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?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.