Steve Ybarra: If Republicants allow Planned Parenthood to go down, they and all those who remain quiet are responsible for the deaths of women from backstreet abortions and the millions of unwanted children who will end up on the streets homeless at age 15.
Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.
Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.
Randy Shaw: The big mystery is why Housing California and the many health and human services groups are not demanding bigger cuts in California’s massive prison industrial complex.
Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (AD44) joins police chiefs and rank and file police officers in calling on California to ban the open display of firearms. Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation to outlaw the “open carry” of unloaded handguns in California
Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.
Ron Wolff: California’s “new” (but experienced) governor is bringing some urgently needed honesty and fresh thinking to the budgeting process in a state weary of smoke, mirrors, a two-thirds requirement in the legislature for tax increases, and the ravages of a recession imposed largely by external forces.
Gautam Dutta: Although SB 6 is sitting on a wall, its Humpty-Dumpty election rules do not have to fall. In fact, the Legislature could have fixed SB 6’s defects last year – and it still has one last chance to do so before the courts decide SB 6’s fate.
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Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.
Tom Hayden: It’s possible that Brown will take to blaming Washington’s priorities for California’s ills, but not any time soon. For now, he wants Californians to see themselves in the mirror.
Anthony Samad: We know the Republicans will claim to support education, and jobs, and home ownership, and families but will dump them in a heartbeat for business tax credits and budget cuts.
Tina Dupuy: 40% of Americans actually make New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I did it once – five years ago this week I reluctantly quit smoking. How did I quit? Arctic turkey. I simply didn’t smoke. People who have never smoked think this is the moment of triumph. I went from heavy smoking to heavy sobbing.