Capitol Alert

Lead-paint deal? + UFW selects next president + Status quo for consumer privacy

The Legislature is rushing toward adjournment on Aug. 31.
The Legislature is rushing toward adjournment on Aug. 31. Los Angeles Times/TNS


Lawmakers are calling on paint companies and 10 cities and counties to come to the negotiating table to strike a deal on lead-paint liability.

Under the proposal introduced hours ahead of this year’s bill printing deadline, the cities and counties would dismiss their legal claims in exchange for a total settlement valued at nearly $700 million. Assemblyman Tim Grayson, D-Concord, and Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, authored the bill in an effort to force both sides to resolve their years-long dispute.

The bill merely provides a framework for a deal, and it is unclear whether either side will support the terms of the proposal. Grayson and Hertzberg’s offices said they have not received confirmation of support from either the paint companies or local governments.

If the Legislature passes the bill on Friday and both sides agree to the terms by Oct. 15, local governments would get more money to spend combating lead paint in residential homes. The 10 areas would be able to use $300 million for legal costs, inspection, education and cleanup over the next decade. They’d also receive an additional $210 million during the next four years. The remaining 48 counties across California would receive $175 million over the next decade.

“Lead based paint is the number one environmental health issue for children, yet hundreds of thousands continue to be needlessly exposed every year because there is no meaningful remediation fund to remove lead from homes,” Grayson said in a statement.

In November 2017, a California appeals court issued a potential award of $409 million to the 10 cities and counties.


Groups advocating on behalf of tech companies will have to wait another year for potential changes to the consumer privacy law passed earlier this year. For the last couple months, industry representatives have been working to address concerns companies have with consumers’ ability to sue them over data breaches starting in 2020. Meanwhile, privacy rights groups have demanded the bill remain as is.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, said his measure, Senate Bill 1121, would merely make technical fixes to the original legislation. While some industry groups called for amendments to loosen regulations, the latest version of Dodd’s bill that passed in committee Tuesday largely dismissed the industry’s calls for substantive changes.

Nineteen consumer and privacy groups, including the America Civil Liberties Union of California, sent a letter on Tuesday thanking Dodd and the two authors of the California Consumer Privacy Act, adding that “any further changes to the law should be to strengthen, not weaken, the law.”


Democrat Andrew Janz faces an uphill battle in his effort to unseat Congressman Devin Nunes, R-Tulare. Now things are starting to get personal. Janz’s campaign announced it will host a town hall at 6 p.m. today at Tulare Union High School — Nunes’ alma mater.


The United Farm Workers announced on Tuesday that union Secretary-Treasurer Teresa Romero will replace Arturo Rodriguez as UFW’s president in December. Romero said her top priority as president will be adding workforce stability for UFW contractors.

“We have a lack of a workforce,” Romero said. “The majority of the farmworkers are immigrants. In order for them to continue working in this country, they need to have the peace of mind to know they’re not going to be deported.” She called for the federal government to issue more work permits and provide them with an eventual pathway to citizenship.


Gov. Jerry Brown is staying busy, as dozens of bills continue to make their way onto his desk this week. He signed 18 bills on Monday, and vetoed one. One early surprise was his decision to quickly sign Senate Bill 10 — the sweeping legislation that will end cash bail in California starting in October 2019.


Public Policy Institute of California (@PPICNotes) — “As of the June 2018 primary, the share of California voters registered as independent has surpassed the share registered as Republican. They tend to lean Democratic and prefer Gavin Newsom (41%) to John Cox (33%) (15% don’t know; 12% won’t vote).”


Is there middle ground on California health care? Influencers have plenty to say.

“Businesses in California are impacted by the burgeoning cost of health care because of their role in providing employee health care benefits. A government-run single-payer system won’t lower costs if it simply shifts costs to businesses and citizens in the form of higher taxes while taking away competitive market features that put downward pressure on costs. Whether the next governor supports single-payer or reforms to create more competitive markets, it will be a tough political fight given the powerful stakeholders and importance of health care to every Californian.”

Dorothy Rothrock, President, California Manufactuters and Technology Association

MUST-READ: Doctor, hospital groups organize to oppose single-payer in California


The Sac Bee Editorial Board praised Sacramento Regional Transit for reducing customer fares for the first time in its half-century history.

Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and Tom Steyer, founder and president of NextGen America, says California lawmakers must take action and support a pair of bills aimed at assisting communities with unsafe drinking water.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, wants the Legislature to pass Senate Bill 1421 — which he says would enhance police accountability by making certain officer disciplinary report records public.


Jack Ohman raises the white flag at the White House.