Extending cap-and-trade is right thing to do

An oil refinery at twilight as the lights come on. (Photo: Phonix_a Pk.sarote, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California’s cap-and-trade program is working. Since it was launched in 2013, the system has helped drive down greenhouse gas emissions, while the state’s economy has flourished. The billions of dollars the program generates have funded “climate credit” payments to electric utility customers, low-carbon transit projects, and home weatherization improvements in low-income communities.


Fighting climate-related disasters

A major fire near Los Angeles. (Photo: Brian C. Weed, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Floods, mudslides, multi-year drought and massive, destructive wildland fires are only some of the extreme climate-related disasters California and its local communities face. If you live in California, the odds are that you are living in a danger zone.


Limiting drug firms’ gifts to doctors impedes education

A senior medical practitioner on the phone with hospital records. (Photo: sirtravelalot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The California Assembly is currently considering a bill, Senate Bill 790, which would put in place severe restrictions around gifts or other financial benefits that pharmaceutical companies can give to medical professionals as part of marketing activities. Not only will the bill limit physician access to important information about new treatments, but it also insults the integrity of every physician practicing in California and is a threat to the patient-physician relationship.


Cap-and-trade key to green energy future

Windmills generate electricity in Palm Springs. (Photo: Chris Rubino)

OPINION: Clean energy is taking over the world, driven by a combination of climate change policies and market economics. California has paced America in seizing this opportunity, building a thriving green economy through smart policy. But the fate of California’s cap-and-trade program, a cornerstone of the state’s green growth strategy, depends on the state Legislature extending the program beyond 2020


Union pressure behind emergency services bill

Emergency workers at a Malibu auto accident on Pacific Coast Highway. (Photo: EGD, via Shutterstock)

OPINION:Providers of emergency medical services across the state are opposing AB 263 authored by Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez. Under the pretense of an “Emergency Worker Bill of Rights,” AB 263 is nothing short of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


After 30 years, personal allowance in nursing homes still $35

Nursing home patients at their facility. Photo: ChameleonsEye, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: In 1965 Congress passed and the president signed into law Medicaid. At that time, they decided on how much a nursing home resident should be able to keep from his or her income toward meeting personal needs. They decided that $30 per month would be a fair allowance. The Personal Needs Allowance has remained the same at $35.00 since the 1980s.


Smart cities will move right along with 5G

An illustration of the urban connectivity of a 5G-based wireless system. (Image: Supparsom, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Smart cities will soon take a major leap forward — thanks to a groundbreaking technology, 5G, or the 5th generation wireless network. 5G is anticipated to be 100 times faster than the current 4G network, which many of our devices utilize today, and 5G will dramatically reduce the time it takes to share information.


‘Digital deserts’ push life to the slow lane

Illustration of online activity at a snail's pace. (mattsabe, Shutterstock)

OPINION: In California — and all across the country — there are “digital deserts,” places where it’s impossible to get high-speed Internet access at home and thus impossible to do homework, apply for jobs and be a full-fledged member of the digital economy. These digital deserts also prevent farmers from using Internet technology to improve efficiencies in growing crops and getting them to markets.


COIN: Building economic clout to fight neighborhood poverty

A view of a densely populated area of the eastern San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. (Photo: Trekandshoot, Shutterstock)

OPINION: According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2015, nearly eight million people in California were living in poverty in 2015. The report indicated that the state’s poverty rate was 20.6 percent—well above the national rate of 15.1 percent—and surpassed the rates of every other state in the nation.


Education critical in fight against chronic diseases

Hospital health care professionals on their daily rounds. (Photo: Spotmatik Ltd, via Shutterstock)

Despite California’s well-earned reputation as a healthy living state, 14 million Californians are living with at least one chronic condition, and more than half of this group has multiple chronic conditions. According to the California Department of Public Health, nearly $100 billion annually is spent treating chronic conditions, representing approximately 42 percent of all health care costs in the state.

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