Newsom Appoints Laphonza Butler to Fill Senate Seat Vacated by Death of Sen. Feinstein
California’s senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein, passed away of natural causes on Friday at the age of 90. Given the Democratic Party’s slim hold on power in the Senate, there was immediate pressure on Governor Gavin Newsom to quickly appoint someone to fill Sen. Feinstein’s seat.
Last night, Governor Newsom announced that he had appointed Laphonza Butler to fill the seat. Butler is the President of EMILY’s List, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the election of Democratic women to office. Butler previously served as a senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris and will be “the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in American history,” according to the Governor’s announcement.
The appointment satisfies Governor Newsom’s 2021 commitment to fill any Senate vacancy with a Black woman and avoids tipping the scales by promoting any of the current 2024 candidates for the office.
Butler is expected to be sworn into office on Wednesday by Vice President Harris.
Last-Minute Continuing Resolution Averts Government Shutdown
On Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved a Continuing Resolution to fund most of the federal government for 45 days (until November 17) at Fiscal Year 2023 funding levels. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers, with a vote of 335-91 in the House and 88-9 in the Senate. President Joe Biden signed the bill Saturday night, just hours before the start of the new fiscal year (at which time the federal government would have shut down absent the short-term budget agreement).
The contentious negotiations to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2024 will continue ahead of the new November 17 deadline, at which point lawmakers again must approve a budget agreement or risk shutting down the federal government. The deal could also have political consequences for California, as Bakersfield representative and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has come under fire from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who has hinted that he may introduce a motion to vacate the Speakership in retaliation for Speaker McCarthy cutting the stop-gap funding agreement with Democrats in the House.
New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this episode Central Coast cattle rancher Kevin Kester discusses the current situation in Washington D.C. including, how the odds of a government shutdown became high, what getting a new Farm Bill passed may look like and why dollars given to CCA’s political action committee are crucial. To listen to the episode click here.
Department of Insurance Previews Wildfire Insurance Deal
Last month, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara hosted a press conference to announce “California’s Sustainable Insurance Strategy.” The Strategy, representing a deal reached with insurance companies, would require insurers to increase their participation in high wildfire risk communities to “no less than 85% of their statewide market share” and would have to bring on some policyholders currently participating in the state’s insurer of last resort, the FAIR Plan. In return, insurance companies would be permitted to use forward-looking catastrophe modeling in setting their insurance rates. For additional details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
CCA Staffer Appointed to 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee
Last month, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) announced the membership of the agency’s 2023-24 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee, including CCA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Kirk Wilbur. CCA will join with the other members of the 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee during the 30×30 Partnership 2023 Gathering in Riverside October 11 & 12. For additional details, see the September 22 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
107th CCA + CCW Annual Convention Attendee Registration Open
Attendee registration for the 2023 CCA/CCW Convention is now open! Register, reserve your room in CCA’s room block and get more information at https://calcattlemen.org/convention2023. Click the links below for more resources related to the event. Attendee Registration | Reserve your Tradeshow Booth Now | Sponsorship Opportunities.
Apply to Be a 2023 CCA Convention Intern
Internship applications are open for the 2023 CCA/CCW Convention happening Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev. Selected interns will help run CCA’s tradeshow booth, onsite registration and other behind the scenes tasks at the event, they will also get to attend select meetings of interest, general sessions and the tradeshow with complimentary lodging and registration. Additionally, the interns will get to interact with CCA leadership and staff, as well as industry leaders at the best attended meeting of the year. For further information and to apply, click here.