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LAO: Don’t eliminate welfare

May 18, 2010

The Legislative Analyst office is out with its quick review of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised budget, and the nonpartisan analyst recommends scrapping the governor’s proposals to eliminate welfare and subsidized child care. Similar savings can be achieved elsewhere in the budget, the office, says, with less pain to people who rely on the the state for survival or to be able to work while someone watches their children.

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The anatomy of a budget shortfall

May 15, 2010

If state revenues are climbing next year, why does California face an $18 billion budget shortfall? For a couple of reasons: mainly the need to retire this year’s deficit and cope with costs that are programmed to rise automatically in the year ahead. Daniel Weintraub offers an outline to explain the numbers behind the budget mess.

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Stem cell agency tries to remove cap on size of staff

May 14, 2010

A lot of people have forgotten about California’s stem cell research agency, which is spending billions of public dollars with little scrutiny. But blogger David Jensen is one person who is keeping a close eye on the place. Here is his latest dispatch, on efforts by the agency to get the right to hire more employees:

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Cali urged to start early on new health insurance exchange

May 12, 2010

The top state insurance executive in Massachusetts urged California lawmakers Wednesday to “start early” in building a new health insurance exchange that will be at the center of the state’s implementation of the federal health reform passed in March. Jon Kingsdale said the exchange can play a big role in reducing administrative costs and premiums, spurring competition and giving consumers a simple way to compare insurance plans and prices.

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Hospitals pressured to back more breastfeeding

May 5, 2010

California advocates for women and children are making a major push for breastfeeding and laying the groundwork for proposals in the Legislature that could require hospitals that deliver babies to reduce the number of newborns fed with bottled formula.

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Group homes sue state over rate freeze

May 5, 2010

An association of group homes that care for Californians with developmental disabilities has sued the state to in federal court, arguing that a freeze on reimbursement rates since August of last year violates federal law.

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Governor vetoes bill to ban smoking on state beaches

May 3, 2010

Saying he was “inherently uncomfortable” about intruding into the private lives of Californians, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday vetoed legislation that would have banned smoking on state beaches and in common areas of state parks.

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Simplifyng health and welfare applications could cost state more than it saves, LAO says

May 3, 2010

The state currently spends about $1.5 billion from its general fund administering health and welfare program applications and enrollment, and could probably save several hundred million dollars a year by streamlining those programs and moving more of them online. But that savings could be wiped out, the Legislative Analyst notes, by increased enrollment in the programs that would come from making the application process simpler and easier to use.

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Proposal to suspend AB 32 likely headed for ballot

May 3, 2010

A political group with backing from big oil interests will begin submitting signatures today that are expected to qualify a measure for the November ballot to suspend implementation of AB 32, California’s landmark measure to fight global warming by limiting the emission of greenhouse gases.

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Death rates decline for cancer, heart disease, stroke

April 29, 2010

California met federal health goals for reducing death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke last year and improved its health status in 20 of 26 categories tracked by the state, according to a health status report card released Thursday by the Department of Public Health.

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