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State of California Government News Digest

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Apology for Slavery, Funding Frameworks for Reparations Advance


California lawmakers voted to offer an official apology for the state’s role in supporting slavery and moved several reparations bills but let others die.

Decadeslong Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision


It’s been almost a half-century since I first heard the term “peripheral canal” uttered by William Gianelli, who was then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s top water official. The project, in one form or another, had already been kicking around for decades.

State Senate Advance Reparations Legislation


On May 21, the California State Senate advanced reparations legislation, which will now be taken up by the state Assembly.

California Wants Better Animal Shelter Conditions, Stray Population Curbed


Several bills making their way through the California Legislature seek to address overcrowded animal shelters and streamline how animals receive care.

California Sets Nation’s First Water Standard for Cancer-Causing Contaminant


Water suppliers say the costs will be massive, with rates increasing for many consumers. Known as the “Erin Brockovich” chemical, hexavalent chromium is found statewide.

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


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.

Business Groups and Lawmakers Battle Over Ballot Measure to Limit California Tax Increases


Anti-tax groups in California have qualified a measure for the November ballot that would make raising state and local taxes much more difficult. It’s a showdown that’s been building for nearly five decades.

California Fails to Adequately Help Blind and Deaf Prisoners, US Judge Rules


Thirty years after prisoners with disabilities sued the state of California and 25 years after a federal court first ordered accommodations, a judge found that state prison and parole officials still are not doing enough to help deaf and blind prisoners.

San Benito County Women Honored by Senator Caballero


Elaine Klauer and Krystal Lomanto are among Woman of the Year and Woman of Distinction in Education honorees, respectively, for Senate District 14.

Gov. Newsom Promotes Delta Tunnel; Reservoir


At a press event to celebrate the above-average snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevada on April 2, Newsom unveiled the state’s controversial updated California Water Plan.

California to Pay $2 Million to Sacramento, Alameda Counties to Settle Environmental Suit


A California state agency is paying $2.26 million to Sacramento and Alameda counties to settle a lawsuit that alleges underground leaking storage tanks.

CA Budget Deal Gets Early Start on Deficit


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

Urban League Lobbies to Limit Pretextual Traffic Stops


Leaders from the National Urban League and four California chapters gathered March 13 at the Capitol to lobby for a bill that aims to restrict police from making traffic stops for certain low-level offenses.

What California Voters Want to Know About the 2024 Election


Voting in California can be complicated. Here are answers to some common questions, plus what the leading U.S. Senate candidates say they would do if they’re elected.

California Hospitals, Advocates Seek Stable Funding to Retain Behavioral Health Navigators


Health providers and addiction experts warn the funding structure is unstable for a California initiative that steers patients with substance use disorder into long-term treatment.

With State Approval, Rancho Palos Verdes to Fast-Track Landslide Mitigation


State officials determined that Rancho Palos Verdes can utilize an already-established state of emergency to expedite landslide stabilization efforts as the crisis escalates.

Will CA Voters Like ‘Newsom Recall, the Sequel’ Any Better?


Conservative activists who worked on the failed recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 have launched another attempt, arguing that conditions in California only worsened in the two-and-a-half years since then as Newsom’s attention shifted to national politics.

Central Coast Ranch That Is Home to Endangered Species to Be Preserved


The Wildlife Conservation Board voted to award $10.3 million to the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County to preserve the 27,000-acre Camatta Ranch in Santa Margarita.

California Court Ruling Could Crack Down on Tactics to Slow or Block Construction


The California Environmental Quality Act has often been used, or misused, to block housing construction and other projects. A new state appellate court decision could reduce that practice.

California Lawmakers Face a Ballooning Budget Deficit


The Legislative Analyst’s Office projects the 2024-25 shortfall at $73 billion, putting more pressure on legislators and the governor to find savings.

Mountain View High School Student Inspires New Legislation


A new bill that would provide health insurance coverage for wigs is headed to the state legislature, thanks in large part to the advocacy efforts of local youths who have drawn attention to the burdens of hair loss.

How Many Bills in the 2024 California Legislature?


With the dust settled after the Feb. 19 bill introduction deadline, the California Legislature’s count for new bills this year is 2,124.

2024 California Presidential Primary Election: A Look at the Black Candidates


Although African Americans comprise 6.5% of California’s population, Black candidates are contesting for 11.5% of California’s congressional seats, 23.8% of state Assembly seats and 30% of state Senate seats.

Meet the District 1 Candidates for San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors


With Miguel Villapudua termed out, four men and one woman are competing to succeed him as the District 1 supervisor in the upcoming March 5 election.

California Busts Retail Theft Ringleader in $8 Million Scheme


Attorney General Rob Bonta announced charges against the ringleader of an organized retail crime scheme that involved $8 million worth of beauty products.

Why Adopting Sports Gambling in California Has to Involve Tribes


When and if California legalizes sports gambling, the policy should honor the laws established in partnership with tribes decades ago, says Assemblyman James Ramos.

California Tightens Rules on Worker Exposure to Poisonous Lead


For the first time in decades, California is tightening its rules on workplace exposure to lead, a poisonous metal that can wreak havoc throughout the body.

Business, Labor Fight Over California Law Few Know About


Coalitions on opposite sides put out competing studies on the little-known Private Attorneys General Act, which allows employees to file class-action lawsuits over some labor law violations.

California EV Sales Are Falling. Is It Just Temporary, or a Threat to State Climate Goals?


California electric vehicle sales dropped significantly in the last half of 2023, raising questions about the state’s ability to phase out gas-powered cars.

Villapudua Pushes for Fentanyl Possession With Firearm to be a Felony


Assemblyman Carlos Villapudua has introduced a bill to help crack down on the fentanyl crisis plaguing California.

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