Month: March 2011

Despite experience, Brown still flummoxed by Legislature

When Jerry Brown was running for governor last year, he vowed to break the partisan deadlock that had prevented legislators from fixing California’s yearslong budget mess. With his decades of experience in politics, including two previous terms as governor, Brown said he had the savvy it took to bring Republicans and Democrats together to find a solution.

Green homes planned for homeless vets

A long line of drenched men huddled together outside a Fresno shelter, hoping to get a warm meal and bed in the middle of a winter storm on a recent evening. It was a typical night for Ed Sanders, 57, a homeless veteran. Green Hope Veterans, a nonprofit organization in Fresno, plans to help local vets like Sanders by providing them with affordable green housing.

New organic farmers face big challenges

Thirty-eight farmers-in-training currently till the land at ALBA, growing everything from typical local crops like radishes and kale to traditional Mexican herbs and cactus pears. The majority are farm workers—mostly Latino immigrants—seeking their own businesses. Others are career changers or organic food enthusiasts hoping to capitalize on a growing market for locally grown produce.

Beloved Community Medicine

A prior edition of calhealthreport.org documented a worrisome trend of rising income inequality within our state, a trend which runs in tandem with the statistics for the country as a whole. The latest research findings show just how worrisome this trend is.

Brown signs bill cutting $1.5 billion in health spending

One of the budget bills Gov. Jerry Brown sign3evThursday seeks to make more than $1.5 billion in cuts to state spending on health care for the poor, mostly in Medi-Cal and the Healthy Families insurance program. Most of the cuts will be achieved by reducing by 10 percent the reimbursement for doctors, hospitals and other providers that care for the poor. The bill will also increase premiums in the Healthy Families program, implement co-payments in Medi-Cal and limit doctor visits and the reimbursement for over-the-counter medications.

Auditors offer ideas for saving state money

While the state may be short of money, there is no drought of cash-saving ideas. But many cannot pan out politically, legally or logistically. Nonetheless, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers have in their hands a pair of promising far-reaching sets of recommendations developed by independent state investigators. These separate proposals by the state Auditor and Little Hoover Commission have been overshadowed by the more immediate debate over spending cuts and tax extensions now playing out in the Capitol.

Helping Central Valley Cities Reduce Greenhouse Gasses

California cities face a daunting deadline. Within nine years they must make a significant reduction in the pollutants that create the state’s carbon footprint. The target of 2020 to make a 15 percent cut in greenhouse emissions may seem a long way off. Yet the Great Valley Center, a Modesto-based not-for-profit, wants to help cities take action now.

With help, a family crosses the digital divide

Trelena Thomas left her job as a nurse to care for her three daughters, one a quadriplegic, before computers and the Internet became mainstays of the job. She didn’t expect that such technology would eventually become an important tool in her new job as a stay-at-home mom, but lacking a home computer has increasingly interfered with her daughters’ school work and her ability to find services for the family.

In-home care program targeted for deep cuts

As Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers look for places to cut in the state’s $85 billion budget, a popular program that provides in-home services for hundreds of thousands of disabled and elderly Californians has become a natural target.

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