FROM Lynda Gledhill
Props 1A and 1B: Big Money for Transportation? Governor Schwarzenegger spent last week signing bills with George Clooney by his side and Tony Blair appearing by video linkup. Today and tomorrow he'll be putting partisanship aside as he tours the state with top Democrats, advocating a package of propositions on next month's ballot. Phil Angelides won't be going along, even though he backs the same measures. We look at the first two, Proposition 1A and 1B , which deal with the gasoline tax and a bond issue worth $20 billion--all for roads, freeways and public transit. It would be the biggest transportation investment in 50 years.
Proposition 86: Should Smokers Save ER's and Provide Healthcare for Children? Proposition 86 would triple the cigarette tax, from 87¢ to $3.47 a pack, bringing the total cost for a cigarette pack to about $6.60. The estimated $2.1 billion raised every year would give health insurance to kids who don't have it and reimburse emergency rooms for serving the uninsured. Most of the $50 million raised to fight Prop 86 comes from the tobacco companies. There's $13 million against it, mostly from hospitals. Would Prop 86 make California a healthier state? Is it fair to smokers? Would it encourage cigarette smuggling by criminal gangs?
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?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?