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 Hill1-600x321LAO in retrospect: a conversation with Elizabeth Hill

Published April 25, 2016

Elizabeth Hill became the first woman to head the California Legislative Analyst’s Office in 1986 when she was eight months’ pregnant with her second child. For 22 years, she held one of the most important positions in state government — advising the 120-member Legislature during fractious times and sometimes clashing over policy recommendations in an increasingly partisan environment beset by the passage of term limits, deep budget cuts, and recession.

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Surgical-Team-634x321Doctors’ drug tests: a divisive issue

Published October 19, 2014

On Oct. 23, 2013, San Diego physician Dr. Scott D. Greer submitted urine and hair samples to an investigator for the Medical Board of California, which oversees physician licensing and discipline. Laboratory tests found the samples to be positive for opiates and oxycodone, but not for alcohol.

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Debate-575x321Democrats divided: The race for state schools superintendent

Published September 23, 2014

For an obscure elective office that is often ignored, unknown or regarded as superfluous in California’s convoluted education bureaucracy, the November election for state Superintendent of Public Instruction is shaping up as one of the most contentious — and costly — races among statewide candidates.

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capweeklyaug2011Changes in mental health care system spur new optimism

Published August 18, 2011

Massive changes in how mental health care is delivered to Californians – including abolishing or restructuring the two state departments responsible for mental health and substance-abuse programs – are being closely watched by care providers and advocacy groups.

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Out of the Snakepit, Parts 1 & 2

Published September 9, 2005

outofsnakepitRose King has seen it all.

A widely recognized expert on mental health issues, she has served in the trenches of the mental health wars for more than 30 years–even before the 1969 suicide of her husband, who suffered from what was then called manic depression. Years later, her son also committed suicide—after suffering from the same illness, known now as bipolar disorder.

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New money for mental health care; Families hopes raise (PDF)

newmoneymentalProposition 63 is revving up fueled by activists’ passion

Darrell Steinberg, whose crusade to help California’s mentally ill culminated in the passage of the landmark Proposition 63, got an early education in the power of grass-roots advocacy.