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Legislation recently signed into law in California requires doctors to check a state database before prescribing narcotics. A key advocate behind the effort says increasing media attention was crucial in winning the bill's passage.
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In an effort to reduce HIV rates in the state, Governor Brown signed into law a bill that requires those who receive an HIV test with negative results are informed about prevention options like PrEP, the one-a-day pill that's up to 99% effective in preventing HIV.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

A long-deferred attempt to reform mental health care advanced out a House committee this week. Here's a look at how the bill seeks to change "the nation's broken mental health system," and some of the coverage to date.

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Studies show that children who live with grandparents or other relatives typically fare better than children in foster care, but at what cost? Many say they are ill equipped and burnt out trying to be social workers, nurses and therapists for their vulnerable charges.

Picture of Virginia Lynne Anderson

About 128,000 children in Georgia and an estimated 103,000 grandparents and other non-parental relatives could be affected by legislation scheduled to be introduced this week by Rep. Stacey Abrams (D-DeKalb) and others.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

California leads the nation when it comes to fostering the health of undocumented immigrants, according to a recent report. Meanwhile, state legislators are considering legislation that would expand coverage to undocumented residents.

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According to the FollowTheMoney.org, the food and beverage industry contributed $5.3 million to state campaigns in California during the 2011 and 2012 elections. Find out how to investigate political contributions of all kinds in other states.

Picture of Liza Gross

How could legislation designed to protect people from suspected cancer-causing compounds in furniture foam fail to pass? Experts say lobbying money had a lot to do with it. Here's how I tracked the millions of dollars spent by the chemical industry to defeat the bill.

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Social media, blogs and instantaneous online distribution has revolutionized news. The reach of social media is comparable to mainstream media -- in the billions -- "but that's where the similarities end," said attorney Wendy Heimann-Nunes, who moderated an event in Hollywood today about intellectual property, part of the multi-city virtual conference Social Media Week. On the Internet, content can be moved and shared and copied with ease.

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Even before the Supreme Court of Illinois pulled the rug out from under a patient safety law that allowed consumers to review malpractice histories for doctors, state Rep. Mary Flowers was looking for a way to repair the damage.

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