Golden State Lockdown: Bay Area Extends Its Shelter-In-Place Order

On Wednesday, Bay Area health officials extended shelter-in-place orders through May, bringing their duration to 11 weeks. The new orders very minimally loosen restrictions to allow construction and some outdoor shops and activities, but most businesses remain closed. The announcement comes as California’s Covid-19 situation is looking better, in terms of infections, while the economic, social, and even health repercussions of its stay-at-home orders mounts. A rational cost-benefit analysis of the public-health response should encourage California and the Bay Area to begin a phased reopening.

The health situation in the Bay Area, and California as a whole, appears far from dire. Data on new Covid-19 cases show a clear flattening of the curve. The number of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in the Bay Area has dropped almost every day for a week. According to the website, the effective reproduction number (known as Rt or Re) in California, and in almost every other state, is below 1, indicating a decline in infections. The seven-day average for new infections in the Bay Area is the lowest in a month. California’s 16 northernmost counties, with a population of more than 1 million, have seen only 181 confirmed cases — a lower known infection rate than South Korea’s.

Meantime, some 26 million people have filed for unemployment nationally over the past month, including 3.2 million in California, a crushing tide of layoffs that dwarfs prior job-loss records. Almost one-third of Americans did not pay their rent this month. Businesses everywhere are struggling, with small businesses faring the worst and museums and nonprofits in jeopardy, too. Transit agencies face enormous financial losses because of lost riders. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has said that the economy is deteriorating “with alarming speed.” In a tragic irony, hospitals that worried about an overflow of Covid-19 patients are now laying off workers due to cancellation of elective surgeries and also, perhaps, sick people avoiding treatment for fear of infection. Lines at food banks are staggering. People talk openly not just of recession but depression.

Luckily, recovery should be easier than from a typical recession, since this one is a forced abnormality. Millions of people could have their jobs back tomorrow if shelter-in-place orders were eased — and as the impact of the virus wanes, it makes sense to begin lifting them, as European nations such as Norway and Austria are doing, and as Texas has begun to do. Even New York, far harder hit than California, has tentatively scheduled an end to its statewide “pause” on May 15.

Yet California shows no inclination to ease up. The statewide order has no end date. Governor Gavin Newsom refuses to set one, saying only that the end is “weeks away.” Newsom has outlined criteria to lift the order, but some of his requirements—such as sufficient hospital capacity and progress toward a treatment—are unnecessary or unrealistic. The state’s 5,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations represent a small fraction of its approximately 75,000 staffed beds. A vaccine could be more than a year away and like the swine flu virus, Covid-19 may never even get a silver-bullet cure. Neither the Bay Area nor California have put together a clear plan for reopening.

Newsom is not the only one taking a hard line. Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has stated that there “is no cost that is too high to save any one precious life.” Some infectious-disease specialists argue that restrictions should remain in place until the infection rate is nearly zero. These are impossible standards to meet, and not applied to any other danger or disease. Governor Murphy has never ordered streets and highways closed despite more than one life lost each day in New Jersey car crashes. According to the CDC, swine flu has continued to kill about 7,500 Americans each year since the outbreak in 2009. We must accept that Covid-19 will probably never go away entirely.

For some observers, the idea of quantifying human life in economic terms sounds heartless. Yet we perform such cost-benefit analyses all the time, both as individuals—when we choose between riding a motorcycle or a station wagon—and as societies—when we choose whether to put more money into cancer research or into studies of rarer diseases. Every developed nation maintains value of statistical life (VSL) measures, for use in planning, transportation, and health policies.

There are social as well as economic costs. The effects of job losses and recession fall hardest on the poor and working class. People living paycheck-to-paycheck, or without savings, are suffering most. As the economy sinks, it takes with it the livelihoods and aspirations of tens of millions of Californians. It is reasonable to argue that we cannot destroy the economy trying to stop every possible Covid-19 death. When people can’t eat, that’s a health problem, too.

There are even direct health reasons to reopen. After six weeks of shelter-in-place, cracks are appearing in California. San Francisco police broke up an illegal nightclub, surely not the only infraction. More people are circulating outside, and the size of the groups suggests that it’s no longer just roommates walking together. People are more likely to take risks the longer their confinement lasts. Far better to begin a gradual reopening, with a highly publicized campaign to encourage mitigation measures, such as wearing masks.

Another public health reason to begin to lift restrictions is that if stay-at-home orders ruin the lives of millions, they will be much harder to implement in the future. A future disease could be worse than Covid-19—the fatality rate of SARS, in 2003, was 11 percent—but resentment over a “Covid recession” might make it much harder to get people to cooperate next time.

California led the nation in shutting down, but the state is lagging the country, and the world, in opening back up. New Zealand planned its successful lockdown on the scientific basis of two incubation cycles, or 28 days. The sequence lasted slightly longer, but after 33 days, the country began a phased reopening this week. Operating on the same parameters, California could have started lifting restrictions last week. Instead of waiting four more weeks, it should start a phased reopening now.

The stay-at-home orders have been very successful and given California a relatively low infection rate despite one of the earliest exposures. Most people have complied, and local officials should trust them to behave responsibly as restrictions lift, rather than trying to micromanage their activity. And all phases of reopening would include continuing effective mitigation measures—washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing, self-isolation of at-risk people, and tracking and quarantining of those testing positive for Covid-19.

Each region of the United States has experienced the pandemic differently; a phased reopening would work differently in each place. The current approach—where largely healthy Northern California lives under the same restrictions as harder-hit Los Angeles—is not tenable. It’s time to begin the gradual lifting of shelter-in-place orders before these orders do more damage than the illness they were issued to fight.

Phillip Sprincin is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This article was originally published by City Journal Online.

Now Democrats Want to Give Coronavirus Money to Illegal Aliens

Now Democrats Want to Give Coronavirus Money to Illegal Aliens

Illegal Immigration: Many Selfish Actors Benefit | National Review

Unsurprisingly, Democrats are again prioritizing non-Americans over the welfare of our citizens.

The latest outrage was introduced by California (where else?) Rep. Lou Correa who led two fellow Democrats by introducing the so-called “Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act.”

Latest: Democrats ‘Want The Federal Government To Take Over Elections’

The bill would allow people in this country illegally to apply for coronavirus relief funding.

However, these funds only go to taxpayers who have filed tax returns with the IRS and have a valid Social Security number (or any of the other legal identification numbers). That naturally leaves illegals out of the equation.

These provisions are now being called “racist” by Democrats looking to further pander to illegals.

Indeed, California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu insisted that the virus does not care about tax status.

“I was appalled to learn hardworking, taxpaying immigrants were left out of the $2 trillion CARES Act,” the hard-core leftist said in his Friday press release.

“By casting out immigrants, we are placing some of our most vulnerable residents in grave danger. Every individual taxpayer, irrespective of citizenship status, needs government assistance now,” he added.

Correa was referring to the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package that Trump signed last week. The bill, of course, contains a $1,200 payment to individual citizens with a maximum of $2,400 per couple. The payments will also include $500 per child.

“This virus does not care about immigration status. It does not discriminate, and neither should we. Immigrants own businesses and homes, support families, and pay rent, and contribute to their communities,” Chu said last week.

“Making it impossible for them to receive the same benefit we are sending to everyone else just means those immigrants will have a harder time affording food or rent, and that leaves us all worse off. I hope to see this corrected in the next relief package,” she said.

75 Reasons Why California Sucks

California’s got the beaches… but that’s about it. The days of ‘California Girls’ by the Beach Boys is long gone. Want attractive women? Go to Texas instead. Unless you have a thing for blue hair and the scent of rats, I guess. Let’s take a walk through the modern day reality of The California Socialist Republic and discover 50 reasons why California sucks!

50 Reasons Why California Sucks

If it isn’t enough to be surrounded by hostile politicians and communists, you also have the luxury of dealing with all of these issues discussed below.

(*Side-note: I originally got the idea for this article from an TheEconomicCollapse article by Michael Snyder. That article was written in 2012, and many of the facts are no longer accurate [such as some unemployment metrics] – so I felt such a legendary article deserved an update. This is the modernized version for 2017. I have continually update this throughout 2018-2019 and will keep going so long as it stays popular!)

50 Reasons Why California Sucks

1. California ranked dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey in 2016. Oh, and it also was ranked dead last for every other year that the survey has been conducted.

2. In 2015, the state of California ranked 50th out of all 50 states in new business creation.

3. According to a recent study, California is the worst-governed state in the entire country for two years in a row!

4. Even after Proposition 30, California still boasts the highest state income tax rate in the nation.

5. Even though California continually (Prop 55) raises taxes dramatically on the wealthy, state revenues are falling like a rock and debt is still adding up.

6. California has the highest sales tax rate in the United States.

7. California has the 9th highest corporate income tax rate in the country.

8. California has the highest “minimum corporate tax” in the country. It is the only state where a corporation must pay money to the state even if a corporation does not make a single dollar of profit.

9. California has the 2nd highest gas tax in the country. And don’t worry – if you drive an electric car they’ll still charge you a $100 annual fee for “offsetting your gas taxes”.

75 50 reasons California sucks 1

10. California is the only state in America that taxes carbon emissions.

11. The state of California issues some of the most expensive traffic tickets in the nation. It is actually the highest when you count in the insurance premium hit.

12. California has historically had the third highest unemployment rate of any state, and has the highest under-employment rate.

13. California scored 45th on “The Nation’s Report Card” for public school test scores, indicating significantly sub-par scores on Math and Reading and generally poorly educated students.

14. The state of California requires licenses for 198 different occupations (the most in the nation). The national average is only 96.

15. California teachers are the 5th highest paid in the nation, but California students rank 46th in math and 49th in reading.

16. California accounts for 12.15% percent of the U.S. population, but a whopping 30% percent of Americans that receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and MOE live there. This amounts to almost 7 billion dollars per year.

17. California now has the lowest credit/bond rating in the entire country (Yes, it even surpassed Illinois).

18. Including unfunded pension liabilities, the state of California has more than twice as much debt as any other state does. Their total state debt (w/o unfunded pension liabilities) is second only to New York.

19. Average pay for California state workers has risen by 100 percent from 2005 to 2012, and 120 percent from 2012-2015. That is awesome news for those state employees, but it is terrible news for the taxpayers that have to pay their salaries and their pensions (Which we already have mentioned are currently unfunded).

20. California has the worst healthcare system in the country. This occurred because of illegals using the healthcare and not paying for insurance or services, hospitals closing down, and increased costs on providers.

21. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has been steadily increasing.

22. Sadly, an astounding 58.6 percent of all students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. To qualify, the family income must fall below 185% of the poverty line.

23. The American Tort Reform Association has ranked the state of California as the second worst “judicial hellhole” in America, and the worst state-wide “judicial hellhole”.

24. Absurd regulations in California have been increasing in number and scope, while also becoming significantly more problematic for operating businesses within CA.

25. According to the Milken Instituteoperating costs for California businesses are 23 percent higher than the national average.

26. The state of California had the worst “small business failure rate” in America in 2010. It was 69 percent higher than the national average. They also have 4 out of the 5 cities in the category of “Top 5 Worst Places For Small Businesses“.

27. California has the third highest homelessness rate (Number of people homeless: 367 per 100,000).

28. Residential customers in California pay about 50 percent more for electricity than the national average.

29. The State of California has the lowest number of emergency departments per capita of any state (6.7 per 1 million people). They scored an F on the “Access to Emergency Care” Report Card.

30. Insane political correctness.

31. One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.

32. The traffic around certain big cities in CA is ranked as the 1st and 3rd worst in the nation.

50 reasons California sucks 2

33. Los Angeles. (Do I really even need to explain?)

34. San Francisco.

35. Oakland.

36. Frivolous spending on unnecessary government services.

37. California’s sanctuary cities protect illegal immigrants that have seven felonies from being deported, to later acquit them of murder when they kill an innocent American [Kate Steinle].

38. The rampant gang activity in the state gets even worse with each passing year. (Los Angeles is deemed “Gang Capital of America”).

39. California’s violent crime rate is the 13th highest in the nation.

40. Back in 2010, the city attorney of San Bernardino, California told citizens to “lock their doors and load their guns” because there is not enough money to pay for adequate police protection any longer.

41. California is incredibly lawsuit happy, coming in as one of the Top 5 “Lawsuit Climate” states.

42. They have three of the top 10 most violent cities in the US.

43. In Stockton, the police budget cuts got so bad that the police union put up a billboard at one point with the following message: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops.”

44. California doesn’t respect the rights of parents. (Sound like socialist utopia yet?).

45. The absolutely insane California state legislature. Oh, and Jerry Brown.

46. Wildfires, mudslides, and impending giant earthquake.

47. 1.5 out of 10 drivers in the state do not have car insurance. California also has one of the lowest minimum coverage rates. This led California to being ranked #1 in the “Top 5 Riskiest States For Drivers.

48. In the past decade, over 5 million people left California with only 3.9 million moving in. This has created a loss of over 1 million people, and a budget reduction of 26 billion in annual income.

49. Illegals control the state. Double-digit billions of dollars go to illegal immigrant aid-related expenses (such as housing, K-12 schooling, English supplementation courses, free college for the “undocumented”, healthcare, etc). This is after accounting for tax revenue they contribute.

50. California has the highest school system revenue of any state, but one of the Top 10 Lowest Per Pupil Spending.

Bonus Reasons Why California Sucks:

(Got more? Leave them in the comments!)
more reasons california sucks

51. Two fault lines in California have actually been discovered to be one mega fault line, that was labelled “locked, loaded, and ready to go“.

52. BIG UPDATECalifornia has surpassed Mississippi in the Poverty Capital of the United States in early 2018. California now has the highest poverty rate in the entire nation. Great job, guys!

53. Prop 47 has resulted in a virtual get out of jail free card. Police are forced to “catch and release” people that are caught with heroin, meth, crack, etc. This includes people with 13 + drug charges. This has dis-incentivized treatments, because it is a lot easier to just take a ticket than 18 months of rehab. Numerous drug treatment programs and courts have closed in high usage areas, and crimes have increased because criminals realize that they won’t actually face any punishment.

54. California’s Police Use of Force Policy does not allow officers to use deadly force when the offender’s only weapon is a vehicle. So if someone is mowing down innocent people or trying to run over police, LEO’s are not authorized to shoot them.

55. Even the criminals think the California laws are ridiculous. Because of (Again, Prop 47) California laws, any theft under $900 is also a required “catch and release”. There was a the known gang member near Palm Springs who had been caught with a stolen gun valued at $625 and then reacted incredulously when the arresting officer explained that he would not be taken to jail but instead written a citation. “But I had a gun. What is wrong with this country?” the offender said, according to the police report.

56. They were rated as one of the “Top 5 Worst States For Gun Owners” for being exhaustively restrictive on 2nd amendment rights. (Yet still has the 13th highest gun murder rate per capita and the 9th lowest gun ownership as % of population).

57. You have to pay to not license your vehicle(Courtesy of Guest Comment).

58. All dog bite cases are to be reported by the hospital to Animal Control. And if your own dog bites you, you will be fined(Courtesy of Guest Comment).

59. California has gone so overboard on global warming/climate change that they have regulated cow farts. No, seriously.

60. California reduced KNOWINGLY transmitting HIV/AIDS to another person to just a “misdemeanor”. So be careful sleeping with anyone in Cali, they could give you AIDS and just get a slap on the wrist.

61. Hollywood sexual victimization.

62. The drug problem is so bad that state officials say things like this: “Many of the city’s intravenous drug users inject openly in public places such as parks and public transit stations, leaving dirty needles strewn about.” So what is their solution? To create “Safe Injection Sites” where drug users can go to shoot up, hang out, then leave. Maybe the drug problem wouldn’t be so bad without point #53, but Californian legislature is too stupid to figure that out.

63. When looking at Americans burdened by housing costs – California has 7 of the top 20 ‘Cost Burdened %‘ metropolitan areas for renters, including #2 on the list – LA. It also has 9 out of 20 of the worst metro locations when looking at owners of houses.

50 reasons California sucks 3

64. California was ranked dead last (#50 out of 50 states) in “Quality of Life” by a U.S. News Study published this year.

65. The state has handed out over a million drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. (Which is all you need to vote).

66. Cali’s gun laws are constantly changing and are incredibly difficult to follow. And if you try in good faith to follow them, you may get raided by SWAT and hit with 12 felonies.

67. Cali also has the 3rd lowest average IQ in the entire nation (ranked by McDaniel’s Estimated Average IQ Score on all 50 US states)

68. Santa Barbara, CA recently imposed fines for establishments that provide plastic straws. Yes, seriously. And not a small fine, either. Offenses range from $1,000 to 6 months jail time for EACH plastic straw provided. Councilman Jason Dominguez had this to say about it: “we can’t always count on common sense,” and therefore, “we have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives”. The definition of totalitarianism: “Totalitarianism is a political concept where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to control every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible“. Dude literally just said the definition of totalitarianism is their policy.

69. Three parts to this one (source for all 3):

  • California has 8 out of 10 of the most polluted cities by Ozone (even despite their insane regulations)
  • It also has 7 out of 10 of the most polluted cities by ‘Year Round Particle Pollution’
  • And it has 7 out of 10 of the most polluted cities by ‘By Short-Term Particle Pollution’

70. California also holds the record for most wildfires by state since 2002 at a whooping 87,742, over 20,000 more than the next state in the list. This placed them at the top of the 2017 list for most wildfire prone states and ‘households at high or extreme risk of wildfire‘ (by households).

71. Cali is ranked 48th in “Overall Freedom” by Cato in FI5 (2018) which analyzes states by the policies that shape personal and economic freedom. The Golden State received the lovely title of “most cronyist state in the union

72. This lovely state is the first in trying to normalize pedophilia by encouraging child sex play and telling parents to let their kids watch porn.

73. The State of California has now spent over $5 billion on its long-delayed high-speed rail project — roughly the same amount of money that Democrats are refusing to provide President Donald Trump for his border wall proposal. They killed 73% of the bullet train, but are keeping 100% of the taxes. Expense for this ‘train to nowhere’ has increased from $33 billion to $98.1 billion. Remember: this is for a train. That’s $189 MILLION per mile.

74. Cali decided that it is offensive to have American flags on police cars. Yeah, they actually had complaints to the police department just because the cops wanted to put the flag of their country on the police cars.

75. The Bubonic Plague itself is likely already in California. Why? Well, due to the mounds and mounds of trash and overabundance of rats, obviously. (Also, woohoo! We hit 75! Keep the recommendations coming folks!)

76. Rats. In fact, LA is now known as the “City of Rats” as its nickname.

77. San Francisco is ranked Number 1 in property crime in the entire United States.

78. Skid Row

79. The utility companies in California have to shutoff power to hundreds of thousands of people to stop wildfires because the states infrastructure is so horrible.

That’s all for now! Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll have more soon. California has been no stranger to keeping this list growing over the years.


Image result for sgt schultz

California is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up all for governments everywhere.

California is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up all for governments everywhere. Yes, you guessed it, our legislatures have authorized CalEPA in the 2019 – 2020 California State budget and Assembly Bill AB 74 to conduct studies and identify strategies to manage the decline of in-state crude oil production and decrease demand and supply of fossil fuel.

Germany tried to step up as a leader on climate change, by phasing out nuclear, and pioneered a system of subsidies for industrial wind and solar that sparked a global boom in manufacturing those technologies. Today, Germany has the highest cost of electricity in the world. 

From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France and beyond, infuriated voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to fight purported human-caused climate change. Now you can add Chile to the growing list of countries whose governments are suffering a backlash as average people, tired of elites forcing costly climate policies down their throats with continuous proposals to raise public transport fares and energy bills.

Like Germany and a slew of other countries, California continues to make decisions based on their believe that intermittent electricity from renewable wind and solar will be the replacement to fossil fuels to run the 5th largest economy in the world. Like Germany, this has come at a HIGH COST to Californians. 

With its green dreams of an emission free state, California has not even been unable to generate enough of its own electricity in-state and imported 29% of its needs in 2018. The bad news is that imported electricity comes at higher costs and those costs are being borne by residents and businesses alike. California households are already paying 50% more, and industrial users are paying more than double the national average for electricity. 

The future of electricity in California does not bode well as the State has chosen to not challenge the closure of the States’ last nuclear zero emission generating plant at Diablo Canyon, and 3 natural gas generating plants in Southern California. 

The four upcoming losses of continuous generating electricity are:

  • 1. PG&E’s Nuclear 2,160 megawatt Generating Plant at Diablo Canyon’s to be shuttered in 2024.
  • 2. The 823 mw Natural Gas Power Plant at Scattergood in Playa Del Rey, to be shuttered in 2024.
  • 3. The 575 mw Natural Gas Power Plant at Haynes in Long Beach, to be shuttered in 2029. 
  • 4. The 472 mw Natural Gas Power Plant at Wilmington, to be shuttered in 2029.  

With NO plans for industrial wind or solar renewable intermittent electricity projects to generate “replacement” electricity in-state, especially with the huge land requirements for those renewables, there will be a need to import from other states greater percentages of California’s electricity needs in the years ahead. And as you guessed it, more costs to the consumers and businesses who are already infuriated with high costs. 

Could it be that our legislatures are also unaware that those unstoppable costs of more regulations, taxes and increased minimum wages targeted toward businesses are just passed through to the consumers of the services and products from those businesses?  Those higher costs roll directly into housing, utilities, food, and entertainment if there’s any money left, and may be very contributory to California’s growing homelessness and poverty populations.

I know our legislatures want to sunset the oil industry, BUT imagine how life was without those fossil fuels before 1900 when we had NO militaries, NO vehicles, NO airlines that now move 4 billion people around the world, NO  cruise ships that now move 25 million passengers around the world, NO merchant ships that are now moving $50 Billion dollars of products monthly through California ports, NO space program, NO medications and medical equipment, NO vaccines, NO fertilizers to help feed billions, NO tires for vehicles, and NO asphalt for roads.

Most importantly, before the 1900’s we had NONE of the 6,000 products that are manufactured from the chemicals and by-products from fossil fuels.  Interestingly from each 42-gallon barrel of crude oil, half is for those thousands of products and the other half for the fuels to run commerce. 

We’ve had more than 100 years to find alternative or generic methods to manufacture the thousands of products we get from those deep earth minerals, and to manufacture the fuels for commerce and the military. By nearly every quantifiable measure, we are better off than our pioneer predecessors because of fossil fuels. In more than a century we’ve only come up with electricity that can be generated intermittently from sunshine and wind.

When we look at what intermittent electricity from wind turbines or solar panels CANNOT do, we see they are blatant failures to qualify as replacements for the fossil fuels that produce those 6,000 products that are the basis of our lifestyles and of our numerous infrastructures, and manufacture more than 60 million gallons of fuels every day to meet the demands of the states’ commerce and nearly 40 million residents.

I believe it’s easy to understand that wind and solar alone are obviously incapable of supporting the military, airlines, cruise ship, and merchant ships. As a reminder just in case you’re still living in the pre-1900’s, without transportation and the leisure and entertainment industries, we have no commerce. 

Imagine if politicians would tell voters that their utopian vision of a world run on solar panels and windmills is a fairy tell? But instead, they have doubled down to sunset the economy with legislature verbiage that pre-determines the outcome of the CalEPA efforts to study ways to decrease the size of the in-state oil industry that’s driving (no pun intended) the California economy.

[Originally Published at Fox & Hounds]

Trucking Companies Move To Cut Ties With Independent California Driver’s As Labor Law Assembly Bill 5, Looms:

Image result for what is the Employee and Independent Contractors law, AB5,

Last year, the California Supreme Court announced a demanding three-part test hiring entities must meet to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Gov. Gavin Newsom just signed legislation, Assembly Bill 5, which, effective Jan. 1, broadens that test beyond violations of the state’s wage orders, narrows the types of work to which that test applies, and authorizes the city attorneys of big California cities, including San Diego, to sue hiring entities to enforce the new law.

The Legislature expects the measure ultimately to cause “potentially several million” California workers to be reclassified as employees and to bring revenue to government coffers in the form of previously avoided payment of payroll taxes and premiums for workers compensation premiums, Social Security, unemployment and disability insurance.

Image result for gov. newsom

California-based owner-operators say a new state law, AB5, that seeks to limit the use of independent contractors targets them unfairly.

Some owner-operators who live in California said they are being told to move out of the state, get their own authority, which can be costly, or transition to company drivers, in some cases.

Landstar System of Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the large carriers that recently sent out a letter or contacted its business capacity owners (BCOs) or leased owner-operators based in California, outlining their options regarding AB5.

According to the Landstar letter sent out Nov. 4, its leased owner-operators can move out of state and provide the company with proof of a new driver’s license, get their own authority, or deliver a load into California, but they can’t pick up a load in the state.

“Due to the uncertain legal environment created by the new law, Landstar will be reaching out to each BCO and operator who has a California-based address on file with Landstar to discuss some options relating to the potential impact of the new law,” the letter read. “It will be up to each interested California-based BCO or operator to make its own informed business decisions with respect to how it wishes to react to AB5.”

Ivan Mikhov of Sacramento, California, said he loves his job as a leased owner-operator to Landstar. He has worked for the company for nine years and said he will leave the state he has lived in for more than 17 years in order to continue working for Landstar.

“I guess we will relocate because I don’t see a way out of this,” Mikhov told FreightWaves. “I love working for Landstar because the agents call me directly when they have a load. They know me.”

Mikhov, his three kids, dad, brothers and sisters all live in Sacramento. His family moved from Ukraine 17 years ago. However, he said he will sacrifice his close family bond to continue working for Landstar.

“My brother had his own authority for a while, but he came back to Landstar about nine months ago because it’s really hard to be on your own right now,” he said.

He recently paid off the newer Volvo truck he was forced to buy to comply with emissions regulations implemented by the California Air Resource Board (CARB).

“I really don’t see myself doing anything else,” Mikhov said.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the Employee and Independent Contractors law, AB5, goes into effect.

AB5 is a state law determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor. It stems from the California Supreme Court’s decision against Dynamex Operations West Inc., a package and document delivery company. The court found that Dynamex misclassified its delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and that all California-based companies that use independent contractors must use the “ABC test,” a three-pronged test to determine whether a worker is an employee.

Trucking companies must prove a worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work; the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

AB5 is affecting carriers of all sizes, including Landstar, said Joe Rajkovacz, head of government affairs for the Western States Trucking Association (WSTA).

“This is indicative of Landstar arriving at the same conclusion that many other motor carriers not based in California have arrived at recently,” Rajkovacz told FreightWaves.

Rajkovacz said out-of-state carriers who lease with California-based owner-operators can’t pass the B prong, which is why some mega-carriers are cutting them loose.

“The state of California is trying to superimpose its will on the federal government, but I believe the federal courts may fight this, but it’s going to take a few years,” Rajkovacz said.

Michael Lotito, co-chair of think tank Littler Workplace Policy Institute, said the disruptions to the California economy “are likely to be massive as a result of AB5.”

“AB5 is the most radical reformation of the employer/employee relationship in history,” Lotito told FreightWaves.

One Schneider National driver, headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, told FreightWaves Schneider’s California-based owner-operators are being called and have been given the options to get their own authority, move out of state or become a company driver. 

Another owner-operator living in San Bernardino County, California, said she has received no word from her carrier, Roadrunner Transportation Systems, about the impact AB5 may have on her business, but she fears the worst.

“My husband and I are team drivers, and we make good money leased to Roadrunner,” Valerie Lopez told FreightWaves. “We recently bought a house here in California and don’t want to move, but there is no way we can make the same money if we have to transfer to a company driver or leave the company.”

Read more stories by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes,

White House Admits To Quid Pro Quo with Ukraine? So Where Was The Quid Pro Quo Trump threatened To Cut Off Funding To Help Victims of California Wildfires? So Where Was The Impeachment Hearing? For That?

President Trump Threatens To Pull Funding From Sanctuary Cities In California?

A federal appeals court in California ruled Wednesday that President Trump acted beyond his authority when issuing an executive order attempting to penalize “sanctuary cities” for refusing to cooperate with the administration’s immigration crackdown.

The decision, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, barred the Trump administration fromdefunding San Francisco and Santa Clara County, the case’stwo plaintiffs, butit did not uphold a nationwide injunction issued late last year by U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California. Instead, by a vote of 2 to 1, the three-judge panel sent the case back to the district court for additional fact-finding on the order’s nationwide impact.

Trump officials threaten to withhold highway funding from California for its ‘chronic air quality problems’

The move could put billions of federal transportation dollars in jeopardy.

rump administration officials threatened this week to withhold federal highway funding from California, arguing that the state has not shown what steps it is taking to improve its air quality. The move by the Environmental Protection Agency escalates the fierce battle between President Trump and the left-leaning state, and could put billions in federal funding in jeopardy.

In a predated letter sent late Monday to the California Air Resources Board, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler suggested that the state “has failed to carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act” and needs to either update its plans to tackle air pollution or risk losing federal money.

At stake, the EPA said, are billions of dollars in federal highway funding every year. Federal officials have the right to halt that money if they determine that a state is not taking sufficient steps to show how it aims to cut air pollution such as soot or smog-forming ozone.

Can Trump withhold FEMA money from California?

resident Donald Trump Tuesday tweeted a threat to cut off funding to help victims of California wildfires.

Can Trump do it? The answer is complicated.

Trump’s idea was blasted by Democrats as a callous, empty threat and even California Republicans released statements saying it was the wrong approach to the problem of forest management.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House acknowledged Thursday that it held up military aid to Ukraine as President Donald Trump pushed the country’s new leader to investigate the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, a central question in the House impeachment inquiry.

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that Trump did nothing wrong in linking the aid to Ukraine’s investigation. He said the probe would simply be part of the Justice Department’s ongoing review of the 2016 election.

House Democrats, who are investigating whether the president engaged in a political quid pro quo when he asked the new Ukraine president to do a “favor,” immediately called it an admission of guilt.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee leading the impeachment probe told reporters: “I think Mr. Mulvaney’s acknowledgment means that things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse.”