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California Fails to Track Its Homelessness Spending or Results, a New Audit Says

04/09/2024

There’s so little data available, it’s impossible to even tell if several of California’s largest homelessness programs are working, according to a statewide audit released Tuesday.

CA Budget Deal Gets Early Start on Deficit

04/05/2024

Not filling open positions in state government, cutting a school facilities program and several climate initiatives, delaying funding for public transit ‚ÄĒ these are some of the first steps that California officials plan to take to deal with a looming multibillion-dollar budget deficit.

California Local Pin Marker Recent News

Sierra Sun logo LOCAL NEWS
Placer Youth Commission Seeks New Members Wanting to Make a Difference

AUBURN, Calif. – The Placer County Youth Commission is now accepting applications from local youth who wish to serve as one of 21 formally appointed members for the 2024-25 term.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Douglas County clerk: VHR petition fails certification

A petition to alter Douglas County's vacation home rental ordinance to ban rentals in residential zoning and allow them in neighborhood commercial zoning has been denied by the Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer's Office.

California Local Pin Marker Recent Articles

Image caption: California has a goal of 6 million heat pumps cooling and heating buildings by 2030.
6 Million New Heat Pumps: Essential to California's Climate Future

Heat pumps, an energy-efficient way to both heat and cool homes, are a necessary element of California's climate goal of net zero carbon emissions. Here's what they are, how they work, and how to get one.

Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: Mark Oden was among the thousands of chronically homeless people helped by Sacramento Self-Help Housing prior to the organization’s failure.
The Collapse of Sacramento Self-Help Housing

A once-groundbreaking nonprofit working with chronically homeless people in California’s capital closed and filed for bankruptcy in 2023.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

Image caption: Inadvertently, the beloved Muppet Elmo called attention to the mental health dangers of being too heavily online.
Lawmakers Now Calling for Regulation of Social Media

Lawmakers in California and other states are now making attempts to prevent the reported harms to children caused by social media platforms. The U.S. Senate got into the act as well, at a dramatic Jan. 31 hearing.

Image caption: A new law seeks to prevent cars from speeding, which causes about one of every three traffic fatalities.
If Drivers Won’t Slow Down, Proposed Law Requires Cars Do It for Them

‚ÄúIntelligent‚ÄĚ speed-limiting technology will be required in all new California cars starting in 2027, if a new law authored by San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener passes.

Image caption: Under a new law, homeless people in San Mateo County can be criminally charged for refusing to move to a shelter.
Should Homelessness be a Crime? New San Mateo County Law Allows Charges

In San Mateo County, a new law allows police to charge homeless people with criminal offenses if they don’t accept shelter. SCOTUS will soon weigh in with a potential landmark decision in an Oregon case.

Image caption: As residents continue to exit California, the state’s political power at the national level is at risk.
California Exodus, Housing and the State's Political Future

The California housing crisis is not only weakening the state politically at the national level, it could shift the political balance in Washington, D.C., as Republican-led states add population while California’s exodus continues.

Image caption: Former baseball star Steve Garvey, a Republican, will take a political debate stage for the first time Monday night, squaring off against three seasoned Democrats.
Schiff, Garvey Lead Senate Race Ahead of Monday's Big Debate

Former Major League Baseball star Steve Garvey, a political rookie, faces off against veteran U.S. House members Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee in the first 2024 California Senate race debate Monday evening in Los Angeles.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Featured

California's sprawling public education system encompasses approximately 10,500 schools.
California’s Education System: How the Bureaucracy Works
How California's extensive public school system is organized and managed, explained.
States have expansive powers to protect the health of the general public.
The State’s Broad Power to Protect Public Health, Explained
Since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, states have possessed broad authority to protect public health.
RCDs look after the land, whether it’s used for grazing, growing, or getting out into nature.
California Dirt
RCDs were created to avoid a repeat of the Dust Bowl. Now they work with landowners to preserve the air, water and natural habitats that sustain us all.
Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population
How local government tries to control the world‚Äôs deadliest wild animal‚ÄĒthe mosquito.
There are more than 300 community service districts in California.
Community Services Districts, Explained
Areas that the county overlooks can form their own local governments.
California continues to work on legislation that would make voting easier.
Voting Rites
And more bills are on the way to help you make your mark on Election Day.
Over two weekends last October, residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville  participated in demonstration rides aboard an electric streetcar on rails.
The ‚ÄėRail Trail‚Äô Movement, Explained
The heated controversy over what to do with abandoned railroad tracks
California transportation history runs from railroads to today’s car culture.
California’s History of Transportation: From Railroads to Highways
The history of transportation in California has shaped the state, from the earliest stagecoach to today’s car culture.
The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here
Gov. Newsom has a new plan to help get mentally ill Californians into treatment.
Moss Landing in Monterey Bay is the world’s largest battery storage facility for solar and other renewable energy.
Solar Power and California’s Clean Energy Goals
How the sun is helping push the state toward 100 percent renewable energy.
Owning homes is the primary way the middle class builds wealth, and an option no longer available to most Californians.
Is California’s Housing Crisis Making Inequality Worse?
California has some of the worst economic inequality in the United States. Is housing a cause? Could it be a cure?
The California Supreme Court has defined the state’s legal and political agenda for more than 170 years.
How the California Supreme Court Blazes Legal Trails
From its beginnings in the Gold Rush, the state Supreme Court continues to define the state today.
Zoning laws tell you what you can and can't build on the property you own. How does government get away with that?
How Zoning Laws Shape California and Society
Zoning is everywhere, but is it a way to regulate development or a tool for social engineering?
How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‚ÄėSwamps‚Äô Into Farmland
From its earliest days as a state, California has been trying to turn marshes into productive land.
Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment
The hidden price tag of ‚Äúreclaiming‚ÄĚ swamps and marshes as usable land.
The Pajaro River levee broke during the 2023 atmospheric river storms, flooding the town of Pajaro.
Is California Ready for More Extreme Weather Driven by Climate Change?
Increasingly extreme weather events are already testing California’s preparedness.
Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does
How a nuclear plant, a real estate development and an oil spill led to a landmark law.
Translated from the Greek, ‚ÄúDemocracy‚ÄĚ means ‚Äúpeople power.‚ÄĚ How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?
The Goddess of Democracy is alive and well in California, but that hasn’t always been true.
Long-duration energy storage, such as this thermal energy storage facility, allows renewable energy sources to operate at full capacity without overloading the power grid.
How California Leads the Race For Long Duration Energy Storage
For renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to be viable, ways to store the power they create are essential.
The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land
Starting in 1976, the legislature began creating agencies to buy up open land, and keep it open.
California has a goal of 6 million heat pumps cooling and heating buildings by 2030.
6 Million New Heat Pumps: Essential to California's Climate Future
Installing 6 million heat pumps by 2030 is essential if California is to reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions.
Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law
54-year-old environmental law is often blamed for causing the state’s housing crisis. Is it getting a bad rap?
The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works
More than half of California farmland is under contracts that prevent its development.
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