A year ago, Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside faced an avalanche of criticism when it closed its inpatient behavioral health and crisis stabilization units, raising the possibility that the North County region might be without any hospital beds for mental health patients.
Now, though, the county government has tentatively agreed to cover half of the $10 million cost to build Tri-City’s new 16-bed facility, in an attempt to quickly return inpatient psychiatric services to coastal North County and encourage Tri-City to hold onto and improve its mental health services over the long haul. The county also plans to provide incentives to encourage Tri-City to hold onto and improve its mental health services over the long haul.
Lisa Halverstadt reports on the deal and how some advocates question whether Tri-City should receive such support from the county after its decision to shutter mental-health beds left the region scrambling for solutions.
When the deal was presented last week, some board members questioned whether the county had tried to partner with other providers.
“Was there any chance of doing this somewhere else and giving the same financial incentives and support to another North County entity?” said board member John Sturm, who argued the arrangement with Tri-City could be described as a sweetheart deal.
County officials said they decided Tri-City, which runs a general hospital in the coastal area where inpatient beds are needed, was best suited to deliver the care the area needs.
County and Tri-City officials say they’ll present a final deal early next year.
AB 5 Is on to the Governor
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill to rein in worker misclassification passed the Assembly Wednesday, and moves on to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. Newsom has indicated he’ll sign it. Just before the measure cleared the Assembly, the Washington Post published this op-ed by Gonzalez laying out her case.
Remind me, what is AB 5? Gonzalez’s bill would codify the state Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision, which lays out a three-part test to determine whether someone should be classified as an employee, rather than an independent contractor. Ever since the bill was introduced this year, workers ranging from strippers to truck drivers to journalists to hair stylists have lobbied for exemptions.
So who got the exemptions? Good question. This CALmatters piece has a rundown of who got exemptions, and what jobs are likely to be impacted by the bill.
Are Uber drivers employees if the bill gets signed? Gonzalez was adamant that gig economy workers have long been misclassified as contractors and should not receive an exemption. They didn’t get one in the bill. But after the measure passed, the company said it won’t make drivers employees – because it doesn’t consider what they do core to its business.
What’s next? Well, the governor still has to sign the thing. And several rideshare companies and meal delivery services have pumped tens of millions of dollars into a potential 2020 ballot measure to overturn the measure.
- Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s bill to ban gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds passed the Legislature, and is headed to Newsom’s desk.
San Diego Unified to Create Child Abuse Task Force
On Tuesday, San Diego Unified School District board members adopted a resolution directing Superintendent Cindy Marten to establish a multi-agency task force to recommend strategies to protect children from abuse.
The proposal was pushed by Loxie Gant, a former La Jolla High School student who complained she was groped and harassed by her physics teacher to school officials in 2003 and whose complaints went largely ignored by school officials..
The task force is set to include members from community advocates, students, parents, members of law enforcement and other stakeholders.
In Other News
- San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez is running for Congress. Duh. She’s seeking to fill the seat that Rep. Susan Davis will not seek re-election to the City Council.
- Shockingly, a race that includes indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter and radio personality Carl Demaio has turned negative. DeMaio supporter Diane Harkey, who lost her bid to fill a seat vacated last year by Rep. Darrell Issa, blasted Issa, who had endorsed her, as “a quitter who neglected his own constituents for years.” She added that, “While Issa publicly claimed to be helping me, behind-the-scenes with key donors and national groups he was stonewalling and hurting fundraising by telling all that the seat was not winnable.” She lost her race by 13 points, nearly 38,000 votes. (Politico)
- Chula Vista and La Mesa voted again to join a regional power agency with the city of San Diego, while the county government is looking to join another regional utility with several North County cities. We’ve explained what these government-run “community choice” agencies are and how opposition from labor could throw a wrench in the city’s plans. (KPBS, Union-Tribune)
- Local government spies on us in many ways, but when it comes to using its surveillance technology to help people in Barrio Logan be spared air pollution from vehicles driving through the neighborhood – that’s apparently a bridge too far. (Union-Tribune)
- Controversy continues over a roundabout in Valley Center. (Valley Roadrunner)
The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Kayla Jimenez, and edited by Sara Libby.