Wednesday, May 27, 2020

By Victoria Colliver for Politico Pro

OAKLAND — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget cuts could have an outsized impact on Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide reproductive health services.

That’s because the federal government has a long-standing program that gives family planning and women’s health services — excluding abortion — get an enhanced match of nine dollars from the federal government for every one dollar from the state, possibly resulting in nearly $1 billion in losses for sexual and reproductive care services sought by low-income Californians.

Health providers all over the state would be hard hit by Newsom's proposal to stop providing $1.2 billion in rate supplements from the 2016 voter-approved cigarette tax, Proposition 56. The governor instead wants to use that money to pay for nearly 2 million new patients expected to seek Medi-Cal coverage after losing benefits during the pandemic.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

By Sydney Kamlager, Special to CalMatters

We live in a state with a staunchly pro-choice governor, yet even in California, we still see major inequities in accessing abortion through insurance. Legal and safe abortion is available, but only in theory and not in practice, if cost-prohibitive.

Last December I authored the Abortion Accessibility Act, Assembly Bill 1973, to stop insurers from charging for abortion services. 

One in four women in the United States will have an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization committed to advancing reproductive health and rights. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

By Charles Davis for Business Insider

Left-leaning activists for social justice do not, typically, have kind words for austerity, which brings to mind shuttered schools and trimmed welfare rolls. But when California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined plans this week to slash the state's budget, citing a freefall in tax revenue due to the pandemic, there was qualified praise from some over his decision to cut funding for prisons.

California currently has over 117,000 people in its prisons, more than any other state except for Texas. But the number of incarcerated persons has been falling  — by 8% just this year — and that, the product of reduced sentences for drug crimes and efforts to address overcrowding, has meant the state is in a position to begin closing some of its prisons.

Friday, April 10, 2020

By Charles Davis for Business Insider

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has many of us rethinking a lot of our priors — our reliance on physical office spaces in the digital age; on health systems that discourage the ill, and contagious, from taking time off to receive care; and on pre-pandemic modes of lockdown, in prisons and jails, that even in the best of times degrade the physical and mental well-being of those inside.

"This is an opportunity for us to reevaluate the systems that we have in place," California Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager told Business Insider.

As chair of the legislative body's Select Committee on Incarcerated Women, Kamlager, elected in 2018 to represent much of South Los Angeles and the Westside, has been urging the state to release vulnerable inmates from the vehicle of contagion that is its prison system.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

California lawmakers are moving ahead with plans to demand increased accountability from local sheriffs’ offices. On Thursday, Assembly Member Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, said she would demand an audit of several sheriffs’ offices’ use of state money intended to offset the costs of the 2011 realignment changes.

Since 2011, California has sent more than $8 billion to counties to cover the increased local costs. The California Constitution prohibits county officials from using that money to cut their own costs elsewhere. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny from both state and county officials have allowed just that, McClatchy and ProPublica reported in December.

Though local governments routinely move money from one law enforcement purpose to another, doing so with realignment funds may violate state law.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Moments ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom made history by signing into law two landmark bills: one banning the sale and production of all new fur products in California, and another prohibiting the trophy hunting of bobcats in his state.

California, a trendsetter in animal welfare and in fashion, is the first state in the nation to pass a ban on the sales of fur, and we applaud Gov. Newsom and the state’s lawmakers for recognizing that California citizens do not want their state’s markets to contribute to the demand for fur products. The fur industry causes the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals worldwide each year, and animals on fur factory farms are forced to live in cramped, wire-bottom cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors, before being cruelly killed by gassing or electrocution.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Due to potential wildfire inducing conditions, PG&E has issued a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) warning for portions of California. You can check if your address will be impacted by the PSPS here. My office is in constant communication with PG&E as well as cities, school districts, public safety agencies and utilities in our district. While the exact locations of the possible shut off are still to be determined depending on conditions, it’s important to do several things to prepare: