Posts Tagged: rates

News

PPIC: Amid pandemic, Medi-Cal enrollments rise

Offices of Covered California, a health insurance portal for California's portion of the Affordable Care Act. (Photo: TonelsonProductions, via Shutterstock)

In California, we have seen steady increases in Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) enrollment since April 2020, with caseloads about 9% larger in January 2021 compared to January 2020. Expanded Medi-Cal coverage is responsible for much of the decline in the uninsured rate.

News

Electricity meltdowns: Texas can learn from SMUD, California

Headquarters of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. (Photo: Headquarters of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, (Photo: Cassionhabib, via Shutterstock)

In February, Texas experienced a freak weather event, a deep freeze that shut down its electrical  system, damaged its infrastructure and cost dozens of lives. The storm revealed the lack of preparation and investment by the Texas state government, the flaws of its system of deregulated privately-owned utilities, and the failures of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT.  The latter is responsible for maintaining the state’s energy infrastructure.

Opinion

Bills for recycle program well intentioned, but fall short

Recycle bins behind a supermarket in Scotts Valley, Calif. (Photo: Michael Barajas, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Every year during the end-of-session debates in the Legislature, bills that had previously stalled suddenly get new life. Sometimes, it’s the result of a grand bargain struck to advance long-held policy objectives. Other times, it’s the result of public pressure created by an emerging crisis. 

Opinion

Needed: Affordable insurance in fire-prone areas

Homeowners watch the billowing smoke of the 2018 Woolsey Fire in Southern California. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As currently amended —after months of compromise and negotiations— this bill would create a new Insurance Market Action Plan, or IMAP, designed to increase home insurance availability with better coverage and lower rates, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire damage through home hardening and community mitigation. For many homeowners in high-risk areas, the FAIR Plan is currently the only option for fire insurance.

News

Lease-a-dog? You’re kidding, right?

Bubba, a dog who found an owner after a year in a shelter. (Photo: Photography by Adri, via Shutterstock)

Should customers be able to lease dogs and cats in the same way they rent cars, apartments or furniture? California legislators think not. Both houses overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 1491, which would outlaw the practice beginning Jan. 1. The bill is now awaiting final action from Gov. Jerry Brown.

News

State pension systems: NY outperforms California

The CalPERS board of governors during a meeting at the pension system's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS)

New York state pension systems are better funded than California state pension systems, currently take a smaller bite out of state and local government budgets, and still provide pension benefits well above the national average. How do they do it?

Opinion

Needed: Good-time credits for lifers

Sunlight streams through the bars of a prison cell. (Photo: nobeastsofierce, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Proposition 57’s 50 percent good time credit should be applied retroactively to all incarcerated people, including lifers who committed violent crimes. Contrary to popular fears, releasing reformed lifers may be the best thing we can do to reduce violent crime.

News

Highway deaths: Red states vs. Blue states

A fire truck races to an emergency in downtown Los Angeles, 2016. (Photo Alexandre Moraes, via Shutterstock)

FairWarning: November’s presidential contest was bizarre in many ways, but there is one peculiarity that pundits haven’t pounced on: The states with the worst rates of traffic deaths in the country went solidly for Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton swept states with the lowest fatality rates. California was 10th from the bottom in its traffic fatality rate — about 8.11 deaths per 100,000 people. The highest was Wyoming, with 24.74 fatalities per 100,000.

News

CalPERS acts to cut earnings forecast, raise rates

CalPERS' governing board during a 2013 meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: A key committee yesterday approved a drop in the often-criticized CalPERS investment earnings forecast, gradually raising record rates already being paid by state and local governments, if approved as expected by the full board today.

News

Public pension funds eye weak investment returns

CalPERS' governing board during a 2013 meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: The state’s two largest public pension systems never recovered from huge investment losses during the deep recession and stock market crash in 2008. CalPERS lost about $100 billion and CalSTRS about $68 billion. Now after a lengthy bull market, most experts are predicting a decade of weak investment returns, well below the annual average.

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