State Attorney General Establishing New Bureau Of Environmental Justice

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is establishing a Bureau of Environmental Justice within the California Department of Justice. “The Bureau’s mission will be to protect people and communities that endure a disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards,” according to a statement from Becerra’s office. The bureau will focus on compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and land use planning laws, reducing exposure to toxins in the environment and consumer products, challenging federal actions to reduce “public health and environmental protections,” and more.


Rules For Classifying Interns Have Changed

In January, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it had scrapped a six-part test for employers to determine if an individual was an intern or employee in lieu of a more nuanced test. In late December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the fourth federal appellate court to reject the six-part test, resulting in the DOL’s action. It has reverted to the “primary beneficiary test,” in which a number of factors are used to determine the primary beneficiary of an intern-employer relationship.


Zero-Emission Vehicle Sales Must Increase To Meet State Goal

The purchase of new cars and trucks decreased slightly from a 2016 peak in 2017, according to a report by the California New Car Dealers Association. The report states that light truck sales made up 51.3% of all new vehicles sold in 2017, up from 46.9% in 2016. The sale of plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles accounted for 5.7% of the 2017 market share, with 28,478 sold. Data indicates that zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales would have to be nine times higher than in 2017 in order to meet the state’s goal of five million ZEVs on the road by 2030.


CalChamber Announces Support For Clean Water & Safe Parks Act

The California Chamber of Commerce is urging support of Proposition 68, a June ballot initiative called the California Clean Water & Safe Parks Act. If approved, the initiative would authorize the issuance of $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund groundwater cleanup, flood protection and repair, clean drinking water, parks, disadvantaged communities and more.


MemorialCare Names New Chief Executive Officer Of Seaside Health Plan

MemorialCare Health System has named Maribel Ferrer CEO of its Seaside Health Plan. Seaside Health Plan was created in 2013 to serve those with Medi-Cal, Medicare or commercial insurance coverage. As the CEO, Ferrer’s responsibilities include directing the health plan’s programs and services, as well as overseeing operations. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Medi-Cal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families & Medicaid Expansion of L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest public health plan in the country.


Aquarium Hosting African-American Festival This Weekend

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s 16th Annual African-American Festival takes place this weekend, February 24 to 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 100 Aquarium Way. The festival includes performances by local African-American dancers, storytellers and musicians, and cultural displays of handmade crafts. On February 24 at 1:40 p.m., Sharon and David McLucas, owners of Forgotten Images: A Traveling Exhibition And Museum, will be honored for their service of African-American communities.