Morning Report: Hueso's Highs and Lows in Sacramento - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Hueso's Highs and Lows in Sacramento

State Sen. Ben Hueso / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

After spending years legislating in Sacramento, Sen. Ben Hueso is hoping to come back home to local politics.

He’s running against fellow Democrat Nora Vargas for an open seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

In his latest messages to voters, Hueso has leaned on one message, Maya Srikrishnan notes: “that he has somehow been a driving force in the state’s ongoing battles with President Donald Trump.”

Srikrishnan examined the highs and lows of Hueso’s tenure in Sacramento. Among the lows: a DUI arrest and an effort to gut the Public Records Act that he quickly backed away from.

Hueso declined an interview, but previously told VOSD “he’s proud of many bills he’s passed at the state level, including those that address the cross-border sewage issue and a 2015 law that required new, high-occupancy buildings to have automated external defibrillators,” Srikrishnan writes.

So what about Hueso’s claims that he’s sued Trump 100 times?

“Although Hueso did not sue the Trump administration, he did introduce a bill to create a $12 million legal defense program for immigrants facing deportation who do not have a violent felony on their records in 2016 after Trump’s election,” Srikrishnan reports.

San Diego Buys Hotels to House Homeless

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to buy two hotels that are intended to permanently house as many as 404 homeless San Diegans.

The Union-Tribune reported last week that the city planned to use $37.7 million from the state’s Project Homekey funding for the purchases on Hotel Circle South and Kearny Mesa Road. The first hotel will have 190 affordable housing units and cost $67 million, and the second hotel will have 142 affordable housing units and cost $39.5 million.

The additional funds are coming from a combination of loans, developer fees, city money and federal relief. 

In separate but related actions, the City Council agreed to set aside another $5 million for rental assistance and to fund the current homeless shelter at the Convention Center through the end of the year. 

  • In semi-related news: NBC 7 reports San Diego Fire-Rescue Department calls, possibly tied to homelessness, are sharply on the rise in San Diego. The data included keywords like “encampment.”  

Some San Diego Unified Students Return to Campus

A small group of San Diego Unified’s most vulnerable students returned to campus Tuesday as part of the district’s phase one reopening plan.

Our photographer Adriana Heldiz visited Lafayette Elementary School, where a handful of students were working with teachers inside of classrooms and outside in the school’s garden.

A teacher at Lafayette Elementary School fixes a student’s mask as San Diego Unified begins phase one of its reopening plan at elementary schools. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

According to Fox 5, the district is limiting classrooms to 20 percent capacity, scheduling half days to avoid groups of students eating together and promoting six-foot distancing everywhere on campus.

The appointment-based learning, as Will Huntsberry explains in his latest Learning Curve newsletter, is open to special education students and those who have fallen behind in their learning. It doesn’t specifically include English-language learners.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Megan Wood, and edited by Sara Libby.

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