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Two-thirds of California voters see extreme heat and air pollution as a serious threat to their health and the health of their families.

That’s the finding of the latest poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.

The poll surveyed 8,676 California registered voters, in English and Spanish, online between March 29 and April 5.

The survey found that 65% of voters favor a proposal to restrict new housing construction in high-wildfire-risk areas, while 68% support a new law that requires residents to compost their food waste.

Voters are reconsidering their view of nuclear power, according to the survey. The poll found a plurality of voters (44%) in support of building more nuclear power plants, compared to 37% who oppose doing so and 19% who aren’t sure. When it comes to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, near San Luis Obispo, 39% of voters oppose closing the plant compared to 33% who favor its closure and 28% who are undecided.

“The poll’s findings suggest that growing concerns about the impact of climate change are leading Californians to reconsider some of their long-held policy views about nuclear power as a potential energy source, although considerable uncertainty persists among many voters,” said Berkeley IGS Co- Director Eric Schickler in a statement.


Legislative Republicans have written a letter to the respective chairs of the Senate Budget Committee and Assembly Budget Committeeurging them to set aside $ 10 billion in the 2022-23 budget to create a Mental Health Infrastructure Fund.

“The goal is to develop new county mental health and addiction treatment facilities, and new centers for behavioral-health focused education to expand the treatment workforce in order to help Californians struggling with mental health and substance abuse,“ according to the letter.

The letter references Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s proposal to fund “CARE Courts” to move thousands of mentally ill and addicted people into mandatory treatment plans, but says it doesn’t go far enough.

“While the intent behind the CARE Court proposal is promising, county implementation of such a proposal is uncertain given our state’s long time deficit of psychiatric treatment beds and associated workforce,” the letter says.

The proposed fund would serve two purposes: To enhance and extend the state’s temporary funding program to purchase, construct, or rehabilitate properties into new county mental health and addiction treatment facilities, and to create new centers for behavioral-health-focused education in order to expand the treatment workforce, according to the letter.

“Senate and Assembly Republicans believe that the state should prioritize budget surpluses to create a better California. Not a single community can ignore the growing plight of our mentally ill and addicted homeless population and its effects on the homeless themselves, the quality of life in our state, and California’s economic vitality. Major gaps in the mental health system have persisted for decades, but it doesn’t have to remain this way. We can begin helping by caring for persons who are unable to care for themselves due to untreated illness and addiction. We look forward to working with you in crafting a budget that will truly begin to reverse our dire homelessness situation, ”the letter concludes.


“Hey, check it out! I need everybody to follow the f *** ing rules! Give your name and organization you’re with, and your position on the bill. ”

– Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, who chairs the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, during Tuesday’s committee hearing on AB 2098.

Best of The Bee:

  • The multibillion-dollar trust fund responsible for paying PG&E Corp. wildfire victims is lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature for a loan, via Dale Kasler.

  • Many California lower and middle income earners would pay as much as $ 1,550 more in taxes under a plan devised by the Republicans’ Senate campaign chairman, an analysis by a Washington research group finds, via David Lightman.

  • California garnered nearly $ 14.5 million to upgrade its suicide prevention lifeline as part of a Biden administration push to expand mental health resources, the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services told The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday, via Gillian Brassil.

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


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