California

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

Politics in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING GETS INAUGURAL STATE-LEVEL RUN IN ME: In last Tuesday’s primary election, MAINE became the first state to use ranked-choice voting, already employed in about a dozen cities, including Minneapolis and San Francisco. Although...

Budgets in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

MANY STATES SHORT ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDS: Twenty-eight states don’t have enough money in their unemployment insurance trust funds to get through the next economic downturn, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor . Eleven...

Or Maybe You Could Just Move | 06-15-2018

People not fortunate enough to live here in California often think we’re a freak show. Or an economic disaster. Or trying to steal their water. As a lifer born and bred, I can honestly say the freak show thing can be true, the economic shade is...

Social Policy - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

CA Governor Signs AB 1985 Following a state audit that found significant underreporting of hate crimes, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs AB 1985 , which sets minimum standards for how local law enforcement agencies investigate and report those...

The Local Front - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

CA Cities Adopt Flavor Tobacco Ban Days after SAN FRANCISCO voters upheld a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids , the SAN MATEO County Board of Supervisors endorses a similar ban. Several...

Facebook Scandal and Golden State Killer Investigation Raise Privacy Questions for State Lawmakers | 06-08-2018

In the past few months, national headlines have announced that the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users was improperly used by a political consulting firm tied to the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and a suspect in one of the...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Come On Elon Light My Fire | 06-08-2018

Because we live in the strangest of times, personal flame throwers really are now a thing. That’s because, as CalMatters reports , Golden State lawmakers quietly snuffed out a bill that would have prevented Elon Musk – he of Tesla and SpaceX...

Takeaways from Super Tuesday | 06-08-2018

Last week, in the most significant primary Election Day of the 2018 season, voters cast ballots in eight states: Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Democrats got most of what they were hoping...

Business - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CA Department of Insurance Approves The CALIFORNIA Department of Insurance approves the state’s first-ever insurance coverage for legal cannabis businesses. The new policies will cover both property and liability coverage (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT...

Sports Wagering Not a Sure Bet for States | 06-01-2018

The Supreme Court’s May 14 decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling may well turn out to be the financial boon many observers believe it can be. But getting there is going to be easier in some states than in others, and state...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

He Knows the Score | 06-01-2018

For decades, the Land Park Golf Course in Sacramento has been a place where many a politico has been able to escape to on a warm afternoon for a quick nine holes. Count current Sacramento Mayor and former California Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg among...

A Bit of History | 06-01-2018

There’s an oh-so-very chic urban salvage yard in Oakland that the wife and I are fond of browsing through on occasion. One recent trip turned up something I had never seen before: a cabinet with hundreds of slots labeled with the name of every imaginable...

Politics in Brief - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

CA BALLOT MEASURE SEEKS TO CAP DIALYSIS CLINIC REVENUES: Backers of a proposed initiative in CALIFORNIA aimed at limiting dialysis clinics’ revenues to 115 percent of the average cost of dialysis treatment have submitted more than 600,000 signatures...

IRS Warns States Against Dodging SALT Deduction | 06-01-2018

After Congress imposed a $10,000 limit on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction with the federal tax overhaul it passed last year, high-tax states like California and New York began strategizing ways for their taxpaying residents to get around the...

CA Pot Sales Lagging Predictions | 06-01-2018

California is on pace to take in $1.9 billion in revenue from medical and recreational marijuana sales in 2018, according to a recent projection from the cannabis industry analytics firm New Frontier Data. While that sum is substantial, it’s only...

Business - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 969 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 969 , which would ban the production and sale of marijuana-infused beer and wine. It moves to the House (DETROIT NEWS). CT Governor Signs HB 5386 CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D)...

Education - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

IL Senate Approves HB 4870 The ILLINOIS Senate approves HB 4870 , legislation that would allow sick students who qualify for medical marijuana to consume it on school premises, as long as they don’t smoke it and school officials agree that it...

Energy - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

CA Senate Approves SB 1088 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 1088 , a bill that would require the state to establish standards for strengthening the electrical grid and mandate that utilities file plans with the state to show how they will comply....

Environment - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

CA Governor Signs SB 606 & AB 1668 CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 606 and AB 1668 , which together establish statewide water efficiency regulations. Those rules will take effect in 2022 (CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’SOFFICE).

Health & Science - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

VA Senate Approves Measure The VIRGINIA Senate approves a measure that would make the Old Dominion the 33 rd state to expand Medicaid eligibility under the tenets of the Affordable Care Act. The proposal must return to the House before it can go to...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Budgets in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA GOV PROPOSES LAST STATE BUDGET: CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) unveiled the final budget of his tenure, a plan calling for $199.3 billion in total spending and projecting an $8.8 billion surplus, $7.6 billion of which would be deposited into two...

Health & Science - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MA House Approves HB 4486 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4486 , legislation that would raise the Bay State smoking age to 21. It is now in the Senate (BOSTON GLOBE). IA Governor Signs HF 2377 IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs HF 2377 , a...

Immigration - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Governor Signs SB 785 Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 785 , which prevents lawyers from revealing the immigration status of crime victims and witnesses in open court unless a judge rules the information relevant to the case (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)...

The Local Front - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Federal Judge Strikes Down A federal judge in CALIFORNIA strikes down a ban on shipping coal through the Port of OAKLAND . U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the City Council did not have enough evidence that the coal operations would pose...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

State Pot Revenues Surging But Still Relatively Insignificant | 05-11-2018

Between 2014 and 2017, tax revenues from the sale of marijuana shot up about 400 percent in Washington. In Colorado they surged about 900 percent. But the $314 million and $223 million in marijuana tax revenues, respectively, in the two states that were...

Budgets in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CA ECONOMY NOW WORLD’S 5TH LARGEST CALIFORNIA’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest, according to data released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce. California’s 2017...

Governors in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

BAKER OPEN TO NEW MA DEATH PENALTY In the wake of the murder of a Bay State police officer, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) says his office is talking with lawmakers and law enforcement officials about crafting a bill to reinstate the death penalty...

READ THIS ANY WAY YOU WANT | 05-11-2018

It’s now the thick of primary season, aka prime endorsement gathering time. Which is kind of like mating season in the animal world, just with even crazier behavior. Case in point this week comes from the California Lieutenant Governor’s race...

The Iron Duke | 05-11-2018

The California Capitol community lost a classic old school Republican last week, as former Gov. George Deukmejian passed away at age 89. Most rightly recall him as being representative of what Claremont McKenna College professor Jack Pitney called “the...

Always Time to Brush | 05-11-2018

California lost another old school GOP stalwart last week, as longtime Assemblymember and Senator Sam Aanestad died at 71 after a lengthy illness. An oral surgeon by trade, much of his time in office was focused on health care issues. This was on prominent...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Energy - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CT House and Senate Endorse SB 9 The CONNECTICUT House and Senate endorse SB 9 , a bill that would double the amount of renewable energy that Constitution State utilities will be required to purchase over the next decade, from 20 percent in 2020 to...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

The Local Front - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CO City Council Endorses The DENVER City Council unanimously endorses new rules that, among several things, require so-called “slot homes” – town homes that face sideways, allowing developers to fit more units on the property –...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Brown Leads Multistate Suit Over Emissions Standards | 05-04-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced the Golden State would lead a 17-state coalition and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s proposed rollback of fuel economy standards....

Budgets in Brief - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

NJ SUPREME COURT BLOCKS STATE FUNDING FOR CHURCHES The NEW JERSEY Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state Constitution expressly prohibits the use of public money for the benefit of churches, invalidating Morris County’s practice of giving...

Business - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Supreme Court The CALIFORNIA Supreme Court rules that businesses seeking to declare a worker an independent contractor must be able to prove that the worker is independent of control and direction from the employer, performs work that is outside...

The Local Front - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Board Announces Plan LOCAL FRONT : The LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA County Board of Supervisors announces a plan to install showers and bathrooms for the homeless to use in or near some of the city’s 93 metro train stations. A final plan is expected...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Governors in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

BROWN REACHES DEAL ON CA NATIONAL GUARD USE...OR DOES HE? After a week of jousting with the Trump administration, it is still unclear if CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will order the deployment of the California National Guard to the state’s...

CA Voters Could Consider Splitting State in Three | 04-20-2018

Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist based in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, is backing an effort to get a measure on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot that would divide the state into three parts: “Northern California,”...

Politics in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

NY AG SEEKS AUTHORITY TO PROSECUTE PRESIDENTIAL PARDONEES: NEW YORK Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking to change the state’s double jeopardy law to exempt cases involving presidential pardons. The change, if approved by the state’s...

Social Policy - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

PA House Approves HB 2050 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2050 , which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion based on the belief the expected child is likely to have Down syndrome. It moves to the Senate (PENNLIVE). PA House...

The Local Front - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

CA City Council Approves The LOS ANGELES City Council unanimously approves and ordinance requiring companies that are seeking to do business with the city or have city contracts to reveal whether they are helping to build a wall along the Mexican border...