Congress Works on New Relief, Criminal Justice Reforms, Baseball's Return

As COVID-19 Cases Spike, Pressure Mounts for New Relief Deal
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that on Tuesday the state had recorded more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases — its largest daily total yet. California now has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the nation, surpassing New York, and California’s rates of hospitalization and death due to the respiratory illness have also soared in recent weeks. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans are struggling to craft a new round of federal aid. Although the White House dropped its demands for a payroll tax cut, which some GOP lawmakers opposed, big divisions remain over the scope of the relief package as unemployment benefits for millions of Americans are set to expire next week. Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for a $3 trillion  relief package passed in the House of Representatives in May that would include aid to states like California facing massive budget deficits.  Also this week, President Trump announced that the Republican National Convention that was set to take place next month in Jackson, Florida, has been canceled, citing concerns about the state’s surging rate of infections. 

Guests:

  • Scott Shafer, KQED politics and government senior editor
  • Marisa Lagos, KQED politics and government correspondent

Criminal Justice Reforms in Santa Clara County
The national reckoning over racial injustice and police misconduct has reverberated throughout society and sharpened demands for criminal justice reforms — nationally and locally. This week, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced he would no longer seek the death penalty in all cases. 

He also announced the creation of a new board for greater public oversight into police misconduct.

But some — including Santa Clara County Public Defender Molly O’Neal — argue that more needs to be done to change the culture of policing following the revelation last month of racist and anti-Muslim posts made on a private, now deactivated Facebook group comprised of current and former San Jose police officers.  

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Guests:

  • Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County district attorney
  • Molly O’Neal, Santa Clara County public defender

Pandemic Throws Baseball a Curveball
On Friday, the Oakland Athletics will play their opening day game against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland as Major League Baseball returns for a new, shortened season upended by the coronavirus pandemic. New rules and health guidelines are making the 60-game season unlike any other, for fans and players alike. Stadiums across the country are closed to the public to help lower the spread of the coronavirus. Some MLB teams, including the Oakland A’s, made cardboard cutouts of loyal fans to place in the stands, since spectators — for now, at least — are barred from attending games. Socially distanced seating will now also be required in the dugouts, as will frequent coronavirus testing among coaches and players, some of whom have decided to opt out of the season over health and safety concerns. 

Guest:

  • Mark Willard, host, “The Mark Willard Show”