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June 2, 2023

Newsom imposes new California water restrictions — leaves details to locals

Despite pressure from experts urging a strong mandate, the order leaves the exact conservation measures up to the urban water providers and major water wholesalers that supply the vast majority of Californians. It does not affect agricultural water providers, or the small water systems that are especially vulnerable to drought. 

Audit: California utilities aren’t doing enough to reduce wildfire threats

As record-breaking drought fuels another potentially dangerous wildfire season, the state auditor reported last week that state officials are failing to hold California’s electric utilities accountable for preventing fires caused by their equipment.

Gas money: Is it better to send out checks or suspend a tax?

California is flush with cash — the state has an estimated budget surplus of $21 billion — and, separately, gas prices are way up. 

Newsom makes his offer on gas tax rebate

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to send California drivers as much as $800 each and encourage public transit systems to offer free rides, the latest proposal from state policymakers seeking to offset the soaring cost of gasoline and other goods for struggling residents.

Overdue: State owes community clinics millions for COVID vaccinations

Community clinics in California that have been waiting for more than a year to be reimbursed for COVID-19 vaccinations may soon be flooding state officials with tens of millions of dollars in bills.

Californians used more water as state braces for another dry year

Californians used 2.6% more water in January compared to before the drought emergency was declared, a sign that urban residents are ignoring the state’s pleas to take the drought seriously and cut back.

Here’s how state lawmakers want to help Californians facing high gas prices

There’s a collective groan, rippling across California, as drivers pull into gas stations and see prices above $5. 

California mask mandate: Is it ending too soon for little children?

Toddlers and preschoolers who have mostly known a school life with tiny masks may be in for a big lifestyle change after Friday, when the state mask mandate for kids ends at midnight. 

Millions of Californians at risk of losing health coverage when federal COVID programs end

Millions of Californians could lose or transition into new health coverage as two federal programs that helped many keep or afford insurance are set to expire this year.

Old data? CDC apparently misjudged California’s COVID risks

Federal health officials who reported that nearly half of Californians live in “high-risk” counties for COVID-19 were relying on old data, and only a small number of counties now fall into that category, according to local officials.