Thursday, May 25, 2017

Single Payer Bill Passes Latest Hurdle, Amid Controversy

A bill to replace private health insurance with a single payer system has moved forward, with a vote in the key Senate Appropriations committee. The vote comes as calls for single payer are resonating across the nation. But some politics watchers think the single payer debate could hurt Democrats as they try to re-take a majority in the next elections for the House of Representatives.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Border Wall, Sanctuary Cities Topics at Homeland Security Budget Hearing

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified at a House appropriations committee hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed budget. The rushed hearing included debates over President Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall, as well as praise from a republican lawmaker for a budget provision that would make it easier for the feds to target sanctuary cities.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Assembly "Protect and Persist" Budget Plan Moves in Opposite Direction from Trump Budget

Assembly Democrats have unveiled what they call a “Protect and Persist Budget.” Their state spending plan aims at protecting vulnerable Californians and persisting in resistance to the harsh budget cuts and policies proposed by the Trump administration.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Interior Nominee David Bernhardt Questioned Over Conflicts of Interest

As Congress moves toward confirming David Bernhardt as Deputy Director of the Department of Interior, questions are being raised his potential conflicts of interest. Bernhardt is currently the top lobbyist for the firm of Brownstein, Farber, Hyatt, Schrek, working on behalf of petroleum companies and Western water interests, including the Westlands Water District. He was the Interior Department’s Solicitor during the George W. Bush administration, and also part of the Trump transition team on environmental issues. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke nominated Bernhardt to be his Deputy. Last week the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee questioned the nominee about his history and views on environmental regulation. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Single Payer Healthcare Debated in State Senate Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard arguments about a bill that would replace the private health insurance industry with a single payer system. Much of the debate centered on whether government can be trusted to run health care, especially in the wake of a new cost report from the senate committee.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Farmworkers Sickened by Toxic Pesticide Drift

Early in May forty-seven farmworkers harvesting cabbage on a Kern County farm were exposed to six pesticide compounds that had been sprayed on nearby fields. One of the pesticides contained the active ingredient Chlorpyrifos [KLOR – PHE -RIOS] which has been banned for household use but is still used in farming. The harvesting was shut down after 12 workers began suffering from nausea and vomiting and one person fainted. The Kern County Fire Department, the County Health Department and Hazmat rushed to the scene immediately and performed a decontamination. One person was taken to the hospital, but more than half the workers had left the area before emergency responders arrived. The incident was first reported by Tabitha Mills of Bakersfield television station KGET. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

UC Regents Promise to Follow Scathing Audit Recommendations

The University of California Regents have agreed to accept recommendations of a state auditor who had blasted the university system for keeping an undisclosed reserve fund in the office of the president. The Regents have also agreed to put a first-time ever cap on out of state enrollment at the state universities.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Calls Grow for Trump Impeachment

Calls for the impeachment of President Donald Trump have ramped up, including talk by members of Congress, as well as legal scholars, grass-roots activists, and local lawmakers. One California state lawmaker has introduced a resolution calling for Trump to resign or be impeached.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LGBTQ Activists Rally for Capitol Action Day

Hundreds of gay and transgender rights activists gathered at the state capitol Tuesday for their annual legislative day of action. They’re supporting a package of legislation they say will keep California at the forefront of LGBTQ rights action, at a time some other states and the federal Trump administration are moving in the opposite direction.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump's Travel Ban Gets Another Federal Court Hearing

A federal appeals court is again hearing arguments over whether to lift a court order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban Executive Order. Trump’s latest version of the travel ban would temporarily bar travel from six majority Muslim countries. Opponents say the Executive Order is in effect a “Muslim ban” that violates the Constitution. They want the Federal Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit to uphold a lower court order blocking the travel ban from taking effect.
Christopher Martinez reports.