California Legislature

Q&A: How Will California’s New 988 Mental Health Line Actually Work?

NEED HELP? If you or someone you know is in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. In September 2020, Congress passed bipartisan legislation creating a three-digit national suicide hotline: 988. Think of it as an alternative to 911 …

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Health Industry Wields Power in California’s High-Stakes Battle to Lower Health Care Costs

SACRAMENTO — Gavin Newsom put California’s health care industry on notice when he was a candidate for governor, vowing in 2018 to go after the insurance companies, doctors and hospitals that leave many Californians struggling with enormous medical bills and rising insurance premiums. He pledged to lead California’s single-payer movement, a high-stakes liberal dream that …

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Democrats Say Abortion Is on the Line in Recall Election. But Rolling Back Rights Wouldn’t Be Easy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom approaches, abortion-rights groups are warning that Californians’ right to an abortion is on the ballot. Newsom, a Democrat, himself tweeted that “abortion access” is at stake. “There’s no question that if a Republican is elected, access to abortion in California will be restricted,” …

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Grab Your Mask and Notepad, We’re Headed Back to California’s State Capitol

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The best part about returning to the pandemic-besieged state Capitol is that the elected officials are so unused to seeing us reporters after more than a year that some are occasionally extra chatty. The bad part is that the masks make it harder to eavesdrop on the rest of them. Much like …

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Unprecedented Lobbying Effort Scores Big Win for California Public Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After more than a decade of fruitless entreaties from public health advocates, Democratic lawmakers have secured a landmark agreement that promises $300 million a year in new state funding to fortify and reimagine California’s hollowed-out public health system, a complex network of services shouldered largely by the state’s 61 local health departments. …

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California Lawmakers Push Feds to Allow a Therapy That Pays Meth Users to Abstain

In his multiple attempts to overcome a methamphetamine addiction that ground through two decades of his life, Tyrone Clifford Jr. remembers well the closest he came. “The most success I had,” he said, “is when my dealer was in jail.” Then Clifford walked into a rehab clinic in San Francisco called PROP, the Positive Reinforcement …

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Doctors’ Lobby Scores ‘Major Victory’ on Bill to Hold Physicians Accountable

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The board that licenses and disciplines doctors in California is failing to hold bad actors accountable, endangering patients in the process. That’s the verdict of state lawmakers and patient advocates who have been working for years to reform the Medical Board of California. But an attempt this year to give the board …

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Lawmakers Pressure Newsom to ‘Step Up’ on Racism as a Public Health Issue

SACRAMENTO — After the killing last year of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared racism a public health crisis. The governors of Michigan and Nevada quickly followed, as have legislative bodies in Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Yet California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who governs one …

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Confronting Our ‘Frailties’: California’s Assembly Leader Reflects on a Year of Covid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When his 20-month-old daughter developed a rash earlier this month, Anthony Rendon did what many other parents do when their child is sick: The speaker of the California Assembly took Vienna to her pediatrician — but he did so via video from the comfort and safety of his home. This story also …

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Another Soda Tax Bill Dies. Another Win for Big Soda.

SACRAMENTO — A rogue industry. A gun to our head. Extortion. This story also ran on San Francisco Chronicle. It can be republished for free. That’s how infuriated lawmakers described soft drink companies — and what they pulled off in 2018 when they scored a legislative deal that bars California’s cities and counties from imposing …

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New Single-Payer Bill Intensifies Newsom’s Political Peril

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO — A group of Democratic state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to create a single-payer health care system to cover all Californians, immediately defining the biggest health policy debate of the year and putting enormous political pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Democratic governor faces the …

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California Lawmakers to Newsom: Give All Immigrants Health Coverage

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO — California Democratic lawmakers so far have failed to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom that the state can afford to spend an estimated $2.6 billion a year to expand its Medicaid program to all unauthorized immigrants. Now, they’re trying a new strategy. Rather than working independently, …

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California Law Banning Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics Will Transform Industry

A toxic chemical ban signed into law in California will change the composition of cosmetics, shampoos, hair straighteners and other personal care products used by consumers across the country, industry officials and activists say. The ban, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom at the end of September, covers 24 chemicals, including mercury, formaldehyde and several types …

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Amid COVID Chaos, California Legislators Fight for Major Health Care Bills

California lawmakers are barreling toward an end-of-month deadline to pass or kill bills amid the biggest public health crisis the state has faced in a century. Yet even in a year consumed by sickness, they’re considering significant — sometimes controversial — health policy measures that aren’t directly related to COVID-19. Much of this legislation predates …

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