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San Francisco Supreme Court orders $50 million in traffic fines and 180,000 civil assessments

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According to an assessment by the San Francisco Supreme Court, $50 million in traffic fine demurrage charges have been waived on more than 180,000 civil assessments due to the new state law.

The law in question, Assembly Bill 199, was signed into law on June 30, but the courts took months to consider it. The new Debt Cancellation Act states that any late fines payments go to the state’s general fund rather than the local courts to help stop the practice of the courts from eliciting revenue through citations issued. AB 199 also sets maximum fines and late payment amounts, with those who fail to appear in court or who fail to pay all or any part of the fine or pay a premium on bail with the new maximum, the late payment fine being $100 instead of the current 300 dollar.

“California should not fund our local courts by requiring the courts to charge fees that benefit them. Courts should be funded separately and apart from these fees,” said San Francisco Treasury Director Jose Cisneros at the Financial Justice Project Ann Stolderhere earlier this month. “Removing and lowering the debt of these unfair and unnecessary fees is a logical reform and an important step forward. It will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of Californians.”

With the law covering all fines dating back to the mid-2000s and taking effect in July, courts in California have been scrambled to find out how much can be charged now and who is being charged. The San Francisco Supreme Court, after review, quashed $50 million in fines owed and effectively voided 180,000 civil assessments as a result of the new AB 199 law. The court noted that about a third of all traffic fines imposed in the city were not paid in time and got the additional fine.

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“This new law will not encourage any bad behavior while driving,” Daryl Rosa, a traffic offense attorney for the Bay Area, explained to the Globe on Tuesday. “All it’s doing is relieving the debt burden of the many in the city who have so many fines tied in them, lowering the amount of late fees that can be paid, and turning to the state for the late fees rather than the courts.”

Many people thought that getting more state funding was a power game. And even though they would get millions annually from this, it was basically done to counter the courts from getting a lot of fines and incentivizing them to get as many of these late penalties as possible. The idea now is that they will be kinder to hand the fines because they are now cut off from any financial benefit. Time will tell to see how well that works.”

San Franciscans, as well as those who have received city traffic fines, can look up a 3.5% service fee, to see if there are any fines listed under their driver’s license, as well as the new amount they will owe. After the court procedure, on the Supreme Court website.

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  • Margaret is a very experienced journalist and has worked for several leading news publications throughout California. She is a dedicated mother and an avid researcher.

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Cano, One Medical sparks acquisition interest amid shift to value-based care (NYSE: HUM)

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From Cano Health (CANO) to One Medical (ONEM), value-based care (VBC) exposed companies are on their way amid growing acquisition interest as industry heavyweights look to cash in on lucrative profits. An alternative to the traditional payment model.

VBC links reimbursement processes to the quality of care provided, rewarding healthcare providers for both efficiency and effectiveness as opposed to the fee-for-service (FFS) model, which relies on historical billing fees or annual fee schedules.

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After COVID-19 emphasized the flaws of the FFS model, companies became pivotal to the VBC, which provides better economics amid favorable government policies.

The early stage of the pandemic exposed volume-driven FFS as lower patient volumes led to a significant reduction in payments, noted Corinne Lewis, delivery system reform program officer at the Center for Healthcare Research, the Commonwealth Fund. “Therefore, service providers recognize the need to move toward more value-based approaches for greater flexibility and protection against future volume shocks,” she said. medical economics.

Additionally, VBC models that focus on long-term health outcomes for members provide higher profitability for providers.

Highlighting its benefits, George Renodin, President of Medicare Health Insurance Humana (New York Stock Exchange: HUM), that value-based models of care offer a 20% higher contribution margin to the company, reducing overall medical costs by about 13.4% compared to original Medicare. Humana (HUM) expects value-based primary care and home health services to maintain EPS growth beyond 2025.

Some government policies in place to support the transition: In June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a 4.2% cut in home health services for 2023. Estimated its impact at $30 million, Susan Diamond, chief financial officer at HUM, said on an earnings call. The latter said the decision had placed “more emphasis on value-based payment models”.

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On Thursday, Humana (HUM) along with CVS Health (CVS) were selected as a potential buyer for Cano Health (CANO), an operator of the value-based care delivery platform.

Meanwhile, HUM’s rival UnitedHealth Group plans to accelerate its VBC transformation, leveraging analytics and decision support tools for the company’s Optum unit in a 10-year collaboration with Walmart Inc. (WMT).

In July, Amazon (AMZN) attracted interest in value-based care when the tech giant agreed to acquire One Medical (ONEM), a membership-based primary care organization, for approximately $3.9 billion.

Weeks later, AMZN and UN were cited as potential bidders to buy Signify Health (SGFY), a company focused on the value-based payments industry, which eventually agreed to be acquired by CVS for nearly $8 billion early in the year. This month.

According to experts, the FFS model is unlikely to disappear completely, in part due to the effective introduction of certain medical practices, such as vaccinations. Lewis from the Commonwealth Fund added: “I don’t think the fee-for-service will be eliminated completely, because in some cases it could be an appropriate mechanism to incentivize care that we want to see more of.”

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However, stock performance for VBC-backed healthcare operators suggests otherwise. Oak Street Health (OSH), Privia Health Group (PRVA), agilon health (AGL), CareMax (CMAX), and Cano Health (CANO) have outperformed the broader market over the past three months, as shown in this graphic graphic.

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Polls open in Italy for closely watched elections

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Polls began in Italy on Sunday in the first autumn elections in more than a century, with far-right parties leading the race to form the next government in Rome.

Trying to negotiate a ceiling on the price of gas imported from Russia with other EU countries will be one of the first tasks any new government will face in Rome, where high energy prices remain a major concern for voters, according to the latest available opinion polls.

Introducing a legal minimum wage, reducing unemployment in the southern part of the country, as well as increasing minimum pensions are other major concerns.

Of the 51 million voters who could go to the polls, less than 65 percent are expected to turn out, the lowest since Italy’s first post-war general election.

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According to the latest available data published two weeks ago, the right-wing coalition is on course for victory although many Italians remain angry at the sudden collapse of the national unity government led by Mario Draghi this summer.

Draghi is not running, but a small liberal coalition that includes former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and MEP Carlo Calenda who campaign on his political proposals, the so-called Draghi agenda, have pledged to bring him back to his position as prime minister should they emerge. victorious. The alliance is less than 10 percent, according to the latest available data. Voting ends at 11pm local time when the first polls are published.

In a possible precursor to the arguments that lie ahead between the new government in Rome and the European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen upset right-wing leaders in the final days of the campaign by appearing to be meddling in Italy’s elections.

“Democracy is a work in progress, and we’re never done, it’s never safe,” she said in a speech at Princeton University on Thursday. Referring to today’s elections, she added, “If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve talked about Hungary and Poland, we have tools.”

The comments, which appeared to indicate sanctions that could be imposed by Brussels for violations of the rule of law, angered Italian politicians, many of whom accused the commission chief of unjustified interference in the elections.

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However, while Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League party, said von der Leyen was “threatening a sovereign country on the eve of the elections”, the leader of Italy’s sister, Giorgia Meloni, who could become Italy’s first female prime minister, was more than measured.

“I don’t think she specifically referred to Italy, otherwise it would be unprecedented interference,” Meloni said in her last interview before the so-called electoral silence took effect on Friday night.

Meloni, 45, has sought to reassure the international community that she is in a good position to govern Italy despite the erratic EU positions of the right-wing coalition and the closeness of her partners to the Russian president.

As the campaign draws to a close, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced a backlash after saying that Vladimir Putin “just wanted to replace [Ukraine’s president Volodymyr] Zelensky with a government made up of respectable people ‘but met ‘unexpected resistance’ on the ground.

In response to Berlusconi’s comments, Democratic Party Secretary Enrico Letta said: “The first person to celebrate will be Putin if the right wins.”

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But Meloni accused Lita and her other opponents of ignoring the national interest and subduing markets and international investors with their alarming statements.

Instead of heading to Berlin to discuss the gas price cap, Letta went to see Schulze to get his approval before the vote. . . “It means compromising the nation’s interest for your own good,” she said in a Friday night television interview.

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The right has promised wide-ranging tax cuts, lowering labor costs as well as lowering the national retirement age as a way to boost the employment of younger workers. It also promised an overall increase in the minimum pension to no less than 1,000 euros per month.

Center-left parties, which do not operate as a coalition, also promised to introduce a national minimum wage as well as protect a generous support system for job seekers. In addition, they proposed a broad expansion of civil rights, including for second-generation Italians.

The sustainability of Italy’s long-term public debt, the second largest in the eurozone after Greece, has been called into question by investors and European Union officials. Experts warn that the new Italian government must tread carefully to ensure that the policy is fiscally sustainable.

However, many Italians – especially the young ones – seem to be skeptical about the credibility of such proposals. A result is expected sometime on Monday.

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Expansion of the private school voucher system is banned in Arizona

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Public school advocates who oppose the massive expansion of Arizona’s private school voucher system that was enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Doug Ducey in July, submitted enough signatures Friday to prevent its entry into force.

The law, which extends the program to every child in the state, will be suspended rather than take effect on Saturday. If a review finds that Save Our Schools Arizona has met the requirements for nearly 119,000 valid signatures—and if those signatures survive any appeals by voucher proponents—it will remain blocked until the November 2024 election.

Beth Lewis, executive director of the grassroots group that formed when a similar expansion went through in 2017 and was successfully challenged at the polls, said Friday that the group delivered 141,714 signatures. That’s less than they had hoped, because groups trying to pass laws to voters or get initiatives on the ballot usually aim to deliver at least 25% of the surplus.

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Voters rejected the previous expansion by a 2/3 majority in the 2018 elections.

Lewis put part of the blame on Ducey, who stuck to the bill for 10 days after the legislature adjourned, a move that cut the time opponents had to collect signatures from 90 to 80 days.

“We certainly wish we had spent those 10 days that Ducey stole from the electorate to build our pillow,” Lewis said. “But we have enough to feel confident that with our signatures valid we can hand them over, complete the processing and get them on the ballot.”

Voucher opponents say the program pulls money from state public schools, which have been underfunded for decades and educate the vast majority of the state’s students, even though Ducey and the legislature have pumped money into the system over the past several years. Supporters of the voucher program say it allows parents to choose the best school for their children. Ducey is a major supporter of School Choice and promoted the expansion at a bill signing ceremony in August.

Supporters of expanding the state’s voucher program, known technically as empowerment grant accounts, organized to try to persuade voters not to sign petitions. They showed up at signing events with “refusal to sign” signs and called the companies to tell them that the petition promoters were in their parking lots.

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Among those supporting expansion are national “choice school” groups such as the American Federation of Children, founded and formerly led by Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration’s secretary of education.

Scott Smith, a former Republican senator from the state who is now the AFC state director, said he expects “every effort” to defeat the voter referendum, both in the courts and at the polls.

“Rest assured, whatever happens, I’m sure it’s safe to say that I and others and that parents will do everything we can to protect their rights to teach their children how to see better,” Smith said.

Under the state constitution, voters can block most laws passed by the legislature by collecting signatures. To allow this, most new laws take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, the referral deadline.

Although about a third of Arizona students are eligible for the current voucher program—particularly those who live in low-income areas—about 12,000 students statewide are currently using the system.

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The expansion that Ducey signed would allow every parent in Arizona to take public money now sent into the K-12 public school system and use it to pay their children’s tuition in private schools, homeschooling materials or other education costs.

Arizona already has the most comprehensive education options in the state and will have the most comprehensive voucher system if the law goes into effect.

An estimated 60,000 students are currently enrolled in private schools and approximately 38,000 homeschooled students are immediately eligible for up to $7,000 annually, although a small number of them actually receive vouchers. All of the 1.1 million students who attend the district’s traditional schools and charter schools are also eligible to leave their public schools and receive funds to attend private schools.

Since the state Department of Education opened a new portal for parents to apply under the Global Eligibility Act, more than 10,000 applications have been received.

Many parents of private school students currently receive tuition through one of several tax credit programs. This pays less, however, so many are more likely to switch to the coupon.

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Lewis and other opponents of the program say they worry about losing up to $1 billion in funding for the public school system. K-12 schools currently receive about $8 billion annually in government funding.

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