Countdown for millions of Californians

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Hello, California. It’s Wednesday June 23.

Agree or disagree?

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Hurry up and wait.

That’s all millions of Californians can do as Gov. Gavin Newsom and leading Democratic lawmakers negotiate – largely behind closed doors – the terms of an extended eviction moratorium and details of a huge budget of $ 267 billion. The impact of their decisions could spill over for generations, affecting everything from who stays in their home to who qualifies for health care to who receives college financial assistance.

Tuesday passed without Newsom and legislative leaders reaching agreement on an extension of the moratorium on evictions. This means lawmakers are unlikely to vote on a deal until Monday – two days before current protections expire on June 30, reports Manuela Tobias of CalMatters. Tenants’ advocates want to maintain the eviction ban for as long as possible. Homeowner groups want the opposite – and they seem to be putting their money where they say it, by pouring at least $ 125,000 into the campaign against Newsom’s recall, according to a CalMatters campaign contribution tracker.

Meanwhile, Newsom’s office and key lawmakers are also haggling over a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The deal they are expected to unveil later this week will need to balance at least four major points of contention, including an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents. Newsom proposed to extend Medi-Cal to undocumented Californians aged 60 and over; lawmakers want eligibility to begin at age 50.

The legislature also proposed removing a Medi-Cal requirement that registrants cannot have more than $ 2,000 in certain types of assets, reports Ana Ibarra of CalMatters. Newsom has not publicly commented on the matter. But Kming Rosenthal, 72, who nearly lost his Medi-Cal coverage after inheriting $ 5,000, says it’s time the requirement was gone.

  • Rosenthal: “This state, of all states, doesn’t have to look far to see how many people are living on the streets. One misstep with my benefits and it could be me – and with my health issues, that would really be a death sentence. “

One of California’s biggest challenges is figuring out how to spend tons of money from a historic budget surplus and federal COVID relief funds. But this difficulty could be replaced by another: a bipartisan group of American senators wants reuse unspent California federal dollars to help finance a national infrastructure plan – a fiercely opposed decision by state treasurer Fiona Ma.


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The net result of the coronavirus: Tuesday California had 3,704,640 confirmed cases (+ 0.02% compared to the previous day) and 62,701 deaths (+ 0.01% compared to the day before), according to a CalMatters tracker.

California administered 40 622 774 vaccine doses, and 57.2% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated.

More: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline by tracking the state’s daily actions. We’re also tracking state coronavirus hospitalizations by county and lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.


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1. Schools face a shortage of teachers

Kindergarten teacher Crystal Copes works with rising first graders during summer school at Laurel Elementary on June 11, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

Money, however, will not solve all of California’s problems as it emerges from the pandemic, especially schools. Not only do districts face a shortage of teachers for overwhelming summer school programs, they also face a shortage of staff for the upcoming fall semester – exacerbated by a drop in teacher degrees earned in the middle of the year. the pandemic, EdSource Reports.

  • Unified Superintendent of Los Angeles Austin Beutner: “Yes, more money would allow schools to hire more reading teachers if there were more to hire. … Fewer than 200 people currently graduate from college programs with a reading specialist certificate across the state of California each year.

The fallout of a year and more of Zoom courses is going to be tough: State lawmakers on Monday sent a bill to Newsom’s office that temporarily allow students to repeat a year if they do not pass at least half of their courses and allow secondary schools to use a “pass / no pass” system instead of alphabetical grades. Examples of declining success rates are ubiquitous: Eleven of the 27 children in an economics class from Madera South High School earned D’s or F’s this school year – twice as much as in a normal year.

2. California drought division

A water fountain at Los Angeles County’s Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge on June 22, 2021. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

It’s counterintuitive: Los Angeles, a city that receives an annual average of 14 inches of rain, likely won’t face any water restrictions this summer – or for the next few summers. But some residents of Mendocino County – which receives nearly three times as much rain and is near the sources of the Russian River – are not allowed to use more than 55 gallons of water per day. That’s enough to fill a tub and flush the toilet five times, in other words, not a lot. In the fourth story of CalMatters’ “Lessons Learned? Drought yesterday and today, ”Rachel Becker explores why there is such a gap between the surplus water in Southern California and the deficit in Northern California.

  • Glenn McCourty, a supervisor from Mendocino County: “We were rocked by the idea that we might have a lot, a lot of water. And we have lots and lots of water. The problem is, we don’t store a lot, a lot of water.
  • Deven Upadhyay, COO of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: “If we just continue to be dry year after dry year after dry year, there will come a time when we’re going to have to… ask for mandatory reductions. But that’s not where we are now.

Meanwhile, the state is completing construction of an emergency $ 10 million rock barrier in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to prevent salt water from the ocean from contaminating the fresh water that ultimately reaches 27 million people and millions of acres of farmland, Mercury News reports.

3. Diversify Californian judges

Justices Juan Ulloa and William Quan stand in front of a wall of former Imperial County Superior Court judges in El Centro on April 29, 2021. Photo by Shae Hammond for CalMatters

Superior court judges, who handle everything from drunk driving to murder cases, are the branch of the California court system with which people tend to interact most directly. But CalMatters’ Byrhonda Lyons found that in four of California’s predominantly Latino counties, there was not a single Latin American superior court judge – a glaring shortcoming that experts say could exacerbate mistrust and affect the business outcome. In the second installment of its series, Byrhonda examines how some regions are trying to diversify the bench. Here are some examples:

  • Imperial County, whose population is 85% Latinos, has one of the most diverse superior courts in California, in large part because attorneys show up for judicial office, rather than waiting for d ” be nominated or recommended by what critics call the “good old boy” network.
  • In Los Angeles and the Bay Area, volunteer lawyers guide high school students of color to law school – a program the Legislature plans to expand statewide.
  • Some lawyers help people of color become lawyers without having to earn an expensive degree: California is one of the few states that allows entry into the profession through legal apprenticeship.

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CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Trusting local school officials to do the right thing may sound good on paper, but in practice, it does not help children at risk of school failure.

Coping with extreme heat: California must fund solutions to mitigate the ever-growing threat of extreme heat waves, which disproportionately affect vulnerable people, writes Assembly Member Luz Rivas, a Democrat from Los Angeles.

It’s time to decriminalize jaywalking: Blacks are the most common targets of California laws that prioritize streets for cars over pedestrians, argues Anne Stuhldreher of the Financial Justice Project.


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Other things are worth your time

Los Angeles County urges employers to verify workers’ immunization status despite the honor system. // Daily News

For California nurses COVID, past and present collide. // Associated press

Credit the Golden State for the New Golden State of College Athletes after the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. // Chronicle of San Francisco

Court plans to challenge California ban on large capacity gun magazines. // Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles is experiencing a housing crisis. Can design help? // New York Times

Los Angeles Tech Week a reminder that Silicon Valley isn’t the only game in town. // New York Times

From murder to the Aryan Brotherhood to the star of the documentary, he now faces EDD fraud charges. // Sacramento Bee

A mass shooting prompted a California mayor to take action. He couldn’t stop another. // The Guardian

OK Hotline for Sonoma County Supervisors for fraud, waste, allegations of abuse. // Petaluma Argus-Courier

San Francisco to permanently cap food delivery costs for DoorDash, Grubhub and other applications. // Chronicle of San Francisco

Garcetti’s aide mocked labor icon Dolores Huerta, city ​​leaders. // Los Angeles Times

California deserts have lost nearly 40% of plants to warmer and drier weather. // Desert sun


See you tomorrow.

Advice, ideas or comments? Send an email to emily@calmatters.org.

Follow me on Twitter: @emily_hoeven

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