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KSBR News Briefs on Thursday, July 19, 2018


US judge throws out suit over health subsidy cuts

A U.S. judge in San Francisco has thrown out a lawsuit over the Trump administration's decision to cut Affordable Care Act subsidies.

The ruling by Judge Vince Chhabria came after our state and others that sued said a workaround was largely succeeding in protecting consumers from higher costs.

The states had asked Chhabria to put the lawsuit on hold, although they also gave him the option of dismissing the lawsuit.

The states said in a court filing that they allowed insurers to raise premiums on some plans offered on health care exchanges. That trigged additional tax credits for many consumers that more than made up for the lost subsidies on copays and deductibles.


Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach voters will have a ballot measure in November that asks them to approve a one percent increase in sales taxes to pay for the undergrounding of electrical wires to avoid fires caused by downed power lines.

Councilman Steve Dicterow says the City Council voted in favor of the ballot measure that is a specific purpose tax that would require a two-thirds approval from voters.

He says the other proposed measure which the Council rejected would have been a general purpose tax that would have required a 50-plus-one approval by voters for passage. He says those funds would be used for whatever purpose a future City Council desired.   


Lake Forest

The Lake Forest City Council has appointed five members to the city’s new Traffic and Parking Commission.

Mayor Jim Gardner says next month, the Commission will work first on the issue of parking permits.

He says many residents want them because they have a tough time finding parking on their street. And that’s caused by an increase in the number of occupants per home and more cars per home.

He says at the same time, many residents are using their garages for other purposes than parking such as for storage or as a recreation room.

Gardner says another problem is when Orange County built apartments, it didn’t provide adequate parking spaces for those occupants.  


Dana Point

 The Dana Point City Council has approved its blue print on how to be successful.

Councilwoman Debra Lewis says the Council approved the strategic plan which covers goals and metrics for the next five years.

She says the goals include priority based budgeting; policing, to make sure the perception is that the streets are safe and effective efficient and innovative government.


Laguna Niguel

The Laguna Niguel City Council has approved the 23 contracts necessary to build the city’s new Community Center at Crown Valley Community Park.

City Manager Kristine Ridge says it’s one of the largest capital projects in the city.

All the modular buildings at the site, except for the YMCA, will be demolished.

In their place will be a new 30-thousand square foot Community Building with staff offices, offices for rent to the public along with a multipurpose room.

Ridge says construction will begin in the middle of next month with completion anticipated in 2020.