A million bananas: Chiquita pitches in during crisis

Chiquita Brands International, working with Feeding America, the YMCA, school districts and hospitals, has donated a million bananas during the COVID-19 crisis.

“At the heart of Chiquita, we are farmers and banana growers who recognize our responsibility to provide nutritious bananas to people facing food insecurity during these uncertain times,” Chiquita President Carlos Lopez Flores said in a news release.

Recipients include Feeding America and member food banks, and school districts in the Los Angeles area, hospitals and non-profits.

California lawmakers seek $2B per year to battle homelessness

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California leaders are banding together to seeking long-term funding for major efforts in the fight against homelessness.

They are seeking state legislation that sets aside $2 billion every year from the state budget to help people get off the streets and into housing.

Assembly Bill 3300 would provide $1.1 billion to counties and service organizations, $800 million to cities with a population over 300,000 and $100 million to nonprofit housing developers.

New California Bill Calls For $2 Billion To Fight Homelessness

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — State and local leaders are requesting $2 billion in funding to combat homelessness.

Mayor Eric Garcetti says the state has a surplus, so the money is available.

Assembly Bill 3300 would appropriate $2 billion, beginning with the 2020-21 fiscal year and each following fiscal year, to provide grant funds to address homelessness challenges, including affordable housing, rental assistance and other services.

Shelter openings and groundbreakings mark progress in L.A.’s homelessness response

At a town hall 16 months ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Mike Bonin endured a public flogging from residents who were incensed by a plan to build a homeless shelter across the street from some of the priciest real estate in Venice.

The opposition continued, first with a scathing social media campaign and then with a lawsuit.

California to Probe Former Battery Recycling Site Cleanup

California’s state auditor will investigate how the Department of Toxic Substances Control is handling cleanup at a former battery recycling site just south of Los Angeles, where thousands of properties have been contaminated with lead.

The Joint Committee on Legislative Audit voted Wednesday to probe contracts, cleanup times, and other issues at the Exide Technologies site, which closed in 2015 and is in bankruptcy.

Local officials remind public of CA protections ahead of border agent deployment in 'sanctuary' cities

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Following the announcement that Customs and Border Protection agents would be deployed across the country in pursuit of migrants in 'sanctuary' cities, Los Angeles leaders are reiterating to the public that California law restricts state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE.

"This is a political act to send a specialized, weaponized SWAT team from CPB, as well as ICE, to go into immigrant communities... this is tantamount to a political tantrum," former state senator Kevin DeLeon said at a Friday press conference.

Column: What Newsom didn’t mention: To address homelessness in California, a tax hike is inevitable

By George SkeltonCapitol Journal Columnist

SACRAMENTO — OK, I’m waiting to hear about the tax increase that will be needed to pay for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious plan to solve homelessness.

A tax hike is inevitable, but the T-word was conspicuously missing from Newsom’s frequently applauded State of the State address on Wednesday to a joint session of the California Legislature, which is tightly controlled by fellow Democrats.

Legislators consider free college

Paying for college can be expensive, especially when transferring to a four-year university after paying around $46 a unit at a community college and transitioning to paying close to $3,000 a semester for six or more units.

In an effort to help California community college students afford to transfer and graduate in four years, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) has introduced Assembly Bill 1862, which offers free tuition to students who have obtained an associate degree for transfer and are transferring to a California state school.

Bill would require backup power for some cell towers

When Pacific Gas & Electric turned the power off last October, more than half of the cell towers in Marin went out of service. In response, the Board of Supervisors last month endorsed a state bill that would mandate telecommunication providers have backup power for their cell towers in high fire-threat areas.