Analysis

Some surprises in the handling of this year’s budget

California 's state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Steven Frame, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: For someone who is interested in the activities of the California Legislature and tracks the budget closely, the last two legislative sessions have brought some interesting developments, as well as a recognition of the tremendous work that legislators, staff, and the governor’s administration put into crafting the state’s spending plan each year.

News

Rural areas, counties ask for help as California fire season heats up

The remains of a home and nearby house in the Glen Ellen area of Sonoma County, following a 2017 fire.(Photo: RebeccaJaneCall, via Shutterstock)

Representatives of California’s counties are urging improved measures to cut wildfire risks in the state’s less populated areas, but questioned plans to impose widespread building restrictions.

Podcast

Capitol Weekly Podcast: The Master of Disasters, Mark Ghilarducci

We are joined this episode by California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services chief Mark Ghilarducci. Ghilarducci leads the state response to disasters of all kinds. Ghilarducci has extensive experience: he has served California governors since the Deukmejian administration and was the incident commander on the Oklahoma City bombing recovery effort. We asked him for his thoughts on the recent building collapse in Surfside, Florida as well as on California’s 2021 fire season. Plus: Who had the #WorstWeekCA? Reporter Natalie Hanson joins us to explain what is happening on the Chico city council, which lost two councillors in the course of six days.

News

Public banking movement gaining traction in California

Historical building of Wells Fargo in San Francisco's financial district. Photo: Takako Hatayama-Phillips, via Shutterstock)

San Francisco has taken its first major step toward establishing a public bank, and other California municipalities are also moving forward in exploring public banking, including a regional effort by cities and counties on the Central Coast. The California statute reportedly is adding fuel to a nationwide public banking effort.

News

Reimbursements: A little-known provision of recall law

A Huntington Beach demonstrator protesting a May 2020 stay-at-home order issued by the governor during the pandemic. (Photo: mikeledray via Shutterstock)

California taxpayers could be on the hook for millions of dollars if the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom fails. That’s because of a little-recognized provision of the state constitution that declares: “A state officer who is not recalled must be reimbursed by the State for the officer’s recall election expenses legally and personally incurred. Another recall may not be initiated against the officer until six months after the election.” (Article II, Sec. 18.)

Podcast

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Bernadette Del Chiaro

When we think of solar energy, we think of Bernadette Del Chiaro. Bernadette is the executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, whose mission is to promote the widespread deployment of local clean energy technologies. Rooftop solar has been one of the state’s biggest clean-energy success stories: California has built the equivalent of five nuclear power plants-worth of rooftop solar in the past 15 years. Now, proposed changes to net metering could put the brakes on the state’s rooftop solar expansion.

News

Accord reached to extend eviction moratorium to Sept. 30

Gov. Gavin Newsom discussing eviction moratorium proposals at a June 15 briefing in Universal City, <(Photo: Associated Press)

Gov, Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders agreed Friday to extend California’s eviction moratorium to Sept. 30 and fully cover the cost of low-income renters’ missed payments. The agreement comes after weeks of uncertainty about the future of the moratorium, which would have ended on June 30 without an extension.

News

In world of stem cell research, ‘UC Caucus’ reigns supreme

Mesenchymal stem cells are injected into the knee of a patient. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons photo, via VT Digger)

They could be called the “UC Caucus,” although that may presume too much. Nonetheless, they come from an institution that has pulled down $1.2 billion from the California state stem cell agency, more than any other enterprise during the last 16 years. 

News

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Annie Notthoff

Longtime environmental advocate Annie Notthoff retired from the Natural Resources Defense Council last year but still has plenty to say about California environmental issues. Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster asked her about CEQA exemptions for housing, what to make of the budget and the drought. Plus: Who had the Worst Week in California Politics?

News

‘Laura’s Law’ okayed in 30 counties — a major statewide turnaround

Nick and Amanda Wilcox of Penn Valley with a portrait of their daughter Laura, whose murder inspired "Laura's Law." (Photo, Laura Mahaffy, The Union)

In a significant policy shift spanning nearly two decades, 30 counties in California – including all of the larger counties with an estimated 80 percent of the state’s population – have now adopted a 2002 state law giving families a legal avenue to get severely mentally ill relatives into treatment.

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