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San Benito County Signal Booster Articles


Image caption: In what appears to be a power play that worked, a developer proposed building 14 residential highrises with a combined 4,260 units in Santa Monica.
How California Developers Twist Affordable Housing Laws

A new interpretation of an old law gives homebuilders leverage over California cities and their zoning codes. They’re using it to push through thousands of new apartments around the state.

Image caption: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield voted to toughen welfare work requirements, while state lawmakers back home chose another tack.
CA May Loosen Welfare Work Rules as US Tightens Them

State lawmakers want to loosen CalWORKs job requirements so people keep cash benefits. Congress’ debt limit deal could curb that.

Image caption: Senate Bill 584 would hit short-term rentals with a new, 15 percent tax.
New Tax on Airbnb Could Fund CA Affordable Housing

A bill to tax Airbnb and other short-term rentals to fund affordable housing projects could be voted on by the Senate as soon as today. The proposal has revived the debate over Airbnb and its role in the housing crisis.

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What Happens to a Town When its Prison Closes?

California is unwinding the prison-building boom of the 1980s and 1990s. The cuts are falling on small towns that banked on government jobs to anchor their communities.

Image caption: Members of Teamsters, CSUEU, UAW 4123, and CFA faculty gathered to ask for fair wages outside the CSU Chancellor’s office in Long Beach on May 23.
Report: Cal State Has $1.5 Billion Funding Gap

A new analysis shows that the California State University system doesn’t make or receive enough money to cover its costs, even with state support. The report and lawmakers urge the system to increase tuition, but even that might not be …

Image caption: Gary Gragg examines buds on one of the mango plants he's growing in the Sacramento Valley.
Mangoes and Agave in the Central Valley?

The future of farming in California is changing as the planet warms, altering the rain and heat patterns that guide which crops are grown where. “We’re adjusting for survival,” one grower said.

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How Free Trips Lead to Bills

Members of the California Legislature took nearly $1 million worth of trips sponsored by interest groups in 2022. The California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy accounted for 40% of the travel spending. Over the years, some of its …

Image caption: Reparations task force members listen during the public comment portion of a December 14, 2022 meeting in Oakland.
Reparations Task Force to Recommend ‘Down Payments’

The reparations task force meets Saturday in Oakland. It may vote to recommend a state apology and payments to African Americans based on years living in state.

Image caption: New housing construction in the Crocker Village neighborhood in Sacramento on Feb. 10, 2022.
CEQA Must be Changed

By almost any measure, the balance between advancing projects critical to California's future and environmental protection under the California Environmental Quality Act has been lost. The failure to reform CEQA is not for a lack of knowing what the solutions …

Image caption: In a photo posted on social media, Gov. Gavin Newsom poses with members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus after signing a series of bills.
Both Sides Now

The Problem Solvers Caucus wants to put policy before partisan politics. Can such bipartisan caucuses change the California Legislature?

Image caption: Withholding a mere 1% of LA's water would protect Mono Lake and millions of birds.
Save Mono Lake Again

A sizeable coalition has called for California's water regulator to take emergency measures to protect Mono Lake and suspend diversions to Los Angeles.

Image caption: DWR’s report on groundwater sustainability plans was illustrated with this photograph of a wheat field irrigated by groundwater in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
DWR Flushes Six Groundwater Plans

The San Joaquin Valley plans, serving low-income Latino communities, were deemed inadequate for preventing dry wells and sinking land.

Image caption: The snow-lined South Fork of the American River on March 3, 2023.
Too Much, Too Early

When warm storms melt snowpack early, reservoir managers must release water to prevent flooding—which sends this precious resource into the ocean.

Image caption: Caltrans has received $680,000 in federal funding to explore alternatives for reconnecting communities along the I-980 in Oakland.
Rerouting Past Wrongs

California lawmakers are exploring ways to reconnect urban neighborhoods torn asunder during the interstate highway construction boom of the 1950s and ’60s.

Image caption: The AB 3121 Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans meets in Oakland on Dec. 14, 2022.
Reparations Task Force Seeks More Than Dollars

The task force members are discussing monetary and nonmonetary reparations ideas to compensate for slavery and racism. Some say they want policies to prevent future harms against Black Californians.

Image caption: Scott Murrison inside a hoop house full of unused cannabis growing equipment in Hayfork on Feb. 7, 2023.
Emerald Triangle Cannabis Economy Pushed to the Brink

Cannabis has been king in this rural area of northern California. As prices plummet, communities and small businesses are hurting, Many blame Prop 64.

Image caption: Supporters of the lowrider community attend a press conference at the state Capitol in support of legislation that would prevent local governments from imposing cruising bans on Feb. 6, 2023.
'What Matters'—Feb. 7, 2023

CalMatters presents a roundup of what you need to know today, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023

Image caption: Before killing 10 people Saturday night, Huu Can Tran was disarmed at a nearby dance club, where he was carrying an illegal semi-automatic pistol.
After Monterey Park, More Gun Safety Talk

After the massacre late Saturday nigh that left 10 dead and 10 others hospitalized, on Sunday one politician after another expressed sorrow and offered condolences.

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom unveils his budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year during a press briefing at the California Natural Resources Agency in Sacramento on Jan. 10, 2023.
California Senate Sings the Budget Blues

In its first formal response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $297 billion spending plan, the Legislature offered some pointed feedback on Wednesday: The governor’s fiscal forecasters are being too optimistic and the state needs to prepare for a worsening budgetary outlook. …

Image caption: Sen. Dianne Feinstein at the Capitol on Oct 20, 2020.
Scramble Begins for Feinstein’s U.S. Senate Seat

Dianne Feinstein, who has been a U.S. senator from California for three decades, hasn't yet said whether she'll seek another term in 2024, but would-be successors are already standing in line.

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