Capitol Alert

Avoiding Census undercount + Dymanex off the table + Youth protest

‘Not our first rodeo’ California AG says in suing Trump on census question

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on March 27, 2018 describes a lawsuit the state has filed against the Trump administration over census question on citizenship status. Secretary of State Alex Padilla is to the left.
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on March 27, 2018 describes a lawsuit the state has filed against the Trump administration over census question on citizenship status. Secretary of State Alex Padilla is to the left.

CENSUS FIGHT

California is ramping up efforts to ensure as many residents as possible are counted in the 2020 Census. At stake is billions of dollars, congressional representation and concerns surrounding the treatment of immigrants.

Assemblymman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, along with others, is convening a hearing at 11 a.m. today to unite public and private groups. Berman said his primary goal is to get everybody “on the same page on the strategy leading up to the 2020 census.”

“We need to get organized on a granular level, on a neighborhood level of the hard-to-count communities in California,” Berman said.

California joined several other states earlier this year to sue the Trump administration over its addition of a citizenship question to the Census, claiming it would discourage immigrants from responding to the decennial survey. California has a lot to lose if its residents are undercounted.

For each year over the next decade, California would lose nearly $2,000 from the federal government for every person not counted. Berman claims millions of Californians are afraid of participating in the Census, which would cost the state billions.

“If there is even a small undercount in the Census, Calfiornia could lose billions of dollars per year over the next decade,” he said.

Recent estimates from the Public Policy Institute of California determined that one in 10 Sacramento County Census tracts will be hard to count. Forty-three percent of tracts in one county along the U.S.-Mexico border could also be difficult to count.

“Undercounted communities may be lacking representation based on how lines are drawn or how many seats there are in Congress,” said Sarah Bohn, PPIC director of research. “This picture doesn’t have to be the end of the story. With effective outreach, we can have a really good count.”

DYNAMEX LEGISLATION OFF THE TABLE

In 2004, Dynamex, a package and documents delivery company, turned its employees into independent contractors to save money. California’s Supreme Court established a stricter standard of what constitutes an independent contractor. According to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the Legislature does not plan to take up legislation this session related to Dynamex.

“The Dynamex decision strikes at the core of what the future of work looks like in our society,” Rendon said in a statement. “From the decline of union membership to court rulings like the Janus decision, we’ve seen the continual erosion of workers’ rights. If the legislature is to take action, we must do so thoughtfully with that in mind. That will not happen in the last three weeks of the legislative session.”

YOUTH ADVOCACY PROTEST

A couple youth advocacy groups are holding a rally at 8 a.m. today on the north side of the Capitol. Young people will discuss ongoing legislation, and lawmakers are invited to speak as well.

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

“The greatest threat to California’s environment comes from the hot air flowing from Washington, D.C.”

Ron George – California Supreme Court Chief Justice (1996-2011)

Read more about the Influencers and the environment.

MUST-READ: Drunken, bawdy behavior at California Lottery alleged in letter, photos to Jerry Brown

OPINIONATED

Assemblymembers Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, and Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, say helping victims is lawmakers’ immediate priority, but argue the Legislature must develop policies that will prevent future mega-fires — something it has failed to do for decades.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox shouldn’t count on much face-time with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom between now and Election Day, according to Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow and former speechwriter for Gov. Pete Wilson. He argues voters deserve to hear them debate each other.

The Bee’s Editorial Board says President Donald Trump hurts California farms with tariffs and worsens the damage by stiffing them in an aid package.

TOONED OUT

Jack Ohman sees a warming trend.

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