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Investigative Reports

Quarter-million applicants still waiting for Medi-Cal

September 29th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   A quarter-million Medi-Cal applicants have been waiting more than 45 days, and in some cases nearly a year, either to receive coverage or find out why their application has been denied. That’s an improvement from the 900,000 applicants who were languishing in early summer without coverage or word from Medi-Cal. But it will take another six weeks for most of the remaining 2...

Fact-checking drought-water pricing

September 22nd, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   This is Part 2 of a series. Part 1 was on how drought-water pricing violates Proposition 218's ban on tax increases without a vote of the people. What is good water pricing during a drought? Let's look at some situations. 1. Voluntary conservation A good place to start is the continuing series on the drought by Caitrin Chappelle and Ellen Hanak of the Public Policy Instit...

Does drought pricing violate state law?

September 20th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi. This is Part 1 of a series. Calls now are going out to raise water prices even higher to spur conservation. Instead of fining people for watering their lawns, numerous economists are recommending just tacking a punitive surcharge onto water rates until use drops. But there's a problem with this drought fix: It would violate Proposition 218, which voters passed in 1996. It...

In fighting drought, San Antonio leaves L.A. in the dust

September 5th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   Could cities such as drought-vulnerable Los Angeles come to regret that a “privatization” provision in the old $11.1 billion state water bond was removed? Back in 2009, there was an outcry against language in the original version of a proposed state water bond that would have allowed private companies to own, operate and profit from water projects partly funded by taxpay...
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