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May 10th: May Revise budget is in the air

May 10, 2024

The old adage of “If I can balance my checkbook, why can’t the government?” is back in the news. As you might guess we will tackle the budget deficit, and share some great articles.

But first…

Governor to Half Moon Bay: Hurry up!

Only in California would a modest, 40-unit housing project for senior farmworkers require gubernatorial muscle to (hopefully) move an intransigent local planning commission. But here we are! The stalled project in Half Moon Bay remains in limbo while the good folks of the planning commission take their sweet, sweet time. (Totally cool, as it’s not like there’s a crippling housing crisis or anything.) Governor Newsom's message to the dawdling commissioners was crystal clear: stop the waffling or face the legal wrath of the state’s Housing Accountability Unit. The building is meant to rise from the ashes of last year's grisly scene at California Terra Gardens mushroom farms, where the living conditions were so appalling that they launched a thousand grim “Last of Us” jokes. Workers were living in shipping containers with no running water, no insulation, and no sanitary area to prepare food. But hey, no rush!

Shortly after the Governor dialed up the pressure, local Mayor Joaquín Jiménez offered a frosty retort, dismissing Newsom's impatience as unhelpful and insisting no delays are taking place—just democracy in slow motion. Jiménez, seems more interested in a sit-down than a showdown. “If he wants to meet with me and sit down and talk about housing, I would love to sit down with him,” said Jiménez. “He needs to understand that this is a process that we have to follow.”

Silly Governor! Doesn’t he know anything about local government?

Editor’s note: If it’s the process that has given us the status quo, you can keep it. People can’t live in a “process.” Let’s build some homes.


🤫 Everything you should know

- Our state budget is immensely complicated and any changes we make rely on a litany of projections and opinions. That’s one reason we’re in this mess we are in today. Forecasts, it turns out, are fallible. Gov. Newsom and the legislature still have a lot of work to do to reach a deal that will fill the $73 billion deficit. While we usually advocate for transformative policy changes to tackle the multiple crises we are facing – but today our team is working to ensure that any budget cuts that are made by Gov. Newsom don’t harm our chance to achieve our future goals. Immediate changes are required, but we can’t destroy California’s future in order to solve this single problem. CalMatters

- HOPE, a nonprofit that focuses on Latina empowerment, has released a new report. The results are fascinating: California is the state with the largest Latino population in the nation, and Latinas make up 20% of the state's total population. Latino homeownership rate in the state increased by 3.7 percentage points between 2021 and 2022. Only 41% of Latino households in California hold retirement accounts compared to 68% of white households. Latinas in California earn only 42 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men and 71 cents when compared to white women. Latina-owned employer businesses increased by 26.5% between 2018 and 2021, generating nearly 147,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $5.92 billion. The underlying theme of the data dump: Latinas face a huge economic gap and we think legislators should be doing something about it. If one of the state’s fastest-growing groups can’t get ahead, they’re not going to call California home for long. HOPE

- The newest season of Imperfect Paradise, published by LAist, focuses on the future of one of California’s most crucial water sources: the Colorado River. The river is slowing to a trickle, and major American population centers are at risk if it dries up. Recent droughts should serve as a warning that the impact of a dry Colorado River would be catastrophic. Listen now: LAist

🌞 Weather Alert

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a severe geomagnetic storm watch for Friday evening. This is the first warning of its kind since January 2005. The category G4 signals the possibility that a concentration of energy flaring from the sun could disturb our planet’s electromagnetic field once it reaches Earth. But to put a positive spin on this potentially destructive event, the super-charged collisions of solar energy into the gas of our atmosphere creates the dazzling phenomena of aurora borealis, or the northern lights. Los Angeles Times

🛬 We love tourism

California’s tourism industry still enjoys the largest market share in the nation. This year the state reached an all-time record high of $150.4 billion in tourism revenue. That surpasses the previous record of $144.9 billion spent in 2019. Gov. Newsom

👩‍⚖️Bear Alert (cute alert, not danger)

It's a reverse Goldilocks real life-story. A family of bears found a swimming pool in Monrovia that is not too hot, it's not too cold, it's juuust right. And the chairs by the pool are not too hard, neither too soft - they are also juuust right. Take a look at the video. NBC Los Angeles

📸 The water is back (for now)

After this year’s deluge many of the state’s water storage are at capacity – and you can see the difference. Take a look at these before and after pictures. Los Angeles Times

🏔️ SoCal hike this weekend?

If you’re in the LA area, we recommend getting outside this weekend – perhaps visiting Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks and checking out this awesome cave.