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Legislature plans to close entrance to public, provide lobbyists special access

Legislature plans to close entrance to public, provide lobbyists special access

By John Hrabe . Though it brands itself as “the people’s house,” the California State Capitol will soon become less accessible to the public, while continuing to provide lobbyists with “special access.” Beginning February 1, the California state Legislature intends to convert its east entrance from public to “employee and lobbyist only,” according to an internal security […]

Controller Betty Yee publishes salary data for cities, counties

Controller Betty Yee publishes salary data for cities, counties

Initiative filing fee hike inspires wave of unconventional proposals

Initiative filing fee hike inspires wave of unconventional proposals

By John Hrabe . A tenfold increase in the initiative filing fee was supposed to reduce the number of long-shot proposals in circulation. “The updated filing fee set by this bill will deter frivolous submissions,” Assemblyman Evan Low, author the new initiative fee increase, said in a September press release. “We live in California, the cradle of direct democracy, […]

Gavin Newsom transforms Lt. Governor’s post

Gavin Newsom transforms Lt. Governor’s post

By John Hrabe . A lieutenant governor’s only job, the old joke goes, is to wake up every morning and check the governor’s pulse. The position has been considered so pointless that even Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called for eliminating the post in 2012. In spite of that image, Newsom has found a way to transform the […]

Hundreds of Californians seek custom oil and gas maps following governor’s request

Hundreds of Californians seek custom oil and gas maps following governor’s request

. Hundreds of Californians have requested free custom research of their property from state regulators, following the governor’s request for a personal evaluation of oil, gas and mining interests on his Northern California ranch. Earlier this month, the Associated Press first reported that Governor Jerry Brown had directed state employees at the Division of Oil, […]

Governor Jerry Brown revives redevelopment agencies

Governor Jerry Brown revives redevelopment agencies

. Redevelopment is back in California. Four years after Governor Jerry Brown led the effort to eliminate redevelopment agencies, the governor has changed his mind, signing legislation to restore the controversial institutions and their power to use eminent domain. Earlier this month, Gov. Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2, which grants local governments the power […]

State Treasurer refinances state bond debt, saves taxpayers $270 million

State Treasurer refinances state bond debt, saves taxpayers $270 million

. The State of California has found a way to save $270 million — without budget cuts or raising taxes. State Treasurer John Chiang recently announced that his office had completed the sale of $1.93 billion in general obligation bonds, which will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars of savings to taxpayers. Like homeowners refinancing […]

State Senate approves bill to revive Kelo-style redevelopment

State Senate approves bill to revive Kelo-style redevelopment

. California has moved one step closer to the return of redevelopment and the controversial power to seize private property through eminent domain. The state Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would give local governments the power to create new entities, known as community revitalization authorities, to stimulate economically-depressed or crime-ridden areas. Assembly Bill 2 would grant these […]

Ballot Initiative filing fee hike moves closer to approval

Ballot Initiative filing fee hike moves closer to approval

. A proposal to make it more expensive to file a ballot measure in California is moving closer to becoming law, worrying both liberal and conservative groups that frequently utilize the initiative process. Democratic Assemblymen Evan Low of Campbell and Richard Bloom of Santa Monica have proposed a 12-fold increase in the fee charged to obtain a title and summary for […]

Asm. Lorena Gonzalez proposes labor protections for cheerleaders

Asm. Lorena Gonzalez proposes labor protections for cheerleaders

By John Hrabe Legislative committee hearings aren’t known for their heart-pounding excitement. But, cure you might hear a round of cheers to excite the crowds at this week’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media Committee. On Tuesday, the committee is scheduled to consider a proposal by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, that would provide greater […]

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