Daily Headlines for April 25, 2019

We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more. Receive Daily Headlines by Email

Today’s Top Story

CalChamber Luncheon Focuses on Understanding Brexit
Brexit is the latest phenomenon in the western world presently characterized by shock and schism, a leading scholar explained yesterday at the California Chamber of Commerce.

Public Affairs/Politics

High-Profile California Housing Bill Clears Hurdle After Tense Debate Over Local Control
High-profile housing legislation to allow mid-rise apartment construction near mass transit across California advanced in a state Senate committee Wednesday after two lawmakers reached an agreement that would limit its effect on smaller counties and along the coast, but eliminate zoning that allows for only single-family homes in much of the state. Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court Backs Businesses, Curbs Class Arbitration
An ideologically divided U.S. Supreme Court gave businesses more power to channel disputes into individual arbitration proceedings, siding with a lighting retailer trying to prevent its employees from pressing group claims stemming from a phishing attack. Bloomberg

The Liberal List: Here’s How Far Left California is Moving
California Democrats now enjoy their biggest legislative advantages in decades, with veto-proof majorities in both the Assembly and Senate. Besides a brief stretch from 1995 to 1996 when Republicans had a slim majority in the Assembly, Democrats have had complete control of the Legislature for the last 48 years. The Sacramento Bee

Trump Says He Would Ask Supreme Court to Intervene if Democrats Move to Impeach Him
President Trump suggested Wednesday that he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats move to impeach him — a notion that legal experts said showed a misunderstanding of the Constitution. It was unclear how Trump would legally justify such a move, since the Constitution delegates impeachment proceedings to Congress, not the courts. The Washington Post

Human Resources / Health & Safety

Remember: Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness
As temperatures start to rise across the state, Cal/OSHA reminds employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. HRWatchdog

U.S. Measles Cases Hit Highest Level Since Eradication in 2000
The United States has confirmed 695 measles cases so far this year, the highest level since the country declared it had eliminated the virus in 2000, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Reuters

Economy

Here Come the IPOs and Here Comes a Proposal to Tax Them in San Francisco
A lot of San Francisco companies are preparing to go public, and one city supervisor wants to tax them to offset the “negative impacts” that the sudden injection of wealth is expected to have on the city. San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Post Biggest Rise in 19 Months
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits increased by the most in 19 months last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to labor market strength. Reuters

U.S. Business-Equipment Orders Rebound in Best Gain Since July
Orders placed with U.S. factories for business equipment rose by the most in eight months in March as a broader measure also saw surprising strength, signs corporate investment is regaining its footing despite trade war uncertainty. Bloomberg

What to Watch in the First-Quarter GDP Report
Economic growth was likely solid in the first three months of the year, despite a rocky start to the quarter due to a prolonged government shutdown and financial-market turmoil in late 2018. The Wall Street Journal

Environmental / Agriculture

What’s Behind a New Climate Surcharge Coming to Your Restaurant Bill in California
Some California restaurants will put another surcharge on their bills later this year — but this time, it won’t be for service or employee benefits. It will be to fight climate change. San Francisco Chronicle

Coming Soon to California Restaurants: Carbon Neutral Meals, Verified by Regulators
Diners may soon have the chance to nibble away some of their climate guilt by patronizing California restaurants that have pledged to slash their carbon footprints to zero. Los Angeles Times

Dead Fish Wash Up Near $6.3 Million Passageway Designed to Protect Them
Dozens of fish carcasses — 13 of them Chinook salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act — rotted in the sun Tuesday a couple hundred yards from a new $6.3 million structure that state officials built specifically to keep that grisly scenario from happening. The Sacramento Bee

A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor
As a generational wave of farmers in California enters retirement age, these growers and ranchers face difficult choices about what to do with their farms and how to support themselves as they age. Capital Public Radio

International

UK Government Brexit Talks with Labour Cannot be Open Ended: PM May’s Spokesman
British government talks with the opposition Labour Party on finding a Brexit compromise cannot be open ended, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Wednesday. Reuters

Why New Nafta’s Approval Faces Long Odds
Vice President Mike Pence was in Michigan on Wednesday to sell the virtues of the new Nafta, or the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. But is Congress ever going to approve the agreement? WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains. The Wall Street Journal

China Faces Debt Fears Ahead of Construction Forum
China’s finance minister tried Thursday to dispel complaints its Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative leaves developing countries with too much debt, promising “sustainable financing” as leaders gathered to celebrate the project. Associated Press

Infrastructure / Education

Bill Would Offer $5,000 Tax Credit for Some First-Time California Home Buyers
Assembly Bill 1590, introduced in February by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, focuses on low- and moderate-income households that are willing to buy in communities identified as “distressed” by the state. It would help buyers who make the move between Jan. 1, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2023. The Mercury News

San Francisco Mayor Breed Wants to Use Public Land to Build Affordable Housing
San Francisco Mayor London Breed took office last July pledging to build more housing and to build it faster so that the affordability crisis wouldn’t empty the city of its working class. This November, she’s going to use the ballot box to try to do that. San Francisco Chronicle

Caltrans ‘Pauses’ Big MacArthur Maze Project After Blasts From Cities, Residents
A Caltrans plan to rebuild portions of the MacArthur Maze to accommodate larger trucks has hit a roadblock, for now, in the form of angry local officials and community groups who say the agency failed to tell them the project was coming and performed only a cursory study of its potentially far-reaching environmental effects. KQED

Opinion/Editorial

School Spending Popular, Taxes Not So Much
For years, even decades, polling has consistently found that Californians’ highest political priority is public education. That trend continues in a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, conducted in the wake of teacher strikes for higher salaries in three urban school districts. Dan Walters in CALmatters.org

No Surprise in Poll Results on Tax Questions
Well, here’s a shocker revealed by the most recent Public Policy of Institute of California poll: Voters are more likely to raise taxes on someone else than they are to raise taxes on themselves to help fund public education. Joel Fox in Fox and Hounds Daily

Another Ninth Circuit Spanking
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals keeps devising new theories to undercut legal arbitration to settle disputes. On Wednesday the Supreme Court’s five conservative Justices slapped down the latest. As a former Journal editor once explained, sometimes you have to write the same thing many times before people pay attention. The Wall Street Journal

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