News

Census facing uncertainty, hostile president

Ladera Ranch, census-designated community in southern Orange County. (Photo: bonandbon, via Shutterstock)

A lot is riding on this decennial tally: It affects the way federal funding is distributed and it can have a dramatic impact on the boundaries — and number — of political districts. This time around, California’s congressional seats are on shaky ground. But the uncertainty stems as much from President Trump’s actions as from the long-awaited 2020 census numbers, which have been delayed because of the pandemic.

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.

News

Ballot battle underway to keep stem cell agency alive

DNA is injected into a stem cell. (Photo: Spectral-Design, via Shuttertock)

The California stem cell agency has just finished pumping $5.3 million into the fight to save the lives of Covid-19 victims. And — in a ballot-box bonus — its efforts are already surfacing in the ballot campaign to rescue the agency from its own demise. The agency is running out of money. It will begin closing its doors this fall without major financial support that it hopes will come from Proposition 14, a $5.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot.

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.

Podcast

Capitol Weekly Podcast: The California Network

Dr. Barbara O’Connor is chair of the California Emerging Technology Fund; the pandemic is highlighting the need for one of the group’s priorities: getting good, reliable internet to all Californians. Their proposal – the California Network – is being discussed at the Capitol this week.

News

CA120: DMV voter registrations hit slow lane

The DMV office in Los Gatos. (Photo: stellamc, via Shutterstock)

Digging into it, we can see that California has been experiencing at least one area with a lull in registration. Looking at the voter file and codes from the secretary of state on registration methods, we can see hundreds of thousands fewer DMV registrations than would be expected since the lock down began.

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.

News

CA skateboarders and COVID-19: Demand up, equipment down

A skateboarder in action. (Photo: Shawn Henry)

Shelter-in-place has pushed consumers of varying ages to skateboarding in unprecedented numbers, creating a dramatic increase in participation and sales. Unfortunately, California’s COVID-19 regulations limiting public gatherings have also slowed the manufacturing and distribution of skateboard equipment, causing historic supply disruptions. 

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.

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