cpradmin's blog

San Francisco Leaders and Environmentalists Object to Water Legislation

While Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) called today’s signing of several water bills “historic,” several San Francisco leaders and environmentalists object to the water deal and believe that it is more of a 19th Century solution to a current day problem.

“This water package is a bad deal for San Francisco and the Bay-Delta ecosystem,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who voted against the water bills. “Not only does it ignore San Francisco’s conservation efforts, it threatens our long-standing water rights. While San Francisco should contribute to the solution, a water deal should not be at such a high expense for our city’s residents or jeopardize our state’s environment.”

Health Care Act Victory for California Families

Art-Pulaski.jpg By Art Pulaski Executive Secretary-Treasurer
California Labor Federation

Last night's vote in the House of Representatives to pass the Affordable Health Care for America Act was a victory for all California families and an historic milestone on the road to meaningful health care reform.

"The entire California Democratic delegation stood with working families to vote for reform despite months of intense pressure and millions of dollars from the insurance industry and right-wing zealots to preserve the status quo. The California votes propelled the House to victory, putting us closer to health care reform than we've been in a half-century. These representatives showed courage in the face adversity, siding with the millions of California families who have inadequate health coverage, no coverage at all or can't afford the skyrocketing costs of care.

House Makes History on Health Reform

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

Earlier tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.3962, a historic comprehensive health reform proposal, by a vote of 220-215.

We thank ALL of California's Democratic Congressional Representatives for voting for this desperately needed comprehensive health reform. Given California's health crisis, it's appropriate that the House of Representatives, led by Californians like Speaker Pelosi, Chairmen Miller, Waxman, and Stark, and many others, took the lead in crafting this historic bill.

The bill would provide stability and security for those who have coverage, and that would extend affordable coverage to those who don't. Californians are concerned that coverage won't be there for them when they need it, and this bill provides our families with much needed security from financial ruin.

Has California Peaked?

Robert-Cruickshank.gifBy Robert Cruickshank

Over the last few weeks a debate has raged online and in print about whether California is a failed state. By now you likely know my answer: it is, but we can and must revive the California Dream for the 21st century. Doing so, however, requires some rather fundamental changes to the way the state is governed and to our basic assumptions about where our prosperity comes from, especially in how we use the land.

Since those changes seem further away than ever, it ought to come as no surprise that according to a new LA Times/USC poll, Californians believe "the best years have passed":

PCL Insider: Water Package Offers Subsidies - Not Solutions

Traci-Sheehan.gif By Traci Sheehan
Executive Director
Planning and Conservation League

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, while most Californians were sound asleep, the state legislature passed a package of bills and a bond that rewards bad actors instead of solving the water needs of real people and the environment. A corner piece of the new deal is a budget-busting $11.1 billion bond headed for next November's ballot.

During the water package's development, the Planning and Conservation League had insisted that any solution focus on reducing reliance on an already over-allocated Delta and require dedicated in-stream flows through the Delta and the San Francisco Bay for endangered and threatened fish populations.

Weekly Radio Address: Assembly Lead Water Negotiators Huffman, Caballero Discuss this Week’s Historic Agreement to Solve California’s Water Crisis

Jared-Huffman.jpg In this Democratic weekly address, Assemblymembers Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) discuss historic legislation passed by the Legislature this week to solve California’s water crisis.

You may listen in English or Spanish. The transcript is below.

Feinstein Once Again Flirts With Entering the Governor’s Race

Robert-Cruickshank.gifBy Robert Cruickshank

With Gavin Newsom dropping out of the governor's race and leaving Jerry Brown as the only Democratic candidate, speculation was sure to rise about Senator Dianne Feinstein and whether she would seek to avenge her narrow 1990 defeat and run for governor in 2010. Sure, most observers don't think she'd do it, but until she flatly denies it, the chatter will continue.

And it's going to continue after the AP caught up with her and asked her about the governor's race. She didn't rule it out, but made it obvious that she's primarily in it for the attention:

A Good Health Care Bill Emerging from the House

Anthony-Wright-2008.gifBy Anthony Wright
Executive Director of Health Access California

As the vote near on the House health reform bill, it is easy to sink into the specifics of the bill, be obsessed by the debate on key details, and mourn amendments that we really wanted but that weren't included.

But we should look at this bill in its totality, and appreciate how signficant it is, and how much help it would provide if it passes.

Here's my top ten reasons why this is an impressive bill:

1) Near-universal coverage for all, largely through group coverage with its efficiencies and purchasing power to get the best price.

2) The biggest expansion of Medicaid since its creation 40 years ago, completing a unfulfilled commitment for millions in and near poverty.

Schwarzenegger Applauds Passage of Peripheral Canal/Dams Water Package

Dan-Bacher.jpgBy Dan Bacher

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in California history, today praised the Legislature for its passage of a water package including an $11 billion bond that provides a clear path to the construction of the peripheral canal and more dams.

"Water is the lifeblood of everything we do in California," said Schwarzenegger. "Without clean, reliable water, we cannot build, we cannot farm, we cannot grow and we cannot prosper. That is why I am so proud that the legislature, Democrats and Republicans, came together and tackled one of the most complicated issues in our state's history. This comprehensive water package is an historic achievement."

"Historic" Water Deal Draws Both Praise and Criticism

David M Greenwald.jpgby David M. Greenwald
California Progress Report

While the Governor and Democratic Leadership are lauding the water deal as an historic achievement, local leaders and environmental groups are lamenting it as the prelude to a peripheral canal that will end the delta as we know it by diverting water away from the delta and to the south.

Said Governor Schwarzenegger:

"Water is the lifeblood of everything we do in California. Without clean, reliable water, we cannot build, we cannot farm, we cannot grow and we cannot prosper. That is why I am so proud that the legislature, Democrats and Republicans, came together and tackled one of the most complicated issues in our state's history. This comprehensive water package is an historic achievement."