Opinion

Fair ‘exit fee’ critical to renewable energy future

A concentrated solar energy thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Piotr Zajda, via Shutterstock)

While utility responsibility related to California’s devastating wildfires is dominating headlines and the agendas of policymakers, flying below the radar is a pending decision from the California Public Utilities Commission to change the formula for a fee charged to energy consumers who leave the power supply of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) like PG&E and instead get power from local community choice aggregation programs, also known as CCAs.

News

California’s valley fever on the rise

Lab supervisor Marilyn Mitchell pulls samples during tests for Valley Fever at the Community Medical Center lab in Fresno. (Photo: Fresno Bee/Craig Kohlruss, 2014, via AP)

The first sign that Rob Purdie had valley fever was when he woke up one day with what felt like a hangover but he hadn’t taken a drink. He had a splitting headache that was so bad that he had to stay in dark room with the blinds drawn and his sunglasses on. He was eventually diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis meningitis, the most severe form of valley fever.

Opinion

‘Company unions’ deepen post-Janus threat to labor

A union supporter carries the California flag at a rally in Capitol Park. (Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: You’d be hard pressed to find a more challenging threat to America’s labor movement than the Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision—which overturned 40 years of established legal precedent and the laws of 23 states in forcing public sector unions to represent non-members for free.

Opinion

Asbestos is putting children at risk

A worker removes asbestos-laden material from a building roof. (Photo: Bjoern Wylezich)

OPINION: I think it’s fair to say that the health of children should be of the utmost importance to pretty much everyone, but we’ve let them down. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that is still legal in the United States and children are regularly exposed to the toxin.

News

Brown signs no-money bail bill

An inmate sits on his cell bunk. (Photo: Peppinuzzo,via Shutterstock)

Gov. Brown on Tuesday signed landmark legislation to eliminate money bail for many California defendants, replacing it instead with a system based on a person’s flight risk and other factors. “Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” Brown said.

Opinion

Leadership must act now on climate change

Solar panels arrayed in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Andrei Orlov, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As firefighters from across the West come together to battle wildfires, and legislators meet for their last week of this year’s legislative session, our state’s leadership has before them a real opportunity to take decisive action to help mitigate the climate trends that are weighing on our state today.

Opinion

California’s energy future: Are we ready for 100?

Wind turbines in operation near Palm Springs. (Photo: Sumikophoto, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Imagine a California powered solely by renewable energy – it may be within reach as the California Legislature considers Senate Bill 100, which would put the state on the path towards 100% fossil-fuel free electricity by 2045. On Tuesday, the bill passed the state Assembly, and it now heads to the state Senate for a final vote before reaching Gov. Brown’s desk by the end of the week. The likely passage of SB 100 has sparked a statewide debate around one question: Are we ready for 100?

News

Accord reached on animal-tested cosmetics

A rabbit in a laboratory where cosmetic research is performed. (Photo: Artfully Photographer, via Shutterstock)

The warring sides involved in California’s groundbreaking animal-tested cosmetics bill have reached agreement, and a compromise bill now appears headed for the governor’s desk. As originally written, SB 1249 by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, would have prohibited importation and sale in California of cosmetics that contain ingredients tested on animals, starting in 2020. 

Opinion

Clinical trials: Data privacy law needs quick fix

Scientists at work in a clinical laboratory. (Photo: Minerva Studio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Unfortunately, California’s recently passed data privacy law will have unintended consequences for medical research and clinical trials in California and may inadvertently prevent patients like me from accessing the clinical trials that are keeping us alive.

News

Senate District 32: An odd tale of politics and timing

State Sen. Vanessa Delgado. (Photo: vanessadelgado.com)

California has long had a reputation for sometimes wacky politics: movie stars, bodybuilders and strippers have been candidates at one time or another. None of the above are on hand this time around, but the recent situation involving who will represent state Senate District 32 is the most recent bizarre development.

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