California Toxics: Out of state, out of mind
Environmentally stringent California sends nearly half its toxic waste across its borders, often to states with weaker rules.
California has long resisted humanely housing farmworkers
Why did it take the Half Moon Bay mass shooting for a farm to commit to building legally compliant housing for its workers?
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Race to zero: Can California’s power grid handle a 15-fold increase in electric cars?
Despite expecting 12.5 million electric cars by 2035, California officials insist that the grid can provide enough electricity. But that’s based on multiple assumptions — including building solar and wind at almost five times the pace of the past decade — that may not be realistic.
Newsom could stop unsafe oil drilling before the 2024 referendum. Here’s how
The oil industry is seeking to overturn a new California law that restricts where drilling can take place. Rather than wait for the 2024 election, oil industry opponents are calling on the governor to use his power to ensure the protections still go into effect.
Slashing transit funds will undermine California’s ability to meet climate goals
Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed cuts to various transportation programs to help address a looming budget deficit. With COVID relief funds expiring, many agencies are already facing a fiscal cliff, and advocates worry that additional cuts could derail any chances of meeting the state’s climate goals.
Unfounded concerns about State Bar’s efforts to close the justice gap
Current proposals to broaden access to legal services are predicated on sound regulatory frameworks that keep the public protected.
Market capitalism is not the answer to close the justice gap
In an effort to close the justice gap in civil disputes, the State Bar released two recommendations, and the bar is alarmingly off target.
Success is reducing jail population and improving public safety
Santa Clara County will decide whether to build a new jail or continue to focus on expanding safe alternatives to incarceration.
Why California’s well-intentioned PAGA labor law needs reform
A California law helping workers file labor code violations claims, known as the Private Attorneys General Act, often hurts workers and employers alike. A proposed reform will appear on the 2024 November ballot.
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Deadline for seismic upgrades at California hospitals fails to recognize rural realities
California hospitals face a 2030 deadline to complete retrofit upgrades required under state law. Facilities in rural areas say the nearly 30-year-old legislation was enacted with a top-down approach, and failed to recognize the distinct challenges they face.
POLITICS AND THE CAPITOL
With California oil production at risk, referendum gives voters a say
Next year, California voters will have a chance to decide whether new oil drilling regulations should take effect. Oil industry officials warn that, if enacted, it could hinder production and force California to look elsewhere for its supply.
California needs Feinstein’s successor to share her democratic values
Dianne Feinstein remained firmly committed to working across the aisle, even as partisanship increased in the Senate. As voters start thinking about the political ideals of her successor, some argue that California will be best served by someone who can maintain that spirit.
Jet fuel subsidies must ensure accountability for Californians affected by airplane pollution
Government subsidies and clean energy regulations are pushing the aviation industry toward more sustainable jet fuels. Workforce advocates want the funds to be paired with accountability measures that protect communities harmed most by pollution.
UC Berkeley library closure plan would cut access to California’s only anthropology collection
One of only three anthropology libraries in the country is slated for closure under a planned transformation of the University of California library system. UC Berkeley students, faculty and alumni say the plan is a poor reflection of priorities and worry it would undermine the discipline.
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Will new California law curb pay-to-play in local governments?
Last year, the Legislature voted to curb campaign contributions to local government officials from those affected by official business. While the new law is very narrow, it now faces a legal challenge.
In 2024, California voters will have a chance to make quality education a civil right
In the aftermath of prolonged school closures and learning losses during the pandemic, a coalition has vowed to put forward a ballot proposition that would enshrine high-quality public education as a civil right in California.
Half Moon Bay shooting rehashes California’s historic resistance to humanely housing farmworkers
One of the farms where the Half Moon Bay mass shootings took place announced plans to build proper housing with codes and permits by next year. But why must it take a mass shooting to motivate a farm to humanely house its workers?
Why a California housing lawsuit is about more than income discrimination
California’s Civil Rights Department recently filed a lawsuit to crackdown on housing voucher discrimination, which could inspire other states to do the same and help their most vulnerable tenants keep a roof over their heads.
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California opens the floodgates
If you’re reading this somewhere in California and within sight of a window, this probably won’t come as news: It’s raining. A lot. Again. With the 10th atmospheric river of…