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The state’s new 214-billion-dollar budget passes the state Senate and is now a step closer to universal health coverage. The Governor is expected to sign the plan into law, putting almost one-and-a-half-billion dollars toward subsidies that help lower premiums for those buying coverage through the “CoveredCA” exchange. Anthony Wright with the nonprofit Health Access says the help’s tailored to low-and middle-income people who make between 17- and 72-thousand dollars a year.

:11  “About a million Californians might get some help to better defray the costs of healthcare. Of those, about 300,000 get enough help that they may be newly covered from previously being uninsured.”

Tag:  State lawmakers propose paying for the expansion with a state-level mandate that everyone carry health insurance or pay a fine. The budget also sets aside 100-million dollars for low-income, undocumented immigrants, ages 19 to 25, to sign up for Medi-Cal. Critics of the budget say the extra spending is unwise and complain that it was made possible by a new gas tax of five-cents a gallon – a policy they opposed.

Second Cut: Wright notes the budget also restores several important benefits to Medi-Cal – things that were cut during the recession 10 years ago.

:14  “It’s a shame that it’s taken 10 years of an economic recovery to finally get these key benefits restored, whether they be podiatry, audiology, speech therapy, optical and other key medical services. “

Tag:  The budget also ends the so-called “senior penalty” in Medi-Cal, by changing the income limits to make about 27-thousand additional lower-income seniors and people with disabilities eligible for the program.

A 70 year old man from the south coast accused of shooting his neighbor has pleaded guilty. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports there will be no jury trial after all for Harry Miller formerly of Anchor Bay. The trial was supposed to start this coming Monday, but Miller admitted attempted voluntary manslaughter for the March 2018 shooting of his neighbor and for felony assault against the neighbor’s wife. He also pleaded guilty to a sentencing enhancement for personally using a firearm in the commission of the attempted killing. There was video evidence he shot the neighbor in the belly at point blank range due to a small gravel pile on their shared roadway. Miller faces nearly 18 years in prison when he’s sentenced August 2nd.

The latest report from the Mendocino County Grand Jury has been released titled ‘Advancing Education Through Sharing’ and it’s not positive. The report released May 31st from the community jury panel says policies for charter and other schools to interact are not happening as mandated when the charter system was adopted more than 2 decades ago. The report also says there’s no interaction at all between the schools limiting their value. The jury investigation came from community concerns and misunderstandings about why there were even charter schools to begin with. No word yet from the school’s superintendent.

The paving project planned at the Ukiah Municipal Airport is on hold because of the fire season. The Daily Journal reports the project will happen in October as Cal Fire uses the airport as its base from June to October. But the airport will get the project out to bid now, and airport management says they’re hoping to get the project approved at the City Council’s July 17th meeting as long as there’s FAA funding available. Cal Fire Management says if the project interferes with Air Attack Base operations, they may have to relocate to Santa Rosa or Chico. But helicopters could still take off from there.

Power out for hundreds in Ukiah after a tree falls into some power lines. It happened yesterday afternoon on West Gobbi Street. Ukiah Electric Utility reports all power has been restored. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority called to the area around lunch time after someone reported a tree on fire near Yokayo Elementary School. It was quickly put out but the power line was damaged affecting several blocks west of State Street between Perkins Street and Freitas Avenue. The Daily Journal reports about 750 customers lost power.

A man from Forestville who pleaded not guilty for the murder of a couple on a beach in Jenner has changed his plea to guilty. Shaun Gallon in jail already for the murder of his brother, pleaded guilty yesterday to killing Lindsay Cutshall and her fiancé Jason Allen as they camped on the beach while vacationing from their summer jobs as Christian camp counselors. The cold case finally gets closure after Gallon sent a note to detectives about the case. He also confessed to killing his brother Shamus in 2017 at their family’s home in Forestville. For his plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty and he agreed to seven consecutive life terms and 18 years and eight months more for weapons charges and another felony conviction for a bow-and-arrow attack.

It’s unanimous for the new budget in Fort Bragg. The City Council gave the green light for the city’s spending and earnings for the next fiscal year. They note $50.6 million in revenue and $48.9 million in spending and have the budget in weeks before its June 30th deadline. The report shows the biggest expenditure was for capital projects, then “materials and services” and salaries, wages and benefits come third. Rising pension costs will be covered by reserves. And infrastructure repairs come in as a priority with millions earmarked to cover it.

No moratorium on hemp in Lake County, instead some new regulations. Lake Co News reports the board of supervisors has requested for hemp growers instead to secure $5,000 surety bonds to cover the cost of any crop destruction if there’s more than the legal maximum of 0.3 percent THC allowable for industrial hemp. This comes after the County Agricultural Commissioner informed the board that the bonds were required by the state in order to register for hemp production, so the state doesn’t have to put up the money to destroy crops that don’t meet the threshold.

All burn permits are suspended in certain areas of Northern Calif. due to the dry grass after a wet winter, and high winds. Cal Fire has suspended all burn permits for outdoor residential burning in the State Responsibility Area of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa Counties. It starts Monday with a ban on residential outdoor burns of any yard debris after spring cleanups. The fire agency is also reminding residents not to mow on hot, dry days and to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. Some temporary burn permits may be allowed, and you can get a campfire permit though from some fire stations or online at PreventWildfireCA.org.

Governor Gavin Newsom has the new budget after lawmakers approved about 214 billion in spending and earnings. Lake Co News reports the budget features expenditures of hundreds of millions for firefighting, emergency preparation and to protect communities from wildfires. Senator Mike McGuire says the budget includes seven new C-130 Air Tankers to fight fires and millions on vegetation management, including the removal of dead and dying trees. The budget also includes several million for the state Dept. of Food and Agriculture to staff the California Animal Response Emergency System and catastrophic livestock disease prevention program.

Mendocino College has announced their Superintendent is leaving for another job. President Dr. Arturo Reyes served more than six years at the school and is now headed to the Rio Hondo Community College District in Los Angeles County. The Board President for the Mendocino-Lake Community College District says Reyes leaving will mean a giant void. Many other faculty members had good things to say about Reyes and how attendance grew under his guidance. Now the Mendocino-Lake Community College Board of Trustees will take a meeting to discuss a plan of action to replace Reyes who’s set to leave sometime this summer.

Another positive step forward for the long planned Middle Creek Restoration Project. Lake Co News reports it’s to reduce sedimentation and the nutrient load to improve Clear Lake’s health. The Board of Supervisors got a look at the contract this week for funding of the project which will remove old failing levees and bring back as much as 1,600 acres of farmland between the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff and Upper Lake to Clear Lake. The latest on funding is that the Department of Water Resources is directly paying for the project along with grants from the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, and Flood Protection Act, and the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006.

 

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