Thursday’s Briefing: Cal Fire determines PG&E was cause of devastating Camp Fire; Water tax dries up

Bob Wieckowski to run for Swalwell's seat in Congress


News you don’t want to miss for May 16:

1. The Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and leveled Paradise, Calif. last November, was caused by a PG&E transmission line, Cal Fire said in a report, according to CNBC. The finding is not entirely surprising. Earlier this year, PG&E admitted it was “probable” the utility was responsible for what became the most destructive fire in the state’s history.

2. A state water tax proposed earlier this year by Gov. Gavin Newsom to address the need for clean drinking water in poor areas of the state appears dead, the Sacramento Bee reports. A state Senate budget subcommittee rejected the plan and is "recommending finding $150 million elsewhere to finance a safe and affordable drinking water fund.”

3. More than 500,000 California residents that receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be eligible, beginning next month, to also receive the state's food assistance benefit known as CalFresh, the Orange County Register reports. The change stands to greatly help seniors. $$

4. Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell angered some on the left Wednesday when he tweeted an image of the "Blue Lives Matter" flag in support of law enforcement, the Sacramento Bee reports. Swalwell's father was a police chief and his brother currently works for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. But the flag has also been appropriated by white supremacists. $$

5. East Bay state Sen. Wieckowski is running in the 15th Congressional District race to replace Swalwell, who is running for president, the East Bay Citizen reports. Wieckowski filed paperwork with his name misspelled Wednesday and joins Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab in a field that has been stymied by speculation Swalwell may eventually forego his presidential aspirations and run for re-election to the seat.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.