Newsom with law enforcement on solitary confinement veto

(Photo: Solitary confinement cells along a corridor in San Quentin Prison.)

The Mandela Act, or AB 2632, would have reformed the practice of solitary confinement, which places people, convicted and awaiting trial, in isolation for up to 24 hours a day in jails, prisons and detention facilities.

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Podcast

Talking Proposition 28 with Austin Beutner

Prop. 28 author - and bassist - Austin Beutner in high school

CAPITOL WEEKLY PODCAST: Today we look at Proposition 28, an Initiative on the November 8 Ballot that would guarantee substantial annual funding (+/- $1 billion per year) for Arts and Music programs in California schools, without raising taxes. If that sounds like it should be a popular idea, it is: Proponents say that the measure is polling above 70%. Perhaps most telling is the official opposition: There is none.

Opinion

Federal Ag Department’s climate-smart funding fails the grade

Friendly cows say hello at sunset on a northern California ranch. (Photo: Jeffrey Schwartz, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: President Biden’s Department of Agriculture surprised everyone this week by announcing it would triple expectations for funding the Partnerships for the Climate-Smart Commodities Program. But without evidence of a science-driven review process, it’s not clear how smart the “climate-smart” plan really is.

News

California’s jobless rate up to 4.1% amid mixed economic signals

A worker makes repairs to an electric rotor turbine unit at a geothermal plant. (Photo: VG Photo, via Shutterstock)

One month does not equal a trend, but can be a cause for concern. For instance, employers in California added 19,900 nonfarm payroll jobs in August after registering 84,800 new hires in July. Meanwhile, the Golden State’s unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in August from July’s 3.9%, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Opinion

Crisis Intervention Teams have advantages over CARE courts

Depressed and alone, a young woman sits beside the ocean. (Photo: PKpix, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Debates about the Governor’s CARE Courts program have raged across the state in recent months. A major point of contention is whether Californians with mental health challenges will be helped or hurt by being pushed into the legal system.

News

From prison to wildfires: Inmate program gathers momentum

Inmate firefighters head to the Colleen Fire in the Santa Teresa Foothills near San Jose. (Photo: Jaden Schaul, via Shutterstock)

The law that offers wildfire-fighting inmates a chance to clean up their records in hopes of civilian careers got off to a slow start last year as administrators crafted rules for the procedure, but now, with those rules in place, the prison-to-profession pipeline is starting to take shape.

News

Ban on building gas stations is emerging as new policy goal

An old gas station along Route 66 with a 1957 Corvette parked in front. (Photo: Andrey Bayda, via Shutterstock)

In March 2021, Petaluma became the first community in America to permanently ban the construction of new gas stations. For a nation that has been ruled by automobiles for the last century, banning gas stations seems a bold, if self-destructive, move on the surface.

Podcast

Raging against the machine for AB 2183, the Farm Worker Voting Rights Act

Tom Morello performing on the west steps of the capitol, September 21, 2022. Photo by Tim Foster

CAPITOL WEEKLY PODCAST: Tom Morello, the fiery, activist leader of the rock band Rage Against the Machine, brought his guitar to Sacramento last week to lend support to the United Farm Workers and their effort to pass AB 2183, what UFW spokesman Marc Grossman calls “The Farm Worker Voting Rights Act.”

News

Medi-Cal shift could roil coverage for low-income Californians

A man receives a one-shot vaccination against COVID-19 in Covina. (Photo: Ringo Chiu, via Shutterstock)

Almost 2 million of California’s poorest and most medically fragile residents may have to switch health insurers as a result of a new strategy by the state to improve care in its Medicaid program. A first-ever statewide contracting competition to participate in the program, known as Medi-Cal, required commercial managed-care plans to rebid for their contracts and compete against others hoping to take those contracts away.

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