Daily Headlines for January 17, 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

Budget Plan: Fiscal Stability Now, Future Search for New Funds
In his recently released state budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom made two important and supportive statements on California’s business and economic climate.

Public Affairs/Politics

New Legislative Analyst Will Come to the Capitol From Big Finance
California’s next legislative analyst will be a public finance expert who will come to the Capitol from a top financial credit rating agency. The Sacramento Bee

Trump and Democrats are Far Apart on Immigration. Can They Work Together for California Farms?
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump told farmers he wants to make it easier for foreign labor “to come in and to work the farms.” Two California Democrats have a proposal they argue could do just that. The Sacramento Bee

Pelosi Asks Trump to Reschedule SOTU Because of the Shutdown
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked President Donald Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address — or deliver it in writing — as long as the government remains shut down. Politico

Human Resources / Health & Safety

On the Road: Employment Law Updates Seminars
The New Year brings many things — resolutions, cold weather and CalChamber’s annual Employment Law Updates seminars. Our seminars are sell-out shows and currently seats are only available for the San Francisco seminar on January 28. HRWatchdog

Fight Over the Future of Work is Moving Front and Center
Legislators last year punted on grappling with the California Supreme Court ruling that requires companies such as Uber and TaskRabbit to count gig workers as full employees, rather than independent contractors. Not this year. WHAT MATTERS in CALmatters.org

That Newsom Proposal for Six-Month Paid Family Leave? It’s Bold—But Less so Than it Seems
Californians who like the idea of getting more paid time off work to care for a new baby may find good news and bad news in the details of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget. CALmatters.org

Here Are California’s New Laws To Address The State’s Opioid Crisis
About 2,000 Californians die from opioid overdose annually, according to the California Department of Public Health. This week in Chico, one person died and 12 were taken to the hospital after a suspected overdose on a powerful opiate called fentanyl. Capital Public Radio


Minimum Wage to Increase by Up to $4 in One Bay Area City
Minimum wage in Fremont will rise to $15 over the next two years. Fremont City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to increase the minimum wage ahead of state-ordered minimum wage increases that will be implemented in 2022 and 2023. San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Fall
The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin the economy. Reuters

Environmental / Agriculture

Governor Newsom’s Appointments Demonstrate Leadership on Environment
Governor Newsom has appointed to his executive team a bevy of experts well versed in climate change and environmental policy from an educational, think tank, and government background. Capitol Insider

California’s Most Famous Butterfly Nearing Death Spiral
An alarming, precipitous drop in the western monarch butterfly population in California this winter could spell doom for the species, a scenario that biologists say could also plunge bug-eating birds and other species into similar death spirals. San Francisco Chronicle

California’s Top Pesticide Regulator Resigns Without Offering Explanation
California’s chief pesticide regulator is leaving his post. Brian Leahy, who has served as director of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation for the last seven years, announced his resignation in an email to agency staff last week, but stopped short of explaining why. KQED


China Says Economy Czar to Visit Washington for Trade Talks
The top U.S. and Chinese trade envoys will hold talks in Washington this month in a possible sign of progress toward ending a costly tariff battle over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Associated Press

Portugal to Add Customs Workers as Part of No-Deal Brexit Plan
The Portuguese government will add 60 customs workers as part of its contingency plan for a possible no-deal Brexit, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said. Bloomberg

Trump’s Tariffs Are Producing Billions, But China Isn’t Paying
President Donald Trump is right to say that his tariffs are generating billions of dollars for the U.S. But China and other countries aren’t paying them as he’s suggested. Bloomberg

Germany Pushes China to Open its Financial Sector
Germany and China are working on ways to improve market access for each other’s banks and insurers, the German finance minister said on Thursday, and he welcomed plans by China and the United States to ease trade tensions through talks. Reuters

Infrastructure / Education

Should Children Attend Full-Day Kindergarten? California Law May Soon Require It.
California may soon require that all the state’s kindergarteners attend a full day of school, if a bill introduced last week becomes law. The Sacramento Bee

Government Shutdown Taking Toll on Wildfire Preparations
Just two months after a wildfire wiped out Paradise, California, officials are gearing up for this year’s fire season and fear the government shutdown could make it even more difficult than one of the worst in history. Associated Press

PG&E Bankruptcy Could Mean Price Hikes, Unpaid Fire Lawsuits
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said this week it will file for bankruptcy, raising concern that rates for electricity and gas will rise and victims of California wildfires who are suing the nation’s largest utility won’t get all the money they may be owed. Associated Press

Walking Out for Higher Wages: More Public Employees Decide to ‘Fight Back’ in California
Court reporters in Fresno. UC hospital workers in Sacramento. Teachers in Los Angeles. Public employees are striking across the state in a sign that the year is shaping up to a feisty for labor in California government. The Sacramento Bee


SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation-Part II
In addition to the statutory changes described above, SB 1300 sets forth several statements of “legislative intent” about the application of FEHA in regard to harassment claims. The measure does so in Section One of the bill by adding Section 12923 to the Government Code that sets forth five statements “with regard to application of the laws about harassment contained in this part.” Laura Curtis and Chris MIcheli in Fox & Hounds Daily

Should California Revive Redevelopment?
An anything-is-possible attitude enveloped post-World War II America, fueling ambitious undertakings such as a nationwide network of freeways, nuclear power so inexpensive that it wouldn’t need to be metered, and exploring outer space. Dan Walters CALmatters.org

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