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Pandemic Moves University of California to Lower Admission Requirements
Friday April 3, 2020 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

The coronavirus crisis is prompting the University of California to relax undergraduate admission requirements for 2020 “and future years as applicable,” the office of the UC President announced this week. As UC Board of Regents chairman John Pérez explained, “By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors—including suspending the use of the SAT—for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students.” (more…)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Yields to Political Pressure on COVID-19 Policy
Friday April 3, 2020 | Randall G. Holcombe

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been subject to criticism on his policy response to the COVID-19 crisis, announced more sweeping restrictions on April 1. While many state-wide restrictions were in place, including closing down restaurants, bars and clubs, barber shops and beauty salons, and dentist offices, he was only recommending (not requiring) that Floridians shelter in place, and left many decisions (including whether to close beaches) to local governments. That is the appropriate response. (more…)

Lessons in Helping the Homeless
Thursday April 2, 2020 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

In March 2018 I wrote an article in this newsletter outlining why I thought Sacramento County was in need of a work program for people who are homeless,” writes Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost in her April newsletter. Frost set out to identify 40 homeless people who were both willing to work and stay clear of drugs and alcohol. Shelter would be secured for them, and they would clean the American River Parkway for minimum wage in the morning, and go through a job training program in the construction industry in the afternoon. Thus trained, they would then move on to find employment and earn more than the minimum wage. (more…)

Right-to-Try Laws Can Help Drugmakers Combat the Coronavirus
Wednesday April 1, 2020 | Raymond J. March

President Trump recently announced he is extending social distancing guidelines to April 30th. He initially hoped to lift them by Easter. This is far from the first time he has changed his mind on how to best handle the coronavirus pandemic. Although frustrating, the President’s indecisiveness is understandable. The United States recently surpassed China as the country with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19. Healthcare workers in many areas are overwhelmed, caring for infected patients. Public health experts continue to predict more infections and deaths in the near future. (more…)

How California’s AB 5 Hinders Coronavirus Response
Wednesday April 1, 2020 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

According to California’s Legislative Analyst, Assembly Bill 5, authored by San Diego Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, has already affected more than 1 million independent contractor and freelance working Californians, and the list of industries impacted by the law has surged past 300. As these independent Californians struggle to earn a living, AB 5 is also harming the effort to counter the coronavirus. (more…)

This National Doctors’ Day, Let’s Show Our Appreciation
Monday March 30, 2020 | Ross Marchand

Today is National Doctors’ Day, a day when patients can give thanks for the hard work and dedication of physicians and all those who support doctors such as nurses (who will formally be recognized on National Nurses Day on May 6). People around the globe are more grateful than ever for their physicians this year. During the worst public health emergency in more than 100 years, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have risked their lives to treat millions of people infected with the noxious new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Doctors are logging longer hours than ever and hospitals are rushing to expand their capabilities. (more…)

How Uncle Sam Will Spend $2.3 Trillion on Coronavirus Relief
Monday March 30, 2020 | Craig Eyermann

Before the coronavirus pandemic and the response to it triggered an economic meltdown, the U.S. federal government was planning to spend nearly $4.8 trillion in its 2020 fiscal year. Last week, President Trump signed a $2.3 trillion relief package aimed at mitigating an economic disaster. How the government will be spending such a gargantuan sum of money via the CARES Act of 2020, and identifying who will benefit from it, are tough to visualize in a meaningful way. Hopefully, the chart below, which builds on analysis provided by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, makes it easier to follow how panicky politicians have chosen to divvy up trillions of borrowed dollars in the largest aid package ever approved by the U.S. Congress. (more…)

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