Capitol Alert

California ICE raids, or not + Barber proposal becomes housing bill + Clean water funding

Good Monday morning to you, California! Eighteen days until summer recess.

Assembly begins session at 1 p.m., the Senate follows at 2 p.m.


Talk about whiplash.

A mere 24 hours before Immigration and Customs Enforcement was scheduled to target 2,000 immigrant families for deportation on Sunday, President Donald Trump announced he would postpone the raids.

“At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start,” Trump tweeted.

Catch up — ICE officials had identified thousands of immigrants ordered for deportation in major cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Immigration nonprofits and attorneys had taken to social media to blast “know your rights” legal material to families who could be on the list.

Though the two weeks might offer a brief reprieve, Trump has made immigration reform an important 2020 campaign promise.

Gov. Gavin Newsom made clear he will be unhappy about the raids, whenever they occur.

“The president’s proposed raids are cruel, misdirected and are creating unnecessary fear and anxiety,” Newsom said in a Friday statement. “California is a place of refuge – that includes our schools, our courts and our hospitals and clinics. We hold certain institutions sacred and people should continue to access programs and services they need.”

The California Hospital Association also felt the need to put out a statement.

“Caring for the sick and healing the injured is a mission that does not consider the immigration status of those who need help,” said President and CEO Carmela Coyle, continuing that the state’s hospitals “will always remain a safe haven for those who need our care.”


Senate Bill 592, a bill to require the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to update professional information online, passed its chamber floor on a 38-0 vote in late May.

It now heads to the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development as a measure to ensure new housing projects aren’t rejected by local governments.

The bill’s new hairdo would strengthen the Housing Accountability Act by clarifying what “lower density” homes are — namely accessory dwelling units, single-family homes and new bedrooms in existing houses.

SB 592’s author, state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, lost a legislative battle in mid-May when his Senate Bill 50 was turned into a two-year proposal. That measure would have increased housing in jobs- and transit-rich zones and authorized more construction in areas that are otherwise limited to single-family areas.

Wiener’s new bill will be heard on Wednesday, July 3.


Gov. Gavin Newsom is poised to sign off on the state’s 2019-2020 budget sometime this week. And included in that near $215 billion bundle is an 11-year annual allocation of $130 million to finance safe and affordable drinking water initiatives.

Most of that money comes from California’s cap and trade dollars that pool into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Companies are able to buy and sell allowances to emit emissions above the state’s cap, which generates money to address the very issues the emissions cause.

The fund supports combating climate change projects that span across “affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more,” according to the California Climate Investments website.

But cashing in cap and trade money for clean water initiatives raised bipartisan eyebrows during a June 13 Senate floor vote, as CALmatters noted.

“We could have very easily funded this through our budget surplus,” said state Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta.

That questionable funding source didn’t stymie activist enthusiasm, however.

““We are thrilled that the Legislature and Governor Newsom have committed stable funding to ensure that all Californians have access to safe and affordable drinking water this year and in the years to come,” the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Coalition said in a June 9 statement. “This is a monumental step forward for the million Californians who, today, are being exposed to toxic tap water. “


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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.