News

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Leave aside, for a moment, the usual complaints about leaf blowers and lawn mowers — that their noise and smell are noxious and inescapable in most neighborhoods. There’s another, more pressing reason to phase out gas-powered garden equipment: This year, for the first time, leaf blowers, weed whackers, lawn mowers and other devices with small off-road engines are expected to produce more smog-forming emissions than passenger cars.

 

How is that possible? It’s in the numbers — there are more blowers, trimmers and other small engines in California than there are sedans and coupes. And unlike cars, which have gotten cleaner under increasingly stringent emissions standards, garden equipment hasn’t been regulated as strictly.

 

Friday, April 16, 2021

My District” gives NCSL members a chance to talk about life in the places they represent, from high-profile events to the fun facts only the locals know.

Earlier this month, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer and the Lady Cardinals held off the Arizona Wildcats 54-53 to win the 2021 NCAA women’s basketball title in San Antonio. It was the Stanford women’s first national title since 1992 and their third overall.

Stanford scored another impressive third when VanDerveer was named the Naismith women’s college basketball coach of the year, an honor she also received in 1990 and 2011.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

California’s legislative and higher education leaders on Wednesday committed to increase the number of students who can transfer from the state’s community colleges to universities this year.

Thousands of college students each year aim to make that leap to enter the nine undergraduate campuses of the University of California, the 23 campuses of California State University or private universities each year, but many don’t make it.

Only 19% of community college students who intend to transfer reach that goal within four years, and 28% do so within six years, according to a September 2020 report from the Public Policy Institute of California. The study is a snapshot of 2019 based on students who started in 2014-15.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Though it may be hard to imagine now, sometime in the not distant future, the emergency measures adopted this year to control the spread of COVID-19 will no longer be necessary. But California would benefit by keeping at least one of them in place for good: mailing a ballot to every active registered voter in the state.

When it became clear this spring that the pandemic was not likely to end before the Nov. 3 election, lawmakers acted to ensure that all active registered voters in California could participate without risking infection. Counties were directed to mail ballots to all voters, whether they requested one or not, and, with an onslaught of mail ballots expected, were allowed to start processing ballots extra early. The state also extended the grace period for mailed-in ballots to 17 days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Facing the pandemic and financial woes, California’s community colleges are struggling to provide programs to meet some of their students’ most basic needs, such as food and shelter.

The efforts come as many community college students report a loss of income, increased homelessness and a worsening financial situation

Lawmakers are considering legislation to deal with the issue.

About one in five — 19 percent –of the respondents indicated that they were homeless. About 50 percent said they were food insecure.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday bolstered his plan to mail every voter a ballot for the November election by signing legislation that passed earlier the same day with support from several Republicans, belying monthslong criticism of absentee voting from President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders.

Newsom had already ordered county elections officials to send all eligible Californians ballots in an effort to prevent the general election from becoming a coronavirus health hazard. But that directive has drawn multiple legal challenges — including from the California Republican Party — so enshrining the all-mail mandate in statute puts it on stronger legal footing.

By signing Assembly Bill 860 into law, Newsom defused the principal legal argument against the universal vote-by-mail argument. Plaintiffs argued he had exceeded his authority by implementing a sweeping change to election management without consulting the Legislature.

Friday, June 19, 2020

LOS ANGELES - Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday to require county officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter for the November election, cementing into law the Democratic governor’s earlier order to mail out ballots statewide in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Newsom, citing health risks from large groups gathering at polling places, announced in early May that the state will send every voter a mail-in ballot for the fall contest, but his plan has been challenged in court. The bill, approved earlier Thursday by the state Assembly, gives the governor’s order the force of law and provides clarity for election officials, said Assemblyman Marc Berman, a Menlo Park Democrat who sponsored the bill.