Posts Tagged: System

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.”

News

In November, questions of life and death

The execution chamber at San Quentin prison. (Photo: CDCR)

Will November mark the death of the death penalty? This fall, Californians will be asked yet again whether they would like to abolish capital punishment. Voters last faced the issue in 2012, a presidential election year, and rejected the idea.

Analysis

How bad is water management in California?

Oroville Lake. (Photo by Pauk, via Wikipedia)

California’s combination of climate, native ecosystems, and human uses makes water management inherently hard, unsatisfactory, and evolving. California is doomed to have difficult and controversial water problems. No matter how successful we are.

News

Veterans Treatment Courts play crucial role

They’re called Veterans Treatment Courts, a little-known part of the judicial system that deals specifically with military veterans crippled by stress, drugs and the memories of war. The specialized courts can be found around the country. But only 12 of California’s 58 counties have this service for veterans.

News

Top two: Democrats feel the heat

A California ballot box. (Photo illustration, Hafakot, via Shutterstock)

California’s fledgling top-two voting system, which creates an open primary for all statewide candidates, could prove costly to Democrats in liberal districts while rewarding Republicans who lose. In heavily liberal areas in Northern California, voters could be presented with the choice of two Democrats and no Republicans in the general election.

Podcast

Capitol Weekly podcast

Paul Mitchell (Photo By Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)

Political Data Inc’s Paul Mitchell joins John Howard and Tim Foster to chat about new numbers from the Secretary of State and the effects of purging the voter rolls. He also digs into a hot topic – how the party delegate system works, with a look at the historical evolution of the primary process. All that, AND more: his connection to the Zodiac Killer!

Analysis

San Quentin puts on a happy face

San Quentin prison, as seen from San Francisco Bay. (Photo: San Quentin News, prison newspaper)

ANALYSIS: What if, instead of building prisons in remote locations, we put them near cities, accessible to family members and to the resources — educational, vocational, therapeutic, recreational, cultural — that are scarce in most prison towns?

Opinion

Road charge: A funding option

An L.A. freeway interchange at dusk. (Photo: Shutterstock)

OPINION: California drivers are bearing the burden of the state’s transportation funding crisis, with the average driver spending more than $500 a year to repair the wear and tear on their vehicle caused by bad roads. Gas tax revenues currently fund most of the state’s road maintenance and repairs, but gas tax revenues are declining as cars become more fuel efficient and as drivers adopt hybrids and electric vehicles.

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