Pentagon to prepare plan for Congress on boosting U.S. rare earths stockpile

By Jacqueline Feldscher 10/01/2020 12:30 PM EDT The Pentagon on Thursday committed to sending Congress a plan within the next month on how to increase the national stockpile of rare earth minerals and reduce reliance on China. Context: Rare earth minerals are elements and metals are that used in most modern technology from cell phones to […]

‘This is extortion’: Broward bows to state pressure to open schools

By Andrew Atterbury 10/01/2020 05:21 PM EDT TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Classrooms in Broward County will open their doors on Oct. 9 after the school board bowed to a deadline from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who had threatened to withhold funding if campuses weren’t open by his deadline. The local board, which governs one of […]

Congress notches another conservation bill win

By Anthony Adragna 10/01/2020 05:19 PM EDT The House passed legislation by voice vote on Thursday authorizing $1.1 billion in conservation programs, including significant investments in the Chesapeake Bay and wetlands conservation. Passage of the bill, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act S. 3051 (116), marks another significant boost for conservation efforts, which have emerged as a rare […]

EPA policy change could ease rules for thousands of polluters

By Alex Guillén 10/01/2020 03:55 PM EDT EPA finalized a regulation on Thursday cementing a policy shift that could ease the air pollution requirements for thousands of industrial facilities, saving companies tens of millions of dollars but potentially opening the door to increased emissions. Background: Thousands of facilities are required to meet regulations regarding nearly 200 hazardous air […]

Appeals court swats request to pull California’s restrictions on religious gatherings

By Jeremy B. White 10/01/2020 06:00 PM EDT An appeals court has rebuffed a request to suspend California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s limitations on in- person worship, a measure put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order: In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Harvest Rock Church’s argument for […]

Newsom signals support for police decertification bill next year

By Alexander Nieves 10/01/2020 11:26 AM EDT Gov. Gavin Newsom late Wednesday indicated support for a law enforcement decertification bill that legislative leaders say will be a priority for 2021 after a proposal failed to receive a floor vote this session. This year’s measure, CA SB731 (19R), would have created a system for rescinding the certificates […]

California companies must report employee pay by race, gender under new law

By Mackenzie Hawkins 09/30/2020 11:55 PM EDT Beginning in January, California companies with more than 100 employees must report pay data for all employees broken down by race, ethnicity and gender, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Wednesday. The bill: CA SB973 (19R), by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), requires companies to report the […]

Newsom vetoes bill focused on school funding for at-risk students

By Mackenzie Mays 09/30/2020 11:35 PM EDT Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have required California to better track its school funding process in an attempt to ensure that dollars intended for at-risk students actually reach them. The governor said he instead wants to work through the budget process next year to have […]

California raises bar for county reopening by adding ‘equity’ requirement

By POLITICO California Staff 09/30/2020 08:58 PM EDT The state Department of Public Health is adding a new “equity metric” that counties must meet to advance to a less restrictive coronavirus tier, officials announced Wednesday afternoon. Under the new rule, larger counties must now show that their most disadvantaged neighborhoods also have declining infection numbers in […]