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State of California Government News Digest

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California Has Just Approved a New Blueprint for Offshore Wind. The Massive Projects Will Cost Billions

07/10/2024

Harnessing clean energy is a venture of unprecedented scope in California, bringing big changes to Humboldt and the Central Coast, and requiring 26 ports along the coast.

Can California’s Health Care Providers Help Solve the State’s Homelessness Crisis?

07/10/2024

Taking advantage of new state funds, some California healthcare providers are starting to offer what their homeless patients really need: housing.

How California Laws May Help Shield It From Supreme Court Decisions

07/10/2024

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, California’s Democratic leaders moved fast to shore up reproductive rights: They persuaded voters to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution, approved a dozen bills strengthening abortion protections and passed a law in May to enable Arizona doctors to temporarily provide abortion services for their patients in California.

The Supreme Court Took Powers Away From Federal Regulators. Do California Rules Offer a Backstop?

07/09/2024

In three rulings the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a body blow to the federal bureaucracy. From healthcare to climate to workers’ rights, California’s rules often go farther.

CalMatters’ Digital Democracy Makes a Difference in the Legislature

07/08/2024

CalMatters launched Digital Democracy in April, and its impact has rippled across the Legislature.

California Boosts Spending to Help Students Earn Math and Science Degrees

07/08/2024

A program for low-income, first-generation STEM students at community colleges is receiving millions of dollars to expand across the state.

California’s ‘Weak’ Job Market Propped Up by Public Money as Private Sector Sheds Jobs

07/08/2024

Private-sector jobs in California have declined since their post-pandemic peak, while public-sector employment has shown gains, the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office says.

CA November Ballot Is Set, Finally

07/04/2024

California lawmakers met into the night on July 3 to finish the November ballot before heading off on summer vacation until Aug. 5.

Gavin Newsom Says Never Mind on CA Crime Measure

07/03/2024

Assemblymember James Gallagher speaks during the floor session at the state Capitol in Sacramento on June 13, 2024. Photo by Cristian Gonzalez for CalMatters

California Now Has Mandatory Water Conservation in Urban Areas: How Will the New Rules Affect Your Supplier?

07/03/2024

The measures are substantially weaker than a previous proposal after an onslaught of criticism. But they will still save enough water through 2050 to supply the state’s entire population for a year, at a cost of $4.7 billion.

‘Nothing Will Be Protected’ — Why California Environmentalists Oppose a ‘Green’ Energy Bill

07/02/2024

Nearly every major environmental group in California opposes a bill that would modify the state’s signature environmental law to speed up upgrades to power lines. Supporters say it would help free the state from fossil fuels and make the grid more reliable, but opponents fear it would damage state parks.

Does a Proposed $10 Billion Bond Favor Richer California School Districts?

07/01/2024

Small and low-income school officials say the bond measure deal is unfair. The money is allocated through matching grants, so wealthier districts that can raise more local funds will get more money from the state.

High-Speed Rail Project Advances

07/01/2024

Approval of environmental documents for the last segment of the 463-mile high speed rail project means preparation of construction may commence.

State Farm Wants to Raise Rates

07/01/2024

Following an increase in homeowner insurance rates earlier this year, State Farm is seeking regulator approval to raise rates again for 1.2 million California home insurance policy holders.

California Adds Reparations Funds to Budget

07/01/2024

California advanced reparations efforts with an initial $12 million in funding included in the 2024-2025 state budget.

Who Are the Wealthiest California Legislators? Good Question.

06/27/2024

The total stock portfolio of the Legislature was worth as much as $112 million last year but experts say the public should know more about a politician’s total wealth.

California’s Debate Over Coastal Zone Reforms Has Created a False Choice Between Homes and Protections

06/25/2024

A push to bolster housing production in California's coastal communities in recent years has led to heated battles over potential state reforms. Below, a veteran elected official believes the debate has created a false choice between housing and protections. The opposing view: A former attorney for the Coastal Commission says the state Coastal Act has failed to deliver on what it envisioned.

‘Total System Breakdown’: California Firefighters With PTSD Face a Workers’ Comp Nightmare

06/25/2024

Even when suicidal, California firefighters struggle to find medical help and navigate the workers’ comp morass to pay for it.

What You Need to Know About the California Budget Deal

06/22/2024

Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders announce an agreement to bridge the state budget deficit by dipping into reserves and reducing some spending. The deal also calls for a bill in August to set aside more money and a 2026 constitutional amendment to grow the state’s rainy day fund.

Still Need Your Landline? California Regulators Just Stopped AT&T From Pulling the Plug

06/20/2024

The California Public Utilities Commission rejected the telecom’s bid to stop providing service in many parts of the state.

In Rain, Snow and Drought, California’s Fights Over Water Rights, Supplies Persist

06/17/2024

Legal rights to use water — particularly those obtained prior to 1914 — lie at the heart of California’s perpetual wrangling over the allocation of increasingly limited water supplies.

These California Dams Need Repairs. But Newsom Plans to Cut Grants in Half

06/12/2024

Aiming to store more water and protect the public, legislators are negotiating with the governor to restore $50 million to help repair 42 aging dams throughout the state.

Why CA Families Are Getting a Tax Surprise for Health Care

06/04/2024

For families seeking affordable health insurance, the state’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, can provide major relief. But if they’re not careful, they can get hit by an unexpected federal tax bill.

California Homelessness Funding Is on the Chopping Block. Will It Make the Final Budget?

06/04/2024

It’s the billion-dollar question. That’s how much cities and other local governments have been receiving from the state each year to deal with California's ever-increasing population of homeless people.

California Made It Easier to Vote, but Some With Disabilities Still Face Barriers

06/04/2024

California is hailed as a national leader for voting access. But visually impaired voters and their advocates say they still face unnecessary barriers, despite bills and lawsuits. Some election officials raise security concerns.

New Research Indicates More Massive California Flooding in Past

06/01/2024

Cal State Fullerton researchers released findings of ancient floods in Southern California which indicate the state may be more prone to mega flooding than previously thought.

California’s Runoff Flows Down the Drain. Can More Be Captured?

05/30/2024

Researchers say if California could collect and treat more stormwater in cities, it could provide enough water to supply a quarter of the state’s urban population.

California Sides With Big Utilities, Trimming Incentives for Community Solar Projects

05/30/2024

These community projects can give renters and low-income homeowners a chance to go solar, but the PUC’s action is unlikely to give them the option.

Raising Kids in California? They May Have College Savings Accounts You Don’t Know About.

05/30/2024

The state is directly investing money for low-income students and all newborns to attend college. After two years, the program is still not widely known by the students who need the most financial assistance.

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