California

California Bond Program Helps Cities Secure Middle-Income Housing Without Upfront Cost

There is far too little housing throughout the state for the so-called "missing middle," people who make too much money for most subsidized housing, but not enough to afford market rates.

She Noticed $200 Million Missing, Then She Was Fired

Alice Stebbins was hired to fix the finances of California’s powerful utility regulator. She was fired after finding $200 million for the state’s deaf, blind and poor residents was missing.

Landmark Climate Policy Faces Growing Claims of Environmental Racism

Concerns about California’s cap-and-trade program derailed a likely EPA chief.

Attorneys General, FTC File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Facebook

Trump administration proposes $600 direct payments… Protests disrupt a vote on an Idaho mask mandate… Michigan undertakes an election audit.

How to Fairly Use Algorithms to Make Tough Decisions

COMMENTARY | With computer power increasingly used to guide policies adopted by states and local leaders, governments need to take steps to ensure the underlying algorithms aren’t biased.

Lawsuit Claims Remote Learning is Driving Inequities for California K-12 Students

The suit, brought by families and advocacy groups, argues that kids have lacked technology and faced other problems as the coronavirus keeps them from classrooms.

One State Urges Weekly Covid Testing for Hospital Workers

The California state health department increased its guidelines for hospitals, saying weekly testing of employees should begin by Dec. 14.

Why Employers Find It So Hard to Test for Covid

A board overseeing occupational safety in California approved the nation's first emergency rule to require employers to provide testing to all workers after an outbreak.

California Law Banning Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics Will Transform Industry

When the law takes effect in 2025, it will mark the first major action to remove toxic substances from beauty products in almost a century.

States Go After Small Businesses on Amazon—and Sometimes Amazon—for Millions in Back Sales Taxes

The Supreme Court in 2018 gave states the power to make new rules for collecting sales taxes online. But back taxes on products sold by small businesses on Amazon’s marketplace are still a major point of dispute.

What the California Vote to Keep the Ban on Affirmative Action Means for Higher Education

COMMENTARY | Although California’s population continues to become more diverse, the affirmative action ban prevents underrepresented minority groups from having the same educational opportunities.

Orange County Struggles With Health Equity — And Battles State Restrictions

Disneyland can’t reopen until Orange County’s coronavirus infection rates improve — especially among its poorest and most vulnerable residents. Local officials are protesting the requirements, saying the economy will suffer, and residents’ health along with it.

Although Now Required by California Law, Ethnic Studies Courses Likely to Be Met with Resistance

COMMENTARY | These classes will now have more white students who are there only because they must be, not because they choose to be.

California Voters Approve Carveout for Lyft and Uber Drivers from State Labor Law

Tech companies spent heavily on a campaign for the measure, which labor groups say is flawed. Supporters say it provides a template for “gig worker” regulations in other states.

California’s Progressive—and Expensive—Health Care Ambitions Rely on Biden Win

“This election will determine whether California has a willing federal partner who can move us forward in the ways we want to see health care expanded,” one Democratic Assembly member said.

California’s Unemployment Backlog Grew to Over 1 Million Applications. Will Automation Speed Up Payments?

State unemployment agencies have started automating identity verification in the hopes of more quickly processing record numbers of new applications. But experts say more fixes to flawed systems are also necessary.

As Anxieties Rise, Californians Buy Hundreds of Thousands More Guns

Gun rights activists, gun control supporters and public health experts largely agree that the increase in gun sales is driven by fear, uncertainty and longing for a greater sense of protection.

Tough Fire Season Takes Toll on Firefighters’ Mental Health

Wildland firefighters deploy for weeks or months, working nearly nonstop.

OxyContin Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges in Opioid Lawsuit

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Iowa misspent $21 million in coronavirus relief funds, audit finds ... California city will launch a pilot program to guarantee income for some residents ... Georgia voters may not know who funded campaigns before casting ballots.

Inside the Covid Unit at the World’s Largest Women’s Prison

The Central California Women’s Facility quarantined prisoners with Covid-19 with those who never tested positive for the virus.