Posts Tagged: System

Opinion

Proposition 23 and the politics of big money

A dialysis nurse checks his equipment. (Photo: Saengsuriya Kanhajorn, via Shutterstock)

Close your eyes. Think about all the problems facing California. Think about the top 10 problems. Now think about the top 100 problems. Now open your eyes. We doubt anyone reading this thought about staffing in kidney dialysis centers. Yet this year proposition 23 was asking voters in California to have a say on the staffing requirements for kidney dialysis centers.

News

Retail theft a big concern this election season

A man shoplifts a pair of jeans at a clothing store. (Photo: Monstar Studio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Shoplifting and stealing are becoming a bigger problem in California, which is why small businesses are showing interest in two statewide ballot measures that deal with crime and justice. Proposition 20 seeks to strengthen consequences for serial theft, while Proposition 25 is a referendum on the Legislature’s no cash bail law.

Opinion

Protecting the ACA is crucial for California, nation

A sign at a downtown San Francisco rally urging support for the Affordable Care Act. (Photo: Kim Wilson, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has placed the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) back in the headlines because the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in November in a case, California v. Texas, that seeks to repeal it. The widely publicized prospect of eliminating health care coverage for more than 20 million Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic should be enough to give our elected leaders and the high court pause.

News

Dangerous mix: Law enforcement and mentally ill suspects

A suspect in custody, handcuffed by police. (Photo: Boyfare, via Shutterstock)

Police response to mental-health calls often ends – again and again – in chaotic, noisy hospital emergency rooms, where staff is stretched thin, and a heart attack is likely to take precedence over someone in the throes of a mental-health crisis. “Traditionally, people would be dropped off at the ER, and the only option was to transfer them to a psychiatric facility,” says Dr. Scott Zeller, a nationally known emergency psychiatrist and former president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry.

Opinion

Don’t fix unbroken system for claims adjusters

Destruction from last year's Wine Country fires. (Photo: Janos Rautonen, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The current system allows claims adjusting companies that employ professional adjusters to secure a license covering its employees, which is practical and efficient and meets the needs of California’s consumers. Far from unique, this system has been proven to work in states like Montana and Utah. However, if the department’s bill, SB 1291 is enacted, it would totally upend a perfectly functional system for licensing independent insurance adjusters by disallowing state licensing for companies to cover its professionals

Opinion

Bail reform threatens crime victims

A jail inmate clutches the bars of his cell. (Photo: Frank60, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The stated mission of this bill is to drastically reduce the number of individuals detained during pretrial. SB 10, written by Sen. Hertzberg, threatens the safety of victims by allowing the elimination of the private bail sector. The bail system in the state is no longer the determining factor. Instead, a computer program that makes a risk assessment of each arrested individual replaces the current system

News

Cap-and-trade deal heading for showdown

A California power plant at dusk. (Photo David Crockett)

A hotly disputed agreement to extend California’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 reflects the power shift under way in the Legislature in which moderate, business-friendly Democrats are increasingly flexing their political muscle. It also shows the lobbying clout of the petroleum industry and divisions within the environmental community.

News

Overhaul urged for California court fines

A photo illustration of court finances. (Rusian Grumble, Shutterstock)

California’s courts impose hundreds of millions of dollars of “excessive and disproportionate” fines each year for common infractions, then use much of the money to support their own operations. A blue-ribbon panel examining the system said the fines should be collected by the executive branch — not the courts themselves — to avoid conflicts.

Opinion

Gaming the system in asbestos lawsuits

A worker removes asbestos-laden material from a building roof. (Photo: Bjoern Wylezich)

OPINION: First, the lawyer sues the solvent company and receives a full recovery after trial or settlement. Then, the lawyer files a claim before the bankruptcy trust for the same exact harm. Of course, it’s entirely possible the plaintiff was exposed to multiple different brands of asbestos. If that’s the case, then the trust should know about exposure to other asbestos from solvent companies.

News

Campaign cash: A journey through the Cal-Access labyrinth

Photo illustration, political cash on the move: IQoncept, via Shutterstock

When California introduced its Cal-Access campaign finance website, “There was nothing like it in the country,” said Rob Lapsley, who was under-Secretary of State in 2000, the year the campaign disclosure tool made its debut. Fast forward 15 years: What was once cutting edge is now obsolete. “The current system is broken, literally.”

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