The Morning Report
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County and hospital leaders hope to open more facilities to better serve mental-health patients in crisis. But first, they’ll have to win over residents and city leaders who don’t want those facilities near them.
As Lisa Halverstadt reports, opposition to two proposed facilities that would treat mental health patients in Chula Vista and Vista, respectively, underline the challenges the county and hospital leaders are likely to face as they look to bolster mental-health services countywide.
A Chula Vista group has collected more than 3,960 signatures on an online petition opposing the 120-bed psychiatric hospital that Acadia Healthcare and San Diego-based Scripps Health hope to build in an Eastlake cul-de-sac.
And Vista city leaders have lots of questions about the county’s intent to bolster services at Exodus Recovery’s Vista walk-in facility.
The latter push is part of a larger plan approved by county supervisors this summer to establish a countywide network of crisis units to stem the rush of mental-health patients pouring into local ERs and to lessen the burden on police officers often tasked with ferrying patients to the hospital, a process that can pull them from their beats for hours.
State Bill Would Require a PLA for Pure Water
One of the largest and most important water projects in San Diego history was halted this summer when a group of contractors sued to kill a union-friendly contract. They argued that San Diego prevents labor from dominating city construction terms, and a judge agreed.
But the contractor’s victory may be short-lived, Ry Rivard reports.
To end the labor dispute, Assemblyman Todd Gloria rolled out a bill Friday to require union-friendly terms for work on Pure Water. The state is expected to help pay for about a third of the $1.6 billion project, giving Gloria — and Senate leader Toni Atkins — leverage.
Though the deadline to introduce new bills this session has long passed, Gloria used what’s called the gut-and-amend process to scrap language from an existing bill and replace it with a separate issue altogether.
It is more proof of labor’s growing political influence in San Diego, a city once dominated by Republicans.
Not wanting to stall or kill large bayside hotel projects, the Port of San Diego in January passed a policy that gives “considerable preference” to contractors who do not have a history of conflicts with unions.
- Rep. Susan Davis’ decision not to run for re-election is a big deal, because of the domino effect it might have on local offices. Just about every high-profile Democrat in San Diego thinks they could represent California’s 53rd Congressional District well, writes Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts. They run through the list of serious contenders in the Politics Report and, along with Sara Libby, put their punditry prowess to the test on the podcast.
- Sara Jacobs, a nonprofit executive who worked for the U.S. State Department, announced her candidacy this weekend. Her personal wealth is a decided advantage in an abbreviated race like this. The primary is six months away.
- Davis won’t say who she wants to run, but sources tell us that she hopes it’s a woman. If a man runs and wins, every one of the five San Diego-area representatives in the House will be a man. Reflecting back on Davis’ career in the U-T, other politicians and community advocates highlighted her cooperative spirit and for making women’s health and veterans high priorities. She played a role in ending the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
- Two education bills written by San Diego lawmakers are moving through Sacramento and both could result in enormous costs. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s AB 197 would require schools to offer full-day kindergarten programs, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s AB 218 would extend the statute of limitations for crimes involving sexual abuse of children.
- Officials across the region approved a new long-term home building plan that prioritizes areas rich with public transit and jobs. SANDAG is responsible for determining where 171,000 new homes are going to go over the next decade. Smaller cities are not pleased. (KPBS)
In Other News
- On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council will reconsider its plan to dramatically increase density near trolley stations along Morena Boulevard. In a new op-ed, a planning professor argues in favor of changes to ensure that more affordable housing gets built.
- The City Council will also consider a community plan update for Mission Valley that could add tens of thousands of new housing units and refocus the mostly commercial area around walking, biking and the San Diego River. (Union-Tribune)
- Migrants who return to Central America under a U.S. government program may not be allowed to legally re-enter Mexico so they can resume immigration hearings here. Legal and human rights advocates question whether the migrants fully understand what they’re giving up. (Union-Tribune)
- It appears a compromise over a controversial vaccine exemption bill has been reached between lawmakers and the governor, and a vote on a companion bill could happen Monday. (AP)
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.