Wheelchairs and Oxygen Not Essential, Says Sen. Ed Hernandez

What could be more of a basic medical need than a wheelchair or oxygen? If you're having a tough time paying for the cheapest Covered California health plan, even with subsidies, you better hope you don't need those essential health benefits in the near future because you'll have to pay for it out of your own pocket if proposed legislation is approved.  
 

California Senate’s Rubberstamp Oversight

A demolishing developer. An inattentive fracking regulator. A lenient toxic director. 

The California Senate has the power to confirm certain governor appointees, and it also has the power to reject them. It rarely does the latter, and never if both branches are ruled by the same party, and recent events show how this collegial culture has led to unfortunate choices. 

Wining and Dining With Energy Firms Still the Norm for PUC Commissioners

As investigations over alleged back-room dealings at the California Public Utilities Commission continue, Commissioner Mike Florio was wined and dined at a convention for a trade group that represents energy providers. 

California's $2000 initiative poll tax?

Even as the Secretary of State and legislative leaders are championing legislation to make it easier for Californians to register and turn out to vote (for them), lawmakers don't seem to want Californians to be able to vote on ideas of their own.

A bill to increase the ballot initiative filing fee tenfold could pass the State Senate next week.

Multiplying the filing fee from the current $200 to $2000 would make proposing a ballot initiative in California more expensive than any other state.

Accused of Ignoring Widespread Contamination, Top Toxics Regulator's Future Questioned

The state’s top toxics regulator, Barbara Lee, comes up for Senate confirmation this week in the wake of a CBS News story on how much more widespread lead contamination is around the now-closed Exide facility in East Los Angeles and that it exposes vulnerable children to dangerously high levels of lead.
 

Attorney General Investigating Gas Price Gouging in California

The California Attorney General's office said they are now investigating unusual pricing strategies by oil refiners a week after Consumer Watchdog presented it with evidence that oil refiners were artificially manipulating gasoline prices by leveraging their branded gasoline station contracts.
 

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