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GOP legislators unlikely to pay price for cap-and-trade vote

GOP legislators unlikely to pay price for cap-and-trade vote

by Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO – As the California Legislature approached a late-night Monday vote to extend the state’s climate-change-fighting cap-and-trade system, the Capitol buzz focused on Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks. The Democratic assemblywoman was absent because of a long-standing family commitment, thus leaving Democrats one vote shy of the supermajority they needed to approve the system’s 10-year […]

Teacher-tenure reform shaping up as big education fight this year

Teacher-tenure reform shaping up as big education fight this year

by Steven Greenhut . SACRAMENTO – Despite the oft-discussed need for education reform in California, the state Legislature will only consider one major reform bill this year. Even that bill’s passage is uncertain, given opposition from the powerful California Teachers’ Association. The issue involves the contentious matter of teacher job protections, which the union says are necessary to […]

State elections chief denies NSA report of California hack

State elections chief denies NSA report of California hack

by Chris Reed Who will Californians believe: Secretary of State Alex Padilla or the National Security Agency? That’s one way to boil down a flap that’s emerged this week over the sanctity of California’s 2016 elections. Beginning shortly after November’s election, Padilla has pushed back hard at any claims of voting irregularities in the nation’s […]

Gov. Brown’s pension plan gets mixed reviews from reformers

Gov. Brown’s pension plan gets mixed reviews from reformers

By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature mostly have avoided tackling the state’s unfunded pension liabilities, even though these taxpayer-backed debts to pay for pension promises to state and local employees have soared by 22 percent in the last year alone. Earlier this month, however the governor introduced a plan to help […]

Push begins to overturn new California gas tax

Push begins to overturn new California gas tax

By James Poulos A fresh effort has been launched to reverse Gov. Jerry Brown’s fuel and vehicle tax deal, passed narrowly in Sacramento on the strength of a series of sharply criticized side deals. “Only one Republican – state Sen. Anthony Cannella – voted in favor of SB1, and that was after his Central Valley district received $500 […]

Credit industry circles California pot banking

Credit industry circles California pot banking

By James Poulos As Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration turns toward tidying up California’s complex and still-unsettled marijuana laws, the massive market for money made from the plant’s products has begun to attract attention from financial services companies that want to take advantage without taking on too much risk.  “Though federally prohibited, marijuana is now legal in […]

Confusion on CA housing market brings flurry of legislation

Confusion on CA housing market brings flurry of legislation

By James Poulos Debate over California’s housing situation ratcheted up amid conflicting data and a flurry of new legislation designed to mitigate high prices and low supply.  Analysts have separated into two camps around Golden State real estate, one more bullish than the other. “Two recent reports — from Fitch Rating, a Wall Street credit […]

Silicon Valley faces slowdown

Silicon Valley faces slowdown

By James Poulos Market watchers have keyed in to a series of statistics suggesting breakneck growth in Silicon Valley has begun to slow down. “Tech companies in San Francisco and San Mateo counties lost 700 jobs from January to February and tech employment has dropped by 3,200 jobs since hitting a peak last August,” the […]

Board of Equalization faces heavy criticism for mismanaged funds

Board of Equalization faces heavy criticism for mismanaged funds

By James Poulos Created to make California’s tax system work better, the Board of Equalization has found itself under a cloud of radical criticism, plunging it into a moment of extraordinary crisis.  “At a chaotic budget hearing for an agency that collects a third of California’s taxes, two lawmakers said late Wednesday they don’t believe […]

Brown gets new gas tax through

By James Poulos At the end of a tumultuous road, a wheeling and dealing Gov. Jerry Brown secured passage of a high-stakes new gas tax raising over $50 billion in ten years. “The California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 on Thursday night, raising gas taxes and vehicle fees in hopes of generating tens of billions of […]