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Gov. Newsom Signs Controversial CARE Courts Bill Into Law

Published September 15, 2022 at 10:34 AM PDT
Governor of California Gavin Newsom speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference
Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media
Getty Images North America
Governor of California Gavin Newsom speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference

Gov. Newsom Signs Controversial CARE Courts Bill Into Law

Care Courts Law Signed 9.15.22

With more than 100,000 people living on California’s streets, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its kind law on Wednesday that could force some of them into treatment as part of a program he describes as “care” but opponents argue is cruel.

Newsom signed the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment Act on Wednesday. It would let family members, first responders and others ask a judge to draw up a treatment plan for someone diagnosed with certain disorders, including schizophrenia. Those who refuse could be placed under a conservatorship and ordered to comply.

Right now, homeless people with severe mental health disorders bounce from the streets to jails and hospitals. They can be held against their will at a psychiatric hospital for up to three days. But they must be released if they promise to take medication and follow up with other services.

The new law would let a court order a treatment plan for up to one year, which could be extended for a second year. The plan could include medication, housing and therapy. While it shares some elements of programs in other states, the system would be the first of its kind in the country, according to the office of Democratic state Sen. Tom Umberg, a co-author of the law. Joining Larry to discuss is Manuela Tobias, housing reporter for CalMatters, and Kristen R. Choi, professor of nursing and public health at UCLA.

With files from the Associated Press 

Railroad, Unions Reach Deal To Avert Strike That Would Have Log-Jammed Passenger, Freight Travel

Railroad Strike Averted 9.15.22

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that a tentative railway labor agreement has been reached, averting a nationwide strike that could have been devastating to the economy before the pivotal midterm elections.

Railroads and union representatives had been in negotiations for 20 hours at the Labor Department well past midnight to hammer out a deal, as there was a risk of a strike starting on Friday that could have shut down rail lines across the country. The president brought business and union leaders to the Oval Office on Thursday morning, then hailed the deal in remarks in the White House Rose Garden. What resulted from the back and forth was a tentative agreement that will go to union members for a vote after a post-ratification cooling off period of several weeks. One union had to wake up its board to move forward on the agreement, which involved 50 calls from White House officials to organized labor officials.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll find out how the deal was reached in the final hours before the Friday deadline with New York Times White House Correspondent Jim Tankersley.

With files from the Associated Press

Breaking Down CA Attorney General Rob Bonta’s Lawsuit Against Amazon For Antitrust Violation

Bonta Amazon Lawsuit 9.15.22

California is suing Amazon, accusing the company of violating the state’s antitrust and unfair competition laws by stifling competition and engaging in practices that push sellers to maintain higher prices on products on other sites.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss the lawsuit and what it can mean for Amazon’s presence in California with e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research Sucharita Kodali and UCLA Professor of Marketing Brett Hollenbeck.

Amazon was unable to have a representative join us but did offer this statement:

Similar to the D.C. Attorney General—whose complaint was dismissed by the courts—the California Attorney General has it exactly backwards. Sellers set their own prices for the products they offer in our store. Amazon takes pride in the fact that we offer low prices across the broadest selection, and like any store we reserve the right not to highlight offers to customers that are not priced competitively.  The relief the AG seeks would force Amazon to feature higher prices to customers, oddly going against core objectives of antitrust law. We hope that the California court will reach the same conclusion as the D.C. court and dismiss this lawsuit promptly. 

International Democracy Day: How Does Being An Immigrant Shape Your Relationship With Democracy?

International Democracy Day 9.15.22

Thursday is International Democracy Day. And as we say at KPCC and LAist, democracy needs to be heard. Joining Larry to help kick off the conversation is Mindy Romero, political sociologist and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy at USC, and Nancy Yap, executive director of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE). We also hear from listeners who are naturalized citizens about how emigrating from less democratic countries has shaped their view of democracy.

How LA’s ‘Street Psychiatry’ Program Works To Treat People Who Are Unhoused 

Street Psychiatrist 9.15.22

A small group of psychiatrists are trying to make a big impact in Los Angeles by getting unhoused communities the treatment they need. They work with the county’s Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME) program and are using innovative solutions to help people on the ground, where they’re at, compared to traditional psychiatry. While street psychiatry has gained momentum over the last decade or so, it’s still pretty rare. LA County’s program is being expanded. Dr. Shayan Rab, street psychiatrist and an associate medical director of field based services for the LA County Department of Mental Health, joins Larry to discuss how it works and the impact it could have moving forward.

US Small Business Administration Head Visits LA To Talk Empowerment With Black, Latino Business Owners

Small Business Administration Administrator 9.15.22

Burbank native Isabella Casillas Guzman grew up working with her dad at his chain of veterinary hospitals in Southern California, and now she leads the cabinet-level U.S. Small Business Administration and represents small business owners across America at the federal level. On the heels of Black Business Month last month, and to kick off Latinx Heritage Month today, Administrator Guzman is back in L.A. meeting with local business owned by Black and Latino Angelenos to hear their stories of navigating the challenges of the pandemic and talk about empowering those entrepreneurs to establish themselves and scale up in their communities.

Today on AirTalk, Administrator Guzman joins us to talk about how her California roots inform her work leading a cabinet-level federal agency, how the SBA is continuing to provide guidance to small businesses navigating the ongoing challenges and the agency’s work to empower business owners from historically underserved and under-resourced communities.

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