CVIndependent

Sun01202019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Politics

17 Jan 2019
What would you do with a $21.4 billion windfall? That’s essentially the question California is confronting amid record surplus projections during Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first year in office. On one hand, the former San Francisco mayor showcased his progressive agenda by setting ambitious goals for universal preschool, expanding health coverage for undocumented immigrants, and proposing the nation’s most-generous paid family leave program. On the other, Newsom made the case that he’s still being fiscally conservative by projecting a modest growth rate of 3.2 percent, socking billions more into the state’s rainy day fund, and paying down debt and public-employee retirement liabilities. “I think, arguably, it’s even more conservative in that respect than previous administrations,” Newsom said of his overall $209 billion state budget. The governor’s…
11 Jan 2019
In one of his first official actions, Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed state agencies, including the one that oversees Medi-Cal, to negotiate as a block to demand prescription drug-makers lower their prices. The move will make California the nation’s largest negotiator with pharmaceutical companies, and could become a model for other states—if it works. “Right now, with all the gridlock in Congress, we are seeing quite a bit of state action on prescription-drug pricing—and we hope that advances as much as it can until we can see some change in Congress,” said Peter Maybarduk, who specializes in medicine access at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. “California government has power,” he continued. “It is a large enough economy and large enough…
10 Jan 2019
You’d never know Eleni Kounalakis was taking an oath of office for an afterthought of a job that has been occupied by men who generally become answers to political trivia questions. As U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, four other members of Congress and numerous legislators looked on, Gov. Gavin Newsom swore Kounalakis in as California’s 50th lieutenant governor—the first woman to be elected as governor in waiting. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm served as master of ceremonies for the event at a packed Sacramento Public Library auditorium that bears the name of Kounalakis’ father, developer Angelo Tsakopoulos. No governor in recent memory had sworn in a lieutenant governor. In fact, most governors look upon lieutenant governors as upstarts to be kept at arm’s length. Governors…
03 Jan 2019
California is once again defending the Affordable Care Act, leading a coalition of Democratic states against a small army of Republican lawmakers seeking to undo the Obama administration’s signature health-care law. On Jan. 3, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 16 other attorneys general appealed last month’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas that declared the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, unconstitutional. “I’ve seen how the ACA has transformed lives, and I’ve seen it up close,” Becerra said in a phone call with the press this morning. “That is why so many of us are committed to defending the ACA.” Many legal experts, both liberal and conservative, have predicted that the Texas ruling will be overturned by a higher…
26 Dec 2018
In a scramble to keep people enrolled in health-care plans, what did New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia do earlier this year that California has not done? They began requiring that their residents carry health coverage or face a state penalty for going without it. Such “individual mandates” aim to replace the federal mandate—perhaps the most controversial but essential part of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare —that sought to force people to sign-up for health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The Republican Congress and the Trump administration have repealed that federal penalty, effective next year. The clock is ticking. Obamacare has led to a record number of Californians having medical coverage. But a new study warns that if the state…
20 Dec 2018
Don’t hold regular press conferences. Reward loyalty. If you’re a Californian with presidential aspirations, move to New York. Are you taking notes, Gov-elect Gavin Newsom? In the final days of his fourth and final term as California’s chief executive, Gov. Jerry Brown spoke at the Sacramento Press Club, offering parting, and remarkably candid, tips on how to best govern the Golden State. The hour-long conversation, in the ballroom of the Sacramento Masonic Temple, was moderated by Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton, and Miriam Pawel, author of the family biography The Browns of California. Brown, now 80, drew upon experience gleaned over 16 years as governor, plus job experience as attorney general, secretary of state and mayor of Oakland—and three presidential runs. Tip No. 1:…
03 Dec 2018
The resignation of California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman comes at a particularly emotional moment in California politics—on the heels of historic wins for Democrats and after a year of bipartisan reckoning over the apparent culture of sexual bullying within the political class. Bauman became the latest casualty of the #MeToo movement when he resigned last week, hours after Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom called on him to step down over allegations he harassed staff members and party activists with numerous lewd comments and incidents of inappropriate physical contact. Bauman said he has a drinking problem and would seek treatment. “I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and…
16 Nov 2018
The California Legislature, controlled by Democrats for decades, will be even bluer when the new class is sworn in. Exactly how many more Democrats have been elected is still not certain, because it takes a long time to count votes in California. But all signs point toward growing Democratic caucuses in both the Assembly and the Senate—and a supermajority that sidelines Republicans to near-irrelevancy. That means the prevailing tension in the statehouse probably won’t be between Republicans and Democrats—but between different shades of blue. It could make for some counter-intuitive outcomes—including a Legislature that skews more toward business on some fights. The biggest shift appears to be taking place in the state Senate, which in recent years has been the more liberal of the two…

Page 1 of 16