Opinion

A big climate change vote; Loretta Sanchez ducks debate

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

We focus on the Assembly’s big climate change vote, and find out why hospitals are opposed to the marijuana legalization initiative, Proposition 64. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, running for the U.S. Senate, ducked a debate against Kamala Harris in Sacramento but says she wants debates up and down the state, including in the Central Valley. Guess we’re not Central Valley enough for her.

Take that

We take our opportunities when they arise. California Hospital Association President C. Duane Dauner visited our shop Tuesday to tell us about the hospital’s initiative, Proposition 52, a measure intended to increase funding to care for poor people. More about that later.

After hearing him out on 52, we asked why he joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein in signing the ballot argument against Proposition 64, the initiative to legalize marijuana, while the California Medical Association, the physicians’ organization, endorsed legalization.

Dauner explained that there has been a spike in emergency room visits in Colorado, which has legalized marijuana, and an increase in the number of hospital employees coming to work under the influence.

“The biggest concern is the safety of the patient,” Dauner said. “But then secondarily, there is a liability exposure.”

There’s also the fundamental question: Why would an organization that is supposed to care about individuals’ health support legalization of another intoxicant? The point of Obamacare, Dauner noted, is to control health care costs in part by encouraging people to live more healthy lives.

“We’re trying to move the needle in the new direction by improving health status,” Dauner said. “If we do all these things that make your health worse, we’re taking two steps backward, and one step forward.”

We await the California Medical Association’s next visit.

Take a number: $17.7 million

California hospitals had $17.7 million in the bank at the end of June to promote their Proposition 52, and have raised another $1.1 million since. That would seem to be a modest investment, given that Proposition 52, if approved, would lock in $1 billion or more in annual federal health care payments to hospitals to care for Medi-Cal patients, primarily children.

Our take

Editorial: The Assembly vote to approve SB 32 should help make it clear that California hasn’t waned in its climate commitment, and perhaps shore up the cap-and-trade program.

Editorial: As much as we respect the hard work of teachers, quality control is essential, particularly at a moment when the California Teachers Association is pushing for Proposition 55, a 12-year tax increase on the wealthy.

Dan Walters: Assembly OKs 2030 carbon goal, but the cap-and-trade auction is a bust.

Mark Ridley-Thomas and London Breed’s Soapbox: California is in a homeless crisis, and Gov. Jerry Brown should declare an emergency.

Eileen Natuzzi’s Soapbox: Assemblyman Rob Bonta is offering a misguided solution to doctors’ bills in Assembly Bill 72.

Their take

L.A. Times: Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s new state retirement savings plan deserves approval. We agree.

Orange County Register: Senate President Pro Tem Kein de León’s SB 1387 is a politically motivated effort to use state government to dilute or override the decisions of a regional board.

Raleigh News & Observer: The floods will subside. The fire will burn out. But signals of climate change are growing stronger. The responses of North Carolina, the nation and world should grow stronger, too.

Kansas City Star: Republican lawmakers have been business owners’ allies in many cases, often lashing out at rules they claim destroy jobs, create unnecessary red tape and increase costs on companies. But Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback may rethink the view after Caleb Schwab, the son of a Kansas state senator, died on a water slide.

Chicago Tribune: What’s disturbing about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is not what we don’t know from medical exams but what we do know from their public records and conduct. For those conditions, alas, medicine has no cure.

National Review: Huma Abedin may have been the conductor of influence, but the wrongdoing here is all Hillary Clinton’s. Serial dishonesty, self-serving and influence peddling: These are the Clintons, after all. No one can say he is surprised.

Syndicates’ take

Ruben Navarrette: Donald Trump’s evolving immigration plan is no flip-flop.

Kathleen Parker: Hillary Clinton’s Achilles’ heel is her very Clinton-ness.

Dana Milbank: Sean Hannity, Trump’s ‘spin doctor.’

David Brooks: Why America’s leadership fails.

Sanchez watch

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, running for the U.S. Senate, declined the invitation to debate Attorney General Kamala Harris, at an event hosted by KUVS Univision 19, KVIE, Capital Public Radio, Sacramento State and The Sacramento Bee, The Bee’s Christopher Cadelago reports. Sanchez told San Diego radio host Carl DeMaio that she declined the debate because she wants more debates. Seriously.

“That sound you hear is the sound of the towel landing.” – Sean Clegg, Harris’ campaign consultant

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