Opinion

Needed: Secure system to track electronic nicotine products

An array of high-quality vaping pens.(Photo: Kevin Yuan, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Both in the context of the current economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19 – which is stretching state budgets beyond the breaking point – and as part of ongoing efforts to prevent the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products to minors, the debate in the California Legislature over the sale of ENDS products represents an opportunity for lawmakers to ensure that the state capitalizes on the opportunity to meaningfully addresses public health concerns.

Opinion

Post-pandemic life threatens ADA’s progress

A weathered parking sign for the disabled on the Santa Mona Pier. (TFoxFoto, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: July 26 marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the ADA brought much-needed improvements to many aspects of the lives of persons with disabilities, it also fell short in key areas – especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opinion

If CPUC eliminates ‘decoupling,’ water rates would rise

Sprinklers watering a field in Scotts Valley, Calif. (Photo: Michael Barajas, via Shutterstock)

As early as Aug. 6, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) could vote to adopt a proposal that would eliminate a best-practice regulatory tool – known as decoupling – that currently removes the incentive of water suppliers to sell more water.

Opinion

Needed: Affordable insurance in fire-prone areas

Homeowners watch the billowing smoke of the 2018 Woolsey Fire in Southern California. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As currently amended —after months of compromise and negotiations— this bill would create a new Insurance Market Action Plan, or IMAP, designed to increase home insurance availability with better coverage and lower rates, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire damage through home hardening and community mitigation. For many homeowners in high-risk areas, the FAIR Plan is currently the only option for fire insurance.

Opinion

Flavored tobacco ban would hurt convenience stores

A hookah bowl with cherry shisha tobacco and smoke. (Photo illustration: Andrey Julay, via Shuitterstock)

OPINION: California boasts the largest state economy in the nation. A result of diverse, successful industries that include agricultural, tech and film, it’s easy to overlook the economic impact of our state’s small businesses. But driven by unrelenting special interests, legislators have done just that, introducing Senate Bill 793 — an unconstitutional ban on the selling of all flavored tobacco products that neglects middle-class, small business owners.

Opinion

Lawmakers: Don’t trash food recycling efforts

A landfill gas collection site in Sunnyvale. (Photo: Michael Vi, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Reducing the amount of organic waste that is buried in California landfills is an environmental imperative. As state policy mandates, something has to be done to choke back the production of methane, the gas that is generated when table scraps, yard clippings and other organic materials decompose underground.

Opinion

Insurance adjustment: CA surety bond adds inefficiency

Motorists in Oceanside drive through flooded streets after the arrival of a tropical storm.(Photo: DBSOCAL, via Shutterrstock)

OPINION: From mudslides to droughts, fires to earthquakes, natural disasters are an inexorable part of our way of life. Needless to say, the cost of these disasters is staggering. In 2018 alone, wildfires in our state accounted for nearly a quarter of all insurance company disaster claims nationwide. 

Opinion

Drawing CA’s political lines: One person’s foray into redistricting

Illustration of California by ymgerman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Ten years ago, I sat in my office cubicle. I squinted to make out the grainy online image of Elaine Howle, the California State Auditor, pulling out a series of bingo balls. My desktop speaker crackled, and it was hard to read the numbers on the balls. I kept the volume low so my coworkers couldn’t eavesdrop.

Opinion

For job growth, boost hydrogen infrastructure

A bus at UC Irvine powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. (Photo: Rhonda Roth

OPINION: As it helps draft a strategy for recovery, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery should look to the role that hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles can play in achieving all that, just as other governments around the world are doing.

Opinion

Stem cell initiative: Save lives and energize the economy

A researcher handles a liquid nitrogen bank containing suspended stem cells. (Photo: Elena Pavlovich, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: In our new financial reality, our state and you as voters are faced with tough decisions. Come November, you will decide the fate of California’s stem cell institute. This decision has never been more important to the future of California’s health care, for the patients and their families, than it is now.

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