Posts Tagged: lawmakers

Opinion

Now’s the time: Fair access to water, reliable supply, good jobs

The Thermalito Power Canal in Oroville, Butte County. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is flush with cash and staring down a thirsty future. According to the EPA Needs Survey and Assessment, our state needs $50 billion in infrastructure improvements to ensure safe drinking water for everyone. Our unprecedented state budget surplus and drought-induced water use restrictions make it clear: Now is our chance to modernize our water systems, and we must act with urgency.

Opinion

Keep cool, California: Heat pumps are a good way to go

A building with window air conditioners, which are not as efficient as heat pumps. (Photo: David Crockett, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Unlike states like Texas and Florida, where only 1% of homes lack A.C., roughly a quarter of California homes are not equipped with central cooling. Studies show that the access to cooling in homes is highly correlated with heat-related mortality – and low-income households are less likely to have the cooling they need to stay safe.

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

Reparations: Lineage first step in a long, complex journey

Vocal advocates of reparations gather outside a 2019 Democratic event. (Photo: michelmond, via Shutterstock)

Compensating the families of Black Californians who were scarred by slavery is a delicate, complex and controversial task — as the unprecedented state panel pondering the issue is finding out. The “fact that California is taking the first steps toward reparations for slavery is a major milestone,” Justine Leroy an assistant professor at UC Davis whose research specializes in the history of slavery and emancipation, said of the March 29 vote.

News

Letters of intent: A bill’s author gets short shrift from the courts

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: One of the long-running points of contention when California courts examine what’s known as  “legislative intent” is the judiciary’s general disdain for statements made by the authors of legislation. Those clear-language statements accompanying bills, common in the Capitol, seek to offer guidance and state the purpose and intention of an author’s legislation.

Recent News

New digs — and a hefty price tag — for legislative office space

The existing annex of the state Capitol in Sacramento. Photo: (Department of General Services)

Sacramento’s core is being transformed by an array of construction and infrastructure improvements — much to the ire of detour-weary motorists. But the centerpiece of the building has nothing to do with the city —it’s the state Capitol’s annex, which contains a hive of government offices.

News

Urgency or special? That is the question

The Assembly chamber at the state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, via Shutterstock)

California courts are occasionally faced with scrutinizing the lawmakers’ decisions to label some bills as urgency statutes and others as special statutes. It may sound unexciting, but the reality is this: The courts’ rulings can affect millions of Californians.

Opinion

Historic budget: CA leads in library modernization. Will Feds follow?

A sign beckons library users with a compelling message. (Photo: Becky Ruppel, via California State Library)

OPINION: This year’s state budget contains an unprecedented investment in California’s public libraries. The $439 million earmarked by Gov. Newsom and the Legislature for renovating and modernizing local libraries will provide decades of ongoing benefits to millions of Californians and the communities in which they live. 

Opinion

Rare-disease patients seek lawmakers’ support

A medical technician prepares to draw blood from a patient. (Photo: Ruchuda Boonplien, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The worry of a mother for her child never ends. I am the sole caretaker of my adult daughter who suffers from multiple rare diseases. Her conditions hold her from living independently. During her 35 years of life and her 12 years of living with her chronic conditions, I cannot remember the many times that she almost died.

Opinion

Revamping ‘rebate wall’ could save billions in drug costs

Drugs arranged on shelves at a pharmacy. (Photo: SEE_JAY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California can once again be a national leader in pushing for cost-savings reforms in the healthcare field by being the first in the nation to address the practice of rebate policies that can bring balance and competition back to the pharmaceutical marketplace, which will help drive down drug costs and improve patient care. This policy challenge is called a rebate wall.

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