California, which experts said had more at stake than any other state in the battle over federal heatlh care reform, will proceed full speed ahead in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.
From Katherine Mieszkowski in the Bay Citizen: "We, in California, have been given the green light and validation of the work we’ve been doing,” said Assemblyman Bill Monning, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Health, who said he was “thrilled” with Thursday’s ruling."
"The state has been aggressively implementing the Affordable Care Act in the run-up to 2014, when the new law goes into full effect. The state has already made coverage available to some 400,000 low-income adults and 11,000 people with pre-existing conditions who had previously been unable to obtain insurance."
"A key provision in the law requires insurers to offer coverage regardless of such conditions. “Californians who have been denied coverage or who have had their coverage taken away from them can rest assured that this will never happen to them again,” said state Sen. Ed Hernandez, chairman of the Senate Health Committee."
For a detailed rundown on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, here's a nice piece indeed from U-T San Diego, courtesy of R.J. Ignelzi and Janet Lavelle.
Civil rights attorney Molly Munger, who is pushing a tax initiative in November to raise money for schools, is suing the state elections officer for allowing Brown's initiative to qualify before her's -- even though Munger submitted her signatures first.
From the Chronicle's Wyatt Buchanan: "The proponents of a tax measure on November's ballot - a rival measure to Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative - have sued the secretary of state over what they say is a change in law that could "imminently threaten to alter the results" of the fall election."
"Molly Munger, who is sponsoring the Our Children Our Future measure to raise taxes foreducation, filed suit in Sacramento County Superior Court Thursday alleging that elections officials in Los Angeles and Alameda counties did not follow proper procedures and allowed Brown's initiative to qualify before her initiative. Munger had submitted petitions for her initiative before Brown did."
"Because Brown's initiative qualified first, it will receive higher placement on the ballot than Munger's. The suit also challenges the validity of a bill passed as part of the budget this week that would place all constitutional amendments at the top of a ballot, behind only bond measures. Brown's measure is a constitutional amendment; Munger's is not. A hearing is scheduled for Friday in Sacramento Superior Court."
The plight of California's state parks took a turn for the better: The list of parks destined for closure has been whittled way down, in part because the state and prtivate donors are partnering up to keep the facilities open.
From Greg Lucas in Capitol Weekly: "Whatever the motive, lawmakers, non-profits, donors, foundations, the Park Service and localities stepped up, whittling the closure list down to a maximum of 30 and potentially as few as 1. Among a final handful of parks that were expected to be closed -- but will likely remain open -- are Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County and the California Mining & Mineral Museum in Mariposa. The Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, 56 miles west of Needles, is already closed until further notice."
"Among those saved from closure within the last few weeks was the Governor’s Mansion, which received $75,000 from Raley’s Supermarkets and $25,000 from the Church of Scientology to cover its operating expenses for one year."
“This achievement is a testament to the work and dedication of the Department (of Parks and Recreation), nonprofit organizations, local governments, and others—along with the state Legislature—to keep state parks available to the public,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in vetoing $31 million of $54 million lawmakers earmarked for park maintenance in the budget."
A conservative attorney and 'birther' from Ramona in San Diego County has won a judgeship by a razor-thin margin over a local prosecutor who also was vying for the job.
From the OC Register's Martin Wisckol: "Ramona lawyer Gary Kreep, whose conservative causes include challenging the natural-born citizenship of Barack Obama, beat Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed for a judge’s post in the San Diego County Superior Court, squeaking out a 50.21 percent to 49.79 percent win."
"But Laguna Niguel’s Orly Taitz wasn’t exactly sending roses. Taitz, perhaps the best-known of the birthplace lawyers, lost her own election bid by a broad margin, placing fifth with 3.2 percent of the vote in her challenge of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She had teamed up early with Kreep in the birthplace legal spectacle, but the two quickly had a falling out."
"While the final votes were being tallied in the judge’s race and the outcome still uncertain, Taitz on June 15 filed a complaint with the state bar alleging that Kreep was “colluding with a known convicted document forger” in his efforts to prove Obama’s presidency is illegitimate."
From our "Law and Order" file, comes a clear message: Don't mess with the heat in Houston. A woman who tried to warn motorists of a speed trap was taken into custody by irritated cops.
"A Houston woman's attempt to save drivers from a speeding ticket landed her something worse: 12 hours in jail."
"As she rode her bicycle home from a grocery store last week near downtown Houston, Natalie Plummer noticed police officers pulling over speeders. After she parked her bike and turned one of her grocery bags into a makeshift sign warning drivers about the "speed trap" ahead, an officer drove up and arrested her."
"I was completely abiding by the law," Plummer told ABC's affiliate KRTK. "I was simply warning citizens of a situation ahead."
"But Houston police saw it differently, and arrested Plummer for standing in the street where there a sidewalk was present, a misdemeanor charge."