December 30, 2002 |
A high-pressure federal effort to toughen drunk driving laws across the nation is meeting resistance in a third of the states, where many politicians say the policy is counterproductive and misguided. Highway safety regulators in 1998 called on states to lower the allowable blood-alcohol level for drivers to 0.08%, or risk losing millions of dollars in federal highway grants.
December 29, 2002 |
No recent president has been quicker than George W. Bush to embrace the virtues of state and local control. But when it comes to the environment, William Becker discovered, that commitment can evaporate when state regulation would be tougher on industry than federal rules. Becker, who represents administrators of state air-pollution programs in Washington, met with White House officials last month to appeal to them not to weaken the Clean Air Act.
November 26, 2002
The real news on Nov. 21 was "Global Warming to Sap the West's Water Needs, Study Finds," on the anticipated impact of global warming drastically limiting the state water supply in the coming decades. This matter, plus anticipated large population increases in the state, will be troublesome, to say the least. Better start thinking seriously about carrying capacity of the land, true costs of gasoline and other materials -- and the major public policy issues facing us. It's not fun, but we have to start somewhere.
November 19, 2002 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, taking up an appeal from the California Medical Board, agreed Monday to decide whether state agencies are shielded from being sued under the federal law that bars discrimination against people with disabilities. Since 1996, the high court has handed down a series of rulings that say the states as "sovereign entities" cannot be sued under various federal antidiscrimination laws.
November 7, 2002
Wow, Bill Simon did better in the California governor's race than anyone expected (Nov. 6). Despite being the worst Republican candidate in recent history, he came within five points of beating Gov. Gray Davis. If only the GOP had nominated someone more experienced, competent and moderate, it could've won the governor's race easily. Maybe the losers will learn a lesson and change their strategy in four years. But probably not. They seem to be content nominating right-wing ideologues who can't win a general election.
October 14, 2002
The Bush administration is staging an unprecedented and unwarranted attack on California's right to regulate its own air quality. The Justice Department, by joining a General Motors and DaimlerChrysler lawsuit against the state's zero-emission vehicle requirement, disregards California's explicit right to set air quality standards. The federal government is entirely in the wrong and should withdraw from the lawsuit immediately.
September 17, 2002
I hope the people of Santa Cruz continue their opposition to federal drug-war tactics ("Santa Cruz Officials Plan Pot Giveaway," Sept. 12). If the marijuana is grown in California and consumed by Californians, I do not understand where the federal jurisdiction comes in. The recent federal raids without the support of local law enforcement are clearly illegal. Let the federal government concentrate on national issues, such as defending this country. Let local government deal with local issues, such as what substances the citizens of a given state may grow and use. Lee Aydelotte Huntington Beach
May 29, 2002 |
In another victory for states' rights, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the principle of "sovereign immunity" shields a state agency from being called before a federal administrative hearing and charged with violating the law. Speaking for the 5-4 majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said it would be "an affront to a state's dignity" to force its officials to appear at a federal administrative proceeding.
May 2, 2002 |
A major Republican welfare plan is sparking a new dispute over child care, with Democrats arguing that a big spending hike is crucial to a goal shared by both parties: helping more low-income mothers go to work. The flare-up over child care came Wednesday as a House committee was finishing its work on the $16.5-billion welfare plan, which is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber before Memorial Day.