January looms, fuel fight heats up

A California traffic jam. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Currently, fuel is about $4 per gallon and California burns about 14 billion gallons annually. Estimates of the magnitude of a potential hike vary widely, but most range from 15 to 20 cents per gallon, which would raise perhaps $2.1 billion to $2.8 billion annually. Efforts are under way in the Capitol, led by the petroleum industry, to exempt transportation fuels from the auctions until 2018.

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News

Poor caught in dispute over Medi-Cal reimbursements

Consumers have been complaining this year that Covered California insurance plans have doctor’s networks that are too narrow. The doctors they want to see don’t accept the insurance, they say. While a relatively new problem for California’s upper- and middle-class residents, this situation has been a problem for the poor for decades.

News

Missing pieces in Brown’s pension reform plan

A bill that started out as Gov. Brown’s proposal to restructure the CalPERS board emerged from the Legislature last week as a more modest change: a requirement that CalPERS board members receive 24 hours of education in pension fund operations.

News

Comcast-Time Warner merger: Dramatic impact on California

Comcast company trucks await assignments. (Photo: Associated Press, Gene Puskar)

A national merger between communications giants Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable could lead to an unprecedented consolidation of California cable and broadband markets. The pending $45 billion merger would grant Comcast — already the state’s No. 1 cable provider — a greater share of the California market, stretching from northern California and San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento region, down the Central Valley through the Los Angeles basin, east to the Nevada and Arizona lines and southeast to the Mexico border.

News

Wealth gap draws Californians’ ire

FIELD POLL: Majorities of Californians are dissatisfied with the way income and wealth in the state are distributed and believe the gap between the rich and the rest of the population is greater now than in the past. Yet, the public is divided about the extent to which government should try to reduce the wealth gap.

Opinions

Latinos’ role crucial in fixing correctional system

A section of the San Quentin Prison area for condemned inmates. Photo via SanQuentinBlog.org

OPINION: Here in Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, anyone will tell you that casting is key. A film’s meaning and potential are lost if it’s miscast or missing the right characters. The same could be said about a blockbuster story that has been playing out for decades in California: our bloated and costly prisons. Much attention has been paid to lawsuits about the conditions in these packed facilities, as well as the response by the Governor, Legislature and others.

Opinions

Is cap-and-trade working? So far

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

OPINION: So, while the program is certainly generating revenue for the state, is it working? Eighteen months in, it appears the answer is yes. Firms affected by the requirements say that they are paying attention to it, that they believe it’s here to stay, and that it’s prompted them to look at ways to reduce emissions. In recent interviews with cement industry stakeholders we learned that companies are factoring the carbon price into their analysis of investment opportunities.

News

Kevin McCarthy: Political skills trump policy

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, shortly after being named House Majority Leader. (Photo: Associated Press)

Kevin McCarthy, the newly minted House Majority Leader, rose speedily through the GOP ranks during his time as a California legislator – and used political instincts he honed in Sacramento to achieve power in Congress. During his time in the state Assembly, McCarthy was known as a deal-maker. He became Assembly minority leader only two months after Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, and worked closely with him to unite the party by engineering difficult votes on controversial issues.

News

Partisan split on lawmakers’ performance, state outlook

The state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: AMadScientist, via Wikimedia)

FIELD POLL: Slightly more voters believe California is generally on the wrong track (46%) than say it is moving in the right direction (41%). In addition, more voters disapprove (47%) than approve (35%) of the job performance of the state legislature. Opinions about both matters are directly related to the party registration of voters. Democrats offer a much more optimistic assessment of the direction of the state and hold more positive views of the job the state legislature is doing than Republicans.

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