Analysis

Washington and Sacramento, side-by-side

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo SchnepfDesign, via Shutterstock)

Clearly, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento share many things in common — including such negatives as a hyper-heated political culture, insularity and a pervasive sense of entitlement. And California’s Legislature is obviously based upon the federal legislative model. Nonetheless, their legislative  rules are different, so let’s take a look at some of the major distinctions.

News

Bills target police conduct, use of force

Sacramento police officers preparing for protests over the shooting of Stephon Clark. (Photo: Kevin Cortopassi, Flickr Creative Commons)

The recent police killing of an unarmed black Sacramento man has left protesters and local politicians demanding revisions to California’s Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights — the decades-old protocol for officers facing disciplinary investigation. But state lawmakers, despite the national attention directed at the shooting of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, have not introduced legislation or even made reference to the 1976 law, known as the POBR.

News

Dems and ‘single payer’ — a house divided?

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a candidate for governor, attends a 2017 nurses union gathering in support of singe payer. (Photo: Chris Allan)

It goes by various names: Universal Healthcare Access; National Healthcare; Medicare for All; government-run health care; Socialized Medicine.  Most news reports call it Single Payer. It threatens to tear asunder California’s Democratic Party.

News

CA ‘rape kit’ backlog under fire

A posed image of a rape victim in a dark tunnel, with the shadow of the rapist in the background. (Photo: ChameleonsEye, via Shutterstock)

Thousands of  California women who said they were raped gave details of their assaults to investigators and provided critical data in “rape kits” — DNA, wounds, semen, hair, fibers — to identify their attackers. But many of the rape kits were not examined in a timely way, caught in a backlog that has angered some lawmakers and women’s groups.

News

CA120: Get ready for the 2018 election reforms

The crowd at a 2016 political rally in Santa Monica. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

One of the ongoing themes in analyzing California’s 2018 elections is the impact of the reforms that were enacted in 2012 – the state’s open primary, the extension of term limits and the new district lines drawn by the state’s independent redistricting commission. Beyond these three, we also saw the creation of statewide online voter registration and a ballot measure to allow passage of an on-time state budget by a simple majority vote. This wave of reforms has made it incredibly difficult to discern the impact of each.

Opinion

Don’t fix unbroken system for claims adjusters

Destruction from last year's Wine Country fires. (Photo: Janos Rautonen, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The current system allows claims adjusting companies that employ professional adjusters to secure a license covering its employees, which is practical and efficient and meets the needs of California’s consumers. Far from unique, this system has been proven to work in states like Montana and Utah. However, if the department’s bill, SB 1291 is enacted, it would totally upend a perfectly functional system for licensing independent insurance adjusters by disallowing state licensing for companies to cover its professionals

Opinion

A case for charitable health care

A hospital patient is monitored during a dialysis session. (Photo: PicsFive, via Shutterstock)

If it becomes law, SB 1156 will harm some of California’s most at-risk residents—low-income, disproportionately minority dialysis and transplant patients who depend on charitable assistance to afford their health care.  More than 67,000 Californians depend on dialysis to stay alive, and many face serious financial hardship as a result of their medical condition.

News

State stem cell agency gets global industry partners

Stem cell embroyo, mitosis under a microscope. (Photo: Andrii Vodolazhskyi. via Shutterstock)

California’s drive to produce a stem cell therapy is ratcheting up a notch with announcement of two new, global industry partners along with a plan to engage more companies and give them “direct access” to hundreds of millions of dollars in state-funded research.

News

When it comes to California water, nothing is easy

O'Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of water for San Francisco. (Photo: Gary Saxe. via Shutterstock)

Camrosa Water District, a public services provider in Ventura County, gets its water from a combination of groundwater, recycled wastewater, and the State Water Project, which transports water south through the state. Twenty miles away, another mid-size public water agency also founded around 1960 has a very different portfolio: Las Virgenes Municipal Water District gets virtually all its water from the State Water Project, which is managed by California’s Department of Water Resources.

News

CalPERS may join union foes of 401(k) option

The CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento. (Photo Shutterstock)

A bill by state Sen. Steven Glazer, D-Orinda, giving new state workers the option new University of California workers received two years ago, a 401(k)-style plan rather than a pension, is opposed by unions and soon may be opposed by CalPERS. More than a third of eligible new UC employees have chosen a 401(k)-style plan. Instead of a guaranteed lifetime monthly pension check, the 401(k) plan that replaced pensions in most of the private sector uses individual tax-deferred investments to build a retirement fund.

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