Economy up, greenhouse gas down

A California industrial complex in action. (Photo: Tom Grundy, via Shutterstock)

California’s greenhouse gases declined even as the state’s economy expanded, according to state and federal agencies tracking the numbers. State air-quality regulators reported that carbon emissions fell by 1.5 million metric tons in 2013, while the economy experienced 2 percent growth, greater than the national average.

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News

Fran Pavley: The quiet crusader

Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, addresses colleagues on the Senate floor.(Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

To environmentalists in California, across the nation and around the world, she is a trailblazing leader. To the California Chamber of Commerce and many Republicans, she is the unrealistic author of job-killing, la-de-da legislation. To some, she is a futurist who predicts gas stations will disappear in 10 years. She is Fran Pavley, a pleasant, gray-haired Democratic state senator from Southern California who does not come across as a firebrand but can grow passionate about protecting the environment.

News

Brown OKs mandatory vaccinations

A youngster gets his vaccination shot. (Photo: Luiscar74, via Shutterstock)

Gov. Brown today signed one of the strictest laws in the nation requiring vaccinations for schoolchildren, saying “science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious diseases.” The new law bars parents from invoking religious or personal beliefs in order to keep their children from being vaccinated, but it does allow for an exemption with the approval of the child’s doctor.

News

High Court upholds redistricting panel

Congressional districts in the Inland Empire, approved by California's redistricting commission in 2011. (Map: Ballotpedia)

That whooshing sound you hear is the sigh of relief from California political reformers. The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an attempt by the Arizona Legislature to dismantle that state’s voter-approved, independent commission that draws the political boundaries for legislative and congressional districts. Arizona lawmakers had argued that the commission – which California used as a model for its own redistricting commission — was unconstitutional because it cut them out of the map-drawing process.

Opinions

In medicine, experience and training are key

Health care delivery in California is moving toward an integrated model that brings together physicians, nurses and other health professionals, each playing a specialized role as a member of a team. As professionals that have served in multiple roles on that team, and done the training for each, we believe we are in a unique position to comment on Senate Bills 323 and 622, which would alter the roles of nurse practitioners and optometrists, respectively.

Opinions

Attempts to change Proposition 13 are misguided

Multiple bills have taken aim at Prop. 13, but the most popular among these bills pushes the so-called “split roll” property tax, which would eliminate Prop. 13 protections for job creators but leave them in place for homeowners. But a Pepperdine University study shows that the split roll could trigger the loss of nearly 400,000 jobs and cost California’s economy a total of $71.8 billion in output within the first five years.

News

On the trail of hidden retirement debt

Calpensions: An accounting board best known for requiring the calculation and reporting of the debt owed for retiree health care promised government workers, which often turned out to be shockingly large, is having another moment. This month the Governmental Accounting Standards Board applied new rules for reporting pension debt to retiree heath care.

Opinions

Small business, labor join together on franchises

It may seem nostalgic to think that small businesses and the people they employ could work together for the strength of our communities, but that old-fashioned idea is making a comeback because giant corporations like 7-Eleven are threatening the survival of both local franchise owners and workers in our communities.

News

CalSTRS eyes linkage of Social Security, teachers’ pensions

Calpensions: The CalSTRS board voted this month to “watch” a new cost-neutral bill in Congress that would reduce what has been an unpleasant surprise for some teachers and a shock to others — joining CalSTRS can cut Social Security benefits. Two federal laws enacted to avoid Social Security overpayment and inequity are mainly aimed at government employees who receive a pension but no Social Security.

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