FROM Dan Weintraub
California Out of the Red, How Will New-Found Riches Be Spent? Last year, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst projected that new growth in California's economy might lead to a state surplus — if the Assembly, the Senate and Governor Brown were restrained about this year's budget. They were, and the forecast for next year is even more promising. How should it be spent? We hear different opinions.
Obamacare Numbers Look Best in California At a news conference today, Peter Lee announced that 70% of the Californians enrolled in the Affordable Care Act so far found the process was easy. Lee, who's Executive Director of Covered California, said "I really hope this puts to bed the drumbeat of comments about glitches and computer problems. Californians, at CoveredCA.com , enrolling with ease." Lee also announced that 35,000 Californians have enrolled — double the number in any other state and more than the total of 36 states where the federal government is in charge with healthcare.gov .
The Changing Face of Healthcare Delivery in California It'll be four months before anybody knows what the President's Affordable Care Act will really look like in California, but it's beginning to take shape. It might turn out to be less expensive than predicted — if enough of those who don't have insurance decide to sign up instead of paying a $95 penalty. Meanwhile, healthcare providers promise a massive rally tomorrow in Sacramento to pressure Governor Brown to restore reimbursements for services to poor people. We hear about that and get a preview of what the roll-out of Obamacare is beginning to look like in California.
State and Local Election Results Proposition 8 appears to have passed, but same-sex marriage is already making its way back to the courts. Governor Schwarzenegger says Prop 11 passed, too, but others insist it's still too close to call. Statewide bond issues passed, too, but it may be a long time before anyone sees any money. On the local ballots, bond measures also did fine, despite economic troubles for city and county governments. We review the election results and talk with Los Angeles County's newest elected supervisor. Former Police Chief Bernard Parks is still on the LA City Council, but State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas has a new job.
Prop 11 and the Politics of Redistricting Every ten years when there's a new federal census, the state legislature redraws boundaries for the Congress and the State Board of Equalization. They also reapportion their own districts in the Assembly and Senate. Proposition 11 on next month's ballot would take that last task away from the legislators themselves and give it to a board of 14 appointed commissioners.
Schwarzenegger Steamed Over Stalled Budget Governor Schwarzenegger says he can get the horse to water, but he can’t make it drink. He turned in his spending plan on time, but the legislature failed to pass its version by the constitutional deadline more than a month ago. Now, both houses have adjourned until August 4th, leaving the Governor fuming.
Prop 93 Proposition 93 on next month's state ballot sounds like a tightening of term limits for state legislators. But it would allow Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate Leader Don Perata both to serve an extra term in office. They’re Democrats, so why would Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger write an op-ed in today's LA Times supporting the measure?
Tentative Deal Could End California’s 51-Day Budget Delay Late this afternoon, there was word that Senate Republicans had made a deal with the Democrats, seven weeks after the June 30th deadline. In the meantime, the Assembly passed a budget and left town. Today, both houses were back in session.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?