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New law makes it easier for authorities to force troubled homeless into conservatorships

New law makes it easier for authorities to force troubled homeless into conservatorships

By Chris Reed Reflecting frustration over the fact that years of adding resources to fighting homelessness had brought little progress, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill making it significantly easier for authorities in three counties with 40 percent of California’s population to force the most severely troubled individuals into conservatorships. Those are arrangements in […]

CA cities, counties ask for Supreme Court’s help on homelessness

CA cities, counties ask for Supreme Court’s help on homelessness

By Chris Reed Rushing to meet last week’s deadline for filing amicus briefs, dozens of local governments and other groups in California have jointly and separately beseeched the high court to uphold laws targeting sleeping in public. Such laws are seen as a key way to crack down homelessness. The flood of legal filings came […]

Tech lobby can’t win changes in CA online privacy law

Tech lobby can’t win changes in CA online privacy law

By Chris Reed With the California Legislature in the final three weeks of its session, big tech companies and business lobbies have so far had little success in getting changes to the California Consumer Privacy Act. The landmark online privacy law – enacted in summer 2018 – takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. The law parallels a […]

Some worry California Citizens Redistricting Commission lacks diversity in applicant pool

Some worry California Citizens Redistricting Commission lacks diversity in applicant pool

By Chris Reed Despite requests from more than 20 civic groups that she keep recruiting applicants for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission past the present Aug. 9 deadline, state Auditor Elaine Howle doesn’t appear to believe it is necessary.  Last week, California Common Cause, the California NAACP and the National Association of Latino Elected and […]

Despite crackdown, is state losing ground in vaccination push?

Despite crackdown, is state losing ground in vaccination push?

By Chris Reed Four years into a crackdown on high numbers of California students going unvaccinated because of claimed concerns over vaccine risks, new statisticsfrom the 2018-2019 school year show that 10 percent or more of the students in 117 kindergartens and 5 percent or more of those at 1,500 other kindergartens do not have their […]

State’s largest ‘community choice’ energy program takes a hit

State’s largest ‘community choice’ energy program takes a hit

By Chris Reed The community choice aggregation (CCA) movement has built considerable momentum in California in recent years. In CCA programs, groups of local government agencies team up to take over decision-making on what sources of power to use in the local electric grid – with utilities continuing to hold responsibility for maintaining the grid.  […]

Study warns air travel a major threat in spread of measles in California

Study warns air travel a major threat in spread of measles in California

    By Chris Reed The state Legislature’s push to tighten up vaccine requirements for K-12 students took a step forward last week even as public health officials acknowledged a British medical study that said travelers to the U.S. from nations with measles outbreaks were a major threat – not just unvaccinated children. The Assembly […]

Can Gov. Newsom ‘lead from behind’ on wildfire legislation?

Can Gov. Newsom ‘lead from behind’ on wildfire legislation?

By Chris Reed Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wildfire “strike force” surprised some with the vagueness of its most important recommendation: That it’s time to revise the “inverse condemnation” state law that holds energy utilities can be held fully responsible for fires that were caused by their equipment even if the equipment was properly maintained. The law […]

Credit rating agencies concerned about California pensions costs

Credit rating agencies concerned about California pensions costs

By  Chris Reed, Calwatchdog.com A new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the number of state residents worried about the cost of government pensions is at a 14-year low. In recent remarks to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, new state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond rejected the idea that pension costs were generally a major problem […]

Legal cannabis industry continues to struggle in California

Legal cannabis industry continues to struggle in California

By  Chris Reed, Calwatchdog.com The drumbeat of disappointment over the slow start of legal marijuana in California keeps building with many dispensary owners, growers and local and state elected officials bewailing the robust health of the illegal cannabis black market. Last week, state officials released the official tally of tax revenue in sales, excise and cultivation taxes in […]

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