- Newsmaker: Advocacy Groups Form New Anti-Secession Coalition
While LA County supervisors moved closer to putting secession on the November ballot, a new anti-secession group has announced its formation. The Civic Coalition for a United Los Angeles is made up of religious and civil rights groups. Sharon Bernstein, lead secession reporter for the Los Angeles Times, looks at the supervisors- most recent action as well as the coalition-s reasons for coming out against the breakaway movement.
- Reporter-s Notebook: California Burning Tobacco Money
After decades of spending millions of dollars to get people to stop smoking, the state is turning to tobacco revenues to help eliminate a $ 24 billion deficit. But Diana Bonta, Director of the Department of Health Services, is resolute that Governor Davis- move to raise the cigarette tax and cash out California-s share of the massive settlement with tobacco companies, won-t curb the state-s efforts to discourage smoking.
New Property Tax to Save Public Hospitals
With LA County already closing one hospital and 11 clinics due to a lack of money, property owners will be asked to pay about $ 50 a year to shore up a dangerously dilapidated healthcare system. Though it won-t solve the crisis, supporters claim it-s the only way to keep emergency rooms and trauma centers open. The proposed property tax, which will require a two-thirds approval by voters, would raise $ 175 million a year and cover preparedness for bio-terrorism as well. We hear more from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who authored the measure, and Larry McCarthy, of the California Taxpayers- Association, who poses some serious questions about waste and fraud.