News

Outlook bleak for California’s 2019 fire season

A resident leads horses to safety in Paradise during the 2018 Camp Fire. (Photo: Dylan Mittag, via Shutterstock)

Everyone with any knowledge of the subject agrees: California is on the brink of a potentially disastrous fire season. And there is concern that the problem is not going to be solved soon. “Our best efforts may still be inadequate,” said Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Opinion

A fight against price-gouging in dialysis treatment

A dialysis nurses checks equipment in ahosp8ital. (Photo: Saengsuriya Kanhajorn, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: My mom and I have been fighting the dialysis industry for years because they have taken advantage of her. It’s not something we set out to do. We just felt we had to do it. Now, we have a chance to keep other patients from going through what my mom experienced by supporting AB 290.

News

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Elaine Howle on redistricting

California State Auditor Elaine Howle (Photo: Auditor's office)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s split decision Thursday on the states’ gerrymandering of political districts was the perfect set-up for today’s episode of the Capitol Weekly Podcast: State Auditor Elaine Howle sat down with us in her office to talk about the process for choosing the 14 members of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

News

As economy surges, a dramatic drop in workers on disability

Tens of thousands of Californians have come off the Social Security disability payroll and gone back to work, part of a national trend that reflects a surging U.S. economy, a shift toward less conventional work and tighter supervision of what qualifies a worker for disability benefits.

News

How much does your ISP spend on lobbying?

A photo illustration of a city's internet connections. (Image: metamorworks, via Shutterstock)

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so far with a total spend of more than $80 million. Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Opinion

Time is precious for USC’s sexual assault survivors

An entrance to the University of Southern California. (Photo: Ganna Tokolova, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: I will forever remember the day I arrived at the University of Southern California. Walking on campus, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride being a part of the Trojan family. Sadly, the university that promised me an unparalleled education, infinite networking opportunities, and support outside of the classroom ultimately betrayed me and thousands of other women over the span of nearly thirty years.

Opinion

Proposed scrap metal recycling rules poorly thought out

A big claw crane drops scrap onto a pile. (Photo: llucky78, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Imagine if a government agency required nurses to endure the same costly and lengthy training as surgeons. Such overreach would result in fewer nurses and the demand for such skilled labor would reach a crisis.  While this extraordinary overreach is not occurring in the health care industry, it is when it comes to California’s regulation of the scrap metal recycling industry.

Opinion

Vaping: Controversial, but it has saved lives

A man vaping as he enjoys coffee in a cafe. (Photo: Aliaksandr Barouski, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding proposed legislation to ban flavored vaping products. I’ve seen and read many articles that cast vaping in a negative light. But, before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, I encourage you to consider the true impacts. Restricting access to flavored vapor products is restricting access to a product that has saved lives and helped smokers quit- including myself.

News

Does public banking loom in California?

A branch of Bank of America in Beverly Hills. (Photo: 4kclips, via Shutterstock)

By law, currently California cities and counties typically have one place to deposit the funds they collect from taxes, fees and fines: private commercial banks. Billions of dollars of public money are handled by commercial banks — for a fee. Despite having billions of dollars banked, municipalities have no say in how their money is used by commercial banks. Bank management, owners and stockholders set policy.

Opinion

Loan rate-cap bill would harm consumers

A loan document ready to be signed. (Photo: Lane V. Erickson, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The California Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill that caps consumer loan rates and threatens to sever a vital credit lifeline for many. Oddly, three commercial lenders who offer the kind of loans subject to this regulation support it.Assembly Bill 539 would cap the interest rate at 36% plus the federal funds rate on loans of more than $2,500 but less than $10,000.

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