Good morning, California. It’s Wednesday, December 9.
ICUs beneath stress
As California races previous grim coronavirus milestones — more than 10,000 hospitalizations, more than 20,000 deaths, 100% ICU capability in some counties — stress is rising on the state to offer knowledge justifying its restrictions.
A superior courtroom choose on Tuesday issued a withering rebuke to Los Angeles County’s outdoor dining ban, calling it “an abuse of … emergency powers” and “not “grounded in science, proof or logic.” As a way to lengthen the ban past three weeks, the county should conduct a risk-benefit evaluation accounting for the financial, psychological and emotional price of shuttering companies, the choose dominated. Though outside eating continues to be prohibited within the county on account of a state-mandated regional shutdown, the ruling calls into query the state’s eating restrictions and can doubtless give ammunition to the numerous restaurants challenging them in court.
Including gasoline to the hearth, a group of five state lawmakers dined together outdoors at a Sacramento restaurant Monday evening — the newest politicians to be caught violating state guidance.
Some native governments are additionally questioning the science behind the state’s new shutdown framework tied to regional ICU capability. The framework relies on California’s mutual support system, which divides the state into 5 areas utilizing pre-established emergency response networks. However Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties — chafing beneath the restrictions imposed on the Southern California area house to 22 million folks — desire a extra focused strategy that entails the state recognizing them as a separate Central Coast region.
The pushback comes amid a coronavirus surge that has left some Central Valley counties working at 100% ICU capability, practically two dozen counties with fewer than 10 obtainable ICU beds, and lots of with vital employees shortages, CalMatters’ Rachel Becker reports. Some particularly hard-hit counties have already needed to switch their sickest sufferers to hospitals in different counties.
The coronavirus backside line: As of 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, California had 1,389,707 confirmed coronavirus circumstances and 20,047 deaths from the virus, in accordance with a CalMatters tracker.
Additionally: CalMatters frequently updates this pandemic timeline monitoring the state’s daily actions. And we’re tracking the state’s coronavirus hospitalizations by county.
Different tales you need to know
1. Newsom loses chief of employees
Gov. Gavin Newsom is dropping his chief of employees, Ann O’Leary, after she landed on President-elect Joe Biden’s shortlist for an administration publish, Politico reports. O’Leary is the newest high official to depart Newsom’s administration because the governor struggles to address numerous facets of the pandemic, together with extended faculty closures and intensifying issues on the state unemployment division. Sources near Newsom told Politico that the governor’s workplace has been disorganized these days — maybe a mirrored image of, or mirrored by, the excessive quantity of turnover. Newsom’s communications director left in November, a couple of months after three other top officials and the state director of public health exited the governor’s administration. And different departures loom: the director of the unemployment division announced in November that she’s going to retire Dec. 31.
O’Leary’s departure affords Newsom yet another opportunity to make a high-profile appointment. The governor is claimed to be contemplating registered lobbyist and veteran Democratic political guide Jim DeBoo for his new chief of employees. DeBoo confirmed Tuesday night he could be becoming a member of Newsom’s group as a senior staffer.
2. Elon Musk strikes to Texas
Talking of exits, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday that he has moved to Texas — months after he threatened to take action amid a showdown with Alameda County over coronavirus restrictions. Although Tesla nonetheless has an in depth footprint in California, Musk in October moved his foundation to Texas and can open a brand new automobile plant there subsequent yr. He’s the newest Silicon Valley mainstay to shift some operations to the Lone Star State — final week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveiled plans to maneuver its headquarters from San Jose to Texas. It’s a pattern that might proceed as California expats pour into Texas, lots of whom cite liberal politics and high taxes as predominant causes for the transfer.
It’s, nevertheless, price noting that Tesla has financially benefited from promoting hundreds of millions of dollars in California emission credits to different carmakers.
3. Fixing California’s house insurance coverage disaster
Regardless of taking vital measures to guard their properties in opposition to wildfire, increasingly more Californians dwelling in fire-prone areas are unable to safe owners’ insurance coverage — prompting state Insurance coverage Commissioner Ricardo Lara to convene a Thursday listening to in the hunt for options to a worsening disaster, CalMatters’ James Bikales reports. Although state regulators, insurance coverage firms and shopper teams agree on a long-term answer — giving a reduced insurance coverage price to owners who exhibit they’ve met sure requirements to harden their properties in opposition to fireplace — they disagree on what these requirements must be and who ought to certify whether or not owners meet them. However Wildfire Companions, a program in Colorado’s fire-prone Boulder County, might be an instructive mannequin for California’s path ahead, James writes.
In the meantime, enrollments in California’s FAIR Plan — the state’s “insurer of final resort” that gives bare-bones fireplace protection — jumped 225% final yr. The FAIR Plan, which is already two to a few occasions costlier than different plans, will see its charges bounce by a median of 15.6% statewide on Jan. 1, the insurer’s president said Monday. Rural owners are projected to see the best improve.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: California’s politicians are enjoying musical chairs as Newsom mulls appointments to high-profile places of work.
Don’t blame lecturers for college closures: It’s the federal government’s duty to maintain faculties open by offering the required funds to make them protected, argues Jenny Silva of the Redwood High School Parent Teacher Student Association.
Gaps in early-learning plan: California’s Grasp Plan for Early Studying and Care is a place to begin, however many advocates level to severe gaps Newsom should deal with, writes Kate Karpilow, author of Understanding Child Care: A Primer for Policymakers.
Different issues price your time
California water futures start buying and selling on Wall Avenue amid fears of shortage. // Bloomberg
Los Angeles seeks to skip upcoming homeless depend over pandemic issues. // Los Angeles Times
Why Marin continues to be probably the most segregated county within the Bay Space. // San Francisco Chronicle
California lawmakers attempt once more to make it simpler to construct housing. // San Francisco Chronicle
Commentary: Sure, Xavier Becerra sued Trump. However listed below are some ugly truths about his report as lawyer common. // Sacramento Bee
Former government director information lawsuit in opposition to California Public Utilities Fee. // San Diego Union-Tribune
What it should imply for well being care when California’s nurse practitioners get extra freedom beneath new legislation. // Santa Rosa Press Democrat
See you tomorrow.
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Observe me on Twitter: @emily_hoeven
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