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California Political News and Views
Time to Abolish California’s Income Tax?

The last thing overtaxed Californians need is another tax. Yet the Legislature continues to churn out new taxes that, once enacted, rarely go away. Our economy has been transitioning to a greater reliance on services. As a result, some tax reform groups have argued for expanding the sales tax to include services. On its...

California Political News and Views
Bond money may be used to buy water for wildlife, not CA residents

In the midst of a grueling four-year drought in agriculture, state officials say some $287.5 million in borrowed cash is available to purchase water for smelt and salmon runs and other wildlife. The funds come from California’s $7.5 billion Proposition 1 Water Bond, approved by the voters last year. Although it is unlikely that...

California Political News and Views
Pensions leaving cities in holes

The economy certainly has improved in California. L.A.’s unemployment rate, 7.6 percent last month, was down a full percentage point from a year earlier. Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley continue to burgeon. There’s such a flurry of building in Los Angeles County that construction costs are soaring, as we chronicled in last week’s Business...

California Political News and Views
Property Rights Violated to Clear Path for HSR

State lawmakers are forcing property owners “all aboard” the state’s high-speed rail project – whether they like it or not. This month, two state legislative panels blocked efforts by Central Valley Republican lawmakers to guarantee the property rights of those caught in the path of the the $68 billion transportation project. State Senator Andy...

California Political News and Views
Teacher Union Propaganda in CA Elementary Curriculum

To say California’s teachers’ unions wield outsize influence over state education policy is hardly novel. From setting tenure rules to rewriting dismissal statutes and blocking pension reforms, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers roam the halls of the legislature like varsity all-stars. But less well known are the unions’ efforts...

California Political News and Views
Lawsuit Abuse Shuts Down CA Businesses

When California’s Republican legislators warn that high taxes, onerous regulations and frivolous lawsuits are driving businesses out of California, they are not only talking about corporations like Toyota, which is relocating from Torrance to Plano, Texas. They are also concerned about smaller businesses like Weststar Trucking and Cranes in Shafter and B&L Casing in Bakersfield,...

California Political News and Views
Pension Reformers are not “The Enemy” of Public Safety

“You will find that powerful financial and investment institutions are the ones promoting the attacks on your pensions. Firms like Berkshire-Hathaway and the Koch brothers are backing political candidates and causes all over the country in the hopes of making this issue relevant and in the mainstream media. Why? Because if they can crack...

California Political News and Views
Why Taxing Services Is Bad for California

With last fall’s election of former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg to the State Senate, and the introduction of his Senate Bill 8, there is renewed interest in “tax reform” at the California Legislature and specifically expanding the sales tax base to include services. This call for “reform” is premised on the belief that it...

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California Political News and Views
Tiered Water Ruling — Water Agencies Shouldn’t Make a Profit Off Homeowners

Last week the California Court of Appeal issued an important ruling interpreting Proposition 218, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sponsored initiative approved by voters in 1996. Proposition 218 is entitled “The Taxpayers Right to Vote Act” for a very good reason. It reflects the policy that those who pay the bills for public expenditures...

California Political News and Views
New Desal Plant in the Works at Camp Pendleton

The dramatic announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month of a 25 percent cut in water use across much of California triggered harsh commentary in the state and across the nation over the lack of preparation by government agencies and water districts for a long-term drought. A typical focus was incredulity over a...

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