The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to delay discussing Senate Bill 50 until next year — stalling a move to limit local governments’ power to block new housing projects amid a growing crisis in the nation’s most poverty-ridden state — has led to considerable and justified criticism of lawmakers from Gov. Gavin Newsom on down.If, as Newsom and so many California politicians say, the housing crisis is the biggest cause of poverty in the state with the nation’s highest percentage of impoverished residents, why won’t they take bold steps to increase the state’s housing supply? Why is the Legislature so focused on funding expensive “affordable housing” projects that help only a fraction of residents who spend so much of their income on rent? Where is the broader sense of urgency and resolve? What can Californians do about this mess?This much is clear: Senate Bill 50’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and … [Read more...] about Editorial: Housing reforms in California need public’s support
Finally, the U.S. has demanded as a condition of any new agreement that Iran comply with 12 demands. Some deal with its nuclear program, directly or indirectly, but others target Iran’s foreign policy, including its relationship with Shiite militias in Iraq and its support for militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. … [Read more...] about Trump’s mixed signals could lead to a clash with Iran
Against that backdrop, the College Board has now announced its latest gambit: It is adding a new score to students’ SAT reports designed to show the level of adversity they have faced. On a scale of 1 to 100, the “Environmental Context Dashboard” is supposed to give admissions officers a sense of what students have had to overcome in life, which can then be used by colleges in deciding whom to admit. The student’s “overall disadvantage level” will be calculated based on 15 factors, including whether he or she lives in a neighborhood that struggles with poverty, crime and family instability, or has attended schools where relatively few students take challenging courses. The income, education and marital status of families in the student’s neighborhood are also among the factors considered. … [Read more...] about Should privilege and disadvantage play a role in SAT scores?
Raising court fees is not something to be taken lightly; those fees can add up, and there is a tendency to look to them to pay for all kinds of services without raising taxes. Yet the studies of the earlier legislation show that providing counsel benefits more than the litigants. It improves court efficiency and saves court time and money. When the parties have lawyers, fewer disputes return to court to be reworked following settlements. Court fees to pay for lawyers — in limited numbers of cases, for parties who cannot afford to pay — also, in the end, improves court for everyone. … [Read more...] about Support funding for civil counsel in California
One of the byproducts of the rapidly increasing power of microchips is the proliferation of chip-powered cameras and other devices that are constantly watching and, in some cases, recording the world in front of them in high definition. There are cameras in doorbells and ATMs, overlooking building entrances and parking lots, on traffic lights and retail store walls. … [Read more...] about San Francisco’s ban on facial recognition tech goes too far