Opinion

Dynamex ruling sparks confusion

Workers in Bakersfield on the job during the construction of a two-story home. (Photo: Richard Thornton, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: A rare burst of spontaneous political combustion occurred earlier this year in Olympia, Washington, when hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists mobilized against a legislative bill that would have banned booth rentals, the practice by independent contractors of renting a chair or a station at a salon to make their living. What’s going on here, in Washington state, and in every state in the nation has been a long and continuing battle to precisely define when an independent contractor really is independent and when he or she is in truth an employee.

Opinion

Does new bill hurt USC victims?

On the USC campus, a view of the Suzanne Dowark Peck School of Social Work. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Last fall, the University of Southern California (USC) settled a federal class-action lawsuit filed by women alleging sexual misconduct by the former head gynecologist at the student health center, George Tyndall. Regarded by many as one of the largest settlements of its kind, the $215 million federal settlement covered every one of Tyndall’s USC patients who received women’s health services during a specific period.

Opinion

In praise of the California Local Empowerment Fund

A view of Barstow, a community in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Nuria Kreuser, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: While political disagreements rule the day, most people do agree that greater economic and social mobility is needed so that all Californians are able to contribute, and to afford the basics – a secure home, food, health care, child care and education. With a new Governor and Legislature eager to achieve this goal, we believe the time is right for action.  But government alone cannot solve these problems.

Opinion

Divestiture politics roils pensions, investments

Digitally tracking the performance of investment products in the bond market. (Illustration: Vintage Tone, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Thanks to Assembly Bill 33, introduced by State Assemblyman Rob Bonta, the California State Legislature will spend time and resources to codify an issue that California pensioners have spoken on before: divesting from high-performing funds for political purposes.AB 33, as written, would require that state retirement systems, namely California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), divest of all investments in private corrections companies and disallow investing in those same companies in the future.

Opinion

A battle to rein in pharmacy middlemen

The pharmacy area in a Costco store in Folsom, east of Sacramento. (Photo: Cassiohabib, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The high costs of prescription drugs have rightly prompted concern from Californians and lawmakers looking for ways to bring down costs. Recently, both California and the federal government have taken positive steps to address this concern by increasing transparency. Still, more action is needed to reduce costs to consumers at the prescription counter.

Opinion

CA energy shortage looms amid shift to renewables

A windmill farm in the California desert. (Photo: saraporn, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: In much of the country a powerful energy boom is providing a serious stimulus to economic growth. But in California, where fossil fuels are considered about as toxic as tobacco, we are lurching toward an anticipated energy shortage that will further exacerbate the state’s already deep geographic and class divisions.

Opinion

Hospitals’ role crucial in expanded health care

An emergency room at a hospital in Palo Alto. (Photo: Jennie Book, via Shutterstock)

Today in California, the fifth largest economy in the world, we’ve made unparalleled progress toward our goal of health care coverage for all, but there are still roughly 2.8 million people without health care coverage. Take a moment to let that number sink in: 2.8 million.

Opinion

College remedial classes can be hindrance, not help

College students gather in the school library. (Photo: Rawpixel.com, via Shutterstock)

Last semester I earned a B+ in a freshman composition course at Skyline College. That may not seem like a big deal. What is so out of the ordinary about a college student taking college English? Well, that wouldn’t have been possible a year ago, without AB 705, a bill that went into effect last January that keeps community college students from being inappropriately placed into remedial courses.

Opinion

The truth about infertility: It’s a disease

An illustration of a couple considering in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. (Image: Prazis Images, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: For many families, the joys of parenthood are elusive. Infertility affects hundreds of thousands of women in California and millions more across the country.

Opinion

Health care workforce crisis: Need more diversity, access to care

Health care workers in a hospital corridor. (Photo: Pixel-Shot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California has a healthcare workforce crisis. Over the next decade, this state’s 39 million residents face a health worker shortfall of 4,100 primary care physicians and 600,000 home care workers, and we will have only two-thirds of the psychiatrists and mental health providers needed.

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