News Panel: Legislative Roundup, NSA Secrecy Challenged, and Elderly Abuse
Lawmakers in Sacramento spent the week scrambling to get through about 400 bills before the end of the legislative session on Friday. Among the most notable is the governor's $315 million plan to ease prison crowding due to a federal court order. Also on the table were bills increasing the minimum wage, expanding immigrant rights, reducing penalties for drug possession and tighter restrictions on guns. The closely watched bill to regulate fracking was criticized by environmental groups, who say it doesn't go far enough.
Amidst continuing concerns about their role in NSA surveillance programs, internet giants including Google and Microsoft are challenging the secrecy that surrounds the surveillance orders they receive. Yahoo and Facebook have joined Google and Microsoft in filing lawsuits at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, seeking permission to disclose more information about their participation in the NSA's data gathering efforts.
An investigation of the California Department of Public Health reveals that the agency is failing to pursue cases of alleged abuse against some of the state's most vulnerable people, including elderly patients receiving in-home care or living in nursing homes. Instead, the agency is quietly and quickly closing cases after only minimal investigation.
- Scott Detrow, KQED News
- Michelle Quinn, Politico
- Mina Kim, KQED 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.