Stories From This Week's Episode
June 29, 2012
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the constitutionality of the core of the Affordable Care Act. The historic ruling enables California to continue its expansion of the state's Medi-Cal program and create a health insurance exchange. An estimated 7 million uninsured residents will need to find insurance when the individual mandate is enacted. With Diana Dooley, California Health and Human Services Secretary.
Governor Brown signed California's new $142.6 billion budget into law just hours before Wednesday's midnight deadline. Some of the most significant changes include the elimination of the Healthy Families program for poor children, a reduction in state welfare benefits and a 5 percent pay cut for state workers. Education funding for K-12 will remain intact unless the November tax initiative fails to pass, triggering automatic cuts of up to $5.6 billion. With the July 1 closure deadline looming, California parks officials saved 65 of the 70 parks slated for closure, at least through the next fiscal year. In recent weeks officials scrambled to prevent the state parks from closing for the first time in their 110 year history, by forging partnerships with both public and private donors. Governor Brown partially vetoed a state parks bill on Thursday, reducing the amount approved by lawmakers from $41 million to $10 million.
- Josh Richman, Bay Area News Group
- Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.