News

New law curbing small gas motors affects portable generators, too

A man fires up a gasoline-powered generator to provide electricity to a trailer. (Photo: Virrage Images, via Shutterstock)

California’s first-in-the-nation law banning the sale of new gas-powered mowers and blowers also targets a machine that has become increasingly popular with consumers in recent years — portable generators. As people face power blackouts — in areas where utilities have cut power to curb wildfire threats, for example — many have turned to generators as a backup energy source. 

News

SEIU leader resigns amid theft, perjury charges

A group of SEIU members and supporters at a rally in Los Angeles. (Photo: RoidRanger, via Shutterstock)

Alma Hernández, the executive director of the 700,000-member of SEIU California labor union, resigned Wednesday after she and her husband were accused of multiple charges that  included perjury, fraud and grand theft. “We have accepted Ms. Hernández’s resignation, and we have cooperated fully with authorities on this matter and will continue to do so,” the SEIU State Council said in a written statement.

News

Urgency or special? That is the question

The Assembly chamber at the state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, via Shutterstock)

California courts are occasionally faced with scrutinizing the lawmakers’ decisions to label some bills as urgency statutes and others as special statutes. It may sound unexciting, but the reality is this: The courts’ rulings can affect millions of Californians.

News

Stem cell agency seeks to weaken conflict-of-interest rules

Two of the members of the CIRM governing board, Chair Jon Thomas and Vice Chair Art Torres, during an earlier meeting.(Photo: CIRM)

Directors of the $12 billion California stem cell agency have moved to weaken conflict of interest provisions affecting its governing board — eliminating “leave-the-room” requirements that are used by most private nonprofits to assure the integrity of their operations.

News

For seniors’ dental care, Medicare needs to step up

A photo illustration of two aspects of age -- false teeth and glasses. (Image: Arrfoto, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Strengthening Medicare by adding dental benefits could help more than 4.5 million in California; the largest number of Medicare beneficiaries of any state. Most seniors are surprised to learn that when they retire and begin to rely on Medicare for their health coverage, they are left without oral health care. In fact, of the 60 million Medicare beneficiaries, more than two-thirds don’t have any dental coverage at all.

News

Reforming California’s juvenile justice system proving difficult

A young inmate is escorted through a detention facility. (Photo: Thomas Andre Fure, via Shuterstock)

California sought to reform its juvenile justice system by housing young people closer to their communities in facilities that are intended to replace the youth prisons run by the Department of Juvenile Justice. If Los Angeles County’s experience is any indication, making that shift is more difficult than expected.

News

Stem cell agency gives out $2 million a minute

Close up of laboratory microscope with DNA gel background image. (Photo: 18percentgrey, via Shutterstock)

Directors of the California stem cell agency last week handed out $2 million a minute to nearly 20 organizations during an online meeting that spread the largess from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south. 

News

Rebooting huge Medi-Cal system puts pressure on health plans

Photo illustration of a card identifying the recipient of Medi-Cal services. (Image: California Healthline)

When Denise Williams’ baby boy was 2 months old, she became alarmed by a rattling sound in his lungs and took him to the emergency room. While undergoing treatment, he spiraled into a disabling neurological disorder.

News

Remembering Scott Lay, 1972-2021

Scott Lay (Photo: John Howard)

In the months after California voters removed Gray Davis from office, I would roll out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and log on to find a document waiting for me. It was from Scott Lay. The document was the rough draft of that morning’s edition of The Roundup, a daily email digest of California political news and information that went to nearly 10,000 subscribers.

News

Stem cell: California’s ARS and its multibillion-dollar clout

The Lorry I. Loke Stem Cell Research Building at Stanford University. (Photo: CIRM)

California’s taxpayer-financed stem cell agency will give away $98 million later this week, but the agency’s full, 35-member board is not going to have much to do with making decisions about who gets what. That’s because 17 members of the governing board are barred from voting on applications for any of its research awards, which will ultimately total roughly $5 billion over the next decade or so.

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