News

Relying on Big Tech in pandemic undermines public health system

An illustration of several Big Tech companies on a cell phone display. (Photo: Koshiro K, via Shutterstock)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has embraced Silicon Valley tech companies and health care industry titans in response to the covid-19 pandemic like no other governor in America — routinely outsourcing life-or-death public health duties to his allies in the private sector. At least 30 tech and health care companies have received lucrative, no-bid government contracts, or helped fund and carry out critical public health activities during the state’s battle against the coronavirus, a KHN analysis has found.

News

Survey: Eight in 10 say children falling behind academically

A student in class during the pandemic. (Photo: Siday Productions, via Shutterstock)

PPIC: One year after the state’s schools halted in-person learning due to COVID-19, more than eight in ten Californians think children are falling behind academically during the pandemic. Most Californians approve of how Gov. Newsom is handling the state’s K–12 public education system, though six in ten are concerned that California’s K–12 schools will not be open for full-time in-person instruction this fall.

News

A congressional seat disappears, setting the stage for fights

An image illustrating political infighting. (Image: Lightspring)

California’s impending loss of a congressional seat may set off vicious intraparty fights not seen in California for nearly a decade. The conflict may happen because the state’s congressional districts will be redrawn on the basis of population figures from the 2020 census.

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PPIC: California’s stalled population growth

The crowded Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles. (Photo: PPIC)

The Census Bureau released total population numbers for California, suggesting a significant slowdown in the state’s population growth. But these numbers do not include the last half of 2020, and they do not tell us why population growth has slowed. We won’t have official census counts of this information for many months. But we do have population estimates from the California Department of Finance through the first few months of the pandemic.

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Newsom facing Republican-led recall election

Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Capitol event in January. (AP Photo, Rich Pedroncelli)

A Republican-led effort to oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has gathered enough signatures to place the recall before voters on the statewide ballot. The announcement Monday by the secretary of state means that Newsom is likely to confront voters later this year.

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Redistricting panel meets amid deadline pressures

An illustration of California cities that will become part of redrawn political districts for the 2022 elections. (Image: jmrainbow, via Shutterstock)

California’s voter-approved redistricting commission,  which will draw the political maps for the 2022 elections, is poised to meet amid heightened scrutiny over its personnel changes and severe deadline pressures.

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Daybreak PAC hopes to push Legislature leftward

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

On March 23, about 80 people gathered on a Zoom call to launch Daybreak PAC, a political action committee aimed at moving the California Legislature to the left by supporting progressive candidates and policies. The PAC is headed by activist Jackie Fielder, an unsuccessful state Senate candidate who challenged incumbent Democrat Scott Wiener last year in San Francisco.

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California’s winding road ahead to ‘carbon neutrality’

A photo illustration of carbon-neutral wind power, and fossil-fuel power generation. (Photo: satit_srihin, via Shutterstock)

California is known across the country as a trendsetter in climate regulations, with tough emissions standards and sweeping environmental protections. Freshman state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), however, is pushing for more ambitious carbon-neutral rules that could move California further ahead of the rest of the nation. The effort, praised by environmentalists,  has drawn fire from utility workers and gas companies.

News

California wants a hefty slice of that $2 trillion pie

A damaged highway in a rural area of California. (Photo: Tupungato, via Shutterstock)

What might President Biden’s colossal proposal to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure mean to California? Admittedly, the $2 trillion fix is a long way from becoming reality. It’s still in the House, and Senate passage as the bill is written is a big “if.”

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Price tag in Newsom recall battle starting to grow

Demonstrators in Huntington Beach protesting Gov. Newsom's closure orders in 2020. (Photo: mikeledray, via Shutterstock)

An effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has not even reached the ballot, but foes and backers of the governor already have raised or spent more than $7.5 million, with the likelihood of much, much more to come. The fundraising is a work in progress but all but certain to expand exponentially if, as expected, the effort makes the ballot and an election is held later this year.

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