cordova Unified 131,770 ($1,741) 886 47
840 Dublin Unified 50,289 ($1,741) 859 19
841 Fort Bragg Unified 14,928 ($1,753) 864 23
842 Norwalk-La Mirada Unified 129,475 ($1,754) 876 34
843 Lakeside Union 9,396 ($1,764) 695 -148
844 Woodville Union Elementary 2,816 ($1,774) 652 -192
845 Yuba City Unified 75,063 ($1,777) 853 8


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Mail Bag and Group 8 — October 2, 2019


Last week the San Diego Union-Tribune provided side-by-side commentaries on the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).  CIRM is working toward putting a $5.5 billion bond on the ballot next year to continue its taxpayer-supported funding.

Read the supportive narrative here:

Read my opposition here:

MOORLACH UPDATE — CIRM and School District’s Group 5 — September 26, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Jester, for enthusiastically supporting my arguments.  His comments are in the first piece.

Spyglass Hill Picnic 

Mr. Merhfar sent a letter to the Daily Pilot and debriefed its readership on the recent annual Spyglass Hill Picnic in the second piece. My wife and I had a great time and enjoyed interacting with many of the area’s residents.

School Group 8, #659 – #752

It is down to the 30th percentile.  This means 70 percent of California’s school districts are in better financial shape than the districts in this group.

Orange County has four school districts in the eighth group of 94:

#700  Capistrano Unified, down 36

#706  Irvine Unified, up 38

#710  Westminster, down 30

#744  Newport-Mesa Unified, down 14

For Group 7 and links to the first 6 groups, go to MOORLACH UPDATE — California’s and Group 7’s Fiscal Health — September 30, 2019.

25th Anniversary Look Back

Every fall, The Bond Buyer holds a California conference.  In its October 3rd, 1994 edition, it shared a panel discussion in “California Democrat for Treasurer Says Taxes Are the Answer to the State’s Gap,” by Brad Altman (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Start to Finish — June 30, 2017).

Chris Ailman was quoted.  He is now the Chief Investment Officer of CalSTRS, so we get to interact on occasion when I’m in Sacramento.  He made a great observation on marking to market (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Reducing Debt Transparency? — September 25, 2019).

Here is the second half of this interesting piece, where Orange County gave a bold and worrisome account:

Investing public funds was the topic of a panel discussion held Thursday, and Orange County assistant treasurer Matt Raabe used the forum to explain how the county investment pool achieves above-average interest rate returns.

Raabe said the county uses a leveraging strategy to allow it to achieve high returns on its $8 billion fixed-income investment portfolio, which Raabe is responsible for managing on a daily basis.

Raabe did not specify the pool’s current interest rate return, which historically has averaged 8% — much better than the 4% to 5% achieved by the investment pool administered by the California treasurer’s office.

But Raabe indicated the county’s return has dropped, noting that “a significant impact” on the pool occurred earlier this year when federal funds rates were increased.  “I wish we had been right about where interest rates are going, because I would be breathing a lot easier these days,” he said.

“Over the years, we’ve developed a reputation for being aggressive investors,” Raabe said.  He said the aggressive reputation is accurate: “We like to take our base portfolio and leverage it.”

The leveraging strategy is based on an analysis of the cash flow needs of the 180 taxing districts that invest in the pool, Raabe said. Orange County asks the taxing districts, which include special districts, school districts, and cities, to provide cash flow projections.

“We tell them our current balance, and we ask them to define for us how much money they plan to leave with us for several years,” Raabe said.  The separate cash flows are combined, and the county derives “one cash flow for our investment purposes,” he added.

This single cash flow “allows us to stretch out further on the maturity range” investment expectations “than we could otherwise do,” Raabe said.  “We can extend further along the yield curve.”

Raabe said the pool contains “a large number” of long-term dollars pledged by the county’s airport, sanitation district, and other enterprise funds that give him “flexibility I might not otherwise have.”

Unexpected cash flow demands are covered by maintaining $1 billion “in overnight money” that can be tapped immediately “in case we’re wrong on some of our investment guesses, and our investors need their money sooner than they thought they did,” Raabe said.  The liquidity “brings our overall yield down, but it is important to have, particularly in this environment” of rising interest rates.

Orange County has not crossed the line between being “aggressive and an overly risky investor,” Raabe said. For example, “we don’t trade our portfolios” like some public agencies.  “We buy fixed-income government securities, and we intend to hold them until maturity.”

Another panelist, Christopher J. Ailman, chief investment officer and manager for Sacramento County’s $1.8 billion short-term fixed-income portfolio, said investment pools would be managed differently if they had to meet SEC requirements for daily valuation of their worth.

Municipal pools are run on an historical-cost basis required of mutual funds, which must maintain a $1 net asset value daily, Ailman said.  “We’d look horrible” if the pools were required to meet the mutual fund standard, he said, adding that “we would manage the portfolios differently” if that were the case.

A year later, I would be speaking on a panel about Orange County at the next annual Bond Buyer California Conference.  They wanted me so badly, they provided a limo from and back to the airport. It was an amazing experience.

For the last LOOK BACK, go to MOORLACH UPDATE — Reducing Debt Transparency? — September 25, 2019.

Readers React: CIRM has too little to show for so much investment

Maybe more/different/better data will change my mind

Re “Stem cell funding debate” (Sept. 26): Based solely on the arguments posed in the op-ed section, the winner, hands down in my opinion, is John Moorlach, who reasoned that very little in the way of results speaks for itself.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) had a lot of money and 15 years to prove that billions afforded it “might/could” yield a decent scientific return. A few anecdotal successes don’t do it for me — not at this level. What the pro-CIRM group did not reason, that may have highly influenced me, is that “these things take a lot more time than we were given (with strong supporting data here).”

And what Moorlach did say, that influenced me to a large extent, is “91% of the CIRM funding went to institutions with representatives on the CIRM board.” That just smells.

Today, I would have to vote no to more funding. Sorry, but sometimes you just have to say no, cut the cord and move on. There are too many other pressing needs in our state. Maybe more/different/better data will change my mind.

Paul Jester


Spyglass picnic strengthens community

The Spyglass Hill community of Corona del Mar held its seventh annual meet and greet family picnic recently at Spyglass Hill Park. A good number of residents with their kids and grandchildren attended along with our elected officials, including Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Mayor Diane Dixon, City Council members Will O’Neill, Brad Avery and Kevin Muldoon, City Manager Grace Leung and Newport Beach Police Area 4 Cmdr. Keith Krallman.

The fact that every year people can connect directly with each other and with their representatives at the city and state levels in a relaxed, open and family-oriented environment brings back the sense of community, belonging and oneness that has been gradually eroding at best and missing at worst from many communities across U.S.

Various activities for kids were planned and played with joy and excitement, including face paining, a watermelon contest and tug of war. Our caring and effective councilman for District 7, O’Neill, made a brief speech and awarded Therese Loutherback, chairwoman of the Spyglass Hill Picnic Committee, with an honorary title, “The Mayor of Spyglass Hill,” and gave her a specially designed sash.

Thanks to O’Neill and also our several vendor supporters. Just like in the previous years, complimentary burgers, drinks and ice cream were provided for the residents. Spyglass Hill community residents left with another joyful and memorable annual family picnic.

K.E. Mehrfar

Newport Beach

Rank School District Population Per Cap 2017 Chg
659 Lucia Mar Unified 78,750 ($1,180) 612 -47
660 Milpitas Unified 71,877 ($1,181) 640 -20
661 Kelseyville Unified 12,288 ($1,181) 703 42
662 Belridge Elementary 127 ($1,183) 13 -649
663 Morgan Hill Unified 65,169 ($1,183) 382 -281
664 Rim of the World Unified 30,615 ($1,187) 568 -96
665 Shoreline Unified 6,292 ($1,194) 623 -42
666 Burton Elementary 17,844 ($1,198) 740 74
667 Adelanto Elementary 60,160 ($1,199) 678 11
668 Ventura Unified 122,915 ($1,199) 698 30
669 Inglewood Unified 115,933 ($1,203) 708 39
670 Sierra Sands Unified 37,513 ($1,203) 169 -501
671 Riverside Unified 271,629 ($1,205) 728 57
672 Woodland Joint Unified 66,978 ($1,207) 526 -146
673 Lancaster Elementary 116,636 ($1,210) 713 40
674 Maxwell Unified 1,880 ($1,218) 669 -5
675 Val Verde Unified 89,981 ($1,220) 778 103
676 Waterford Unified 10,244 ($1,221) 706 30
677 Desert Sands Unified 196,219 ($1,222) 647 -30
678 Aromas/San Juan Unified 9,531 ($1,226) 919 241
679 Porterville Unified 102,053 ($1,227) 569 -110
680 Mountain View Elementary 59,024 ($1,230) 685 5
681 Lakeport Unified 10,664 ($1,231) 754 73
682 New Haven Unified 81,692 ($1,232) 789 107
683 Greenfield Union Elementary 18,436 ($1,237) 766 83
684 Holtville Unified 8,863 ($1,243) 699 15
685 Hesperia Unified 105,414 ($1,243) 661 -24
686 Shandon Joint Unified 1,944 ($1,245) 814 128
687 Victor Elementary 100,141 ($1,247) 608 -79
688 Twin Rivers Unified 195,713 ($1,248) 705 17
689 Redlands Unified 131,890 ($1,249) 734 45
690 Jamul-Dulzura Union Elementary 9,388 ($1,249) 881 191
691 Bonita Unified 63,450 ($1,251) 747 56
692 Ballico-Cressey Elementary 2,218 ($1,252) 921 229
693 Santa Paula Unified 33,169 ($1,253) 524 -169
694 Ojai Unified 22,491 ($1,255) 585 -109
695 Galt Joint Union Elementary 30,963 ($1,257) 724 29
696 West Park Elementary 1,933 ($1,257) 480 -216
697 Los Molinos Unified 3,550 ($1,258) 771 74
698 Lompoc Unified 60,586 ($1,259) 714 16
699 Guadalupe Union Elementary 7,563 ($1,261) 787 88
700 Capistrano Unified 362,235 ($1,268) 664 -36
701 Richland Union Elementary 20,301 ($1,269) 741 40
702 Garvey Elementary 54,980 ($1,277) 636 -66
703 Torrance Unified 149,919 ($1,278) 742 39
704 Laytonville Unified 2,929 ($1,281) 716 12
705 Rialto Unified 126,752 ($1,283) 752 47
706 Irvine Unified 197,643 ($1,283) 744 38
707 Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified 6,382 ($1,286) 791 84
708 Elk Grove Unified 337,557 ($1,288) 800 92
709 Gustine Unified 9,281 ($1,288) 711 2
710 Westminster 88,887 ($1,298) 680 -30
711 Needles Unified 7,513 ($1,309) 762 51
712 Anderson Valley Unified 2,975 ($1,310) 736 24
713 Pomona Unified 172,471 ($1,313) 748 35
714 Arcadia Unified 59,799 ($1,316) 660 -54
715 Konocti Unified 22,493 ($1,316) 651 -64
716 Hughson Unified 12,846 ($1,316) 835 119
717 Paramount Unified 80,221 ($1,317) 622 -95
718 Grant Elementary 2,835 ($1,319) 599 -119
719 Norris Elementary 25,448 ($1,323) 811 92
720 San Jacinto Unified 50,917 ($1,324) 759 39
721 Manhattan Beach Unified 36,366 ($1,326) 774 53
722 Freshwater Elementary 2,519 ($1,331) 536 -186
723 Rio Elementary 37,500 ($1,334) 670 -53
724 Lodi Unified 179,882 ($1,343) 780 56
725 Vallejo City Unified 128,235 ($1,347) 751 26
726 River Delta Joint Unified 16,424 ($1,349) 784 58
727 Orange Center 1,865 ($1,353) 464 -263
728 Middletown Unified 9,981 ($1,354) 767 39
729 Los Altos Elementary 44,223 ($1,357) 533 -196
730 Biggs Unified 3,634 ($1,359) 653 -77
731 Martinez Unified 31,817 ($1,359) 720 -11
732 Brentwood Union Elementary 59,685 ($1,367) 584 -148
733 San Francisco Unified 884,363 ($1,371) 604 -129
734 Eastside Union Elementary 25,073 ($1,373) 394 -340
735 Monrovia Unified 44,795 ($1,380) 798 63
736 Vacaville Unified 83,495 ($1,383) 492 -244
737 Poway Unified 202,986 ($1,387) 731 -6
738 Castro Valley Unified 54,327 ($1,388) 806 68
739 Hickman Community Charter 1,330 ($1,395) 376 -363
740 Hueneme Elementary 58,259 ($1,395) 725 -15
741 Menlo Park City Elementary 27,915 ($1,404) 845 104
742 Beaumont Unified 52,838 ($1,409) 410 -332
743 El Monte City 85,245 ($1,410) 621 -122
744 Newport-Mesa Unified 206,139 ($1,411) 730 -14
745 Portola Valley Elementary 6,958 ($1,411) 667 -78
746 Hacienda la Puente Unified 120,681 ($1,414) 834 88
747 Nuview Union 10,909 ($1,416) 793 46
748 Canyon Elementary 255 ($1,421) 646 -102
749 Oceanside Unified 145,268 ($1,426) 803 54
750 Del Norte County Unified 27,470 ($1,429) 837 87
751 Robla Elementary 20,995 ($1,429) 93 -658
752 San Carlos Elementary 28,373 ($1,429) 704 -48


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MOORLACH UPDATE — California’s and Group 7’s Fiscal Health — September 30, 2019

Comparing States

A simple metric to obtain a quick temperature check on the financial health of municipalities is to divide the unrestricted net position by the population.  Organizations like the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which is mentioned in the California Globe piece below, dive much deeper.  But, both the Mercatus Center’s study from last fall ( and my metric for last year have California in 42nd place (see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2017 State Per Capita UNPs — April 2, 2018).

The respected Mercatus Center study shows that my simple metric provides a rather helpful and supportable conclusion.  With that, how is California doing? Well, the state of Illinois finally released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Statement after I issued rankings in late August!  I projected their unrestricted net deficit by just $7.5 billion over the actual $209.9 billion.

As a bonus, I’m providing two updated charts.  The first provides the rankings using the per capita metric and shows California moved up one position to 41st place.  The second ranks states by unrestricted net positions and reveals New Jersey barely edged out California for the coveted 50th ranking (see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2018 State Per Capita UNPs — August 22, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Hart, Handy and OPEBs — August 29, 2019).

The California Globe piece refers to my State of the State analysis, which can be found at MOORLACH UPDATE — 2019 State of the State — February 12, 2019.

School Districts – Group 7 – #565 – #658 

At the 40th percentile, utilizing the same simple metric, this group of 94 California school districts includes the following seven from Orange County:

#568   Magnolia Elementary, down 63
#580   Saddleback Valley Unified, down 50
#581   Fullerton Elementary, down 74
#584   Orange Unified, down 200
#596   Buena Park Elementary, up 17
#604   Brea-Olinda Unified, up 2
#617   Anaheim Elementary, down 37

The dramatic drop by Orange Unified can probably be explained by a $106 million drop in its Other Post-Employment Benefits asset and a $31.5 million increase in its unfunded pension liability.

The details are provided in the third graph.  To work back to the first six groups, go to MOORLACH UPDATE — Wedding Day and Group 6 — September 27, 2019.

Is California’s Fi$cal Health Cause for Worry?

Conflicting reports on California’s cities with the weakest economies and overall economic state health

By Katy Grimes

While California’s elected politicians are waging a legal and media war on the Trump administration, has the state’s economic status improved under Trump’s economic policies, or are California’s high taxes and restrictive regulations still chilling the economy?

The state unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent from 4.3 in March. Sacramento’s unemployment was 4.2 percent in March, dipped down to 3.1 in May, and jumped back up to 4.0 percent in July. Los Angeles unemployment is 4.7 percent; San Diego’s is 3.6; San Francisco is 2.4; Fresno unemployment is 7.3 percent – down from 9.3 in March.

How Do Big Metro Areas Rank?

Business Insider looked at five measures of labor market and overall economic health for the 30 metropolitan areas with the largest populations: the unemployment rate, job-growth rate, per capita GDP, GDP growth, and average weekly wages, to get an overall sense of economic health in the metro areas.

Sacramento came in at number 15 of big cities with the weakest economies, ranked from best to worst:

#15: Sacramento, California: The job growth rate of 2.4% was tied for ninth-highest among the big metro areas, but the GDP per capita of $46,860 was the sixth lowest.

“America’s big cities have an outsized role in the country’s economic engine, but some urban areas are struggling when compared to their peers,” Business Insider said.

They also ranked every state’s economy from worst to best, in 2019:

9. California’s average weekly wage of $1,131 was the fourth best among the states and DC, but its unemployment rate of 4.2% was tied for tenth worst.

Yet, last week, the Sacramento Bee reported positive economic news:

The median household income in the Sacramento region rose to a historic high last year as unemployment remained low, according to new census data.

The median household income – the middle income in a ranked list – was $73,142 in 2018, up from $69,664 in 2017, after adjusting for inflation. That’s the highest the median income has been in at least three decades, census figures show. Household incomes also rose statewide. The increases were statistically significant, according to the census bureau.

The most comprehensive ranking comes from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which ranks on the basis of solvency in five separate categories.

“California ranks 42nd among the US states for fiscal health,” Mercatus reported in fall 2018.

“California has between 0.82 and 1.62 times the cash needed to cover short-term obligations, well below the US average. Revenues exceed expenses by 4 percent, with an improving net position of $271 per capita. In the long run, California’s negative net asset ratio of 0.57 points to the use of debt and large unfunded obligations. Long-term liabilities are higher than the national average, at 92 percent of total assets, or $5,642 per capita. Total unfunded pension liabilities that are guaranteed to be paid are $1,190.84 billion, or 54 percent of state personal income. OPEB are $106.06 billion, or 5 percent of state personal income.”

Mercatus also notes the state has an overregulation problem that’s contributing to the housing affordability crisis. “California is a leader in regulating just about everything — including insurance carriers, public utilities and housing construction,” Mercatus said. “If California’s regulatory code underwent some serious spring cleaning, it could help the state at least make a dent in its housing affordability crisis.

“The residential housing subsection alone has nearly 24,000 restrictions.”

In a California Globe op-ed, Sen. John Moorlach warned back in February, “Financial solutions must come first because, if there’s no money, there’s no way to pay for existing programs, let alone solutions to problems.”

Moorlach is the only CPA currently serving in the California State Legislature.

Moorlach continues to caution that the unfunded liabilities of the state as well as of local governments, specifically pension and retiree medical care, must be addressed. “Gov. Jerry Brown worked out a partial reform with the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013, called PEPRA. It was a valiant, but meager attempt and did little to bring down immediate costs,” Moorlach said.

In June, Moorlach reported:

“It’s May 30 and we haven’t received the CAFR for California,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, Thursday during the state’s joint Senate and Assembly budget conference committee hearing. “Will we receive it before we approve the budget?”

Moorlach pointed out that the state’s Department of Finance has reported a $21.5 billion surplus, but the most recent CAFR for year-end June 30, 2017 showed an unrestricted net deficit of $168.5 billion and up a $91 billion in unfunded retiree medical liability benefits for state employee, teachers and judges.

“That’s a quarter-trillion dollars,” said Moorlach.

“The great state of California remains a wonderful place to live, but has been stymied by governmental overreach and planning,” Moorlach said. “The state will be much better once alternatives which allow for more freedom and prosperity are implemented to address these and other problems.”

Mercatus ranking categories:

· Cash solvency measures whether a state has enough cash to cover its short-term bills, which include accounts payable, vouchers, warrants, and short-term debt. (California ranks 45th.)

· Budget solvency measures whether a state can cover its fiscal year spending using current revenues. Did it run a shortfall during the year? (California ranks 17th.)

· Long-run solvency measures whether a state has a hedge against large long-term liabilities. Are enough assets available to cushion the state from potential shocks or long-term fiscal risks? (California ranks 45th.)

· Service-level solvency measures how high taxes, revenues, and spending are when compared to state personal income. Do states have enough “fiscal slack”? If spending commitments demand more revenues, are states in a good position to increase taxes without harming the economy? Is spending high or low relative to the tax base? (California ranks 28th.)

· Trust fund solvency measures how much debt a state has. How large are unfunded pension liabilities and OPEB liabilities compared to the state personal income? (California ranks 41st.)

Rank State Population 2018 UNP Per Cap Change
1 Alaska 737,438 $17,387,310,000 $23,578 0
2 North Dakota 760,077 $7,172,275,944 $9,436 0
3 Wyoming 577,737 $4,237,698,833 $7,335 0
4 Idaho 1,754,208 $1,256,840,000 $716 0
5 Oklahoma 3,943,079 $1,853,248,000 $470 1
6 Tennessee 6,770,010 $2,704,085,000 $399 -1
7 Utah 3,161,105 $1,249,827,000 $395 2
8 South Dakota 882,235 $283,343,000 $321 -1
9 Nebraska 1,929,268 $503,722,000 $261 -1
10 Iowa 3,156,145 ($1,013,268,000) ($321) 1
11 Washington 7,535,591 ($4,163,206,000) ($552) 1
12 North Carolina 10,383,620 ($5,884,784,000) ($567) -2
13 Oregon 4,190,713 ($2,466,140,000) ($588) 3
14 Virginia 8,517,685 ($5,115,028,000) ($601) 3
15 Montana 1,062,305 ($642,952,000) ($605) 10
16 South Carolina 5,084,127 ($3,578,770,000) ($704) 2
17 Indiana 6,691,878 ($5,062,064,000) ($756) 4
18 Arizona 7,171,646 ($5,522,793,000) ($770) 2
19 Nevada 3,034,392 ($2,448,744,000) ($807) -5
20 Georgia 10,519,475 ($8,506,350,000) ($809) -7
21 Florida 21,299,325 ($17,686,725,000) ($830) -6
22 Kansas 2,911,505 ($2,617,412,000) ($899) 6
23 Minnesota 5,611,179 ($5,629,152,000) ($1,003) 0
24 Arkansas 3,013,825 ($3,115,348,000) ($1,034) -5
25 Ohio 11,689,442 ($12,787,140,000) ($1,094) -1
26 Colorado 5,695,564 ($7,251,155,000) ($1,273) 6
27 Missouri 6,126,452 ($7,922,530,000) ($1,293) -1
28 Wisconsin 5,813,568 ($8,542,138,000) ($1,469) 3
29 Michigan 9,995,915 ($14,946,883,000) ($1,495) -2
30 Mississippi 2,986,530 ($5,845,872,000) ($1,957) 6
31 Alabama 4,887,871 ($9,597,426,000) ($1,964) 4
32 New Mexico 2,095,428 ($4,690,920,000) ($2,239) 1
33 West Virginia 1,805,832 ($4,119,293,000) ($2,281) 5
34 New York 19,542,209 ($45,231,000,000) ($2,315) 3
35 New Hampshire 1,356,458 ($3,221,260,000) ($2,375) -6
36 Maine 1,338,404 ($3,491,939,000) ($2,609) -6
37 Pennsylvania 12,807,060 ($42,892,246,000) ($3,349) -3
38 Louisiana 4,659,978 ($16,052,435,000) ($3,445) 1
39 Texas 28,701,845 ($104,638,813,000) ($3,646) -17
40 Rhode Island 1,057,315 ($4,702,373,000) ($4,447) 3
41 California 39,557,045 ($213,316,033,000) ($5,393) 1
42 Maryland 6,042,718 ($34,404,356,000) ($5,694) 2
43 Vermont 626,299 ($3,831,618,339) ($6,118) -3
44 Hawaii 1,420,491 ($11,381,725,000) ($8,013) 1
45 Delaware 967,171 ($8,475,290,000) ($8,763) -4
46 Kentucky 4,468,402 ($42,257,250,000) ($9,457) 0
47 Massachusetts 6,902,149 ($74,254,002,000) ($10,758) 0
48 Illinois 12,741,080 ($209,932,970,000) ($16,477) 0
49 Connecticut 3,572,665 ($61,949,017,000) ($17,340) 0
50 New Jersey 8,908,520 ($214,093,149,142) ($24,032) 0
Rank State 2018 UNP State 2017 UNP Change
1 Alaska $17,387,310,000 Alaska $14,558,125,000 0
2 North Dakota $7,172,275,944 North Dakota $5,989,501,438 0
3 Wyoming $4,237,698,833 Wyoming $4,518,975,575 0
4 Tennessee $2,704,085,000 Tennessee $2,736,079,000 0
5 Oklahoma $1,853,248,000 North Carolina $1,822,821,000 -24
6 Idaho $1,256,840,000 Oklahoma $1,484,206,000 1
7 Utah $1,249,827,000 Idaho $1,146,468,000 1
8 Nebraska $503,722,000 Utah $819,880,000 1
9 South Dakota $283,343,000 Nebraska $550,525,000 1
10 Montana ($642,952,000) South Dakota $267,296,000 1
11 Iowa ($1,013,268,000) Montana ($971,795,000) 1
12 Nevada ($2,448,744,000) Iowa ($999,603,000) 1
13 Oregon ($2,466,140,000) Nevada ($1,580,030,000) 1
14 Kansas ($2,617,412,000) New Hampshire ($1,683,141,000) -2
15 Arkansas ($3,115,348,000) Maine ($1,885,023,000) -2
16 New Hampshire ($3,221,260,000) Arkansas ($2,160,882,000) 1
17 Maine ($3,491,939,000) Vermont ($2,263,168,022) -2
18 South Carolina ($3,578,770,000) Oregon ($2,482,259,000) 5
19 Vermont ($3,831,618,339) Kansas ($3,205,914,000) 5
20 West Virginia ($4,119,293,000) New Mexico ($3,311,311,000) -2
21 Washington ($4,163,206,000) Washington ($3,376,575,000) 0
22 New Mexico ($4,690,920,000) South Carolina ($3,497,642,000) 4
23 Rhode Island ($4,702,373,000) Delaware ($3,622,572,000) -9
24 Indiana ($5,062,064,000) West Virginia ($4,455,964,000) 4
25 Virginia ($5,115,028,000) Rhode Island ($4,581,514,000) 2
26 Arizona ($5,522,793,000) Minnesota ($5,029,153,000) -1
27 Minnesota ($5,629,152,000) Georgia ($5,210,957,000) -6
28 Mississippi ($5,845,872,000) Indiana ($5,319,406,000) 4
29 North Carolina ($5,884,784,000) Arizona ($5,341,848,000) 3
30 Colorado ($7,251,155,000) Virginia ($5,344,284,000) 5
31 Missouri ($7,922,530,000) Missouri ($5,787,207,000) 0
32 Delaware ($8,475,290,000) Mississippi ($6,058,425,000) 4
33 Georgia ($8,506,350,000) Hawaii ($7,996,567,000) -3
34 Wisconsin ($8,542,138,000) Colorado ($8,359,538,000) 4
35 Alabama ($9,597,426,000) Wisconsin ($8,361,432,000) 1
36 Hawaii ($11,381,725,000) Alabama ($8,608,527,000) 1
37 Ohio ($12,787,140,000) Michigan ($9,848,197,000) -1
38 Michigan ($14,946,883,000) Ohio ($10,571,925,000) 1
39 Louisiana ($16,052,435,000) Louisiana ($11,949,852,000) 0
40 Florida ($17,686,725,000) Florida ($12,401,193,000) 0
41 Maryland ($34,404,356,000) Pennsylvania ($21,275,848,000) -2
42 Kentucky ($42,257,250,000) Texas ($25,170,339,000) -5
43 Pennsylvania ($42,892,246,000) Maryland ($27,010,946,000) 2
44 New York ($45,231,000,000) Kentucky ($40,157,358,000) 2
45 Connecticut ($61,949,017,000) New York ($45,599,000,000) 1
46 Massachusetts ($74,254,002,000) Connecticut ($52,826,131,000) 1
47 Texas ($104,638,813,000) Massachusetts ($63,992,915,000) 1
48 Illinois ($209,932,970,000) New Jersey ($148,863,714,435) -2
49 California ($213,316,033,000) Illinois ($161,239,415,000) -1
50 New Jersey ($214,093,149,142) California ($169,499,683,000) 1
Totals ($1,206,633,219,704) ($878,007,376,444)
Rank School District Population Per Cap 2017 Chg
565 San Mateo-Foster City 138,627 ($987) 424 -141
566 South Whittier Elementary 29,829 ($987) 544 -22
567 Brawley Elementary 26,885 ($987) 449 -118
568 Magnolia Elementary 66,051 ($987) 505 -63
569 Oak Grove Elementary 113,621 ($988) 418 -151
570 Panama-Buena Vista Union 126,837 ($995) 510 -60
571 Temecula Valley Unified 156,672 ($995) 588 17
572 Ontario-Montclair 178,174 ($996) 498 -74
573 Eureka City Schools 50,612 ($996) 805 232
574 Ripon Unified 18,847 ($997) 632 58
575 Chino Valley Unified 183,203 ($1,000) 650 75
576 Oakdale Joint Unified 32,909 ($1,001) 586 10
577 Encinitas Union Elementary 75,426 ($1,002) 441 -136
578 El Tejon Unified 8,952 ($1,008) 721 143
579 Redwood City Elementary 101,224 ($1,009) 557 -22
580 Saddleback Valley Unified 221,407 ($1,009) 530 -50
581 Fullerton Elementary 124,983 ($1,011) 507 -74
582 Graves Elementary 76 ($1,020) 63 -519
583 Reed Union Elementary 14,105 ($1,026) 579 -4
584 Orange Unified 231,727 ($1,030) 384 -200
585 Oakley Union Elementary 36,328 ($1,031) 609 24
586 Chico Unified 111,707 ($1,032) 491 -95
587 Gridley Unified 11,750 ($1,033) 573 -14
588 Mountain View Elementary 20,915 ($1,039) 597 9
589 North Monterey County Unified 27,725 ($1,040) 672 83
590 Scotia Union Elementary 1,403 ($1,040) 602 12
591 Davis Joint Unified 81,161 ($1,040) 700 109
592 Allensworth Elementary 500 ($1,040) 726 134
593 Oakland Unified 430,440 ($1,040) 683 90
594 Berkeley Unified 123,816 ($1,043) 642 48
595 Chatom Union 4,749 ($1,046) 677 82
596 Buena Park Elementary 50,709 ($1,047) 613 17
597 Castle Rock Union Elementary 363 ($1,048) 712 115
598 Point Arena Joint Union High 5,692 ($1,051) 598 0
599 Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified 62,637 ($1,052) 616 17
600 San Leandro Unified 75,257 ($1,058) 718 118
601 Tulelake Basin Joint Unified 2,387 ($1,058) 690 89
602 National Elementary 62,131 ($1,060) 565 -37
603 Marysville Joint Unified 62,556 ($1,062) 649 46
604 Brea-Olinda Unified 36,985 ($1,065) 606 2
605 Charter Oak Unified 37,895 ($1,065) 413 -192
606 Conejo Valley Unified 139,972 ($1,067) 671 65
607 Evergreen Elementary 108,384 ($1,068) 614 7
608 Riverdale Joint Unified 8,418 ($1,068) 755 147
609 Palm Springs Unified 182,200 ($1,069) 521 -88
610 Escalon Unified 15,739 ($1,071) 575 -35
611 Simi Valley Unified 132,174 ($1,073) 637 26
612 San Miguel Joint Union 5,307 ($1,073) 777 165
613 Kentfield Elementary 11,769 ($1,073) 665 52
614 Denair Unified 8,455 ($1,074) 643 29
615 Travis Unified 32,265 ($1,075) 717 102
616 Linden Unified 12,965 ($1,075) 587 -29
617 Anaheim Elementary 208,150 ($1,079) 580 -37
618 Lakeside Union Elementary 43,949 ($1,082) 605 -13
619 Willits Unified 13,004 ($1,082) 583 -36
620 Sutter Union High 7,922 ($1,082) 603 -17
621 Atascadero Unified 37,637 ($1,086) 615 -6
622 Stony Creek Joint Unified 961 ($1,092) 666 44
623 Snowline Joint Unified 42,528 ($1,095) 514 -109
624 Monterey Peninsula Unified 92,486 ($1,097) 674 50
625 Planada Elementary 5,881 ($1,099) 548 -77
626 Kings River Union Elementary 3,396 ($1,101) 570 -56
627 Carlsbad Unified 76,420 ($1,102) 610 -17
628 Santa Monica-Malibu Unified 112,724 ($1,105) 648 20
629 Lincoln Unified 50,741 ($1,105) 686 57
630 Lake Elsinore Unified 130,089 ($1,105) 692 62
631 Camino Union Elementary 4,491 ($1,106) 502 -129
632 Saugus Union 105,583 ($1,106) 500 -132
633 Kerman Unified 20,992 ($1,110) 732 99
634 Sunol Glen Unified 1,041 ($1,116) 693 59
635 Fruitvale Elementary 22,006 ($1,117) 518 -117
636 Patterson Joint Unified 27,171 ($1,121) 644 8
637 Exeter Unified 17,104 ($1,127) 576 -61
638 Sierra Unified 11,998 ($1,128) 702 64
639 Delano Union Elementary 58,438 ($1,133) 582 -57
640 Capay Joint Union Elementary 1,050 ($1,133) 501 -139
641 Moreno Valley Unified 185,444 ($1,138) 746 105
642 Valle Lindo Elementary 6,241 ($1,139) 442 -200
643 Bear Valley Unified 19,638 ($1,140) 679 36
644 Bonsall Unified 18,458 ($1,141) 688 44
645 Taft Union High 21,445 ($1,143) 619 -26
646 Sweetwater Union High 490,742 ($1,144) 542 -104
647 Hemet Unified 147,561 ($1,147) 627 -20
648 Livermore Valley Joint Unified 93,255 ($1,154) 709 61
649 King City Union 16,778 ($1,158) 743 94
650 San Lorenzo Unified 85,151 ($1,161) 753 103
651 Rowland Unified 112,779 ($1,163) 567 -84
652 Palermo Union Elementary 8,479 ($1,166) 675 23
653 San Lorenzo Valley Unified 25,123 ($1,168) 641 -12
654 Visalia Unified 149,775 ($1,172) 618 -36
655 Carpinteria Unified 18,961 ($1,173) 658 3
656 Carmel Unified 24,246 ($1,175) 633 -23
657 Manteca Unified 127,006 ($1,176) 571 -86
658 Los Nietos 15,522 ($1,179) 607 -51


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Wedding Day and Group 6 — September 27, 2019

Wedding Day

Congratulations to my son Daniel and his fiance, Katie; they are tying the knot today!

American Independent Party

In the first piece, the OC Register reinforces my opposition to SB 696 in an opinion piece (for more on this bill, see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2019 Veto-Worthy Bills and Second 94 — September 21, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Last Day of Session — September 15, 2019).  

Health Care For Just About All Californians

The Los Angeles Daily News provides a perspective of government-provided health care in California.  My concerns are included in the second piece below (for more on the new mandate tax, see  MOORLACH UPDATE — Health Insurance Mandate Penalty — June 25, 2019).  

CIRM Redux

The Los Angeles Daily News published an Op-Ed by Marc Joffe that buttresses my opposition of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — CIRM and School District’s Group 5 — September 26, 2019).  It’s the third piece below.

School Districts — Group 6

We’re down to the last half of the 944 school districts, providing data from 940 audited financial statement.  We have divided the unrestricted net position by the population that the districts serve to provide a metric. The sixth group of 94 is provided in the chart at the end as the final piece.

Five of Orange County’s 27 school districts are in this grouping:

#473  Anaheim Elementary, down 10 positions

#487  Garden Grove Unified, down 84

#517  La Habra City Elementary, even with last year’s ranking

#530  Tustin Unified, up 44

#552  Ocean View, up 6

For links to the first five groupings, go to MOORLACH UPDATE — CIRM and School District’s Group 5 — September 26, 2019.


Voter ignorance no excuse for Senate Bill 696

The recently completed legislative session has been filled with far-ranging and troubling bills that take aim at independent contractors, limit charter schools and impose statewide rent controls.

But sometimes minor bills also reflect lawmakers’ lack of respect for the rights and intelligence of California citizens.

One such measure is Senate Bill 696, by Santa Ana’s Tom Umberg. It’s now on the governor’s desk.

SB 696 prohibits any political party from using the terms “no party preference,” “decline to state” or “independent” in its name. There aren’t any No Party Preference or Decline to State parties that might confuse voters. The clear goal is to force the American Independent Party of California, which is the registration choice of nearly 518,000 voters, to change its name after a survey showed that 73 percent of its voters thought they were choosing to be independents.

It’s certainly ironic that the third-largest party in progressive California — with more voters than all other minor parties combined — takes extremely conservative political positions. Its history ties back to the 1968 presidential campaign of Alabama’s segregationist Gov. George Wallace. But the party’s beginnings only reinforce the foolishness of this legislation, which raises serious free speech and association issues.

“The government can regulate speech when the words are being used to deceive individuals,” said Umberg, according to a newspaper report. But the party didn’t create its name to confuse voters. The state doesn’t force the Democratic or Republican parties to change their names because voters might mistakenly believe that those parties actually stand for democratic or republican principles.

“Banning a political party’s chosen name is a drastic remedy for the alleged ignorance of some voters, who can easily re-register themselves, if they so wish, up to and including on the day of the election,” wrote Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. Indeed. It’s not the American Independent Party’s fault that many voters didn’t do their homework before choosing a party affiliation.

Gov. Gavin Newsom should veto the bill and save the state a potential constitutional challenge. Voter education, not legislation, is the solution.

Even in Deep Blue California, Medi-Cal expansion for undocumented adults doesn’t sit well with some

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, looks over a stack of papers as the Senate plows through a variety of bills, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Lawmakers are working to complete all business before the Legislature adjourns the 2017-18 session, Aug. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)By leosmith |

By Nicole Hayden and Deepa Bharath, The USC Center for Health Journalism Collaborative

It was a historic move: This summer, California became the first state in the country to offer free or low-cost health insurance to undocumented young adults who qualify.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the measure that will allow low-income undocumented adults ages 19 to 25 to qualify for Med-Cal, the state’s taxpayer-funded free and reduced-cost health insurance plan, starting Jan. 1. Around 138,000 people may be eligible for the coverage expansion. That’s just under 5% of the 3 million people without health insurance in the state. Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, make up 27% of California’s population of 40 million.

Although Democrats, who control the levers of power in the state, were largely united in their support for the expansion, the move was not without its detractors. Republican lawmakers and their constituents argue that the funds – the expanded coverage is expected to cost the state $98 million in 2020 — could be better spent elsewhere.

One question, going forward, is whether more centrist and independent voters will come to share those concerns. The issue of extending government-financed health insurance to undocumented residents has already become a source of heated debate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, with moderate candidates and voters pushing back. But that divide has been largely absent among Democrats in the Golden State.

According to a statewide survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, 63% of moderate voters supported the expansion.

President Donald Trump criticized the move, and quickly adopted it as a talking point in his reelection campaign. California doesn’t “treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants,” he said. “It’s very unfair to our citizens and we’re going to stop it, but we may need an election to stop it.”

While Democrats have the supermajority in the California Legislature, support for the coverage expansion was not as widespread among the public as it was in the Legislature. Political analysts say the matter could become a “flip issue” alongside other immigration-related spending concerns in 2020.

While some opponents say they want to push to repeal the measure, they admit it will be an uphill battle.

“My goal is to introduce the repeal, but California right now is so liberal,” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based free-market think tank that promotes “the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility” through policies that emphasize private initiative and limited government. Pipes said the Medi-Cal expansion is representative of a government that is too big.

“Even though many Republicans are upset with the extension, I don’t think it will make a difference,” she added. “The Dems will be in the power seat for several years to come. I wish that weren’t true. Realistically, I don’t see how the Republicans will break in on this, though.”

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in March showed about 63% of adult residents expressed support for expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented young adults. That was up compared with 2015, when a statewide survey showed just 54% supported the idea.

However, voters also said that ensuring mental health services to those who need it and making health care more affordable were higher priorities than offering health insurance coverage to all Californians, according to a poll conducted by the California Health Care Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation in November 2018, when Newsom was elected.

Pipes said one of her objections to the Medi-Cal expansion was that many U.S. citizens are struggling to afford their health care coverage and the funds allocated to undocumented young adults instead could have helped U.S. citizens pay for their health care. Pipes also said those same U.S. citizens will now bear the tax burden of financing the Medi-Cal expansion, though they can’t even afford their own health care.

However, Pipes predicts the state will continue to widen its support for undocumented immigrants, despite these criticisms.

Supporters say the expansion makes economic sense. Currently, when undocumented individuals delay care, they can end up in the emergency room. If they are unable to pay, those costs are passed on to taxpayers.


California state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, said during a May Senate session that some of the people the expansion covers would have gotten sick whether the expansion occurred or not. She said the expansion was good policy because it is treating those people in a more cost-effective manner. Now those young adults will be able to get care at a primary care office rather than seeking more expensive care at an emergency room, which taxpayers would have ended up paying for.

State Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, said he hopes this expansion is just the start to what California might do, including exploring options to provide health coverage to all undocumented immigrants.

The expansion widens the gap between California’s approach to health care and the federal government’s tack under President Trump, who has rolled back various directives that were put in place under the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, transgender protections and rules on what small businesses must provide for their employees.

Kay Hillery, 83, of Indian Wells, said she believes the state can’t afford to spend money on health coverage for undocumented young adults when Americans who are homeless, veterans and seniors still have great needs.

“We have a huge homeless population that need access to mental health care, and they can’t get it because it’s not funded,” she said. “We need to help our own people.”

Hillery, who identified herself as a Republican, lives in a part of Riverside County represented by state Sen. Jeff Stone. Stone, also a Republican, made similar arguments when the Legislature was considering the matter.

“We have a Medi-Cal system, a health care-delivery system, that is completely dysfunctional in the state of California. What we pay our physicians to take care of our most vulnerable populations through our Medi-Cal program is still so sub-standard that physicians won’t sign up to take the plan,” Stone said in a May Senate session.

Stone worries that providing health insurance for more undocumented individuals “will be a magnet that will further attract people to the state of California.” He said California “is willing to write a blank check for anyone who wants to be here.”

Paulette Cha, a health policy expert for the Public Policy Institute of California, said it is unlikely that the expansion will attract more undocumented individuals to California who are specifically seeking out health care.

“It’s worthwhile to compare this expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented young adults to the 2016 expansion to undocumented children,” Cha said. “That was a much larger expansion, and we did not see an increase of immigrants because of that. The numbers have actually declined since then.”

In 2016, the first year undocumented children could enroll in Medi-Cal, just under 1 million kids were signed up. In 2017, that number was 1.59 million; in 2018, 1.57 million. If 2019 numbers continue their current trajectory, the year-end total would be nearly 1.54 million children.

Cha said immigration is not being pushed by health care but by gang violence and poverty in other countries.

But Stone said that given the state’s limited funds, providing better health care to citizens should be prioritized first, especially those who are homeless and living in deep poverty.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t be humanitarian and take care of other people,” he said. “But it means we need to take care of our citizens first.”

Other local Republican politicians agreed.

Expanding Medi-Cal to undocumented individuals and burdening the system further is not the answer, said Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner, a Republican who served in the state Assembly for six years and was a member of the Assembly Health Committee. He said Newsom’s proposal to expand Medi-Cal to undocumented adults is troubling.

“When we have finite resources, the priority should be to provide health care access to the folks who are here, have insurance and are following the rules,” he said. “If these people are unable to get proper access, then that’s simply not fair.”

The solution may lie in public-private collaborations, Wagner said.

“Hospitals, insurance companies and the government should work together,” he said. “The solutions we find should be economically viable.”

Others pushed back against other health care changes signed into law by Newsom. State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, said he is against burdening Californians with the individual mandate or tax penalty for being uninsured.

“Families need health care, but because they cannot fit it into their budget, they are paying the tax penalty instead,” he said. “The individual mandate is regressive and has a much greater impact on a poor person’s budget than a wealthier person’s budget.”

Moorlach, who served on the board of Cal-Optima (Orange County’s Medi-Cal administrator) for four years, says the solution may lie in strengthening health care access through Medi-Cal. Moorlach also praised the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Clinics for its work in bringing health care to low-income and underserved families, including the uninsured.

“We have a model that is already working,” he said, adding that the focus should be on improving health care access to those who are already on Medi-Cal.

The Uncovered California project results from an innovative reporting venture – the USC Center for Health Journalism News Collaborative – which involves print and broadcast outlets across California, all reporting together on the state’s uninsured. Outlets include newspapers from the McClatchy Corp., Gannett Co., Southern California News Group, and La Opinion, as well as broadcasters at Univision and Capital Public Radio.


California’s stem cell center hasn’t delivered, shouldn’t get more taxpayer money


The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has spent almost all of the $3 billion in bond proceeds California voters authorized in 2004 and seems likely to ask voters to approve more borrowing in 2020 to continue its stem cell research. But, before taxpayers give the institute a new blank check, Californians should consider how well the original $3 billion was spent, whether the case for a state-specific research institute still exists today, and whether general obligation bonds are appropriate for this project.

In 1998, a team at the University of Wisconsin extracted stem cells from human embryos for the first time. An article in the journal Science heralded the possibility that these cells could be used to repair blood, bone and other tissues. While scientists were excited, pro-life advocates expressed opposition to using stem cells derived from embryos for taxpayer-funded research. In 2001, then-President George W. Bush issued an executive order restricting federal funding for stem cell research. Under the order, public money could only be used for research on existing lines of embryonic stem cells; no new cell lines could be harvested.

In California, however, scientists bristled at this restriction and devised a way to circumvent it: create a stem cell research institute in the state, which could be funded by a $3 billion voter-approved bond. The bond campaign, led by Robert Klein, who would go on to serve as chairman of CIRM, raised $34 million to promote the measure with promises of miracle cures. Voters approved Proposition 71 in 2004 by a wide margin to fund CIRM.

Unfortunately, reality has not lived up to the hype. Last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that CIRM funding had failed to produce a single federally-approved therapy. And a 2015 State Controller’s Office audit found the institute failed to take adequate steps to ensure that scientists reviewing grant applications did not have conflicts of interest. Given these results, State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, called Proposition 71 “the most egregious ballot measure abuse in recent state history.”

But despite the lack of results and management deficiencies, CIRM is planning to ask voters for another $5 billion in bond money in 2020. Before being swayed by more stories of sick children and others who might someday possibly benefit if CIRM research develops cures to diseases, voters should consider whether the case for a California-specific stem cell research center presented in 2004 still applies today.

Much has changed since the first ballot measure passed. First, in 2009, then-President Barrack Obama reversed his predecessor’s executive order and allowed federal funding for research on newly harvested stem cell lines. Although President Donald Trump has more recently restricted research on fetal tissue, he has not resurrected the Bush-era policy. Further, an alternative to embryonic stem cells has since emerged.

In 2007, a team of Japanese scientists showed that adult skin cells could be reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells by altering just four of their genes. With federal restrictions repealed and alternative sources of stem cells available, various private, non-profit and academic stem cell centers are now thriving across the country. And, in retrospect, it seems unnecessary for Californians to have spent so much money on embryonic stem cells.

Generally, these stem cell bonds are inconsistent with the rationale for issuing general obligation bonds. The state might reasonably issue bonds for infrastructure projects, which will benefit taxpayers over the long-term but California should not burden future taxpayers by raising venture capital for uncertain scientific research. While bridges and dams with useful lives of decades are good candidates for long-term financing, CIRM hasn’t produced long-term benefits yet. Instead of borrowing more money that future generations of Californians will be obligated to repay, it’s time to admit funding CIRM with borrowed money was a mistake.

Marc Joffe is senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

471 Central Elementary 41,724 ($841) 849 378
472 Fallbrook Union Elementary 65,158 ($843) 407 -65
473 Anaheim Union High 410,401 ($845) 463 -10
474 Gratton Elementary 579 ($848) 687 213
475 Bellevue Union 25,564 ($850) 373 -102
476 Oxnard Union High 328,907 ($850) 392 -84
477 Monroe Elementary 1,255 ($851) 235 -242
478 Clay Joint Elementary 530 ($852) 330 -148
479 Reef-Sunset Unified 16,898 ($858) 443 -36
480 Keppel Union Elementary 21,637 ($859) 513 33
481 Alpine Union Elementary 19,700 ($860) 551 70
482 Sonoma Valley Unified 40,860 ($861) 458 -24
483 Cajon Valley Union 173,535 ($862) 431 -52
484 John Swett Unified 15,188 ($863) 538 54
485 San Ysidro Elementary 44,949 ($864) 255 -230
486 Palo Verde Unified 26,885 ($864) 525 39
487 Garden Grove Unified 290,408 ($865) 403 -84
488 Ferndale Unified 2,894 ($866) 496 8
489 Dunham Elementary 834 ($868) 589 100
490 Chaffey Joint Union High 419,942 ($870) 323 -167
491 Twin Hills Union Elementary 5,904 ($874) 715 224
492 Sulphur Springs Union 63,113 ($874) 469 -23
493 Bradley Union Elementary 465 ($877) 729 236
494 West Covina Unified 60,241 ($880) 522 28
495 Pacific Union Elementary 3,182 ($883) 199 -296
496 Eureka Union 29,743 ($885) 592 96
497 Westside Union Elementary 74,234 ($887) 528 31
498 Standard Elementary 24,369 ($887) 684 186
499 Alisal Union 60,430 ($888) 553 54
500 Orchard Elementary 19,621 ($893) 115 -385
501 Rancho Santa Fe Elementary 6,381 ($898) 280 -221
502 Pioneer Union Elementary 10,716 ($898) 556 54
503 East Nicolaus Joint Union High 2,752 ($899) 617 114
504 Upper Lake Unified 8,821 ($900) 769 265
505 Fall River Joint Unified 8,100 ($901) 508 3
506 Tulare City 63,283 ($901) 506 0
507 Orcutt Union Elementary 38,339 ($902) 462 -45
508 Novato Unified 60,565 ($903) 552 44
509 Lafayette Elementary 29,056 ($908) 561 52
510 Brittan Elementary 3,638 ($908) 626 116
511 Cabrillo Unified 27,306 ($909) 563 52
512 Tehachapi Unified 37,452 ($909) 493 -19
513 El Centro Elementary 40,431 ($913) 474 -39
514 Esparto Unified 6,472 ($915) 594 80
515 Lemon Grove 37,184 ($920) 267 -248
516 La Mesa-Spring Valley 141,198 ($920) 494 -22
517 La Habra City Elementary 54,504 ($924) 517 0
518 Round Valley Unified 2,611 ($924) 356 -162
519 Castaic Union 31,484 ($925) 624 105
520 Hope Elementary 725 ($926) 511 -9
521 Brisbane Elementary 8,954 ($926) 420 -101
522 Acton-Agua Dulce Unified 13,044 ($926) 656 134
523 Corcoran Joint Unified 25,709 ($927) 577 54
524 Paradise Unified 41,030 ($928) 467 -57
525 Elverta Joint Elementary 3,132 ($931) 503 -22
526 Princeton Joint Unified 1,107 ($931) 282 -244
527 Pasadena Unified 209,496 ($934) 543 16
528 Scott Valley Unified 5,185 ($937) 689 161
529 Whittier City Elementary 69,883 ($938) 468 -61
530 Tustin Unified 139,143 ($939) 574 44
531 Banning Unified 37,047 ($942) 625 94
532 Beardsley Elementary 18,160 ($943) 549 17
533 Geyserville Unified 1,817 ($944) 484 -49
534 Lucerne Valley Unified 7,069 ($944) 437 -97
535 Hanford Elementary 43,649 ($948) 531 -4
536 Dry Creek Joint Elementary 58,003 ($950) 634 98
537 Cuyama Joint Unified 1,337 ($952) 749 212
538 Central Union Elementary 10,699 ($953) 440 -98
539 Live Oak Unified 10,721 ($953) 847 308
540 Western Placer Unified 55,354 ($953) 596 56
541 Glendale Unified 221,360 ($954) 419 -122
542 Plumas Lake Elementary 6,507 ($956) 865 323
543 Cold Spring Elementary 3,117 ($957) 655 112
544 Escondido Union 174,095 ($957) 537 -7
545 Hollister 46,622 ($959) 534 -11
546 College Elementary 6,158 ($962) 673 127
547 Apple Valley Unified 82,358 ($963) 541 -6
548 Corning Union Elementary 14,753 ($964) 628 80
549 Burrel Union Elementary 555 ($964) 554 5
550 Ramona City Unified 38,057 ($966) 540 -10
551 Gonzales Unified 11,864 ($967) 490 -61
552 Ocean View 97,500 ($970) 558 6
553 Madera Unified 91,364 ($970) 477 -76
554 Ravenswood City Elementary 37,562 ($971) 454 -100
555 San Pasqual Union Elementary 3,486 ($972) 668 113
556 Thermalito Union Elementary 12,345 ($972) 435 -121
557 Berryessa Union Elementary 86,424 ($973) 416 -141
558 Cupertino Union 150,770 ($977) 629 71
559 Sunnyside Union Elementary 2,385 ($978) 497 -62
560 Little Lake City Elementary 34,942 ($979) 564 4
561 William S. Hart Union High 276,559 ($980) 611 50
562 Wilsona Elementary 10,505 ($982) 495 -67
563 Calipatria Unified 10,880 ($983) 335 -228
564 Lawndale Elementary 49,830 ($984) 547 -17


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MOORLACH UPDATE — CIRM and School District’s Group 5 — September 26, 2019


It’s always a big compliment when you’re invited to submit an editorial on a subject for a longtime newspaper of stature in the state.  The San Diego Union-Tribune requested my thoughts on the possibility of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) plans to put another bond measure on the 2020 ballot to replenish its slush fund.  It’s the first piece below.

CIRM recently announced intentions to encumber Californians with another $5.5 billion in debt, plus interest (see MOORLACH UPDATE — CIRM, Completing and Curriculum — August 15, 2019). Debt payments would be around $250 million to $350 million a year from the general fund.

I was one of the three individuals who signed the argument against Proposition 71, the ballot measure that established CIRM in 2004 with a $3 billion bond. This was the first statewide ballot measure I got involved with.  I felt that it would be a boondoggle, as most of the serious stem cell patents had already been filed by the University of Wisconsin and this newly established entity would have no oversight. Regretfully, my worst fears were realized and the San Francisco Chronicle did an excellent job of critiquing this poster child for ballot measure abuse last year (see  MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1004 and CIRM — September 10, 2018).

California has enough debt.  The Golden State has the second-largest unrestricted net deficit and placed 42nd when compared on a per capita basis (see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2018 State Per Capita UNPs — August 22, 2019  and MOORLACH UPDATE — Hart, Handy and OPEBs — August 29, 2019, where I announce the slight adjustment to Illinois’ unrestricted net deficit due to its finally releasing its CAFR).

For another study on the 50 states, reflecting that my per capita metric is fairly reliable, see Truth in Accounting’s just released report at  Using a different methodology from mine, they come to a similar ranking, placing California 43rd.

Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce

The Daily Pilot announces my upcoming October speaking engagement with the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce in the second piece below.

School District Ranking – Group 5 – #377 to #470  

Releasing Group 5 brings us to the halfway point.  It would be better if your school district were in the top half.  Orange County has two more districts that make it to this category, #466 – Los Alamitos Unified and #468 – Cypress Elementary.  For links to the first 4 groups, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Reducing Debt Transparency? — September 25, 2019. It’s the third piece below.


Commentary: Why stem-cell research funding proposal is a waste of taxpayer money

Promises not kept, conflicts abound


Like a spendthrift dependent, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is back and looking for more money. With its original Proposition 71 funds of $3 billion running out, beneficiaries of CIRM are looking to draw out another $5.5 billion in taxpayer-funded bonds for stem-cell research that after 15 years has produced close to no results.

In 2004, as Orange County’s treasurer-tax collector, I took a public stand against Proposition 71 as a waste of the taxpayers’ money. I believed then, as now, that it was an inurement subsidy on the backs of taxpayers. It was ballot measure abuse at its finest.

Also opposing Proposition 71 were taxpayer and good-government groups, as well as the California Nurses Association and the Green Party.

In 2019, we can look back at the record of the 2004 measure, which Hollywood actors sold to voters with unrealistic promises and pleas, and surmise the same results will be repeated but at a higher cost.

Why? First, the lack of promised outcomes. “The agency has since funded 55 clinical trials, but only one therapy … is likely to hit the market any time soon,” Nature reported in July.

In September 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed the agency’s nearly 1,000 grants, concluding there was no “predicted windfall.” Instead, most of the money went to “basic research, training programs and building new laboratories, not to clinical trials testing the kinds of potential cures and therapies the billions of dollars were supposed to deliver.”

Second is the lack of promised returns. The only royalty check for new discoveries was in March 2018 for $190,345.87.

Third is the excessive payouts to the measure’s promoters and beneficiaries due to no accountability of CIRM, expressly written into the measure, from either the Legislature or the governor’s office.

Former state Sen. Art Torres, although not a scientist, is vice-chair of the CIRM governing board, earning an annual paycheck of $225,000.

Financier Robert Klein, who initiated Proposition 71 and contributed $3 million to its campaign, was CIRM’s chairman from 2004 to 2011. In 2008, he was granted a “half-time” salary of $150,000 a year.

The Chronicle investigation found board members “abstained from voting on grants roughly 1,770 times since 2006 due to reported financial conflicts.”

Researcher Lloyd Billingsley reported that “91 percent of CIRM funding went to institutions with representatives on the CIRM board.”

Federal income tax law prohibits private inurement, i.e., receiving excessive benefits from a nonprofit.

Fourth is the massive amount of tax dollars invested in a “dry hole.” Not only was the $3 billion for the research a bust, but taxpayers will be paying interest on the principal until 2039. California Treasurer Fiona Ma’s office told me the cost of the interest on the $2.59 billion of principal already spent will be $836.6 million. Interest rates lower than anticipated in 2004 kept that below the original $3 billion estimate.

That’s money that could have gone for housing for the homeless, paying off pension liabilities or having more teachers in schools.

Fifth, the private sector is the proper venue for risk-takers trying to make a return on potential stem cell cures.

In 2020, it would be an added folly to pass $5.5 billion in new bonds, plus interest, to keep CIRM open. Yet that’s what Klein and others are considering putting on the ballot next year.

This time, expect more stories making emotional appeals. As I expressed in 2004, this measure is a self-serving stunt and a corporate subsidy on the backs of taxpayers.

If asked to sign a petition, I strongly urge Californians to refuse to back this initiative. Fool us once.

Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Legislature.

Moorlach to speak in Corona del Mar

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) will deliver a State of the State address at a Good Morning Corona del Mar meeting from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive.

The free public event, presented by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, will include complimentary refreshments and updates from representatives of local legislative offices.

377 Chualar Union 2,228 ($655) 165 -212
378 Borrego Springs Unified 4,172 ($656) 473 95
379 Perris Elementary 51,990 ($660) 386 7
380 Loomis Union Elementary 23,325 ($661) 470 90
381 Coast Unified 10,322 ($662) 631 250
382 San Jose Unified 273,335 ($662) 466 84
383 Central Union High 60,573 ($663) 287 -96
384 Pope Valley Union Elementary 793 ($665) 411 27
385 Whittier Union High 225,755 ($665) 258 -127
386 Sequoia Union High 261,419 ($666) 331 -55
387 Rosemead Elementary 28,126 ($667) 365 -22
388 Escondido Union High 177,581 ($667) 360 -28
389 Forestville Union Elementary 6,834 ($669) 455 66
390 Amador County Unified 38,626 ($669) 414 24
391 Alta Loma Elementary 57,654 ($670) 325 -66
392 Two Rock Union 1,745 ($671) 486 94
393 Oak Valley Union Elementary 1,459 ($674) 320 -73
394 Yosemite Unified 24,893 ($674) 428 34
395 Cambrian 32,850 ($679) 241 -154
396 Gateway Unified 29,936 ($681) 355 -41
397 South Bay Union 81,726 ($684) 193 -204
398 Newhall 76,378 ($693) 359 -39
399 Moraga Elementary 17,700 ($693) 546 147
400 Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified 54,453 ($693) 422 22
401 Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High 57,689 ($695) 457 56
402 Franklin-McKinley Elementary 97,698 ($696) 447 45
403 Luther Burbank 4,161 ($698) 444 41
404 Santa Barbara Unified 194,640 ($700) 445 41
405 West Side Union Elementary 1,009 ($700) 465 60
406 Ross Valley Elementary 24,272 ($702) 434 28
407 Lagunitas Elementary 3,764 ($705) 439 32
408 Merced City Elementary 88,990 ($709) 338 -70
409 Morongo Unified 72,933 ($711) 509 100
410 Acalanes Union High 118,221 ($712) 438 28
411 Helendale Elementary 6,766 ($712) 476 65
412 Westmorland Union Elementary 2,730 ($713) 481 69
413 Antelope Elementary 5,746 ($717) 453 40
414 Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary 3,954 ($721) 757 343
415 Gold Trail Union Elementary 6,051 ($723) 523 108
416 Tipton Elementary 3,412 ($725) 430 14
417 Santee School District 61,134 ($727) 406 -11
418 Millville Elementary 1,599 ($727) 429 11
419 Spreckels Union Elementary 6,706 ($731) 395 -24
420 Alview-Dairyland Union Elementary 1,859 ($732) 539 119
421 Westwood Unified 1,627 ($732) 228 -193
422 Alum Rock Union Elementary 119,834 ($733) 472 50
423 Summerville Elementary 4,391 ($735) 483 60
424 Gerber Union Elementary 3,481 ($737) 266 -158
425 Etiwanda Elementary 92,259 ($740) 448 23
426 Santa Maria-Bonita 103,991 ($740) 378 -48
427 Kernville Union Elementary 12,311 ($743) 178 -249
428 Livingston Union 16,557 ($752) 345 -83
429 Sundale Union Elementary 2,460 ($755) 639 210
430 Buckeye Union Elementary 37,867 ($757) 512 82
431 San Rafael City Elementary 56,743 ($761) 488 57
432 Menifee Union Elementary 86,768 ($762) 475 43
433 Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary 12,546 ($765) 456 23
434 Union Elementary 48,135 ($769) 385 -49
435 East Whittier City Elementary 75,579 ($771) 471 36
436 Salinas City Elementary 81,923 ($773) 381 -55
437 McSwain Union Elementary 5,778 ($775) 342 -95
438 Waugh Elementary 6,583 ($775) 529 91
439 Manzanita Elementary 1,148 ($783) 516 77
440 Ocean View 18,164 ($783) 839 399
441 Roseville City Elementary 91,553 ($783) 499 58
442 Seeley Union Elementary 3,133 ($790) 600 158
443 Mariposa County Unified 17,347 ($791) 391 -52
444 Los Gatos Union Elementary 29,586 ($792) 400 -44
445 Vallecitos Elementary 2,328 ($792) 317 -128
446 Enterprise Elementary 32,626 ($795) 432 -14
447 Jacoby Creek Elementary 2,678 ($800) 682 235
448 Mesa Union Elementary 3,848 ($801) 436 -12
449 Oroville City Elementary 28,363 ($803) 425 -24
450 Mountain Valley Unified 2,870 ($803) 590 140
451 Rescue Union Elementary 35,588 ($804) 555 104
452 Centinela Valley Union High 156,241 ($805) 727 275
453 Cloverdale Unified 11,131 ($808) 347 -106
454 Pacifica 39,411 ($809) 372 -82
455 Kingsburg Joint Union High 18,505 ($809) 358 -97
456 Washington Union Elementary 7,305 ($810) 519 63
457 Redondo Beach Unified 69,280 ($811) 739 282
458 Dixie Elementary 21,997 ($813) 515 57
459 Nuestro Elementary 316 ($814) 487 28
460 San Gabriel Unified 43,236 ($818) 657 197
461 Sylvan Union Elementary 76,545 ($820) 504 43
462 Ackerman Charter 2,855 ($822) 18 -444
463 Hydesville Elementary 1,386 ($823) 527 64
464 Turlock Unified 86,203 ($824) 559 95
465 Potter Valley Community Unified 2,078 ($826) 550 85
466 Los Alamitos Unified 50,834 ($832) 426 -40
467 Live Oak Elementary 23,633 ($835) 489 22
468 Cypress Elementary 47,025 ($837) 423 -45
469 Byron Union Elementary 16,360 ($838) 482 13
470 Lemoore Union Elementary 25,893 ($840) 479 9


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach