Newsom gives thumbs up to keep the nuclear power plant, starts addressing California’s mental health crisis, and challenges Oakland officials.
California Governor Gavin Newsom may have learned some valuable lessons by running ads in Florida deriding its governor, the very popular Ron DeSantis.
After much mockery and anger at his focus on another state, Newsom turned his attention to Golden State problems. For example, California’s troubling energy issues. He proposed extending the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies.
The proposal to keep the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant running beyond a scheduled closing by 2025 gave new urgency to a decades-long fight over the seismic safety of the site. And critics depicted Newsom’s plan as a huge financial giveaway for plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric, while warning it would gut state environmental safeguards.
Newsom’s draft proposal includes a potential forgivable loan for PG&E for up to $1.4 billion and would require state agencies to act quickly to clear the way for the reactors to continue running.
The seaside plant located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco produces 9% of the state’s electricity. The proposal says its continued operation beyond 2025 is “critical to ensure statewide energy system reliability” as climate change stresses the energy system.
Newsom also offered a ‘master plan’ to address the mental health crisis among California youth. While mental illness significantly contributes to many of California’s problems, this is certainly a good beginning.
The plan includes training for 40,000 behavioral health professionals, creating an online platform for mental health assessment and intervention, a suicide prevention program, and doubling the number of school counselors in schools, by helping to pay for their education.
“We will provide 20,000 scholarships for two years of your service. You come to the schools and work as a counselor. $20,000 of any of your loans or student debt will be forgiven,” Newsom said.
Newsom challenged Oakland officials over the lack of adequate action in resolving a massive homeless encampment that has sprung up in the area.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office sent a scathing letter Thursday to Oakland criticizing the city for its handling of the sprawling Wood Street homeless encampment and threatening to withhold promised state funds for housing people at the site.
The state said Oakland is “seeking to shirk its responsibility” in providing housing to the residents of the encampment — in particular the nearly 200 people who live on Caltrans property at the site — resulting in a dangerous situation. The site has seen repeated fires and sanitation hazards.
The letter comes before a key hearing before a federal judge next week on the future of the encampment.
The letter, sent by Ann Patterson, Newsom’s legal secretary, to City Attorney Barbara Parker states that Oakland has refused to offer housing to the nearly 200 people living on Caltrans property.
While these are positive developments, the state will need more sensible governance and less ludicrous legislation between now and 2024. I also suspect that there will still be a great deal that primary opponents will be able to point to, these relatively positive developments notwithstanding.
But, credit where credit is due. And I would personally like to thank Gov. Ron DeSantis for making California a better place to live.DONATE
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