PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Report: Calif. Could Do More to Help Its People Prosper

A new report says the high cost of housing is draining many Californians' ability to get ahead. (Housing CA)
A new report says the high cost of housing is draining many Californians' ability to get ahead. (Housing CA)
February 8, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Golden State is generating jobs that pay well, but has one of the lowest home ownership rates in the country, according to a new report.

The 16th annual "Prosperity Now Scorecard" shows California slipped slightly – from 26th in the nation to 27th – as ranked by 58 measures of prosperity and 63 policies that could help people improve their prosperity.

The report says sky-high housing costs affect minority communities most, with 65 percent of California's African-American renters and 60 percent of Latino renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Study co-author Solana Rice, director of state and local policy for Prosperity Now, suggests the state should pass a law to prevent landlords from refusing to take renters who rely on Section 8 housing vouchers.

"So, we call that source-of-income discrimination, and right now, California allows that,” she explains. “And so, we really recommend that the state look into protecting renters from that kind of discrimination."

Only 53 percent of Californians own homes – the third-lowest rate in the nation, the report says.

On other measures, the state fares better. Unemployment is at a record low, and California is 10th in the nation for having the lowest rate of low-wage jobs, an improvement from 18th last year.

Rice notes the Trump administration and Congress have dealt several major blows to low-income people in the last year.

She maintains the vote to repeal the individual health insurance mandate will prompt many healthy people to opt out of the system. She warns that would drive up insurance prices, putting coverage out of reach for low-income families.

"We expect many, many to lose health care coverage because of that – about 9 million people over the next decade, nationwide,” she states. “And that also affects budgets eventually, so every state will be impacted."

Rice adds the new tax overhaul, in the long term, amounts to a major redistribution of wealth from low and middle-income families to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, and to corporations.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA