California’s Essential Week in Review: What’s in store for the state after Roe

Hello and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. He is Saturday, June 25.

Here’s a look at the top stories from the past week

What happens now? Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to abortion in California will continue to be protected by state law, and those rights will likely be expanded by Democratic leaders. The state is bracing for an influx of parts of the country where bans will be resurrected for the first time since 1973, with bills and budget proposals calling for millions of dollars to be set aside for abortion services for uninsured people, workforce programs to increase providers, and to help patients coming from other states.

Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on tax refunds. It would send $9.5 billion in excess tax revenue to Californians, providing up to $1,050 to families this fall in long-awaited financial relief from record gasoline prices and other rising costs.

After the Supreme Court’s decision on guns, California leaders vowed to create new restrictions. Atty from California. Gen. Rob Bonta pledged to work with the governor and lawmakers to pass new gun control legislation ‘to keep Californians safe’ in response to the ruling, which weakens requirements to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon in the state.

California’s military top brass have been rocked by scandals of homophobia, anti-Semitism and indecency. These are among the latest embarrassing episodes to tarnish the Guard, a branch of the California Military Department that has been beset in recent years with allegations of a cover-up and whistleblower retaliation, a Times investigation based on documents and interviews from the guard. found.

“When it comes to providing free school transportation to students, California comes last.” So says State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the author of a new bill that would require districts to provide transportation for most students by 2027, with a bang. inch from the state. Unlike some other states, California does not require school districts to provide buses, even if a student lives far from campus. The state pays a fraction of transportation costs for schools despite skyrocketing inflation, rising demand, a sharp rise in gasoline prices, and a projected record state budget surplus.

All fires are not created equal. New research from UC Irvine shows that fires caused by human activity – whether arson, a neglected campfire, sparking electrical equipment or parties ill-conceived gender reveal stories – spread faster, burn hotter, and destroy more trees than those caused by lightning.

California has announced a legislative inquiry into whether oil companies are “cheating” drivers. California’s highest gas prices remain a volatile political issue amid an election year. Democratic House Speaker Anthony Rendon said a select committee would consider what steps the state could take to reduce gasoline prices and “stand up to the profiteers who take advantage of a historic situation to suck the profits of California wallets”.

Despite widespread circulation of the coronavirus, the impact on hospitals across the state has been relatively minor. Even with the rise in transmission, deaths from COVID-19 have remained fairly low and stable. And it has happened even with officials who have largely avoided further restrictions and new mandates. But the coronavirus can mutate quickly, potentially upending the public health landscape.

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The federal government has told western states to reduce the amount of water they take from the Colorado River – now. As the river’s depleted reservoirs sink to new lows, the Home Office is calling for emergency cuts. “We must act in every state, in every sector and in every way available,” said a department official. MeanwhileLake Oroville, the largest reservoir in a state system that supplies water to 27 million Californians, has already reached its all-time high for the year, barely exceeding half capacity.

Disney was part of a small secret group pulling the strings at Anaheim City Hall. The “cabal” ran politics, received city contracts and wrote remarks from the mayor of Anaheim, according to a Times investigation. Hundreds of pages of campaign finance records, city documents, emails and interviews show how corporate interests, including the Disneyland Resort chief, have influenced the city.

Seven affordable housing projects in California cost more than $1 million per apartment to build. The developments, all in northern California, received state funding and were either under construction or about to open. They will provide housing for more than 600 families. But their sky-high cost means taxpayers are subsidizing fewer apartments as tenant waiting lists grow, a review of data from The Times has found.

Where are the dirtiest beaches in California? Heal the Bay’s annual state beach report card featured eight beach disappointments, including the Santa Monica Pier and, in Marina del Rey, Mother’s Beach – where parents love to take their toddlers, but a bad water circulation means bacteria and pollution build up easily.

Monsoon humidity moved into Southern California this week. Parts of the region were hit by thunder, lightning, rain, high winds and even hail. In Pico Rivera, a woman and her two dogs were fatally struck by lightning. A Kern County man walking a dog and pushing a baby in a stroller was injured by lightning. And elsewhere in Kern County, a wildfire that has burned about 2,500 acres near the Grapevine was likely started by lightning, officials said.

A bacterial outbreak at two state hatcheries has spurred plans to euthanize 350,000 trout. Facilities generally stock waterways for recreational fishing in Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, so availability in those areas will potentially be affected.

Investigators have seized more than $1.5 million worth of fentanyl-containing drugs in the past two weeks in Riverside County. “Hundreds of people die each year in Riverside County from fentanyl poisoning. Victims, including young people, are illegally obtaining pills they believe to be oxycodone or Percocet, but instead contain fentanyl,” the district attorney’s office said. “It only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to be a potentially lethal dose and one teaspoon contains 5,000 milligrams.”

ICYMI, here are this week’s good reads

Pull your lawn, check. Drought-tolerant plants, check. Next step: recycled water. Just 1 inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof can produce about 580 gallons of water for storage, making 50 gallon rain barrels commonly available at hardware stores “a waste of time and money”, said a person in the know. We must be ready to collect the rain that one day fall from the sky, say the defenders. These people have a vision that includes not only the storage of precious rainwater, but also its use in drip irrigation and aquaculture, as well as waterfalls surrounded by lush plantations and the soothing music of the running water (although recycled).

Where the Colorado River no longer meets the sea, a pulse of water brings new life. For decades, so much water was diverted to supply farms and towns that the river rarely reached the ocean, and much of its delta in Mexico was reduced to a dry riverbed, with only remnants of its once vast wetlands. In the past eight weeks, water has flowed again in parts of the delta, released from an irrigation canal to help the parched environment under an agreement between the Mexican and US governments and with the support from environmental groups. Those involved say that even as drought and global warming undermine the Colorado River, the initiative shows how small amounts of water can be used to benefit struggling ecosystems.

Today’s newsletter of the week was hosted by Amy Hubbard. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send your comments, complaints and ideas to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.

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