All California Local Articles


Image caption: The version of Mickey Mouse seen in the 1928 animated short “Steamboat Willie” is now free for public use.
Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain. What That Means for California

Disney icon Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain, meaning anyone can create their own Mickey Mouse cartoons. Here’s what that means, and how it could affect the California economy.

Image caption: The legislature's own analysts blasted new state water conservation rules as too strict and largely unjustified.
California’s New Water-Saving Regs Lack 'Compelling Justifications'

Even though California faces serious water shortages, the Legislature’s analysts recommend weaker outdoor conservation requirements and longer deadlines for urban water agencies.

Image caption: Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas chats with Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer on the first day of the new legislative session Wednesday.
California Legislature Opens 2024 Session With Packed Agenda

State lawmakers reconvene with a lot of problems to fix, but not a lot of money to spend on solutions with a projected $68 billion budget deficit.

Image caption: “The era of saying no to housing is coming to an end,” says state Sen. Scott Wiener, author of two new housing laws.
Building Affordable Housing Gets Easier Under 2024 California Laws

California lawmakers made an effort in 2023 to remove red tape around new affordable houses, but obstacles such as high interest rates, sluggish local approval processes and a shortage of skilled construction workers remain.

Image caption: Kevin McCarthy's hand-picked potential successor, Assemblymember Vince Fong, had previously been ruled out of the race.
Judge Says Vince Fong May Run for Kevin McCarthy's House Seat

A judge rules that the Bakersfield Republican is eligible to run in the 2024 election for Congress even though he had already filed to run for his state Assembly seat.

Image caption: When the calendar turns to 2024, undocumented Californian adults will become eligible for the state's public health insurance program, Medi-Cal.
All Undocumented Californians Eligible for Medi-Cal for First Time

Undocumented Californians are leaving health care clinics with “smiles” after they learn they’re newly eligible for Medi-Cal insurance. The health insurance expansion was decades in the making for immigrant advocates.

Image caption: Ambiance rides often save lives, but they can also ruin the lives of families slapped with expensive surprise bills for the emergency service.
Surprise Ambulance Ride Bills Banned Under New Law

Surprise ambulance bills can leave families deeply in debt after a medical emergency. A new state law that forces insurance companies to negotiate payments is expected to save Californians tens of millions of dollars a year.

Image caption: "Passive agressive tactics" by auto insurance companies are leaving many California drivers struggling to obtain required coverage, according to the state.
California Insurers Drag Feet, Leaving Many Drivers Uninsured

Drivers’ complaints about difficulty getting insurance coverage prompt state to reiterate laws, signal possible enforcement actions.

Image caption: The state has $576 million to dole out to affordable housing developers. They say they need $3.5 billion.
End-of-Year Affordable Housing Funding Blast Comes Up Short

The state has hundreds of millions to spend on affordable housing. Developers say they need billions.

Image caption: 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

Long-duration energy storage is essential if renewables are to become the basis for a future, carbon-neutral power grid. Here's how California is leading the race to store energy from solar, wind, and other clean sources for use whenever it's needed.

Image caption: New efficiency measures in the Medi-Cal payment process may spell the end for some children's mental health programs.
Kids' Mental Health Programs May Close As State 'Modernizes' Payments

California is modernizing how it pays health care providers through Medi-Cal. Some mental health providers say the changes endanger their services.

Image caption: The town of Temarry, Mexico, is home to a processing plant that receives toxic waste from north of the border.
How California Dumps Hazardous Waste on a Mexican Town

An investigative report shows how California companies and governments avoid the Golden State’s strict environmental regulations by shipping toxic waste across state borders. New reporting shows how California exports the risk to Mexico.

Image caption: California is a nationwide leader in the transition to clean energy, but Big Oil still wins most its battles in the legislature.
Big Oil is Still a Big Winner Even in 'Green' California

Two-thirds of the bills opposed by the oil industry this year were killed, thanks in part to an alliance with the building trades union, forcing Democrats to sometimes choose between jobs and the environment.

Image caption: Many Californians who thought they were covered by Medi-Cal are turning up to doctor's appointments only to find they have no coverage.
Medi-Cal Recipients Surprised by Sudden Loss of Health Coverage

The federal government suspended an annual Medicaid renewal requirement during COVID-19. Now that it has resumed, many Californians are losing coverage for “procedural reasons.”

Image caption: A Monterey County project that could have provided 44 units of housing for the homeless is now stalled by financial holdups.
How a Homeless Housing Project is Stalled by Developer Defaults

Local officials counted on the state’s Homekey program to convert hotel rooms. But now a major developer has defaulted on loans and the state housing department is investigating.

Image caption: Funding for California's roads and highways could be a casualty of the transition to electric vehicles.
EV Transition Threatens Roads With Drastic Gas Tax Revenue Cut

As the state battles climate change and Californians drive fewer gas-powered cars, tax revenue will drop substantially, according to a new state analysis. EV fees will make up only part of the transportation shortfall so lawmakers need new funding options.

Image caption: More and more Californians are forced to rely on food banks as the federal government ends a policy that helps hungry people eat.
How This Government Policy is Making Food Insecurity Worse

The California food banks association warns of rising food insecurity, but its pleas for more state aid face a tough slog next year due to the projected budget deficit, as a federal program to help people get enough food is …

Image caption: "Affordable" housing is becoming less affordable for those who need it, thanks to a loophole in California law.
Rent Hikes Are Making 'Affordable' Housing Less Affordable

California’s rent cap doesn’t apply to some kinds of low-income housing, which has its own rules. But with inflation, some tenants have gotten much higher rent increases, even though affordable units were built with taxpayer subsidies.

Image caption: California’s homelessness crisis shows no signs of improving, despite significant new measures to fight the problem.
The State of California’s Homelessness Crisis, Updated for 2023

California's homelessness numbers continue to rise despite new spending on housing, services. Here's where the fight to end the crisis stands. This story has been updated for 2022 and 2023.

Image caption: An EPIC listening session in Humboldt County. The organization plans to conduct similar events in all 58 California counties.
An EPIC Mission: End Poverty in California

End Poverty in California, a nonprofit founded by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, has been on a listening tour of the Golden State since early 2022.

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