Posts Tagged: taxpayers

News

New push to expand ‘transitional kindergarten’ in California

A teacher and his students in a kindergarten class. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

After a couple of failed attempts, a move to expand transitional kindergarten to all 4-year-olds in California is under way. Assembly members Kevin McCarty, Phil Ting and Eloise Gomez Reyes and state Sens. Susan Rubio, Lena Gonzalez, and Bill Dodd have introduced Assembly Bill 2500 to approve universal transitional kindergarten.

Opinion

Paint: Time to get the lead out

Two painters in protective suits remove lead paint from an old house. (Photo: Jaime Hooper)

OPINION: Seeing no way to prevail in the courts, the Big Three filed a ballot initiative that would nullify the court judgment holding them responsible for lead paint cleanup in 10 counties, and effectively pardon them by preventing any future suits. Perhaps worst of all, the toxic paint producers’ initiative would force taxpayers to clean up the companies’ own toxic paint mess, draining nearly $4 billion dollars from our state budget.  

News

Stem cell agency: No giveaways in $150 million plan

A high-resolution image of human egg cells. (Jezper, via Shutterstock)

The president of the California stem cell agency, Randy Mills, yesterday said that the firms that responded to an ambitious proposal to create a $150 million public/private partnership were seeking to make a “better deal” than the agency had offered. Mills said that the agency was “not going to give away something that is not in the best interests of the people of California.”

News

Death penalty: Ron Briggs’ odyssey

The execution chamber at San Quentin Prison

Ron Briggs was always an ardent supporter of the death penalty. His father John Briggs, former state assemblyman and senator, was a driving force behind a 1978 initiative that expanded the list of special circumstances required for a death sentence. But today, Ron Briggs is one the biggest opponents of capital punishment. He campaigned for Proposition 62, which would have ended the state’s death penalty and was rejected by voters this month.

News

Drug industry clout, Medicare costs

Prescription drugs displayed across a counter top. (Photo: Motorolka, via Shutterstock)

FairWarning: When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D.

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.

News

Words of gloom accompany Brown’s budget

Gov. Brown unveils his 2016-17 budget plan, urging caution about potential economic downturns. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California’s economy is on the mend and revenues are fat, but Gov. Brown offered some words of gloom as he unveiled a $171 billion budget blueprint for the fiscal year beginning July 1. “If you’re a betting person, you can easily conclude that deficits are more likely than surpluses,” Brown said Thursday as he presented his 2016-17 budget to the Legislature.

Opinion

Health care: A basic right for all

Also known as the Health for All Act, the legislation aims to provide access to health care coverage to undocumented individuals who are not covered under the Affordable Care Act. SB 4 would expand Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented individuals and create a private insurance exchange option for those with higher incomes.

News

Talks loom on statewide pension reform

Calpensions: Backers of a Ventura County pension reform initiative, which was removed from the November ballot recently by a judge last week, are not appealing the ruling. But they may meet with other reformers after the elections this fall to discuss a statewide pension reform initiative.

Opinion

Latinos’ role crucial in fixing correctional system

A section of the San Quentin Prison area for condemned inmates. Photo via SanQuentinBlog.org

OPINION: Here in Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, anyone will tell you that casting is key. A film’s meaning and potential are lost if it’s miscast or missing the right characters. The same could be said about a blockbuster story that has been playing out for decades in California: our bloated and costly prisons. Much attention has been paid to lawsuits about the conditions in these packed facilities, as well as the response by the Governor, Legislature and others.

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