Opinion

Wanted: An early warning system for local governments

Pedestrians crossing Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. (Photo: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Back in 2012, then Treasurer Bill Lockyer called for an early warning system that would give state officials time to proactively address local government fiscal emergencies before they wound up in bankruptcy court. We are now five years closer to the next recession and its attendant set of local government financial crises, but the state has made little progress toward implementing Lockyer’s proposed system.

Opinion

Urgent: Protect mental health services

A depressed man sits alone on a park bench. (Photo: Mikael Damkier)

OPINIONNearly two decades ago, California raised the bar for our state’s wellness by requiring insurers to equally cover services for both physical and mental health conditions. Now a national standard, California’s groundbreaking Mental Health Parity law was among the first to recognize how grave inequities in the form of higher co-pays or fewer allowable visits diminish wellness and productivity.

Opinion

Fighting Trump’s ‘dirty air’

A black-and-white view of smoggy Century City, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. (Photo: trekandshoot)

President Trump, his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Republican leaders in Congress have all declared plans to allow the oil and coal industries to extract, transport and burn dirty fuels with little restraint, to quash the free expression of science within the federal government, and to neuter the agencies that are supposed to safeguard our air and atmosphere.

Opinion

Putting people before partisanship

A political rally last year in Santa Monica. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: In this political climate, you don’t have to look far to find pessimism and finger pointing when it comes to our problems. But look a little deeper and there are some important – and inspiring – examples of problem solving in California that rise above politics and division.

Opinion

The CPUC and environmental justice

A natural gas plant near Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Henrik Lehnerer)

OPINION: California is moving faster than expected toward a clean energy future with ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and new innovations in renewable energy. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that all Californians can benefit from the cleaner air, local jobs and economic benefits clean energy can bring. State regulatory agencies play a powerful role in making our clean energy future a reality.

Opinion

The pitfalls of overregulation

A power plant in Manhattan Beach, shortly after its 2012 opening. (Photo: Luc Mena)

OPINION: Recognizing the need to reduce the burdens of overregulation to spur our nation’s economy, Congress put on the top of their legislative agenda the REINS Act, which would require the House and Senate to approve any major regulation before it can go into effect. California — no stranger to abundant regulations and the increasing consolidation of power in state agencies promulgating an ever-growing list of major regulations — must also rein in overregulation the way Congress is trying to do to revitalize job creation throughout our state.

Opinion

Infrastructure: Brown and Trump agree

The Tower Bridge in Sacramanto west of the state Capitol. (Photo: Tupungato, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: “Amen to that, brother,” Governor Jerry Brown exhorted in his state of the state speech in support of President Donald Trump’s call for spending $1 trillion on infrastructure improvements. It was the only sense of cooperation the governor offered to the new president and some of his expected policies.

Opinion

Memo to Congress: Protect our kids’ vision

A young boy taking a vision exam. (Photo: GWImages, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California’s optometrists have a prescription for our members of Congress this year: Don’t lose sight of our children’s vision. As discussions about the Affordable Care Act take center stage with a new President and new Congress in January, children’s vision is a prime example of the comprehensive and economically sound approach to health that is at risk if the ACA is repealed without a replacement.

Opinion

The battle against cancer

A young cancer patient sits by a hospital window. (Photo: Sasa Prudkov)

OPINION: It’s pretty rare nowadays to meet someone whose life hasn’t been affected by some variety of cancer. Whether you’ve been diagnosed yourself or know someone who has, the impacts can be devastating.

Opinion

Engaging Latino voters in California

A Latino political rally in Los Angeles. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: Starting later this year, a new law will begin to automatically register to vote millions of people who are getting (or renewing) a driver’s license in California, unless they opt out. Over time, this law is expected to dramatically increase the number registered voters in California and many political experts believe it will have huge implications for future political campaigns.

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