Daily Headlines December 8, 2023
We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more. Receive Daily Headlines by Email
Today’s Top Story
New Report Summarizes California’s Water Year, Urges Better Water Management
In 2023, California experienced whiplash weather events — successive atmospheric rivers at the beginning of the year, an epic snowpack and a rare summer tropical storm. The year’s chaotic climate events are detailed by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in its latest water report, wherein the research institution urges more collaboration among stakeholders to improve water management during wet years.
Top California News
- California Budget Rollercoaster: Analyst Predicts $68 Billion Deficit
California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office projects a 2024-25 budget deficit twice as large as 2023-24. It says the state could dip into reserves and cut some one-time spending. CalMatters (No subscription required)
- As Deficit Estimate Hits $68 Billion, Newsom Seeks ‘Major Changes’ to Healthcare Wage Law
With California facing an expected $68-billion budget deficit, Gov. Gavin Newsom is seeking “major reforms” to pull funding from a costly plan next year to begin raising the statewide minimum wage for healthcare workers to $25 an hour….It’s unclear whether Newsom is suggesting he would like to narrow the higher minimum wage to fewer workers, or whether he’s seeking to delay or pause implementation of the increase. Los Angeles Times (Subscription required)
- How a Strong El Nino Winter Could Impact California Mountain Snow
…At higher elevations, strong and moderate El Nino winters average more total snowfall compared to all winters, while at lower elevations, warmer temperatures mean more of the precipitation falls as rain. San Francisco Chronicle (Subscription required)
- Here’s How Many Jobs L.A. Lost During the Hollywood Strikes
…The writers’ and actors’ strikes — which ended in September and November, respectively — undoubtedly took a major toll, hampering development and stalling production on big studio releases for about six months. In the third quarter of 2023, production on TV dramas, comedies and pilots was down nearly 100% compared with the previous year, while feature film shoots plummeted by about 55%, the study says. Los Angeles Times (Subscription required)
- California Is Pumped About Electric Buses. Rural Schools Say They’re a Pain
…Going electric will be tough for all rural residents, considering the long distances they drive on lonely roads. For the humble yellow school bus, the hurdles are even greater, as are the consequences of running out of juice in the middle of nowhere. Los Angeles Times (Subscription required)
Top National, International News
- Solid US Hiring Lowers Unemployment Rate in Latest Sign of a Still-Sturdy Job Market
U.S. businesses and other employers added a healthy 199,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell, fresh signs that the economy could achieve an elusive “soft landing,” in which inflation would return to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target without causing a steep recession. The Associated Press (No subscription required)
- The U.S. Relies on Skilled Workers from Other Countries. So Why Does It Make Them Leave to Keep Their Jobs?
…As part of an effort to cut into an employment-based green card backlog of 1.8 million people and respond to Canada’s bid to poach tens of thousands of tech workers from Silicon Valley, the Biden administration is about to launch a pilot program offering domestic renewals to up to 20,000 H-1B and L1 visa holders, who work in specialized fields or for transnational companies. San Francisco Chronicle (Subscription required)
- EU Considers Restarting WTO Case Against US Over Steel Tariffs
The European Union is considering reopening a case at the World Trade Organization against the US over a Trump-era steel and aluminum dispute that saw the allies hit each other with tariffs on more than $10 billion of goods. But importantly, the EU will refrain from immediately reimposing retaliatory tariffs on American goods over the disagreement, conceding a key point in the negotiations to Washington, according to people familiar with the discussions. Bloomberg in The American Journal of Transportation (No subscription required)
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