- California is now #1 in the nation for homeless population. The data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows more than half of the unsheltered population in the U.S. is concentrated in four states, with California seeing the most at almost 162-thousand people. Cities with big homeless populations include Los Angeles at over 63-thousand, San Jose with slightly over 96-hundred, and Oakland with more than 81-hundred people. HUD officials say the number of homeless people nationwide has gone up by two percent since 2019.
- Steinberg held his state of the city address last night, much of the focus was directed towards fixing the high number of homeless and getting them safer places to stay.
- New gas tax takes effect today along with a few other new laws. The new laws cover an array of topics -- from guns and student loans to distracted driving. One of them is a policy that limits purchases to one handgun in 30 days -- now including semiautomatic centerfire rifles. Also, California is now required to offer new protections to student loan borrowers, and two texting-and-driving convictions within a three-year period will now result in a point on a driver's record. The laws take effect today because July 1st marks the start of the fiscal year.
- PG&E officials are considering a rate hike. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the rate increase would begin in 2023 and represent a roughly 18-percent increase over current gas and electric rates. The utility says the money would go towards strengthening its expansive electrical system and making it safer. Several massive wildfires have been caused by PG&E equipment in recent years, including the deadly2018 Camp Fire in Paradise.
- Could the expansion of the Hwy 80 and 50 connectors be home to Sacramento's first toll lane? The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding millions to widen Interstate 80 in the Sacramento area. Representative John Garamendi said an $86-million federal grant will go to expanding the freeway lanes between Davis and downtown Sacramento. Officials say the 17-mile section of the road will have a "managed" lane that could be like the Fastrak lanes in the Bay Area. The project will take three years to complete at a total cost of 140-million dollars. State and regional governments will likely seek a cost-sharing plan to fund their part of the project.