Posts Tagged: budget

News

Tiny budget piece could have huge impact on $12B stem cell agency

An illustration of the molecular structure of human cells and a researcher with vaccine. (Image: Billion Photos, Shutterstock)

A crack opened last week for the first time in 17 years in the firewall between state politicians and the $12 billion California stem cell agency. It involves only $600,000 — at least for now — and is buried deep in the 1,069-page state budget bill that was introduced June 8. But its implications are far-reaching. They range from opening the agency to major changes — wanted and unwanted — to creating a basis for the agency’s currently dubious, long-term financial sustainability.

News

Historic state budget blueprint faces crucial hurdles

Gov. Gavin Newsom at a San Francisco event. (Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova, via Shutterstock)

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a multi-billion-dollar package of monetary goodies for Californians, but how much of it will become reality is now up to legislators. The clock ticks: Lawmakers have less than a month to approve the 2022-23 budget, an unprecedented, nearly $300 billion document, and send it to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Recent News

California, shockingly, has the lowest literacy rate of any state

A volunteer teacher reads to a group of young children. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

Decades of underinvestment in schools, culture battles over bilingual education, and dizzying levels of income inequality have pushed California to the bottom of the pile, making it the least literate state in the nation. Nearly 1 in 4 people over the age of 15 lack the skills to decipher the words in this sentence. Only 77 percent of adults are considered mid to highly literate, according to the nonpartisan data crunchers at World Population Review.

Recent News

Drug-pricing rule hinders low-income, diverse communities

Personnel at the Sacramento Native American Health Center. (Photo: SNAHC)

OPINION: Amid the ongoing health crisis, California’s Medi-Cal Rx transition threatens the stability of over 1,300 community health centers that serve more than 7.2 million people throughout the state. In a noble attempt to discount rising prescription drug prices, a huge gap in savings is created for community health centers. Ironically, the transition disproportionately impacts the very same people it aims to help: California’s diverse population.

News

Difficulties plague Sec State’s hoped-for searchable database

Secretary of State Shirley Weber, then an Assembly member, on the steps of the Capitol in 2018. (Photo: Phil Pasquini, Shutterstock)

More than three years after lawmakers unanimously called for it, the Secretary of State has yet to compile a searchable database to help voters get in touch with the people they put in office. Voters, it was envisioned, would then have one-stop easy access to office contact information for elected officials at all levels of government. That hasn’t happened.

News

Stem cell ‘magical miracles’ possible — but at a hefty price

An illustration of DNA being injected into a stem cell. (Image: Spectral-Design, via Shutterstock)

The folks in Orange Cove in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley care about the cost of health care. It is part of their struggle each day as they try to live on $27,000 a year, the lowest median household income of any town in the Golden State. Over in Oakland at the headquarters of the $12 billion state stem cell agency, the folks there are also worried about the cost of health care, particularly cell and gene therapies that may well cost upwards of $2 million. 

Opinion

Greater transparency crucial for sound state budgeting

The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Steven Frame)

OPINION: Nearly two months into the new fiscal year. Four budget bills and approximately 50 budget-related policy bills later, Californians continue to wait for solutions to our state’s most pressing crisis — drought, water storage, and wildfire mitigation. Meaningful reforms to fix state agencies like EDD, or the replenishment of the $7.8 billion borrowed from the state’s Rainy Day Fund last year have not yet been addressed.

Opinion

California takes lead in fight against Alzheimer’s

The young hands of a caregiver surround the hands of an elderly patient. (Photo: Ocskay Mark, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Everywhere you turn these days we’re being told that government doesn’t work, that our democracy is too polarized to deliver for everyday people. The budget Gov. Newsom recently signed tells a different story. It will help turbocharge our recovery from COVID-19 and make a historic commitment on another urgent public health crisis: Alzheimer’s.

News

Lawmakers okay $2.7 billion for zero-emission vehicles

An electric vehicle getting power at a street charging station. (Photo: guteksk7, via Shuttertstock)

California lawmakers have approved a dramatic expansion of the state’s commitments to all-electric vehicles, with the goal of ultimately increasing the number of electric and zero-emission cars on the road. The $2.7 billion piece of the 2021-22 state budget was sent to the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk on June 28. Newsom has not yet acted on it.

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.

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