Posts Tagged: 13
A posed image of a rape victim in a dark tunnel, with the shadow of the rapist in the background. (Photo: ChameleonsEye, via Shutterstock)
Thousands of California women who said they were raped gave details of their assaults to investigators and provided critical data in “rape kits” — DNA, wounds, semen, hair, fibers — to identify their attackers. But many of the rape kits were not examined in a timely way, caught in a backlog that has angered some lawmakers and women’s groups.
California presented in the colors of the state's official flag. (Photo: Savelyev, Shutterstock)
It was, as always, a mixture of hope and disappointment, deals made and unmade, the bizarre and the mundane. For the Capitol community, 2015 was also a year of anticipation. Initiative creators were busy in 2015. The latest available figures tell us that 63 initiatives and referenda have been cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State’s office. Not all of them will make it to the Nov. 8 ballot, but four have already, including a proposal to overturn the state’s ban on plastic bags.
Downtown Los Angeles, as traffic zips along. (Photo: Sean Pavone)
Gov. Brown’s call for a special legislative session to fix California’s crumbling roads, highways and bridges comes as music to the ears of those who build big projects. For months, groups representing labor, contractors, local governments, transportation interests and others worked on legislation to revamp the state’s roads and ease the movement of freight at the state’s ports. That legislation may serve as the centerpiece of the special session.
Changing Proposition 13, the landmark, tax-cutting ballot initiative that California voters approved in 1978, is the goal of a constitutional amendment aimed at next year’s ballot. The plan by two Senate Democrats – Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and Loni Hancock of Berkeley – would allow commercial and business properties to be regularly reassessed for tax purposes, with an exemption for properties worth less than $500,000. Under current law – Proposition 13 – those properties are only reassessed when there is a change in ownership.
State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: David Monniaux)
Is the California Legislature making a comeback? The poll numbers would certainly indicate it is, but lawmakers shouldn’t start popping the champagne corks. In fact, the legislature hasn’t had this much love since October of 2004, when 40 percent of likely voters approved and 46 percent disapproved of the legislature’s performance, according to the PPIC.
There’s nothing like Sacramento in August: Stifling heat, frantic lobbyists, late-night sessions, pain, general angst – and Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 list. Fits right in. This rundown represents our view of the unelected Capitol community’s inner workings.
OPINION: Just as patients don’t want to see a $15 charge for an aspirin on their hospital bill, hospitals don’t want to charge patients those prices. Hospital pricing has evolved because of decades of government regulations, cost shifts to private payers and unfunded government mandates (including expensive seismic retrofitting), inadequate Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and the obligation for hospitals to treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay.
For Republicans nurtured on a diet of tax cuts, a nightmare is coming to pass: The most immediate impact of Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature is to put Proposition 13 on a hit list.
But not directly.
There is no single plan — yet — to toss out or rewrite
Few issues spark more local controversy than the parcel tax, a levy on property that raises money for specific local programs, such as schools, roads and fire fighting.
But their size, scope and purpose vary dramatically. And despite the intense emotions they enflame locally, parcel taxes have rarely hit the state Capitol’s radar —
When state Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, announced his support for a constitutional amendment to roll back a critical piece of tax-cutting Proposition 13, the reaction was swift: There were catcalls, praise and at least one satiric newspaper cartoon.
Leno’s SCA3, which requires voter approval, would allow passage of local parcel taxes