Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Prop. 61, the drug pricing initiative, explained

Sep 28, 2016

One of the 17 statewide propositions facing California voters on the November ballot is Proposition 61, which is intended to lower prescription drug prices.

Below, Impatient breaks down this initiative, which besides being one of the most complicated ballot measures, has sparked by far this year's most expensive campaign fight over an initiative.

In a nutshell

Under Prop. 61, certain state agencies would pay no more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs.

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

Brock Turner’s brief jail term for sexual assault sparked outcry across California and the nation earlier this year.

File photo: Loretta Sanchez greets her supporters from the Ironworkers Union on the night of the California primary election in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Susanica Tam/KPCC

File photo: Loretta Sanchez greets her supporters from the Ironworkers Union on the night of the California primary election in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Susanica Tam/KPCC

Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez failed to show up for more votes than any other U.S. House member running for another office, according to an analysis by Roll Call covering the first three weeks in September.

For decades, small growers in Humboldt County have made a living cultivating and selling cannabis. But over the last 10 years or so, outsiders have been pouring in to the region trying to cash in on the “green rush” for commercial cannabis.

The medical marijuana industry has certainly sparked a cannabis boon, but if Californians vote for Proposition 64 and allow adults to smoke cannabis purely for recreation, it will be a game changer for the industry.

Death Penalty Propositions Divide Voters

Sep 22, 2016

There are two completely opposite November ballot measures dealing with capital punishment, and a new poll shows neither one is getting support from a majority of voters.

Proposition 62 would repeal the state’s death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. It falls just short of the simple majority it needs to pass.

Each time New York increased its tobacco tax — now at $4.35 a pack — calls to the state’s Quitline spiked.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg raised the tax even more.

“I was so angry with him, I could hardly afford it,” says Elizabeth Lane, a Harlem resident who paid $12 a pack. “I had to beg, borrow and steal to get money to buy cigarettes.”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has boosted her lead over Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez among likely voters, 42 percent to 20 percent, according to a Field Poll out this week. But a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows a Harris lead shrinking to 7 points.

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

California billionaire and potential gubernatorial candidate Tom Steyer joined the debate over ending the state’s death penalty last week by repeating a questionable claim.

"Since 1978, California has spent $5 billion to put 13 people to death," Steyer said in a press release announcing his support for Proposition 62.

It's less than two months from election day and many of the local races that will be before voters in November are heating up. From city council and mayoral contests in Fresno and Bakersfield to a couple of contested congressional races, it's providing plenty of fodder for local political observers. We spoke with former State Assemblywoman and current CSUB political science professor Nicole Parra, and Clovis-based Republican political strategist Jim Verros about what's really happening in some of the most closely watched contests. 

Would more teens smoke if recreational pot were legal?

Sep 18, 2016

Studies have found that using marijuana before age 18 is associated with shorter attention spans and lower IQ levels. Early use of marijuana has also been shown to correlate with changes in the structure of the teenage brain.

But that information hasn't exactly filtered down to teenagers.

"You always smell it," says "Pablo," a 15-year-old sophomore at a high school in Highland Park. "You always hear people talking about it. I think it's pretty common."

During her run for U.S. Senate, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has touted a "smart on crime" approach that focuses on the most violent offenders and reducing recidivism.

Harris believes this strategy is key to slowing what she claims is a dramatic rise in the nation’s prison population.

'Yes On 55' School Claim Misses The Mark

Sep 13, 2016

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

Recent radio and TV ads claim California’s K-12 public schools face dire cuts if voters fail to approve Proposition 55, a measure on November’s ballot that would extend an income tax hike on wealthy residents.

A majority of Californians believe poverty is a serious problem, but they disagree over what to do about it. That’s according to a survey conducted for our California Counts public radio collaboration.

The CALSPEAKS survey asked hundreds of voters and some nonvoters across California how they feel about a range of economic issues, from home ownership and job security to wage disparity and upward mobility.

Black Lives Matter activists protest U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Facebook in Playa Vista on June 30, 2016. They were angry Lynch praised the LAPD's reform efforts.
Frank Stoltze/KPCC

A new survey commissioned by a consortium of public radio stations including KPCC has found Californians, like much of the nation, are divided by race when it comes to their views of police profiling and excessive use of force.

When asked about racial profiling in the U.S., 68 percent of Californians said it is a “huge” or “significant” problem in the U.S. Twenty-five percent of state residents polled said it was a minor problem or not one at all.

Repeal the death penalty? 6 quotes from 'yes' and 'no' campaigns

Sep 7, 2016

Voters will see two state measures that take very different approaches in changing how California handles capital punishment in November. Proposition 62 would repeal the death penalty, while Proposition 66 would aim to speed up the process. 

On Wednesday evening, we gathered a panel of six guests from all sides of the argument. They fielded questions from the audience on topics that ranged from fiscal to racial implications.

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