San Jose Mayor to Trump; Ship Your Illegal Aliens to Us—WE LOVE THEM

President Trump has stated he is thinking about sending illegal aliens to sanctuary cities.  Remember, President Obama sent tens of thousands of illegal alien children to 49 States—only Hawaii did not get any.  I think these were the first illegal aliens seen by Alaskans.  Now, the Mayor of San Jose is loving it—he wants them.

“In the same week South Bay labor leaders slammed him for wanting to weaken local sanctuary policies, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo made national headlines for telling President Donald Trump in a tweet how much he supports undocumented immigrants.

“We welcome any families willing to endure such extraordinary hardships and to take such tremendous risks to be a part of our great country,” Liccardo tweeted, appending the statement with the hashtags #VamosSanJose and #WeAreSanJose.

I bet San Jose can take thousands of illegal aliens.  Heck, mark Zuckerberg has a gigantic mansion—with a wall—he can take a couple thousand and they would be safe behind the wall.  L.A. County lost over 14,000 in population in the last year—it could take at least that many more illegal aliens!

Maria Ortiz, at left, a Mexican immigrant has been living in the United States for 23 years. “I am single. I work so hard to stay. I never needed support from the government,” Ortiz said. She is not a citizen and works as a janitor, she said during an immigration protest outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office in Brea. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – Shot 111713 – immig.fast.11.19 Advocates for immigration reform will camp our near the office of Rep. Ed Royce for five days, where they will stage a fast. They are asking OC’s Republican leaders in Congress to publicly support an overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws, including the so-called pathway to citizenship that would create a process for some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally the right to become citizens.

Mayor Sam Liccardo to Trump: San Jose Welcomes Migrants

By Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Inside,   4/12/19 

After taking flak for his stance on local sanctuary policy, Sam Liccardo made the news for expressing support for migrants at the border.

In the same week South Bay labor leaders slammed him for wanting to weaken local sanctuary policies, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo made national headlines for telling President Donald Trump in a tweet how much he supports undocumented immigrants.

“We welcome any families willing to endure such extraordinary hardships and to take such tremendous risks to be a part of our great country,” Liccardo tweeted, appending the statement with the hashtags #VamosSanJose and #WeAreSanJose.

The mayor’s comment came in response to a Washington Post article and Trump’s declaration on Twitter Friday that his administration is giving “strong considerations to placing illegal immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only.”

Trump added: “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy—so this should make them very happy!”

While officials in San Francisco and Oakland objected to Trump’s threats of using immigrants as pawns, Liccardo took a different tack by saying send them on over.

Sanctuary policies prevent local police agencies and jails from being deputized to enforce federal immigration laws. In Santa Clara County, the sanctuary rules go beyond the statewide standard by also prohibiting local police from notifying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about release dates of undocumented inmates convicted in the past decade of serious or violent crimes.

That local standard came under renewed scrutiny with the Feb. 28 murder of 59-year-old South San Jose resident Bambi Larson, the arrest of 24-year-old undocumented immigrant Carlos Arevalo-Carranza in connection to the crime and revelations that he had been released multiple times from jail twice in the preceding months.

In response, county supervisors Dave Cortese and Mike Wasserman brought forward a proposal to align local policy with state law by allowing local authorities to tell ICE about release dates for inmates with certain criminal convictions. That wouldn’t have prevented Arevalo-Carranza from walking free before Larson’s slaying, as he didn’t have any statutorily defined “serious or violent” convictions to his name. Regardless, a whole host of local leaders—Liccardo among them—joined the chorus demanding such a change.

“Should there be changes to the county policy, they would apply only to violent criminals—not to our predominantly law-abiding immigrant community,” the mayor wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week that included a translation in Spanish. “I also want to assure our residents that I will continue supporting our immigrant community and work to ensure everyone’s rights—regardless of their legal status—are protected.”

Though Liccardo was far from the only one to espouse that view, the South Bay Labor Council singled him out in a resolution Thursday condemning his rhetoric as divisive and damaging. “Sam Liccardo is using the tragic death of Bambi Larson to conflate immigration and crime,” it reads before calling on him to “stop his demagoguery.”

Nothing in the rebuke goes after every single police chief in the South Bay, District Attorney Jeff Rosen or San Jose Councilman Johnny Khamis. Also absent is any mention of the four out of five county supervisors—including labor-aligned Cortese and Cindy Chavez—who voted for exploring ways to chip away at local sanctuary policies.

Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ out at Yankee Stadium over racist songs

I grew up in The Bronx, New York near Yankee Stadium.  Until I came to California I wanted to be the second baseman for the Yankees.  Now, I am too embarrassed to ever watch them again—and will probably stop watching baseball at all.  The Yankees have determined that Kate Smith singing the Irving Berlin song, “G-d Bess America” is wrong—she was “potentially a racist.  No, she was not a racist, just a potential one.  Yet a self proclaimed COMMUNIST, a black man, also sung a “racists song, the same that Smith sung.

“The Yankees have decided to no longer run Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” during their seventh-inning stretch because of Smith’s affiliation with songs that carried racist lyrics.

Most famously, Smith sang a 1931 song, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which opened: “Someone had to pick the cotton, Someone had to pick the corn, Someone had to slave and be able to sing, That’s why darkies were born.”

The song, which has been called a satirical take on racism, was a big hit for Smith, and also was recorded by Paul Robeson.

When the Yankees last month became aware of Smith’s history, they switched to a keyboard version of “God Bless America.”

Guilt by singing the SAME song as a black Communist—this is just sick.  Baseball used to be fun, now it sounds like it represents the views of the Congresswoman for that district—Alexandria Cortez—AOC.

Photo courtesy Fabi Fliervoet, flickr

Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ out at Yankee Stadium over racist songs

By Post Staff Report, 4/18/19  nt=20190419&tpcc=morning_report&mpweb=755-7792909-711685586

The Yankees have decided to no longer run Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” during their seventh-inning stretch because of Smith’s affiliation with songs that carried racist lyrics.

Most famously, Smith sang a 1931 song, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which opened: “Someone had to pick the cotton, Someone had to pick the corn, Someone had to slave and be able to sing, That’s why darkies were born.”

The song, which has been called a satirical take on racism, was a big hit for Smith, and also was recorded by Paul Robeson.

When the Yankees last month became aware of Smith’s history, they switched to a keyboard version of “God Bless America.”

The Yankees have played the song in the middle of every game since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the insistence of late owner George Steinbrenner.

In 2009, the Yankees cut ties with singer Ronan Tynan, who had made numerous appearances at the Stadium to sing “God Bless America,” after he was alleged to have made anti-Semitic comments.

Laguna Beach votes to keep American flag on police cars

In the heart of conservative Republican Orange County, the Democrats in 2018 won several congressional and assembly seats and lost a seat on the Board of Supervisors.  So, it should not be a surprise when the Laguna Beach police want to put an American flag on their cop cars—and that is controversial.  To Democrats supporting the Constitution and our nation is controversial.  This is the latest effort to globalize our nation, by denying our freedom and sovereign nation.

“The Laguna Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to retain a new logo for its 11 police vehicles that uses stars and stripes running through the word “police” on the doors.

Some in the small community thought the flashy red, white and blue decal was too aggressive and flashy while others were surprised that anyone would object to the American flag. The council considered whether to keep the design or choose another.”

When the American flag becomes controversial, you know we are in trouble.  When it becomes controversial in Orange County, you know the Left is bigger than we thought.

Laguna Beach votes to keep American flag on police cars

By Bradford Betz, | Fox News, 4/16/19

Laguna Beach councilman defends putting American flag graphic on police vehicles

A Southern California coastal city voted Tuesday to keep the American flag on its police cars despite some residents’ objections that it might offend immigrants.

The Laguna Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to retain a new logo for its 11 police vehicles that uses stars and stripes running through the word “police” on the doors.

Some in the small community thought the flashy red, white and blue decal was too aggressive and flashy while others were surprised that anyone would object to the American flag. The council considered whether to keep the design or choose another.

In a crowded council chamber on Tuesday, virtually everyone in the room raised their hand when asked if they supported the design, video shows. When a lonely hand dissented, the crowd could be heard chuckling.

Before the meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow told the Los Angeles Times the council was simply facing “a very narrow decision” about the brightness of the colors, but that the issue had devolved into a broader national conversation about patriotism.

He said he has received hundreds of emails from people around the country, mostly in support of keeping the flag designs on the car.

“Clearly, the way it looks on the car is not what anyone expected it to look like,” Dicterow said. “I think it’s reasonable that we’re going to look at it again so that whatever we (approve) is exactly what we put on the car.”

California’s Unaffordable “Affordable” Housing Scandal

California and its cities are spending billions on affordable housing.  That means the cost of market priced housing goes up to pay for this or to pay for the lost profits from being forced to build money losing housing units.  This is part of the reason we have a 3.5 million unit housing shortage—builders do not want to invest in California since the laws keep changing, the costs keep going up and government, not the market place tells them what they can build.

“Ten paragraphs down, the problem is revealed, but not questioned: “By one metric, it would cost $12.7 billion to solve the problem. That’s the price tag to build a new unit of permanent housing for each of the 28,200 residents reported as homeless in the Bay Area in 2017, according to the report. The calculation assumes mid-range construction costs of $450,000 per unit.”

Questions should abound. Four hundred and fifty thousand dollars per person? Why is only one person going to live in each of these subsidized units? And why does a housing unit have to cost nearly a half-million dollars? You can buy a ridiculously overpriced four bedroom home in San Jose for under a million dollars, but you can’t build a studio apartment for less than a half-million? Why?

This isn’t an isolated example. The same problem exists in Los Angeles County, where the average per unit costs for “permanent supportive housing” for homeless people is also around a half-million. As reported by NPR, “The PATH Ventures project in East Hollywood has an estimated per-unit cost of $440,000. Even with real estate prices soaring, that’s as much as a single-family home in many places in Southern California. Other HHH projects cost more than $500,000 a unit.”

Housing crisis?  Look for the government label.

California’s Unaffordable “Affordable” Housing Scandal

Journalists reporting on the issue don’t spend enough time questioning the numbers

By Edward Ring, California Globe,   4/18/19 

When discussing the seemingly intractable and growing problem of homeless people living in California, journalists reporting on the issue don’t spend enough time questioning the numbers, much less the policies driving the insane numbers. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury provides a perfect example.

The article gets off to a good start with a provocative, and very informative title. “How much would it cost to house the Bay Area’s homeless? Try $12.7 billion.” Then paragraph two leads off with another bit of vital quantitative information, “With 28,200 homeless residents, the nine-county Bay Area has the fifth-highest concentration of homelessness in the country.”

Ten paragraphs down, the problem is revealed, but not questioned: “By one metric, it would cost $12.7 billion to solve the problem. That’s the price tag to build a new unit of permanent housing for each of the 28,200 residents reported as homeless in the Bay Area in 2017, according to the report. The calculation assumes mid-range construction costs of $450,000 per unit.”

Questions should abound. Four hundred and fifty thousand dollars per person? Why is only one person going to live in each of these subsidized units? And why does a housing unit have to cost nearly a half-million dollars? You can buy a ridiculously overpriced four bedroom home in San Jose for under a million dollars, but you can’t build a studio apartment for less than a half-million? Why?

This isn’t an isolated example. The same problem exists in Los Angeles County, where the average per unit costs for “permanent supportive housing” for homeless people is also around a half-million. As reported by NPR, “The PATH Ventures project in East Hollywood has an estimated per-unit cost of $440,000. Even with real estate prices soaring, that’s as much as a single-family home in many places in Southern California. Other HHH projects cost more than $500,000 a unit.”

This is a scam, disguised as compassion.

Developers accept public money to build these projects. Cities and counties collect outrageous building fees. The buildings are then handed off to nonprofits with long term contracts to run them. Politicians accept campaign contributions from the developers and the nonprofits. Where are the journalists? Where is the withering criticism? Why isn’t this a scandal?

Why is the national average construction cost per new apartment unit somewhere between $65,000 and $85,000, yet it costs five to 10 times that much in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties? Why do we accept this?

Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost.

Earlier this week, Sue Frost, a Sacramento County Supervisor, spoke about California’s housing crisis to a taxpayers group. Her litany of reasons why housing is so expensive, and why the related problem of homelessness is so intractable, was comprehensive and depressing. It ranged from extreme environmentalist mandates such as the California Environmental Quality Act, to absurdly high fees for building permits (often equal in cost to the value of the materials used in construction), to unchecked immigration, to restrictive zoning, to numerous court orders. Even as Frost limited her remarks to summary bullet points, it took several minutes for her to recite all the causes. But in every case, it was government policies that created this nightmare, and in every case, they were policies largely unique to California.

How to Waste Taxpayer Funds

One of the “creative” solutions Sacramento County has adopted to increase the supply of housing is to streamline the process for homeowners to build “accessory dwelling units” in their backyards. At the same time, Sacramento County is funding the conversion of homes in residential neighborhoods into group homes for homeless people.

All of this sounds wonderful. But it is the path of least resistance, adopted in lieu of making fundamental reforms either through legislation or litigation. This path of least resistance means cities and counties will waste billions on new “affordable” housing for low income and homeless people. At a half-million per unit, however, spending billions will not even make a dent in the homeless population, even as it enriches developers, well-heeled nonprofits, and the campaign coffers of compliant local politicians.

Then, since those billions are wasted, they will seed residential neighborhoods with subsidized group homes for a homeless population that is, according Supervisor Frost, 50 percent mentally ill and 30 percent criminal. These group homes are run by private entrepreneurs who are, in effect, state sanctioned predators that destroy peaceful residential streets. They become inordinately enriched by cramming people into these group homes and collecting reimbursement from the government.

Similarly, Sacramento County’s supervisors have implemented an aggressive interpretation of a new state law designed to streamline the process for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (“ADUs”) on their properties. There is nothing “accessory” about many of these new ADUs. Often they are full size homes, with their own garage, driveway, utilities, and address. All too frequently, ADU ordinances, for all practical purposes, subdivide a property in violation of zoning laws that residents relied on when they bought their homes. Equally problematic, because these lots are not actually, legally subdivided, both homes on the properties become permanent rentals.

This is happening all over the state. In Southern California, Los Angeles County has launched a program to pay homeowners to build granny flats for the homeless in their backyards. Consider the unintended consequences: Once two or more units are permitted on lots that were previously restricted to single family dwellings, these properties become worth more if they’re converted to permanent, government subsidized rentals.

Remember the “blockbusting” of the 1960s and 1970s? That was an ugly affair. Expect the same displacement in the 2020s, except it will be entirely legal. And this time, as private investors and their accomplices in real estate and the government bureaucracy convert entire residential neighborhoods into multi-family lots, they will receive government subsidies to do the conversion, then the government will pay them again to subsidize the rent they collect as landlords.

To recap: Billions are wasted constructing a handful of ridiculously expensive new housing units, then, since that makes no difference whatsoever, established residential neighborhoods are destabilized and ultimately destroyed thanks to laws enabling opportunistic investors, cashing in on government subsidies, to convert random homes into halfway houses, homeless shelters, and subdivide properties with ADUs. Nobody is safe. Welcome to California in the 2020s.

None of this is a moral choice. It disrespects the residents of these neighborhoods who have worked hard their entire lives to pay for the privilege of living a safe and tranquil environment. Moreover, these residents who are betrayed in this manner have worked far harder than they should have had to (to pay their mortgages) because of California’s state and local government policies which are to the primary cause of overpriced housing.

If a majority of local elected officials in just one major city or county in California mustered the courage to challenge the laws that have needlessly caused California’s housing shortage and homeless crisis, and litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, they could overturn some of these laws, in order to pursue far more cost effective options.

Housing Solution

For example, for the homeless, here is an alternative that could cost-effectively solve the entire problem within months, not years or decades: You can house homeless people in durable $399 10-foot-by-10-foot tents, sleeping on durable $75 cots, four per tent. You can position $649 porta potties to service these tent dwellers, and you can set up a larger tent to serve as a food kitchen and medical station. You could put these tent cities on city owned property or leased private land on the outskirts of town or in industrial areas, and by enforcing revitalized (through court action) vagrancy laws, you could swiftly move the homeless into these managed camps. You could have three types of camps, one for criminals, one for substance abusers, and one for everyone else.

More Solutions

To increase the supply of housing, the solution is harder, but obviously possible, since so many other states in America do not have housing shortages. Policies to make housing affordable again in California could be accomplished without requiring expensive government programs. Instead, to name a few policy changes: lower the fees for building permits, speed up the permitting process, reform extreme environmental regulations, make it easier to extract building materials in-state, and, crucially, end the policies of “urban containment” that deny building permits on California’s vast expanses of open land.

It is time for a courageous city council or county board of supervisors somewhere in California to pursue, through litigation, cost-effective, practical solutions that don’t ruin the lives of the many for the sake of the few. Particularly since government policies are the reason the many have to work so hard. And if mainstream journalists would abandon their politically correct group-think, and question the status-quo with the skepticism that once was the life blood of their profession, public awareness might demand such action.

HUD moves to cancel illegal immigrants’ public housing access

Yes, they may get into this country—but thanks to President Trump, illegal aliens will NOT get special treatment and housing, thanks to Washington.  Instead, American citizens will be able to get this assistance.  Now that illegal aliens are no longer eligible, that means more Americans will be helped.

“The plan would scrap Clinton-era regulations that allowed illegal immigrants to sign up for assistance without having to disclose their status.

Under the new Trump rules, not only would the leaseholder using public housing have to be an eligible U.S. person, but the government would verify all applicants through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, a federal system that’s used to weed illegal immigrants out of other welfare programs.

Those already getting HUD assistance would have to go through a new verification, though it would be over a period of time and wouldn’t all come at once.

The bigger deal, is that if you are an illegal alien currently stealing from Americans, HUD is going to re-verify you and then evict you.  Now, if States would take away the welcome mat, we might not need a Wall.

staff

HUD moves to cancel illegal immigrants’ public housing access

by Stephen Dinan, The Washington Time,  4/17/19

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule to try to block some 32,000 illegal immigrant-led families from claiming public housing assistance, saying it’s unfair to hundreds of thousands of Americans who are stuck on waiting lists.

Housing and Urban Development notified Congress Wednesday of the new rule, kicking off a schedule of publication and notice and comment that could have the plan finalized later this summer.

The plan would scrap Clinton-era regulations that allowed illegal immigrants to sign up for assistance without having to disclose their status.

Under the new Trump rules, not only would the leaseholder using public housing have to be an eligible U.S. person, but the government would verify all applicants through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, a federal system that’s used to weed illegal immigrants out of other welfare programs.

Those already getting HUD assistance would have to go through a new verification, though it would be over a period of time and wouldn’t all come at once.

“We’ve got our own people to house and need to take care of our citizens,” an administration official told The Washington Times. “Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.”

Illegal immigrants’ access to taxpayer-funded welfare and other benefit programs has long been controversial.

It was considered a non-starter for Democrats when they wrote Obamacare a decade ago, and they excluded illegal immigrants from the health law. But the party’s attitude has changed and now some Democrats are pushing to expand the 2010 law to include unauthorized migrants.

Polling, though, suggests Americans remain opposed to public benefits flowing to illegal immigrants, and President Trump has suggested it’s time to crack down on loopholes and interpretations that have allowed them to do so.

In the case of Section 8 housing assistance, there are competing laws that have created confusion.

In 2017 the HUD inspector general investigated illegal immigrants in New York who were using public housing under a special program for people with HIV or AIDS, and found that the government had never clearly stated whether housing was a federal public benefit subject to a 1996 ban for unauthorized migrants.

Further complicating matters, Clinton-era rules specifically allowed “mixed” immigration status families to gain housing benefits. As long as one person in the home is an eligible U.S. resident, a family can qualify. The eligible person doesn’t need to be the head of the household, and could even be a minor child.

The government created a system that allows people to apply for housing assistance as “non-contending,” meaning they decline to say whether they were legally in the country. Benefits are supposed to be adjusted on a pro-rated basis to account for those non-contenders.

The new HUD proposal is likely to draw opposition from immigrant-rights activists who say penalizing mixed-status families means hurting the legal residents in those families, who are often young children.

A similar argument is playing out in a debate over certain tax credits that, while claimed on behalf of citizen children, are paid to illegal immigrant parents.

GOP-led efforts to tighten those tax rules have met with stiff resistance.

Yet the administration argues the lengthy backlogs for housing assistance makes the new HUD proposal an obvious change.

Only one in four families who would qualify for housing assistance actually get the benefit right now, and most of those waiting for HUD help are likely poor seniors or people living with a disability.

The average waiting time nationally for housing assistance is 26 months. In places like Los Angeles, it’s more than four years.

Singer and actress Cher seemed to take notice of the challenge in a tweet earlier this week.

“I understand helping struggling immigrants,” she said, “but my city (Los Angeles) isn’t taking care of its own.”

She pointed to 50,000 citizens she said were living on the streets, are below the poverty line and go hungry.

“If my state can’t take care of its own … how can it take care of more,” Cher wondered.

Mr. Trump approvingly retweeted Cher’s post.

“This proposal gets to the whole point Cher was making,” the administration official told The Times.

Unions Woo Silicon Valley’s Weed Workers as Pot Industry Grows

The Leftists that run Silicon Valley, have not problem getting profits from helping the Chinese subjugate their citizens. Promoting candidates that want higher taxes—while keeping their tax incentives are now being challenged by an even meaner group than the Chinese—American unions.

“The upsides: a unionized industry could help improve wages and working conditions for people who labor in California’s cannabis fields, warehouses and shops. Unions could also help the industry as a whole by rendering it more transparent, and by raising standards for the health and safety of employers, employees and consumers.

The downsides: a wobbly workforce that’s still laboring underground in many cases and that doesn’t really need the union dues on top of the onerous tax burden that comes with compliance. With the increasing corporatization of the industry, there’s also more pressure to please investors by keeping labor costs to a minimum.

Zuckerberg and his buddies have no problem forcing YOUR company to have unions own and run them—but the tech folks want to be exempted.  Another reason workers need protection—from government, unions and Leftists—sorry for being redundant.

Unions Woo Silicon Valley’s Weed Workers as Pot Industry Grows

By Jonah Raskin, San Jose Inside,   4/17/19 

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Can unions organize cannabis industry workers, some stoned, some sober, others undocumented and still others with college degrees?

It’s tricky.

The upsides: a unionized industry could help improve wages and working conditions for people who labor in California’s cannabis fields, warehouses and shops. Unions could also help the industry as a whole by rendering it more transparent, and by raising standards for the health and safety of employers, employees and consumers.

The downsides: a wobbly workforce that’s still laboring underground in many cases and that doesn’t really need the union dues on top of the onerous tax burden that comes with compliance. With the increasing corporatization of the industry, there’s also more pressure to please investors by keeping labor costs to a minimum.

Meanwhile, there’s not one or two, but three unions angling to ramp up their rolls with the Silicon Valley cannabis labor pool.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)—the only labor group to officially back Proposition 64, which legalized adult use in 2016 and launched the system of regulation and taxation that’s now in place—is one of the unions pushing to organize weed workers in Silicon Valley.

“We’re still considered the major union pushing the regulatory and legislative efforts in the state,” says Jim Araby, the UFCW’s executive director for the Western States Council and the point person for cannabis-sector unionization in California.

The Cannabis Workers Rising campaign in the South Bay, however, is still in its infancy. Araby is still conducting outreach with workers and conversing with cities—Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and even Milpitas, which recently voted to ban commercial pot sales—about creating a regulatory structure that grows the industry. It will be interesting to see if he makes any headway with Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors, which with a labor-aligned majority in 2018 voted to ban pot sales in unincorporated parts of the region.

For existing canna-businesses, time is limited.

Under the state law, all cannabis businesses with more than 20 employees must sign a labor peace pact as a condition of qualifying for renewed licensing by this spring. In San Jose, where regulations mandating vertical integration created some of the largest dispensaries in the state, that requirement applies to all 16 permitted pot businesses.

Despite a tight deadline, organizers expect a long adjustment period for the industry, which has undergone dramatic transitions from the black to gray markets—where workers had little recourse against problems like harassment, wage theft and other symptoms of extreme power disparities—to today’s heavily regulated legal reality.

Elsewhere throughout the Bay Area and beyond, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), whose drivers already transport legal weed throughout the state, is pushing out into the fields and warehouses of agricultural swaths of the region. It’s a challenge to obtain accurate information about where and what the Teamsters are actually doing on the ground in the Bay Area on the cannabis front—in part because there’s competition between rival local labor organizations that nobody in the union-advocacy movement wants to talk about, at least on the record.

It’s understandable that the union doesn’t want to tip its hand about its organizing plans and invite sabotage at the hands of “right to work” agitators. And it’s a touchy prospect going in: Some cannabis companies are still very much underground or straddle a gray border that divides the legal and the illegal.

For its part, the UFCW asks that the Teamsters kindly step back. “The UFCW has a Cannabis Workers Rising Campaign,” UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro says. “We would hope [the Teamsters] respect our jurisdiction.”

The United Farm Workers also hopes to organize a share of the industry. “If you’re a cannabis worker, we want to talk with you,” UFW national VP Armando Elenes says.

Another Teamster spokesperson who requested anonymity says the union is aware of competition from the UFW and UFCW. One difference, she says, is that Teamsters don’t want to be organized-labor militants. “We aim to be an advocate for the industry,” she says, “not a thorn in its side.”

Organizers note that there’s still some lingering bitterness in California’s Central Valley between the UFW and the Teamsters, who tried to elbow out Cesar Chavez’s organization in the 1970s. But it was a different Teamsters in the ‘70s—in bed with organized crime and with corrupt ex-convict Jimmy Hoffa as its leader. The union has taken great pains to reform its image and organization since its mid-‘70s low point, when Hoffa disappeared and was presumed to be killed by the Mafia. He still hasn’t been found.

It’s a different union today, even if it is headed by James Hoffa Jr.

Kristin Heidelbach heads the Teamsters Cannabis Division in the state capitol, travels widely, speaks publicly and provides a recognizable name and face to an industry that has historically been reluctant to go public.

Heidelbach worked closely for more than a decade with her mentor, Barry Broad, a Teamsters lawyer from 1985 until his retirement last year. For much of his career, Broad focused exclusively on cannabis issues. “Government officials,” he says, “had been uncomfortable dealing with people in the underground economy. Once the Teamsters unionized workers, it helped legitimize the industry.”

Broad says cannabis workers have suffered in the black market because they haven’t been paying into or accessing Social Security, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation. “There has been a dark side to the cannabis industry,” Broad says. “There’s been use of child labor, which is against the law, and there has been a lot of pot on the market with fungus that’s not fit for human consumption. We’ve helped to clean up the whole industry in more ways than one.”

Heidelbach carries on Broad’s legacy. Over the past three years, she has staked out the Emerald Triangle, made up of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, for organizing pot workers. The Emerald Triangle has for decades been the heart of the California cannabis industry—though it’s losing ground to Salinas, Monterey and Santa Barbara, where municipalities are eager for tax revenue from the emerging economy.

Heidelbach is presently focused on working conditions in the Emerald Triangle and beyond, where the pot workers are often pleasantly stoned. But many are also unhappy with the long hours, the repetitive work and the demand to turn out product quickly.

“A lot of trimmers and dispensary workers are treated unfairly,” she says. “They need representation because they’re often afraid to speak up, lest they lose their jobs. At one place, I was told, ‘We’re good to our workers, but you can’t talk to them. They’re idiots.’”

Along with the condescending tone directed at workers, Heidelbach has also gotten an indifferent, if not cold, shoulder from big commercial operators in the Bay Area. One local industry spokesman who insisted on anonymity says the weed biz is so squeezed by taxes and regulations that it can’t survive further squeezing by the Teamsters.

The new taxes that are part of the Prop. 64 legalization regime have made it nearly impossible for individuals without big financial backing to enter the market. Immigrant trimmers in the cannabis industry are also pretty wary of the uptick in union agitation.

Rosa (not her real name) is 25 and from Central America; Santiago (not his real name) is 29 and from South America. She has a passport and a visa; he has no legit papers. What they make in four months here lasts a year back home. Three years ago, they earned $25 an hour as trimmers. By 2018, the wage had dropped to $15.

Working conditions are onerous—they put in shifts of up to 14 hours and are under near-constant surveillance—but Rosa and Santiago haven’t sought union representation and say they won’t strike or rock the boat. Santiago worries about Rosa. “She has trimmed on remote farms where growers hit on her,” he says. “There’s little, if any, protection.”

California licensing snafu could cost cannabis growers thousands in lost revenue, possible shutdowns

Gee, the State of California is incompetent in its running of its marijuana business.  This is the same government that runs failed schools, indoctrination centers masquerading as colleges and a DMV that registers to vote illegal aliens and tens of thousands of others not eligible to vote.

“California’s marijuana growers are at risk of losing thousands of dollars in revenue as scores of temporary business licenses expire each day before the state can replace them with annual permits.

That leaves many cultivators trapped in a licensing logjam with a difficult choice: Continue operating with expired permits – or shut down.

This is the beginning of the outdoor cultivation season, and many growers went ahead and planted despite knowing their temporary licenses were set to expire – holding out hope that state regulators would speed up the licensing process and issue annual permits posthaste.”

I am sure the drug cartels coming through our porous borders don’t care if licenses are not granted!

California licensing snafu could cost cannabis growers thousands in lost revenue, possible shutdowns

By Bart Schaneman,mjbizdaily,  4.17/19 

California’s marijuana growers are at risk of losing thousands of dollars in revenue as scores of temporary business licenses expire each day before the state can replace them with annual permits.

That leaves many cultivators trapped in a licensing logjam with a difficult choice: Continue operating with expired permits – or shut down.

This is the beginning of the outdoor cultivation season, and many growers went ahead and planted despite knowing their temporary licenses were set to expire – holding out hope that state regulators would speed up the licensing process and issue annual permits posthaste.

That largely hasn’t happened. And lawmakers in Sacramento have yet to pass a legislative fix.

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As of April 16, roughly 3,000 temporary cultivation permits had expired and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) had issued only 62 annual licenses and 564 provisional permits.

“I do believe the state will get our license approved in time,” said Wendy Kornberg, CEO of Sunnabis, a cultivator in southern Humboldt County with temporary licenses expiring April 17.

“I have to believe that, otherwise we lose everything. I would lose my home. I would lose my land. I would lose my farm. We would have nothing left.”

Senate Bill 67, which would amend a section of the California Business and Professions Code to extend temporary business licenses until the end of 2019, passed in the state Senate earlier this month and moved to the Assembly. But it hasn’t yet been assigned to a policy committee.

The state Legislature is on recess until April 22, and industry analysts don’t expect a committee vote before April 29.

Then the measure will need fiscal committee and floor votes before landing on the governor’s desk.

Industry watchers expect more than 6,000 temporary cultivation licenses will expire by the end of April.

‘No choice but to grow’

Mikal Jakubal owns Plant Humboldt, a cannabis nursery in Humboldt County. His temporary licenses expired March 31, but he’s still operating.

“Those of us who already started seeds have no choice but to grow them out,” he said.

“If we were to shut down, we’d go bankrupt – and we wouldn’t start up again.”

Some business owners who continue to operate with expired licenses don’t want to openly speak out, but not Jakubal.

“Frankly, I think more people need to be outspoken,” he noted.

Jakubal said he believes there’s a lack of understanding in Sacramento about how his business and others like it operate, namely based on seasonal factors.

“The seasons don’t wait,” he added. “The calendar doesn’t stop because the regulators are twiddling their thumbs.”

Jakubal’s operation isn’t financed with millions in outside investments that would keep him capitalized through months of lost income.

He completed his application for an annual permit at the end of 2018 but hasn’t heard anything from state regulators.

Now he’s hoping he’ll get his annual licenses by the time his plants are ready for sale in three to four weeks.

He’s anxious, though, that if the cultivators who would typically buy plants from him can’t get their permits, he’ll “be stuck with a bunch of plants.”

Growers attempt to keep licenses current

Kornberg in Humboldt has tried to prevent her licenses from expiring by filling out applications and paying the fees, as well as communicating as much as possible with the CDFA.

“We’ve already spent money on clones,” she said. “We have to plant our plants. I really don’t know what to do.”

Her farm is a small, family-run operation. Employees are still trying to process cannabis from 2018, a task they’ll have to cease once the company’s permits expire.

“There’s a possibility of losing our crop from last year,” Kornberg said.

She said her business could weather being without a license for a few months, but if the licensing problem were to go on for, say, half a year, “that’s a problem.”

“If I had money buried in the ground somewhere,” Kornberg said, “we could wait until June or July, but that is not our situation.”

‘Just idling’

At Oakland-based CWG Botanicals, cultivator Rebecca Kirk’s temporary license expired March 21. She applied for her annual license in May 2018.

State regulators told her on March 29 that she had deficiencies in her annual license application, including a missing copy of her lease.

According to Kirk, she provided the required copy of her lease in order to receive her initial temporary permit, but the state lost it.

She’s had to cease and desist operations for the time being.

“We’re just idling,” she said. “Losing thousands (of dollars in revenue) per week.”

What advice do marijuana attorneys have?

Los Angeles-based cannabis attorney Pamela Epstein has multiple clients who applied for annual permits last year and have seen their temporary licenses lapse. She pointed to a lack of urgency by CDFA regulators.

“The entire program is prefaced off of having cannabis,” she said. “If you have no cannabis that is cultivated lawfully, then you are responsible for the uptick in the illicit market and the eventual rise in prices.”

Although regulators have told her several times that as long as her clients are maintaining compliance they won’t be targeted by law enforcement, she’s not buying into it.

“If you don’t have an active state license, you’re not allowed to conduct commercial cannabis activity,” Epstein said. “That means planting, harvesting, caring for those plants. It means everything.”

Oakland-based cannabis attorney Kieran Ringgenberg said California’s licensing issue could affect companies’ abilities to create long-term business plans.

“If there’s only a short pause, and as long as there’s no enforcement activity, this will only have a moderate impact,” he added.

“If there starts to be enforcement or this stretches on so long that people can’t move product or pay their bills, then obviously people are going to be out of business.”

San Diego County Has Among The Highest Rates Of ICE Community Arrests

This statement confuses me, “Arcela Núñez-Alvarez, research director of the National Latino Research Center at the Cal State University San Marcos, said these community arrests alter people’s daily lives.

“People are even afraid to walk outside of their immediate neighborhoods,” she said.

If you break the law, then why are you “afraid” of walking around?  Of course, you are a target of law enforcement.  Don’t want to be “afraid”?  Then do not break the law, including our immigration law.

Also, San Diego ONLY arresting 2,000 illegal aliens a year is a joke.  That could be done in a week, every week in the County that is on the border.

San Diego County Has Among The Highest Rates Of ICE Community Arrests

By Jean Guerrero, KPBS,  4/17/19 

San Diego County has one of the highest rates of community arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the country, according to a new Syracuse University report.

Community arrests are those that involve ICE agents detaining people at their homes, work or while traveling. They are different from custodial arrests, which are conducted when law enforcement officers contact ICE in certain cases if people, arrested for other crimes, don’t have papers.

Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee said this shows the agency is not prioritizing criminals under the Trump administration.

“It goes against the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House that those who are being detained are MS-13 gang members and the worst of the worst,” Rios said. “ICE is detaining working people, working families.”

The study found that for Fiscal Year 2017 through May of last year, more than 2,000 ICE community arrests were made in San Diego County, making it the fourth-highest in the U.S. in terms of numbers and third highest in terms of rate. The highest for both was Dekalb County in Georgia.

The report was written with records obtained by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents showed a ten-fold difference in odds of ICE enforcement depending on where you live. The report also says a person’s odds of being arrested by ICE in a “community arrest” have nothing to do with whether they reside in a sanctuary versus non-sanctuary jurisdiction.

Susan Long, the report’s author, said the variation in enforcement based on location reveals an “erratic” enforcement pattern.

“They’re really not prioritizing, and everyone’s a potential target, and they’re not facing the reality that they simply don’t have the staffing to arrest, detain and deport 11 million individuals,” she said.

About 11 million people are estimated to be living in the U.S. without proper documentation.

Arcela Núñez-Alvarez, research director of the National Latino Research Center at the Cal State University San Marcos, said these community arrests alter people’s daily lives.

“People are even afraid to walk outside of their immediate neighborhoods,” she said.

Rashida Tlaib Hosted Activist Who Called Palestinian Terror Attack ‘Heroic’

Every Democrats running for office in 2020 need to be asked if they support Congresswoman Omar—the openly anti-Jewish, anti-Israel Democrat who wants Israel given to the terrorists.  Now we have another Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who promotes and hero worships terrorists.

““A tip of my hat to Rashida Tlaib, who really goes above and beyond the call of duty in welcoming every supporter of Palestine to her office, listening to what we have to say, answering our questions, and posing for endless pictures,” Catron wrote on Facebook in a post first noted by the Daily Caller.

Catron serves as U.S. coordinator of the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which the U.S., Australia, Japan, Canada, and the E.U. have all designated a terrorist organization.

In 2017, Catron used his personal Twitter account to praise a PFLP-organized terror attack in which an Israeli police officer was stabbed to death. Catron shared the PFLP’s official statement praising the members who perpetrated the murder and personally referred to the attack as “heroic.”

The Democrat Party has turned into a headquartered for bigots, haters and lovers of terrorists.  Yet, San Fran Nan and the Democrat leaders refuse to censure or denounce they bigotry in their Caucus.  Between the great economy and the corruption and hatred exhibited by Democrats, 2020 could be a very good year for Republicans.

Photo Courtesy of Rusty Stewart, Flickr

Rashida Tlaib Hosted Activist Who Called Palestinian Terror Attack ‘Heroic’

By Jack Crowe, National Review,  4/17/19 

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) hosted an extremist anti-Israel activist who has openly and explicitly endorsed terrorism at her congressional office in mid-April to celebrate the American Muslims for Palestine Advocacy Day.

The organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which organized the meeting, posted a photo on its Facebook page of Tlaib standing next to Joe Catron, a veteran anti-Israel activist who has openly praised various Palestinian organizations for committing acts of terrorism.

“A tip of my hat to Rashida Tlaib, who really goes above and beyond the call of duty in welcoming every supporter of Palestine to her office, listening to what we have to say, answering our questions, and posing for endless pictures,” Catron wrote on Facebook in a post first noted by the Daily Caller.

Catron serves as U.S. coordinator of the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which the U.S., Australia, Japan, Canada, and the E.U. have all designated a terrorist organization.

In 2017, Catron used his personal Twitter account to praise a PFLP-organized terror attack in which an Israeli police officer was stabbed to death. Catron shared the PFLP’s official statement praising the members who perpetrated the murder and personally referred to the attack as “heroic.”

Catron’s Twitter account features a profile picture with the Arabic phrase “If you do [more attacks on Gaza] we will do [as well], hell is waiting for you,” a mantra associated with Hamas’s military wing. Catron has also tweeted in support of Hezbollah and has urged attacks on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

Tlaib has faced significant criticism since her election over her ties to anti-Semitic Palestinian activists and her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to put financial pressure on Israel. In January, she attended a dinner with Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, who has referred to Israel as a “terrorist identity” and likened the state’s underlying ideology to that of ISIS.

Additionally, one of Tlaib’s top fundraisers, Maher Abdel-qader, has repeatedly espoused anti-Semitic tropes online. Abdel-qader created the Facebook group “Palestinian American Congress,” which often hosts anti-Semitic discussions and which Tlaib is a member of. And, in 2006, Tlaib wrote a column for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic publication Final Call.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the allegation that anti-Semitism has infected her caucus during a Sunday 60 Minutes interview.

“We have no taint of that in the Democratic party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean . . . that we take that bait,” Pelosi said.

Could This California Environmental Law Be the Cannabis Industry’s ‘Silent Killer’?

CEQA—the California Environmental Quality Act—has killed more housing units and jobs than any Socialist could on a bad day.  Now, this vile State law, used to extort and blackmail investors and families can be used to kill off the legal marijuana industry.  Of course the drug cartels are fully behind this—they gain market share and government promotes the use of pot.

“I like to call [CEQA] the silent killer,” says Pamela Epstein, an environmental lawyer and founder of the cannabis consultancy firm Green Wise.  Other cannabis consultants have said the law could cause an “extinction event” for the cannabis industry.

Understanding how one law can be so problematic requires understanding a bit about how CEQA works.

In brief, CEQA says that any project with the potential to change the physical environment of the state and which will undergo discretionary review by a government body must submit extensive studies to assess potential environmental impacts that might need to be mitigated.”

As we are now seeing, Prop. 64 was not about the legalization of marijuana.  It was about the promotion of marijuana under the guise of government approval—with the real profits going to the crooks and cartels.  Now they will use an environmental law to really harm the legal business—the intent all along of Prop. 64.

Could This California Environmental Law Be the Cannabis Industry’s ‘Silent Killer’?

The California Environmental Quality Act is empowering anti-cannabis NIMBYs and causing regulatory chaos

Christian Britschgi, Reason,  4/18/19 

Given how often California’s regulatory state ensnares mundane things like plastic straws and apartment buildings, it should come as no surprise that the state’s now-legal recreational cannabis industry is having a hell of a time navigating a new world of red tape and restrictions. Causing particular grief is one of the Golden State’s more infamous laws: the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Passed in 1970 and signed into law by famed anti-pot scold and then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, CEQA has developed a reputation as the NIMBY’s weapon of choice for killing off disfavored developments. The law is now being used to frustrate cannabis entrepreneurs who are trying to go legit.

“I like to call [CEQA] the silent killer,” says Pamela Epstein, an environmental lawyer and founder of the cannabis consultancy firm Green Wise.  Other cannabis consultants have said the law could cause an “extinction event” for the cannabis industry.

Understanding how one law can be so problematic requires understanding a bit about how CEQA works.

In brief, CEQA says that any project with the potential to change the physical environment of the state and which will undergo discretionary review by a government body must submit extensive studies to assess potential environmental impacts that might need to be mitigated.

As written, the law requires just about every construction project in California to undergo some sort of environmental review. Crucially for the cannabis industry, this requirement also applies to local zoning ordinances that dictate where new developments can build.

The law also gives third parties who feel a particular project or ordinance has received insufficient environmental review the ability to appeal. Should that appeal be rejected, these third parties can use the law to sue.

Given the huge of number of things that count as a project under CEQA, the long list of environmental impacts the law requires to be examined, and the low cost of filing an appeal, the law is often used as a weapon to delay or stop disfavored projects (a few of which Reason has profiled).

In the case of cannabis, CEQA has already sparked a number of lawsuits from anti-cannabis groups alleging that local governments performed inadequate environmental study before approving their own cannabis regulations.

In January of this year, Trinity County—part of the famed ‘Emerald Triangle’, so-named for its legendary cannabis grows—was sued by a local NIMBY group arguing the county’s ordinance governing marijuana cultivators lacked sufficient environmental review. The year before, San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco, was hit with a similar lawsuit.

San Mateo County buckled quickly, agreeing to a moratorium on the issuance of new cannabis licenses. Trinity County is being a bit more heroic, deciding to fight its own anti-cannabis lawsuit in court.

Individual businesses have been tied up by these lawsuits as well, says Epstein. “I have a client going through this right now,” she tells Reason. “They did traffic impact analysis, they got an air quality engineer, and still the NIMBYs decided to sue because they knew better, and didn’t want this dispensary there.”

To its credit, the California Legislature tried to head off a lot of these problems by passing an omnibus cannabis bill in 2017 that, among other things, gave local governments the power to exempt their own cannabis ordinances from CEQA.

In theory, this was supposed to make it easier for local governments to quickly set up regulatory regimes for the newly legal cannabis industry while avoiding the onerous environmental study requirements of CEQA.

In practice, it’s made things worse for a lot of cannabis businesses.

That 2017 state law said that even if a local government did exempt its own cannabis regulations from CEQA, it still had to require each individual business to go through the CEQA process when they apply for a local permit.

Unfortunately, a lot of localities shirked this requirement, instead just approving cannabis permit applications without subjecting them to any sort of CEQA review. That, in turn, has caused problems for these businesses as they apply for permits at the state level, where CEQA is sacrosanct.

Beginning in late 2018, state regulators started issuing permanent licenses for cannabis operations, which are supposed to replace the temporary licenses these businesses received as a stopgap measure. About 10,000 of those temporary permits are supposed to expire this year.

The trouble is that in order to get a permanent state license, a business has to show compliance with CEQA—something that wasn’t required to get a temporary state license or by some local regulators. In short, these folks were likely under the impression that everything they did to get their business open would be enough to keep it open.

Instead, many businesses using temporary licenses have applied for a permanent state license only to be told that they still need to go through a possibly-year long CEQA process (longer still if some NIMBY decides to sue) before they can be approved, during which time their temporary license will likely expire. Without some kind of valid state license, cannabis operators will have to shut down.

In 2018, the state legislature tried to fix this problem, too, by allowing state agencies to issue provisional licenses to anyone that could show they were in the process of coming into compliance with CEQA. The idea was to use these provisional licenses as a bridge for operators whose temporary licenses will expire soon, but who still have a lot of work to do before they can qualify for a permanent license.

And indeed, these provisionals have proven a lifeline for a lot of businesses that were out of compliance with CEQA. However, they’ve done nothing to help those businesses who were forced to go through the CEQA process at the local level.

Because those businesses are already CEQA-compliant, they’re ineligible for provisional licenses. They also can’t get a permanent license because there is a huge backlog of permanent license applications at the state level.

To give you a scale of the problem, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA)—which is responsible for licensing cultivators—has issued a total of 96 permanent cultivation licenses, according to the department’s online database, and another 695 provisional licenses since late 2018. Yet on April 20 of this year alone—when stoners across the state will be lighting up—some 1,200 temporary cultivation licenses are set to expire.

“We have several hundred, if not thousands, who are not eligible for provisional [licenses] because they can show CEQA compliance,” says Epstein. Many of those businesses will be forced to shut down once their temporary licenses expire. “It’s like they want you to be compliant but compliance is the thing that is hamstringing some of these operators.”

Industry consultants say a scenario in which all these businesses end up in legal limbo would be an “extinction event” for cannabis businesses.

To make matters worse, Epstein speculates that state regulators are prioritizing provisional license applications because they only require a showing that a cannabis operation is trying to bring itself into CEQA compliance; it’s more time and resource-intensive to verify that a business is actually fully compliant.

Currently, there’s a bill pending in the legislature that would allow for temporary licenses to be extended while state regulators get to work processing applications, but it has yet to pass. Even if it does, its own sponsor describes it as a “band-aid” intended only to give state agencies a little breathing room.

If all of this sounds like a huge, confusing mess to you, that’s because it is. California is proving an extreme example of a problem bedeviling all states that have legalized recreational marijuana: how to quickly transform a loosely or mostly unregulated black market into a heavily regulated legal market one in a very short period of time.

This process has been made all the worse by California’s environmental review law, which has empowered recalcitrant anti-cannabis NIMBYs to bog down local regulations in litigation, and is causing bureaucratic gridlock at the state level.