Amid concern that sprawling hospital chains are leading to higher prices, a California state senator is trying to clamp down on how hospital networks craft their contracts to win market dominance.
Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) is offering a measure that would prohibit hospitals from certain contracting practices he sees as anti-competitive, such as requiring health plans to contract with all affiliates of the hospital or mandating that health plans agree to binding arbitration for antitrust claims.
"We've lost a level of transparency that's affected affordability and access and fairness," Monning said in an interview.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye did not mention President Trump by name in her annual State of the Judiciary speech Monday, but she blasted federal actions on immigration and warned that the rule of law in the state is under threat.
In addressing the Legislature, she also called on members to end years of underfunding of the state court system.
The chief justice said the rule of law has failed repeatedly in the state, including when her husband’s parents were among 120,000 Japanese Americans put in internment camps during World War II.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) on Monday urged fellow Californian Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) to remove himself from their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Before late last week, Schiff had gone out of his way not to be critical of Nunes throughout the fledgling investigation. They have held the top positions on the House Intelligence Committee for two years, and have served in Congress together for more than a decade.
"This is not a recommendation I make lightly, as the Chairman and I have worked together well for several years; and I take this step with the knowledge of the solemn responsibility we have on the Intelligence Committee to provide oversight on all intelligence matters, not just to conduct the investigation," Schiff said in a statement.
After much consideration I believe Chairman should recuse himself from involvement in investigation/oversight of Trump campaign & transition pic.twitter.com/jpfA1x80Si
The crowded race to replace Xavier Becerra in the 34th Congressional District, which includes most of Los Angeles' Koreatown, appears to be bringing Korean American voters out in large numbers.
That's in part because in a field dominated by Latinos, Robert Lee Ahn has a shot at becoming the only Korean American in Congress and the first Korean American Democrat to be elected to the body.
Ahn, a businessman and former L.A. city planning commissioner, has raised a formidable amount of money in a short period of time, much of it from donors in the Korean American community. His campaign spent weeks helping register voters at Koreatown malls and restaurants, and says they registered more than 600 new voters so far.
California Senate leader Kevin de León on Monday called U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' move to cut federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities "nothing short of blackmail."
In a statement, De León (D-Los Angeles) said Sessions and the Trump administration "stuck to alternative facts" when describing immigrants and sanctuary counties and cities, where local policies limit the cooperation of law enforcement agencies with federal authorities on immigration laws.
“Instead of making us safer, the Trump administration is spreading fear and promoting race-based scapegoating," he said. "Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump’s inhumane and counterproductive mass-deportation is unconstitutional and will fail.”
A top official for the California National Guard told state legislators Monday that he hopes lingering issues from the soldiers being forced to repay enlistment bonuses will be resolved by mid-summer.
A Times investigation last year found that the Pentagon demanded thousands of soldiers repay enlistment bonuses up to a decade after going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The claw-back came after audits revealed vast overpayments of bonuses, due in part to mismanagement and pressure to hit enlistment targets. The Times story prompted outcry that soldiers, who were not at fault for accepting the bonuses, were now facing financial hardship.
As lawmakers debate the future of California's climate policies, the oil industry is boosting its lobbying firepower with a former Democratic assemblyman from Fresno who has bedeviled environmentalists in the past.
Henry Perea resigned his Assembly seat to work for a pharmaceutical group. Now he's jumping to the Western States Petroleum Assn. as a senior vice president, a role he's scheduled to start on May 1.
“Henry brings us unique expertise," said a statement from Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the association's president. "He understands our state, our industry and how smart public policy can ensure California’s continued leadership in environmental protections while maintaining a diverse, vibrant economy.”