state

Sonoma County homeowners jolted with insurance hikes as a result of wildfire risk

Lesley Muller said her jaw dropped when she got her renewal notice from the carrier that insures her Cloverdale home. The bill increased by $700 annually to $2,200.

“When I got it, it shocked me,” said Muller, a retiree whose insurer also covers her family’s cars and a home in Arizona.

She called up her insurance broker who checked with five other carriers that all declined to make an offer and said the only other option would be the state FAIR plan, which is the state’s insurer of last resort. That option would be considerably more expensive for less coverage.

“So, what do you do? Pay the high premium!” added Muller, who declined to name the carrier to prevent any repercussions.

She’s not alone.

Greg Lucas of Santa Rosa said his bill originally went up about 50% to $2,150 annually from CSAA Insurance. He checked around but could find no better deal and ended up reducing the price to about 25% spike by upping his deductible and lowering the amount of personal property coverage.

Torben Moller of Windsor renewed his policy at a 50% increase and added he “can’t complain too loudly” because wildfires have driven risk for carriers

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Texas abortion law: What the Supreme Court ruling means here

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Florida Supreme Court hears gun law challenge amid national debate over restrictions

The law being challenged is part of a decades-old “preemption” law approved by the Florida Legislature that prohibits local governments at the city or county level to pass measures stricter than those at the state level. The case the state Supreme Court is weighing will not affect the underlying 1987 preemption law.

“This is a legislative fire hose to put out a birthday candle,” said Edward G. Guedes, an attorney representing the plaintiffs trying to overturn the law.

The state’s high court considered the legal fight in the aftermath of a spate of mass shootings across the country, including one last month in Uvalde, Texas school that left 19 elementary students and two teachers dead, and another in Buffalo, N.Y. that claimed 10 lives. Those shootings and others spurred lawmakers across the country to again fight over how to restrict firearms in the country.

The Florida law was initially overturned in Leon County Circuit Court, but last year the 1st District Court of Appeals overturned that lower court ruling, which prompted Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also running for governor, and 30 local governments to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court.

“We should be talking

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Pro-Choice States Should Protect the Right to Travel for Abortion

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Suppose Roe v. Wade is overturned. A recent fanfare of concern worries that a state would then be able to punish its citizens for traveling to other states to seek medical assistance in ending their pregnancies. Missouri is considering a statute that would do exactly that, and Texas activists are pushing a similar proposal. Other states may follow.

Would such a law be constitutional? It’s hard to be sure.  The doctrine is a confusing mishmash, and the Supreme Court has declined to offer definitive guidance. Although legal scholars have been arguing since the 1990s in favor of a right to travel to seek an abortion, the last time the justices directly addressed the issue of a state’s power to punish crimes beyond its borders was … um … 1941.

In short, we can’t predict how a court would treat an effort by one state to bar its citizens from obtaining abortion in another. But one need not be pro-choice to see the strength of the argument against such a law.

Let’s start with a basic question: Can a state punish its citizens for breaking the state’s laws while beyond its boundaries? It would seem that

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