California officials seek ‘care’ without coercion as new mental health courts launch this fall

Under the new system, family members and first responders can ask county judges to order people with psychotic illness into treatment, even if they are not unhoused or haven’t committed a crime.

Are tax incentives boons or boondoggles?

Though there’s lots of evidence that the economic development tool may not be effective, it is still in wide use. Fortunately, there are ways to control the potential waste of taxpayer dollars.

California looks to preserve its role as ‘global hub’ for generative AI

An executive order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom looks to create replicable guidelines for the ethical and responsible use of generative AI in state government.

To solve the affordable housing crisis, some communities are turning to hotels

The pandemic presented communities with a unique opportunity to convert hotels into residential spaces, creating everything from temporary transitional housing to long-term supportive homes. But is the model sustainable today?

A GOP bill would ban California’s pig measure and others like it

The proposal, which is part of the farm bill, would block states from passing laws that could change how agriculture is practiced in other states. Critics say it could upend hundreds of state and local laws.

Ways procurement can push efficiency and sustainability

By wringing more efficiency out of the buying process and building sustainability into statewide contracts, California’s Department of General Services aims to help the state meet its aggressive sustainability goals.

Wisconsin’s ‘Star Trek’ veto and other budget stragglers

With the new fiscal year underway, some states are just now wrapping up their budgets—and it hasn’t been without drama. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup

California’s homelessness crisis is homegrown, study finds

A survey of homeless Californians reveals that the primary reason they end up homeless is not addiction or mental health conditions, but rather a lack of affordable housing.

State Preps for Digital ID Rollout

By the end of this summer, California could introduce its digital ID to a limited number of residents who will be able to use them in airports and convenience stores to prove age and identity.

How Building More 'Granny Flats' Can Help Alleviate the Housing Crisis

COMMENTARY | Recent trends—working from home, aging in place and an expensive housing market—demand housing types that are not readily available in a market dominated by single-family housing.

There's a Deal to Conserve the Colorado River, Now Comes the Hard Part

After two decades of an ongoing “mega drought” in the West, there are a variety of water conservation efforts to choose from. But one idea in California sticks out.

Two Different Funding Approaches to Education Reform

One solution holds that the public school system itself is the problem to be fixed while the other says that targeting money to disadvantaged communities is the answer. Both approaches are expensive and it’s not clear that either work.

How Do Floating Wind Turbines Work?

COMMENTARY | With five companies winning the first U.S. leases to build wind farms off California’s coast, let’s take a look.

Fight Over Health Care Minimum Wage Yields a Split Decision in Southern California

Voters in Inglewood were poised to approve a union-backed $25 minimum wage for workers at private hospitals and facilities, while nearby voters rejected it.

Construction Underway on 10,000-mile Open Access Broadband Network in California

The “middle mile” network is expected to cost $3.8 billion and help connect the roughly one in five state residents who do not have access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet.

California Legalizes Human Composting

Starting in 2027, the state will allow human composting, a green-burial option that is also legal in Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Worker Rights Are Getting a Major Shake Up

COMMENTARY | California’s Fast Recovery Act gives low-wage workers a seat at the table with franchisees, corporations and the government to help set industry-wide labor standards, creating a model for others to follow.

Parched California Prepares for First-Ever Colorado River Cuts

State officials are nearing an agreement that would leave 10% of California's allocation in reservoirs next year.