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SNL’s “The Californians” skit is one of my all-time favorites, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, no parody lives up to the real thing.

California has out-California’d itself a lot lately.

Let’s review.

Telenovelas and Midnight Mariachi to End the Session

Sens. Kevin de Leon and Ben Hueso, both members of the Latino Legislative Caucus, celebrated the end of the legislative session with quips about telenovelas, and a mariachi band, respectively.

In his outgoing speech, Sen. @kdeleon credits his Spanish-language spokeswoman @xochitlarellano for helping him “be more popular in Spanish media than some telenovela stars.” @senricardolara quips: “It’s the hair.”

— Liam Dillon (@dillonliam) August 29, 2018

The best part of end of session is seeing California State Senator Ben Hueso serenade his colleagues at 12:30am, accompanied by a full mariachi band following him through the State Capitol.

cc @kdeleon @Scott_Wiener @CASenateDems

— fry (@anniefryman) September 1, 2018

Surfing, With a Splash of Pay Equity

California is both progressive and, like, totally gnarly brah.

So it makes sense that within a span of a few weeks, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill proclaiming surfing California’s official sport, and an obscure state commission required that male and female surfers in a big competition receive equal pay as a condition for holding the event, CALMatters reported this week.

In-N-Out Boycott Was Briefly In, Then Out

Typically the only time In-N-Out is divisive is when East Coast trolls argue that Five Guys is better. (It’s not.)

But the burger chain became briefly controversial after California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman called for a boycott when it was revealed the company donated to the state Republican Party.

The backlash was swift.

Many people pointed out that donating to Republicans is not an act worthy of a boycott; others, including San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, noted that the company is rare among fast food entities in that it gives workers a generous salary and benefits.

For the record, at least In-N-Out pays their workers living wage, as employees. More than we can say about countless political donors on both sides.

— Lorena (@LorenaSGonzalez) August 30, 2018

Bauman quickly walked the whole thing back, perhaps proving that even in a chaotic political world, some things remain sacred.

Homelessness Funding Rolls in

State officials announced this week that the city will likely soon receive $14.1 million and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, which coordinates San Diego’s homelessness response, is poised to get $18.8 million. A portion of both pots of money – $705,500 for the city and $941,000 for the region – will bankroll programs targeting youth homelessness.

The funds are a result of a June budget deal negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins of San Diego and others that included $500 million in emergency homelessness block grants to major California cities and regional groups.

SB 850, the budget legislation detailing the block grant program, allows funding for everything from shelters to rental assistance for homeless people.

City and regional leaders have yet to publicly detail how they plan to spend the money, though the Regional Task Force has hosted multiple community input sessions to hash out ideas.

State officials have said the state money can be doled out this fall, a feature that Atkins highlighted.

“It’s one thing to identify three-quarters of a billion dollars to address a severe problem – it’s another thing to know that the money is ready to head out the door,” Atkins wrote in a statement this week.

The larger total Atkins is referring to also acknowledges Atkins’ SB 2, passed in 2017, which established a $75 fee on certain real-estate recordings to create a sustainable source of affordable housing funding. It’s expected to pull in $250 million annually.

Atkins said this week that the San Diego region will in coming months receive about $2.5 million. Half of that cash is set to support homelessness programs and the other half to fund community plan updates.

Lisa Halverstadt

Three New Laws From San Diego Legislators

Brown signed three measures from San Diego legislators into law this week:

  • AB 1943 by Assemblywoman Marie Waldron clarifies existing law for mobile home owners who wish to take part in converting a mobile home park to a resident-owned park.
  • AB 2099 by Assemblyman Todd Gloria allows copies of documents to be used in the process of admitting mentally ill patients under a 5150 hold.
  • AB 1766 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein requires certain public swimming pools to have an Automated External Defibrillator unit on the premises.

Golden State News

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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