This story appeared on Calmatters
Gov. Gavin Newsom greenlit 56 bills Wednesday to help ease the state’s affordable housing crisis. And with three days left to take action, he’s gone through most major bills on other pressing issues as well. But there are still a handful of significant ones he has yet to decide.
Perhaps the most contentious is Senate Bill 525, which would raise the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 an hour. The proposal is backed by labor unions including the Service Employees International Union and, if passed, is expected to benefit an estimated 469,000 workers. But business groups that oppose the bill argue it does not “promote greater economic security” for California.
So far, the governor has a mixed record on labor bills. To much fanfare, he signed a deal giving fast food workers a raise next year. But he vetoed a bill to give striking workers access to unemployment benefits.
Some other noteworthy bills awaiting action:
And some noteworthy bills he’s already decided:
“It’s simple math,” Newsom said in a statement. “California needs to build more housing and ensure the housing we have is affordable.”
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From CalMatters politics reporter Yue Stella Yu:
U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter are raking in key union endorsements with less than five months until the March 5 primary for U.S. Senate.
For newly-appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler — who has not announced whether she will enter the race — it represents a diminishing chance to secure enough labor support to build her campaign if she decides to run.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers, representing 17,000 healthcare workers in California and Hawaii, endorsed Porter on Wednesday following a Sunday forum that also featured Schiff and Rep. Barbara Lee, all Democrats.
Of the 350 voting union delegates, 48% chose Porter, while Lee won 27% and Schiff 21%. The vote came after Porter repeatedly vowed to fight against corporate interests Sunday and argued she was the only one among the three to have never taken corporate PAC donations.
On Tuesday, the California chapters of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters endorsed Schiff. The chapters — representing more than 220,000 workers in the state — picked him after he supported AB 316, which would have required a human safety operator to be inside a heavy autonomous vehicle when it’s on public roads, according to the union. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Newsom last month.
The announcement marks the seventh statewide union endorsement of Schiff, who is the only candidate to gain any statewide union support, his campaign noted.
As artificial intelligence tools get better at mimicking human-created content, it’s soon likely that a college admissions essay written by a bot won’t read that much differently than one written by a human student.
It’s this concerning prospect, CalMatters’ education reporters Carolyn Jones and Mikhail Zinshteyn write, that is prompting some California colleges to be on alert. As part of its fraud policy, the college application tool Common App — used by the University of Southern California, Stanford University, Caltech and 1,000 other institutions nationwide — added a restriction in August on “substantive” use of AI in admissions applications.
The University of California operates its own admissions portal, and while it permits the use of AI in admissions essays, it says the practice should be limited — such as using it for “advice on content and editing.”
Even if colleges outright ban the use of generative AI to write personal statements, identifying plagiarism is difficult and imprecise. In March, a study found that humans can detect AI-written work about 50% of the time — basically, a coin flip. And even if an AI-content detection tool were developed with only a 1% false-positive rate, that would still mean 10 students for every 1,000 essays could be falsely accused of academic theft, wrote Wired.
Other universities, however, have no formal policy on AI use in admissions essays. In 20-plus years in admissions for the University of San Francisco, one associate provost couldn’t recall any applicant who was admitted with a strong essay but weak grades.
As for students themselves, one high school senior told CalMatters that relying on AI is detrimental to their own education.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Gov. Newsom signed a bill that takes a small step toward single-payer health care.
Reader reaction: To improve Californians’ health, we must raise health care workers’ wages, writes Jim Mangia, president and CEO of St. John’s Community Health.
Why are Newsom’s tiny homes for homeless people so delayed? // The Sacramento Bee
Kaiser unions lay groundwork for another strike in November // The Orange County Register
Kaiser lays off dozens of workers in Bay Area, Southern California // San Francisco Chronicle
CA teachers paying for others’ mistakes despite new pension law // The Mercury News
Parents of English learners in the dark about their children’s progress // EdSource
Court ruling keeps CA large-capacity gun magazine ban in effect // The Sacramento Bee
CA to test MyShake app Oct. 19 with major earthquake simulation // San Francisco Chronicle
Battery storage for clean energy has a problem with fires. // The San Diego Union-Tribune
Roseville teen’s death results in first fentanyl murder conviction // The Sacramento Bee
Reward tripled to $150,000 in Bay Area mail carrier attacks // The San Francisco Standard