The $3 billion California stem cell agency this week welcomed the first members of its “Great Ideas” club and gave them a total of nearly $4 million to pursue the scientific gleams in their eyes. Nineteen researchers received awards at a meeting yesterday of the governing board of the agency. They were the first such grants approved by the nearly 12-year-old enterprise.
Hang on to your hats, California smokers — a cyclone of tobacco legislation is blowing through the Golden State. Moves to crack down on electronic cigarettes, further regulate smokes in the workplace, raise the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21 years old and create new tobacco taxes all won support from the Senate health committee, the bills’ first major policy hurdle in the final weeks of the 2015 legislative session.
In the months since the FBI raided the offices of Senator Ron Calderon, the most interesting thing that’s happened in the State Capitol is what hasn’t happened in the State Capitol. Unlike broader efforts for political reform that accompanied previous corruption scandals, there has been barely a peep from California politicians of either party about the need to clean up a system that has become consumed by non-stop fundraising.