Sacramento Mayor Wants Gavin Newsom to Spend $3 Billion on Crime Prevention After Mass Shooting

Sacramento’s mayor wants Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic leadership to spend $3 billion to prevent crime — a call to action that follows some of the worst violence in city history. Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Wednesday pushed for the funding not far from the scene of a mass shooting that killed six people early Sunday. Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, joined Steinberg and social justice advocates in urging financial support for victim services, re-entry programs, community organizations and mental health and addiction treatment.

The group sent a letter to Newsom, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, asking for investments they say get at the root cause of community violence. California is flush with a projected surplus of more than $30 billion ahead of May budget revisions. The crime prevention spending package Steinberg and others presented will be on the table along with other spending priorities Newsom could consider.

The spending package the mayor, legislators and advocates touted includes the following: $210 million for critical victim services $200 million to increase the capacity of community-based re-entry programs $200 million for a re-entry housing program $100 million in grant funding to go to cities and counties for community-based crime prevention $200 million to fund mental health treatment for people in the criminal justice system Steinberg said he wanted to be clear that his comments on Wednesday were meant to push violence prevention funding in general.

Click here to read the full article at Sacramento Bee

Newsom Mental Health Plan Needs Full Airing

Beginning in the 19th century and continuing well into the 20th, California maintained an extensive network of state mental hospitals to which people deemed to be dangers to themselves or others were committed, often for decades.

In the mid-20th century, however, the concept of involuntary commitments came under fire with critics saying that the hospitals were more like prisons than treatment centers, with their patients denied basic civil rights.

The upshot was legislation, signed by Ronald Reagan shortly after he became governor in 1967, with a declared goal to “end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of persons with mental health disorders.”

The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, named for Republican Assemblyman Frank Lanterman and Democratic Senators Nick Petris and Alan Short, set forth an elaborate process that would have to be followed for involuntary commitments, limiting them to the profoundly disabled.

Companion legislation was aimed at replacing the hospitals with community-based mental health programs. The package drew support from those who wanted to reduce the hefty costs of the hospitals, such as Reagan, and advocates for the rights of the mentally ill.

It never worked out as planned because successor governors and legislators didn’t provide enough financial support for local mental health services and the process for commitment essentially allowed the mentally ill to refuse treatment.

One by one, the state hospitals were closed, some converted to other uses, such as California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, and others razed.

In some measure — we’ll never know how much — what followed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act contributed to California’s explosion of homelessness, because many of those living on the streets of the state’s cities are severely mentally ill.

The debate over the situation has raged for years, pitting those who believe that forcing the mentally ill into treatment is a regrettable necessity against those who contend that involuntary commitments violate civil rights.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

Why Are Progressives So Eager To Copy California’s Failed Policies?

It is not the Progressives in California that are leaving the State.  But Progressives in other States are jealous of the crime wave, lack of law enforcement in California, the homelessness, the failed schools and corruption of Sacramento.  They love environmental laws that kill jobs and housing.  So, they see the failures of California and want them for their State.

“Similar dysfunction plagued all of her previous offices, so why would we expect anything different as vice president? My theory: California’s Democrats rise to power in a one-party state, where internal party considerations matter more than policy credentials or basic competence, so they are out of their league playing at the national level.

California Democrats don’t understand that voters in Peoria or Phoenix don’t share the same obsessions as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles. So while California’s lawmakers will continue along their merry, progressive way, it’s obvious—and fortunate— that they lack the skills to impose those priorities on a politically diverse nation.”

Why Are Progressives So Eager To Copy California’s Failed Policies?

Californians might be voting with their feet, but there’s nowhere they can run and hide if the federal government embraces the same policies.

STEVEN GREENHUT, Reason,   2/18/22 

During my recent trip to Phoenix, locals rolled their eyes at all the Californians who are moving there—mostly middle-class residents who are so tired of our state’s chronic mismanagement that they’re willing to abandon the temperate coast for a parched desert. Note to Californians: It’s best to re-register your cars in other states as quickly as possible, to avoid glares from the locals.

But while the exodus continues—and California’s falling population and outmigration figures reinforce the anecdotal stories—progressives still dream of replicating the state’s political experiment at the national level. Californians might be voting with their feet, but there’s nowhere they can run and hide if the federal government embraces the same policies.

After the Biden administration took power, many Americans expressed these concerns. After all, Vice President Kamala Harris, is a product of the Bay Area Democratic political machine. Biden tapped another former California attorney general and member of Congress, Xavier Becerra, to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—a particularly important agency given the pandemic.

Other Californians rose to high-level positions, too. These include a team of economic officials with longtime California ties, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), Small Business Administration head Isabel Casillas Guzman (a veteran of the Gray Davis and Gavin Newsom administrations), and a host of lesser-known officials.

And San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi remains the speaker of the house, where California-style policies (such as its ban on independent contracting) receive a sympathetic hearing. As we know, California’s Democratic leaders seem more interested in using California—it’s the world’s fifth-largest economy, don’t you know?—as a template for national policy.

Their recent fratricide over single-payer healthcare is one recent example. The Legislature proposed ending every private health plan and replacing it with a DMV-style bureaucracy called CalCare. Its companion measure, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11, would have asked California voters to raise their taxes by $12,250 per household.

In reality, neither bill had any serious chance of becoming law. The effort was about making a symbolic point—largely for a national audience. But with Harris and Becerra in key national posts, progressives hoped such policies could be imposed from the top down.

Yet fears of the Californication of America are overblown after watching the administration’s ongoing struggles. “White House officials have grown so frustrated with top health official Xavier Becerra as the pandemic rages on that they have openly mused about who might be better in the job,” The Washington Post reported last month.

Biden officials are frustrated at conflicting messaging from Becerra’s office, as the pandemic continues and the administration pays a political price for its mishandling of related health policy. By the way, a government agency that can’t even get its “messaging “right on one single health issue might not be the best place to centralize all healthcare decisions, but I digress.

The administration jumped into damage-control mode, as Latino groups complained about criticism of Biden’s highest-ranking Latino official. But no Californian should be surprised at Becerra’s inability to inspire confidence in the federal response to the virus’ latest variant, or anything else. He had virtually no healthcare experience, but that was only part of the problem.

More significantly, Becerra was a disaster as attorney general. After the U.S. Senate approved Becerra as the nation’s healthcare czar, this Editorial Board recounted the “ongoing mess” he left at the California Department of Justice—comparing the imagery to “an action movie protagonist barely escaping from a building that he detonated behind him.”

I lack the word count to detail the myriad Becerra scandals and management failures, but the courts repeatedly slammed him for disregarding the state’s police-accountability laws and mismanaging our gun-registration system. The newspaper editorial found a recurring theme: “basic incompetence.” Who is shocked that he took that skill set to the federal level?

Harris’ office has likewise echoed explosion scenes from Die Hard 2. White House damage control over Becerra echoes its approach to Harris in December after news reports pointed to infighting, intrigue, and dysfunction. The White House reassured the nation that the vice president is a valuable partner, but it sounded like the administration was limiting Harris to tasks where she could do little damage.

Similar dysfunction plagued all of her previous offices, so why would we expect anything different as vice president? My theory: California’s Democrats rise to power in a one-party state, where internal party considerations matter more than policy credentials or basic competence, so they are out of their league playing at the national level.

California Democrats don’t understand that voters in Peoria or Phoenix don’t share the same obsessions as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles. So while California’s lawmakers will continue along their merry, progressive way, it’s obvious—and fortunate— that they lack the skills to impose those priorities on a politically diverse nation.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

‘It’s So Unfair’: Major Delays at State Labor Agency Leave Many Wage Theft Victims Unpaid

Gavin Newsom allowed $31 billion to be stolen from EDD by criminals in prison.  He has allowed tens of billions in education funds to be lost—and a massive crime wave statewide—and government is merely watching the victims bleed. Now we find Newsom and the Democrats have no problem watching workers lose their money and government not doing anything to protect them.

“Thousands of California workers whose employers collectively owe them millions of dollars in unpaid wages are at risk of never seeing the money they earned, as the state watchdog agency investigating wage-theft cases is failing to resolve them in a timely way, according to labor enforcement experts and worker advocates.

Many of the businesses in question were cited by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for systematically dodging labor laws, after investigators conducted lengthy reviews, including payroll record audits and interviews with employees.

Sacramento refuses to protect workers, students, families and society.  And for this Newsom wants to spend over $280 billion to harm the people of California.

‘It‘s So Unfair’: Major Delays at State Labor Agency Leave Many Wage Theft Victims Unpaid

Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED,   1/31/22 

Thousands of California workers whose employers collectively owe them millions of dollars in unpaid wages are at risk of never seeing the money they earned, as the state watchdog agency investigating wage-theft cases is failing to resolve them in a timely way, according to labor enforcement experts and worker advocates.

Many of the businesses in question were cited by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for systematically dodging labor laws, after investigators conducted lengthy reviews, including payroll record audits and interviews with employees.

Employers have the right to appeal those citations — which typically come with hefty fines — and most do, said worker attorneys. The next step is a hearing at the Labor Commissioner’s Office. But the agency, whose mission is to combat wage theft, can take years to schedule those hearings, delaying restitution for workers, most of whom are in lower-wage industries.

‘This is exactly the opposite of what the government is supposed to be doing. Government should be stepping in and policing these employers that are ripping people off, and it’s not happening. And it’s causing real pain.’State Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose

The longer the cases drag on, the harder it is for workers to collect what’s owed them, advocates said. The backlog has only worsened during the pandemic.

State Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, said the delays at the agency, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, are “unacceptable.”

“This is exactly the opposite of what the government is supposed to be doing,” said Cortese, who chairs the state Senate Labor, Employment and Retirement Committee. “Government should be stepping in and policing these employers that are ripping people off, and it’s not happening. And it’s causing real pain.”

For workers living paycheck to paycheck, that pain is palpable.

Sonia Crisostomo, a 47-year-old single mother, worked as a prep cook and cashier at a San Francisco Burger King franchise from 2016 to 2019. But her boss consistently shorted her paychecks, and she is now owed more than $38,000, according to a June 2020 citation issued by state investigators.

If she had received at least some of that money in a timely manner, it could have saved her family from losing their apartment, she said. Instead, when her next job, cleaning offices, ended during the pandemic, Crisostomo was unable to make rent. She and her children moved into the crowded home of a relative and relied on food banks to eat, she said.

“I was left with nothing,” said Crisostomo, who said she’s not eligible for unemployment benefits. “It was really hard. … With at least some of that money, we wouldn’t have had so many limitations. I wouldn’t have left my apartment, I wouldn’t have gotten into debt with rent, with bills.”

Crisostomo’s former employer, Golden Gate Restaurant Group Inc., was found liable for a total of nearly $2 million for failing to pay more than 230 of its employees minimum wage, overtime or meal and rest breaks at several of the Burger King restaurants it operated in the city.

None of the wronged employees has collected a cent from that citation, because — 19 months later — the state Labor Commissioner’s Office has not yet scheduled a hearing on the company’s appeal, said attorneys representing workers. Until that happens, the case cannot move forward, unless the employer chooses to settle.

“It’s so unfair that the state is not trying to speed this up,” said Crisostomo, an immigrant from El Salvador, speaking in Spanish. “They should be more strict with this type of employer and pressure them to follow the law. If it’s true that workers have rights, the state should enforce them.”

Neither Monu Singh, Golden Gate Restaurant Group’s CEO and president, nor Sanjay Ahuja, its secretary at the time of the investigation, returned KQED’s requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the company has taken advantage of the delay to shield its assets, which doesn’t bode well for the cheated employees, said Alexx Campbell, who is representing workers in the case.

“The company that did this to them has been starting to move assets around and to shut down restaurants in San Francisco and is potentially making moves to avoid payment altogether,” said Campbell, an attorney with the nonprofit group Legal Aid at Work.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office declined several interview requests, and would not comment on hearing delays for this case or others investigated by its Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE), the branch of the agency that handles pay violations affecting multiple employees at a single company.

However, in 2019, agency officials acknowledged that delays were hurting workers. They said changes in the law had given them new tools to combat wage theft but made the process take longer. And they asked the Legislature for a budget increase to hire more staff for its Wage Claim Adjudication (WCA) unit, whose officers handle appeals of both big BOFE citations and wage claims brought by individual workers — the latter of which totaled more than 32,000 in 2018.

In the budget request, officials wrote that, by law, those individual hearings are supposed to take place within 120 days of the date of the complaint. But the average wait time for individuals was nearly 400 days in 2018, and administrators projected that it would grow to 572 days — 19 months — by 2020.

“With the WCA drowning in stale wage claims awaiting hearing, all the while receiving more new claims each year, the WCA unit is in desperate need of Deputies and Hearing Officers to address burgeoning processing times and ensure cheated workers are receiving justice in a reasonable amount of time,” wrote Carlos Torres, assistant chief of the WCA unit.

After the pandemic hit, the backlog got significantly worse, as the agency temporarily halted in-person proceedings and struggled to conduct business remotely, advocates said.

KQED tracked several large cases that have languished without a hearing, including:

  •  
    • A $4.5 million citation against Cheesecake Factory Restaurants Inc. and contractors in San Diego and Orange counties for underpaying 559 janitorial workers. The fines were issued in June 2018, but 3 1/2 years later, a hearing has not yet been held, according to the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, a janitorial industry watchdog group.
  • A $12 million citation against RDV Construction Inc. in the Los Angeles area for withholding wages from more than a 1,000 workers. The fines were issued in February 2019, but no hearing has yet occurred nearly three years later, according to the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee, a group that helped tip the state to the violations.

These cases represent just a few of the 6,831 violations BOFE cited in fiscal years 2017-2019, according to its enforcement reports to the Legislature. The proposed fines totaled more than $228 million, but only about 12% of that amount was collected in those years.

As cases drag on, businesses can close or go bankrupt, while witnesses move away or give up on the case, complicating efforts to get restitution for workers, said Patrick Mulligan, who directs San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Mulligan’s office cited Golden Gate Restaurant Group, the Burger King franchisee, after its own investigation found the company violated a city health care ordinance. The company settled in September 2020, agreeing to pay employees more than $803,000 over the course of 10 years, of which about $150,000 has been collected, he said.

Noting the long payment plan, Mulligan acknowledged the agreement was not “everything the workers deserved,” but said at least it’s money they can put in their pockets.

Workers demand a Burger King franchisee pay wages owed to them, on Oct. 25, 2019. The company operating the franchise, Golden Gate Restaurant Group Inc. was cited by the state Labor Commissioner’s Office for multiple violations, including failing to pay workers minimum wage and overtime. (Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED)

“For us, ultimately, our goal of establishing a strong atmosphere of labor enforcement means timely and responsive enforcement actions,” he said. “And then on the other side, it limits the amount of hardship for workers if the matter gets resolved as expeditiously as possible.”

Torres, at the state Labor Commissioner’s WCA unit, recognized that delays give unscrupulous employers an “increased opportunity to further evade the responsibility of unpaid wages.”

“Low-wage workers may be in situations where they are forced to give up in the process … that may result in a paper judgment that leaves little promise of collectability after so much time has passed by,” wrote Torres in his 2019 budget request for more staffers.

The unit, which was initially established to give workers a no-cost, quick alternative to suing an employer in state court, has just 64 hearing officer positions, according to state Department of Finance records.

“They have way more cases than one person should be assigned,” said Renee Amador, legal director with the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund. “We have the Labor Commissioner’s Office who is passionate about enforcing the law. But if they don’t have the people that can do so, they’re [only] going to be able to do so much.”

In 2020, the Legislature approved funding to increase the unit by 63 positions, including 14 new hearing officers, by mid-2024. And the agency has since hired more staff. But it’s unclear whether that has resulted in shorter processing times.

Sen. Cortese said the agency remains inefficient, and plans to hold committee hearings on the delays in coming months.

“This has been the case over the years at the Labor Commissioner’s. This is not a new problem,” Cortese said. “And that usually means the entire culture of the operation needs to be addressed and revisited and restructured.”

Texas election audit identifies nearly 12,000 foreigners suspected of registering to vote

Texas:  224,585 deceased residents were removed from voters rolls after audit

How do you tell the difference between an honest election and a crooked one?  Compare California to Texas.  The former Golden State has 440,000 dead people and those that moved out of State STILL on the voting rolls and the California Republican Party has done nothing to end this corruption.  Texas had 224,585 dead people on their voting rolls and took them off.  The Texas Republican Party did not have to do anything—since they have an honest State government.  Only, Texas is also checking about 12,000 people, not citizens that are registered to vote.  The California Secretary of State is REFUSING to audit the voting rolls to get illegal aliens off!

“An audit of Texas voter rolls identified nearly 12,000 non-citizens suspected of illegally registering to vote and nearly 600 cases in which ballots may have been cast in the name of a dead resident or by a voter who may also have voted in another state.

Texas Secretary of State John Scott released the findings of the first phase of his audit on the last day of 2021, announcing 224,585 deceased residents were removed from state voters rolls as a result of the review.”

California elections are run like a Banana Republic.  Maybe we could get the United Nations to come in and monitor our elections?  LOL

Texas election audit identifies nearly 12,000 foreigners suspected of registering to vote

John Solomon, Juts the News, 1/1/22  

Suspected non-citizen voters have been referred to counties for investigation, and more than 2,000 have already been removed from rolls, Texas Secretary of State John Scott reports.

By John Solomon, Just the News,  1/1/22 https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/texas-election-audit-identifies-nearly-12000-foreigners-suspected

An audit of Texas voter rolls identified nearly 12,000 non-citizens suspected of illegally registering to vote and nearly 600 cases in which ballots may have been cast in the name of a dead resident or by a voter who may also have voted in another state.

Texas Secretary of State John Scott released the findings of the first phase of his audit on the last day of 2021, announcing 224,585 deceased residents were removed from state voters rolls as a result of the review

Statewide, a total of 11,737 potential non-U.S. citizens were identified as being registered to cast ballots, with the lion’s share located in the counties around Texas two largest cities of Houston and Dallas. It is illegal for foreigners to vote in Texas elections.

You can read the full report here.

File

TexasElectionAuditPhase1Report.pdf

Last month Scott described why his office launched its first-of-a-kind audit of elections.

“What we’re trying to do make sure there is a little more confidence in the system, in the election integrity,” Scott told a local TV interviewer. “And I think this is one of the hopes of the audit is, to show folks it is very safe. It is secure. Your vote does count when you cast it.

“And where we find issues, we’re going to address those issues,” he added.

Scott’s report Friday criticized some counties for not acting quick enough to investigate the non-citizen status of voters, saying several counties missed a deadline that will now delay their investigations until spring of 2022.

“While several counties took action promptly to work their potential non-U.S. citizen matches, others did not begin investigating or send notices of examination until mid to late November of 2021,” Scott’s report said.

“As a result, the 30-day window in which the registrant could provide proof of U.S. citizenship fell after the federally-required NVRA moratorium on voter registration cancellations had begun,” it added. “This means that many potential non-U.S. citizens identified through the agreed-upon process would have until, at the latest, May 25, 2022 to respond to a notice of examination before their voter registration is cancelled.”

So far 2,327 of the 11,737 suspected non-citizen registrations have been canceled – more than half in Dallas alone – and the Secretary of State office is now investigating whether those canceled voters illegally cast ballots in prior elections, Scott’s report said.

The audit also found several other small irregularities, including:

  • 509 potential cross-state duplicate votes were cast in the November 2020 General Election, meaning voters may have cast a ballot in both Texas and another state
  • 67 potential votes were cast in November 2020 in the name of deceased people and are under investigation.
  • A sampling of four counties found three had discrepancies between the votes tallied by machines and those later checked by hand. Those discrepancies are due to be further investigated in the second phase of the audit.

New LAUSD Superintendent Paid MORE than President of United States to Run Failed Government Schools

LAUSD is well known to be the garbage pit of education.  Racism, bigotry and perversions are taught in the schools.  Everyone will graduate, even the illiterates under the new policies of no D or F grades.  An LAUSD diploma is as valuable as Charmin toilet paper.

“The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved an employment contract for its next superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.

The four-year contract will have a base salary of $440,000 per year.

The President of the United States is paid $400,000 a year.  Any wonder no one cares about the classroom, the educrats have become grifters, just looking for the money and the benefits. Oh and this new guy comes from Florida—obviously not very smart about money.  To begin with he will pay 13% of his salary to government—in Florida there is no income tax.  Then the cost of living in the highest in the nation—and unlike Florida we do not have a legislature, we have a dictatorial Governor who rules via Executive Orders and mandates.  While smart, thoughtful people are fleeing California, this educrats is moving to L.A.—proof enough he is not smart enough to run this failed government education indoctrination center.

LAUSD Approves Employment Contract With New Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

By CBSLA Staff, 12/14/21   

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved an employment contract for its next superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.

The four-year contract will have a base salary of $440,000 per year.

The 57-year-old Carvalho, who has served as the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2008, was selected by the LAUSD board last week.

Carvalho has been the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2008. It is the fourth-largest school district in the nation, while LAUSD is the second-largest.

In a news conference last week announcing his departure from Miami-Dade, Carvalho described himself as a “poor kid from Portugal” whose first jobs in the U.S. were as a dishwasher and day laborer, and who at times was homeless. Carvalho immigrated to the U.S. after high school. He attended college and then started his teaching career as a science teacher in Miami-Dade County.

“I’m one who believes, that the energy, fuel of our democracy lies with public education,” Carvalho said. “If we do right by our schools and our children, we protect democracy. That is what I will carry to Los Angeles, a community that faces the very same challenges we face, and continue to face.”

LAUSD has been without a permanent superintendent since Austin Beutner officially stepped down in June. Beutner served in the position beginning in May of 2018 and guided LAUSD through the first 16 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Megan K. Reilly has since served as the interim superintendent.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Imagine NO oil drilling in California.  Imagine NO refineries in California.  Imagine NO gas stations in California.  Imagine NO cars that use gas allowed in California.  Think this will end climate change?  Or will it bring about a Depression that no amount of tax dollars can stop?  Is this how we kill employment, tax revenues and hope in California?  Is this how the Democrats get the middle class to leave California?

“In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.”

While Newsom is killing off the oil industry, using a limitation of water, refusing to build water storage facilities and ending the use of needed pesticides, the Democrats are killing the agriculture industry.  Finally, the other big industry, tourism, is being killed by the abusive COVID regulations and the defunding/demeaning of police.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Kerry Jackson, Pacific Research Institute, 11/17/21   

Care to guess the last time the governor’s office issued a new fracking permit? It was February.

Now that’s a meaningless fact without context, so let’s put it perspective: Even though “Newsom endorsed an end to fracking” while running for governor in 2018, says California political legend Dan Walters, his administration early on increased the flow of fracking permits.

But then Newsom later “came under heavy pressure to match his words with action,” Walters continues.

By November 2019, Newsom had set ​a moratorium on fracking projects. Before permits would be issued, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers would review plans to ensure they met regulatory requirements. Yet it wasn’t terribly long before “the state issued 48 new permits for hydraulic fracturing,” according to the Associated Press.

Then the recall collar got tight in April. The governor’s response was to ban new fracking anywhere in the state by 2024. Even though he previously said he didn’t think he had the authority to prohibit the process and asked the Legislature to do it for him. And even though a legislative attempt never made it out of committee.

So can we expect in a frackless California?

Energy analyst and author Michael Shellenberger says Newsom’s fracking prohibition is simply “​​bonkers.” Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Bakersfield Democrat, called it “an abuse of power” that will “put the lives, economy and well-being of thousands of California families in jeopardy.” Western States Petroleum Association President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd says it’s an “arbitrary” action that will impose “big impacts on Californians.”

Both the Western States Petroleum Association and the board of supervisors in oil-rich Kern County, which produces roughly two-thirds of the crude that California doesn’t import – making the county the seventh highest oil-producing region in the U.S. – have sued the governor over his order. It’s an existential matter for each party.

In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.

Maybe the oddest part of any California energy story is the fact that officials and activists seem to have no reservations about importing what they consider “dirty” energy from other states. That reliance is only going to grow as long as Sacramento is at war with fossil fuels.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Care to guess the last time the governor’s office issued a new fracking permit? It was February.

Now that’s a meaningless fact without context, so let’s put it perspective: Even though “Newsom endorsed an end to fracking” while running for governor in 2018, says California political legend Dan Walters, his administration early on increased the flow of fracking permits.

But then Newsom later “came under heavy pressure to match his words with action,” Walters continues.

By November 2019, Newsom had set ​a moratorium on fracking projects. Before permits would be issued, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers would review plans to ensure they met regulatory requirements. Yet it wasn’t terribly long before “the state issued 48 new permits for hydraulic fracturing,” according to the Associated Press.

Then the recall collar got tight in April. The governor’s response was to ban new fracking anywhere in the state by 2024. Even though he previously said he didn’t think he had the authority to prohibit the process and asked the Legislature to do it for him. And even though a legislative attempt never made it out of committee.

So can we expect in a frackless California?

Energy analyst and author Michael Shellenberger says Newsom’s fracking prohibition is simply “​​bonkers.” Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Bakersfield Democrat, called it “an abuse of power” that will “put the lives, economy and well-being of thousands of California families in jeopardy.” Western States Petroleum Association President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd says it’s an “arbitrary” action that will impose “big impacts on Californians.”

Both the Western States Petroleum Association and the board of supervisors in oil-rich Kern County, which produces roughly two-thirds of the crude that California doesn’t import – making the county the seventh highest oil-producing region in the U.S. – have sued the governor over his order. It’s an existential matter for each party.

In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.

Maybe the oddest part of any California energy story is the fact that officials and activists seem to have no reservations about importing what they consider “dirty” energy from other states. That reliance is only going to grow as long as Sacramento is at war with fossil fuels.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute

California Plans to Throw More Money at Homeless Despite Homelessness Rising

During the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness in California tripled, meaning that only 36% of homeless people lived that way before the pandemic. Now, the Golden State is attempting to turn the situation around with a $12 billion spending package to create more permanent housing and mental health centers for the homeless. This is by far the largest spending spree California spent on this crisis, but as always, big spending doesn’t mean big solutions.

One solution goes towards providing each homeless person a bed to sleep on, as across California, the ratio of beds to people is 1. 3. The bill created two projects which give homeless people temporary housing in hotel and motel rooms (Project Roomkey) and created roughly 6,000 new units (Project Homekey).

However, creating new short-term shelter options doesn’t help get people into permanent homes. Additionally, many homeless people don’t want to return to shelters where they are in danger of theft and violence by other destitute there.

Click here to read the full article at San Diego News Desk

Dramatic enrollment drop won’t cost California community colleges state aid but could impact adjunct faculty

How corrupt is the funding system for California Community Colleges?  In 2020 they lost 15% of their enrollment.  Yet in 2021 they will receive the same amount as they got in 2019.  Worse, as they continue to lose enrollment, they will continue to receive the same amount of money till 2026!  Then they will start receiving a reduced amount—even with a third of the students.

“While student enrollment plunged during the pandemic, districts that lost students won’t get hurt financially. The state’s funding formula distributes money based partly on enrollment, but colleges that have lost students in recent years are funded based on higher and older numbers.

Those protections will be in place until at least 2025. For part-time faculty, however, the consequences will be more immediate, as they work semester-by-semester based on the availability of classes.

This will allow the colleges to raise salaries and benefits, since they will no have students to finance.  Then in 2026 they will have bloated salaries and taxpayers will be forced to finance the corruption.  Thought you should know.

Dramatic enrollment drop won’t cost California community colleges state aid but could impact adjunct faculty

The system’s board of governors will be briefed Monday on enrollment declines 

Michael Burke And Thomas Peele, edSource,  11/12/21 

The California community college system’s dramatic enrollment drop won’t have immediate financial consequences for the 116-college system — but it could be detrimental for part-time adjunct faculty.

While student enrollment plunged during the pandemic, districts that lost students won’t get hurt financially. The state’s funding formula distributes money based partly on enrollment, but colleges that have lost students in recent years are funded based on higher and older numbers.

Those protections will be in place until at least 2025. For part-time faculty, however, the consequences will be more immediate, as they work semester-by-semester based on the availability of classes.

“We’re watching to see how it impacts part-time faculty assignments because the districts are going to give full-timers their assignments first,” said Stephanie Goldman, acting executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. The group advocates for issues of interest to the 42,000 adjunct faculty in the system, but it does not bargain for them. Local unions negotiate with each of the 73 locally elected districts that run the colleges.

The community college chancellor’s office last week reported to the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee that the system is facing a nearly 15% enrollment drop due to the pandemic, a loss of 318,800 students from the prior year. That put its student enrollment at 1,833,843, down from 2,152,643 students in 2019-20. That figure was given as a “best estimate” available at the time.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), chairman of the state Assembly’s budget subcommittee on education finance, said that even if lawmakers had exact enrollment numbers, it likely wouldn’t affect policy decisions.

The “bigger-picture issue,” McCarty said, is that the enrollment drop across the system is significant regardless of the exact figure. The current year’s budget deal between lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom included spending to help the colleges address the declines. The budget allocated $120 million to the colleges to increase efforts to retain current students and re-engage ones who have dropped out.

 “It’s certainly an issue we’re concerned about in the big picture,” he said of the declines.

McCarty also pointed out that California faces a college degree and certification shortage, and said reversing the enrollment trends will be necessary to change that. “It’s an important issue for the economic well-being of California.”

The enrollment declines have plagued the community colleges throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The statewide board of governors will be briefed on the issue at its meeting on Monday.

Part of the conversation during the board meeting will likely deal with challenges the statewide chancellor’s office is having with determining exactly how many students opted not to enroll or return to classes during the 2020-21 academic year. For months, the chancellor’s office has been unable to say how many students enrolled in fall 2020 and spring 2021. A memo prepared for the system’s board of governors puts the loss at 15% but also offers an additional possible loss estimate of 9.6%.

The memo to the board says the inability to produce an accurate figure for enrollment loss stems from its challenges in counting students in certain noncredit classes.

Lawmakers and Newsom administration officials acknowledge the need for accurate data. Officials said they remain concerned about the consequences of enrollment declines, not only for the colleges but for the long-term economic health of the state because it is an important player in the training and educating of the state’s workforce.

The college system, however, won’t face any fiscal or policy ramifications for not having an exact enrollment count. For one, the state does not rely on student headcount — the total number of students enrolled — for determining how much funding each college gets. Instead, the shares are based on the number of full-time equivalent students, or FTES, which is calculated by taking the sum of course credits carried by all students enrolled at a district and dividing that by the number of credits in a full-time course load.

Under the funding formula, districts that gain in FTES are eligible to get more funding. For districts that have suffered FTES losses during the pandemic, a so-called “hold harmless” provision ensures that they will be funded at least at their 2017-18 levels, plus a cost of living adjustment. The 2021-22 budget deal extended those hold harmless provisions through 2024-25. Additionally, state regulations allow colleges to use old years of enrollment data in emergency situations, which the Covid-19 pandemic is considered to be.

“We’re aware of some of the system’s data challenges, and we’re certainly concerned about issues with data quality – which is necessary for policymakers to make informed decisions,” H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Finance, said in an email. “That said, the underlying construct of the Student Centered Funding Formula significantly reduces the likelihood that the state’s CCC budget, or local district budgets, would vary dramatically from one fiscal year to the next.”

Part-time faculty could suffer

With fewer students enrolling in classes, some faculty members will inevitably be let go, said Goldman, acting executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

“The part-timers who maybe have worked at a certain district for decades are going to start to lose out,” she added. “They got fewer people enrolling in classes and the first ones to go are going to be the part-time faculty.”

The association has “had a really hard time tracking the (enrollment) data,” Goldman said. Part of the problem is the state’s 73 local community college districts are on quarter systems and others have varying start times for semesters, she said. “They all report at different times.”

Board to be briefed

A memo prepared for the community college system’s board of governors ahead of Monday’s meeting provides the latest explanation of the problems the chancellor’s office is having collecting solid enrollment data.

“Examining students solely enrolled in noncredit courses,” the system observed a decline of about 153,000 students in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20, John Hetts, an executive overseeing data for the chancellor’s office, wrote in the memo.

The system’s data technology did not allow the colleges to report attendance by all students in noncredit courses, Hetts said. The result was “artificially inflating” the loss of those students. Paul Feist, a spokesman for the chancellor’s office, said in an email that solving the noncredit problem “continues to remain a priority, and efforts are underway to support districts being able to report to the Chancellor’s Office the headcount of noncredit students.”

Pamela Haynes, the president of the state board of governors blamed the system’s “outdated reporting definitions and data systems” for its inability to accurately count groups of students.  She also said the chancellor’s office needs funding to add to its 160-member staff.