Posts Tagged: conditions

Opinion

California has a chance to fix its human trafficking problem

Farm workers in a California strawberry field. (Photo: F Armstrong Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The Foreign Labor Contractor Registration bill is a quiet piece of legislation with the potential to speak loudly to our values and commitment to human rights. If passed, AB 364 would extend anti-trafficking protections to all temporary workers in California, particularly by targeting unethical, and often criminal foreign labor contractors (FLCs). 

Opinion

Health care challenge: Helping patients suffering chronic pain

A hospital patient experiencing pain . (Photo: jeep5d, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Although science and innovation are the cornerstones of the California economy, patients living with chronic pain have been largely left behind when it comes to significant medical breakthroughs. Beyond opioids, which can be effective but are also addictive, the choices that patients have available to treat pain remain limited to non-clinical options that only provide so much relief.

Opinion

A key move to address California’s wildfire crisis

A resident watches smoke billowing from the Woolsey Fire, November, 2018, in Southern California. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is facing a wildfire crisis of epic proportions, and with the 2019 fire season already upon us, the immediate threat of yet another highly destructive and costly wildfire looms over communities all across the state. Everyone agrees that something must be done to address this crisis, and yet legislators still have not taken definitive action.

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.

News

Amid rains, drought fears loom

A rain storm floats over California. (Photo: Serkan Senturk, via Shutterstock)

After a historically wet season last year, relatively little precipitation has fallen this year in California during two of the three historically wettest months. Officials are urging stricter water conservation and caution drier months ahead. After last week’s rains, the Sierra snowpack — a critical factor in water availability — climbed to just 39 percent of normal. More rain is coming, but the question remains: Will it be enough to block the impacts of a resumption of the drought?

News

Road dangers, digital billboards linked

Digital billboards and advertising in downtown Toronto. (Photo: SurangaSL, via Shutterstock)

Digital billboards clearly catch the eye of passing motorists. But what is also increasingly clear is that such distractions can heighten safety risks in heavy traffic and other complex driving conditions, a Berkeley-based roadway researcher says.

News

Drought emergency: The need for a biodiversity policy

Lake Oroville ravaged by drought. (Photo: State Department of Water Resources, 2014)

Analysis: California ecosystems are losing their resilience and their ability to sustain native plants and animals. In the past, even in droughts, there were natural refuges to sustain native species. Today, most of these ecosystems are changing rapidly from human impacts and many have deteriorated to critical condition. Refuges are scarce.

Opinion

Ballot measure would threaten educators’ pensions

A classroom teachers helps a young student with Latin. (Photo: Goodluz, via Shutterstock)

The retirement security of California’s retired, current, and future teachers and the stability of the state’s pension fund for educators would be put at risk if a ballot measure addressing those issues is approved by California voters next November, according to an internal analysis by CalSTRS that I requested as chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.

News

States eye CalPERS pension model

The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: A California plan to give private-sector workers a state-run retirement savings plan is nearing $1 million in contributions, the goal set to pay for a market analysis to help design the program. Although the California plan is still in the formative stage, last week the Illinois legislature approved a plan based on the California model, even using the same name, “Secure Choice.”

Opinion

Hospitals: Pending merger bill would hurt public’s access

OPINION: At a time when Californians need more access to hospital services, SB 1094 should be equipped with flashing lights and sirens. The bill politicizes transactions involving the sale or transfer of non-profit hospitals, and deserves to be vetoed by the Governor.

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