News

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

SACRAMENTO — California will take the unprecedented step of mailing a ballot to every active registered voter this fall after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday intended to protect the November election against potential disruption by the coronavirus pandemic.

AB860 will also require county officials to count any ballot that is received within 17 days of the election, as long as it’s postmarked by election day. That’s two weeks longer than under current law, which sets a cutoff of the Friday after the election.

Newsom, who signed the bill without comment, tried to enact a similar mandate through executive order last month. His order requiring counties to send a mail ballot to every voter faces a legal challenge.

The changes do not remove the option to cast a ballot in person and would be in effect only for the 2020 general election.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The San Diego County Office of Education, along with the California Department of Education, announced a free suicide prevention training program Wednesday available online to middle and high school staff and students throughout the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted the academic lives of our students and families, but it may have contributed to emotional and mental health challenges that some of our students struggle with,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “It is important that students know that they have someone to turn to within their school community when they are feeling overwhelmed. Providing this specialized training to school staff and peers can not only be utilized to support students in crisis during the critical time we are in now, but any time a student is feeling despondent, stressful, and alone.”

Thursday, June 4, 2020

As California inches closer to the November election, new survey results suggest that nearly three-quarters of likely voters support a move to mail-in ballots opposed by President Donald Trump and Republican leaders.

The Public Policy Institute of California’s latest survey, which polled 1,706 adults statewide in late May, shows an “overwhelming majority” support such a policy.

Voters’ views differ by political party, however.

Results show 94 percent of registered Democrats surveyed think the move is a “good idea.” Among Republicans, 58 percent say it’s a “bad idea,” while 37 percent support it.

“I think that the numbers reflect the political polarization that exists on so many issues involving elections and public policy in California,” said Mark Baldassare, who oversees the survey and heads the institute. “My takeaway is that you’re seeing overwhelming support for the concept,” he said.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Making it safe to vote during a pandemic shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But Republicans, including and especially the president, are turning it into one.

This week, the state and national Republican Party organizations filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order mandating that every registered voter receive a vote-by-mail ballot as a hedge against the likelihood that the coronavirus will still be circulating in November (though in-person vote centers will still be available). No one should have to risk the fate of the many Wisconsin residents who had to cast ballots in the April primary in person. Fifty-two people who participated were later found to have contracted COVID-19.