Initiative Filing Fee Hike Would Make California Highest in Nation

Since the California ballot initiative process is fast becoming a billionaire's club, some lawmakers want to make it even more difficult – for grassroots efforts. If a $2,500 California ballot filing fee hike is passed, it's moving through the Legislature now, it will be larger – by five times – than any other state in the nation. 

How Far Will Legislature Go in Fight Against Prescription Abuse?

An August hearing on how to end prescription drug abuse looms as the Legislature seeks new ways to stop the epidemic. 

Privacy Bill Targeting AirBnB Shelved, Could be Revived in January

A state Senate bill that required home sharing platforms like AirBnB to turn over customers’ personal information to local governments was quietly shelved this week, though the author said he plans to bring it back in the new year. 

Affordable Housing Chair Demolishing Affordable Housing

The chairman of a state affordable housing agency bought two Los Angeles rent-controlled properties at the end of 2014 and then quickly began the process of ousting longtime tenants to build luxury condos.
 

Covered California Still ‘Assessing’ Voter Registration Efforts

If a public agency had $2.3 million tucked away for voter registration, you would think it could tell the public details – but not Covered California.
 
The health exchange said $1.4 million is for printing and mailing and the rest is for the policy unit.  No further details were given. A spokeswoman said that documents confirming that this money is going to voter registration and what exactly the money will be funding would not be available until June 19.  The Covered California Board is expected to approve the 2015-2016 budget on June 18.
 

Bermuda Triangle, Area 51 and...Gas Price Spikes

State Senate leader Kevin de Leon had some fun with critics as he pushed for unprecedented climate change legislation this week. 

On the Senate floor as he spoke about SB 350, which calls for a dramatic reduction in petroleum use, greater energy efficiency in buildings,  and increasing renewable sources, the Los Angeles Democrat said trying to figure out how gas prices are "actually formulated" is one of the great mysteries of the world, like the Bermuda Triangle, Roswell and Area 51. 

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