New state-run IRA for private sector opens July 1

The state Treasurer's headquarters in Sacramento, where CalSavers is based. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)

A new state workplace retirement savings program, CalSavers, will open to an estimated 250,00 to 300,000 employers on July 1 — offering an automatic IRA payroll deduction for the 7.5 million California workers with no retirement plan on the job. The massive program, expected to handle billions in savings, is voluntary for employees.

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Opinion

Time to focus on rehabilitation for juvenile offenders

Young people at a meeting with a psychotherapist. (Photo: Photographee.eu, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Recent reports found that youth detention facilities are failing to adjust spending rates even after facility populations have drastically dropped. California youth are not committing violent crimes at the rate that was once predicted, leaving many detention hall beds empty.

News

Californians divided over housing solutions

An aerial view of a San Luis Obispo neighborhood. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)

The latest Berkeley IGS Poll finds a lack of consensus among Californians on a number of policy proposals relating to housing. But one issue that voters do agree on, at least in concept, is that limits should be imposed on new housing development in high-risk wildfire areas. Three in four voters statewide (74%) support this policy, while just 25% are opposed.

News

Legislation would ratchet down on charter schools

A vintage blackboard in a charter school. (Photo: Greg and Jan Ritchie, via Shutterstock)

California’s charter schools could face tighter restrictions if a pair of bills making their way through the Legislature is approved. One would give school districts the right to deny charter schools if they believe they would negatively impact neighborhood schools’ finances, academics or facilities. The other would prohibit school districts from approving a charter school outside their boundaries.

Opinion

Surprise bills: Hospitals don’t like them, either

A photo illustration of hospital billing. (Image: 9dream studio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: All of us in California should get behind the opportunity to protect patients from out-of-insurance-network health care bills. That’s why it is unfortunate that some in the Legislature want to couple this unifying issue of helping patients with other controversial and polarizing issues that threaten the outcome.

News

A political fight over decriminalizing sex workers

A demonstration at the recent state Democratic convention in San Francisco in support of decriminalizing sex workers. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald, via Shutterstock)

Veronica Loveall watched as Congress passed legislation that crippled sites like Backpage.com, dismantling what she considered a safety net for people who engage in sex work. And she lays plenty of blame for that on former state Attorney General and current U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

Opinion

Feds’ proposed rules would erode tribal culture, history

A bridge over tribal waters representing the transition from the past to the future. (Photo: Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake)

OPINION: Federally recognized tribes are sovereign governments – many of which have undoubtedly contributed vast, significant cultural contributions to the diverse tapestry of American social, economic and political life. Despite this recognition and contributions to society, tribes like mine unfortunately must fight hard to be remembered, respected and included in policy discussions at all levels of government.

News

In California, kids in custody targeted by pepper spray

An image of a person using pepper spray. (Photo: Schnoeppl, via Shutterstock)

Pepper spray – classified and regulated as a form of tear gas – was used routinely on thousands of California children housed in state and county juvenile detention facilities, according to a recent report by the ACLU of Southern California.

Opinion

Renewable gas: A sound option to fight organic waste

A portion of a plant that produces gas through the breakdown of organic waste. (Photo: Bertold Werkman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Let’s play a game: what would you do with 25 million tons of organic waste annually? Here are a few tidbits to spark your imagination: Organic waste includes food and green waste, landscaping and pruning waste, lumber, fiber, sewage and sludges.

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