Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

‘Red flag’ laws work + Cleaning up unhealthy water + Not enough Cal Grants

‘Firearms are part of a health problem.’ UC Davis ER doctor on role of physicians in gun discussion

Noted gun violence expert Dr. Garen Wintemute talks about why gun ownership is a medical issue that doctors need to discuss with patients on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. The UC Davis emergency room doctor also has good news for Californians on the issue.
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Noted gun violence expert Dr. Garen Wintemute talks about why gun ownership is a medical issue that doctors need to discuss with patients on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. The UC Davis emergency room doctor also has good news for Californians on the issue.

Top of the Tuesday morning, California. Got any California road trip ideas? Tips, recipes, suggestions, feedback? Send ‘em my way:


Three years ago, a law by then-Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner empowered police departments to take guns from people who posed a danger to themselves or others.

Since then, according to researchers from the University of California, Davis, the so-called red flag law has prevented at least 21 mass shootings.

As The Sacramento Bee’s Cathie Anderson reports, the research team found that “members of the public — whether they were family members, co-workers, or acquaintances of the people who posed a risk — took action by either talking to law enforcement or, in two cases, going to a judge.”

“The UC Davis study shows the importance of having a tool to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people before it’s too late,” said Skinner, who is now a state senator. “It’s imperative that here and across the country we do whatever we can to prevent more mass killings.”

The Monday report follows a string of mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton that left dozens dead across the span of a week.

Since then, California lawmakers and other elected officials across the country have called for additional gun control measures, including the expansion of “red-flag” laws.

In the Golden State, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, wrote Assembly Bill 61 to advance Skinner’s law.

The bill would expand the list of people who can petition a court for a restraining order and hangs in Senate Appropriations for approval.

“I’m more committed than ever before to expanding the pool of Californians who have access to (gun violence restraining orders) and will fight to get my bill, AB 61, to the governor as soon as possible” Ting said. “With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day a way to prevent tragedies.”


The State Water Resources Control Board is kicking off a two-day meeting to discuss the implementation of Senate Bill 200, a law signed in late July to establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

The legislation authorizes the transfer of up to $130 million for the next 10 years from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to finance water projects. It also tasks the board with implementing a plan to “provide comprehensive and sustainable support” for communities that lack the necessary resources.

The money will go toward cleaning up drinking water systems throughout California, where an estimated 1 million residents live without access to H20 they can safely drink.

“Near-term solutions include temporary connections to safe sources, point-of-use systems, drilling wells into uncontaminated aquifers, and trucking water directly to communities,” the meeting’s agenda notes. “The long-term goal is to ensure that all drinking water systems can sustainably and affordably provide safe drinking water to everyone they serve.”

There to advocate for Central Valley residents will be members of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.

“Our concern as always is that disadvantaged communities and communities of color have faced really critical drinking water problems,” said Michael Claiborne, senior attorney for the advocacy group. “SB 200 does say that the board is to prioritize solutions for disadvantaged communities, and that’s the point we’ll make (today).”

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the CalEPA building in Sacramento.


The number of low-income students who are eligible for Competitive Cal Grants “far exceeds” what is available, according to a Monday data hit by the California Budget and Policy Center.

There are more than 343,000 students who are eligible for the top-notch awards, but the state only budgeted for 41,000 of the grants.

That leaves more than 90 percent of the qualified students without access to money that could go toward tuition, books, housing costs and food.

“Many students from low-income households who are headed to California’s colleges know the reality: paying for their higher education will be a struggle,” the center wrote in a press release. “That’s why Competitive Cal Grants are among the critical ways to support educational opportunities for low-income students.”


The funeral for fallen California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Moye, Jr. is scheduled for today.

The services will take place at 10 a.m. at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside.

Moye’s death last week during a routine traffic stop added to conversations on gun violence in the United States. Moye was filling out paperwork when he was shot and killed by the suspect. He died en route to the hospital, according to a funeral press release from the Peace Officers Research Association of California.

During a press conference last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Moye’s death is one of “too many” police killings he’s seen since taking office less than a year ago, Newsom said.

“This is the kind of normalization of gun violence that we’ve long accepted in this country that no other country in the world would accept,” Newsom told reporters Tuesday morning in Sacramento. “It’s something we’re going to have to deal with beyond just gun safety, beyond just new rules. We’ve got to change our gun culture.


Aug. 18 — Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Big Bear Lake


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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.