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California Political News and Views
High-Speed Rail Report Fraught With “Issues” and “Risks”

Risk, time and money remain the major problems for the construction of California’s high-speed rail project. That’s seen in the biannual Legislative Report of the California High-Speed Rail Authority released this month, as required by law. The report is a serious attempt of the CHSRA to let the California Legislature know the true status of the program....

California Political News and Views
Top 5 Taxes You May See on 2016 Ballot

Last June, I wrote a column forecasting from least likely to most likely the tax increase measures that might be on the November 2016 ballot given the conversations going on then. Time for an update. As is nearly always the case in the political world, situations and strategies change. What’s being discussed most heavily today is...

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California Political News and Views
New Studies: CA Has 4th-Highest Taxes and 3rd-Worst Business Climate

The newest figures just released by the Tax Foundation show California continues to be one of the highest-taxes states in the country. According to “Facts & Figures 2015: How Does Your State Compare?” the Golden State now ranks fourth-highest for taxation. The only states with higher taxes are Connecticut and New Jersey, tied for...

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California Political News and Views
Deceptive Tactics Plague L.A. Special Election and NFL Bid

The campaigns for the Senate District 7 special election and building a Los Angeles area football stadium are two rough and tumble affairs that have something in common – the need to throw a penalty flag on deceptive plays in the campaigns. Much attention has been paid to the disingenuous nature of mailings by...

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California Political News and Views
Brown plan may cut state retiree health payment

Something that rarely happens in California could result from Gov. Brown’s proposal to contain growing state worker retiree health care costs — benefits received by current government retirees might be reduced. Part of the governor’s proposal allows state workers to choose a new low-cost health plan, increasing take-home pay. If enough choose the new...

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California Political News and Views
Anti-Taxpayer Forces Hit New Low in Special Election

Last November’s election saw some of the most craven political tactics ever seen in California.  Fearful that they would lose the two thirds supermajority in both houses, many anti-taxpayer candidates – usually Democrats – attempted to portray themselves as friendly to taxpayers and in favor of Proposition 13 when, in fact, the exact opposite...

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California Political News and Views
Condoleezza Rice Will Not Run For Senate — Despite Widespread Support

Political pundits and strategists finally are taking seriously that, despite topping polls, Condoleezza Rice is not running for the U.S. Senate. The decision by the former U.S. secretary of state puts California Republicans back on their heels. For the state GOP, the hunt is very much on for a heavyweight who could vault over the Democrats’ field of contenders...

California Political News and Views
CA Jobs are Booming, But What Kind of Jobs?

First the good news on the job front: California is leading the nation in job creation. Job growth in the Golden State last year increased by 3.1% while job growth in the rest of the nation settled in at 2.3%. And with 67,300 new jobs created in January alone, the state’s unemployment rate dropped...

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California Political News and Views
CA Legislature Will Debate “Homeless Bill of Rights”

It could soon get easier to live on the streets in the Golden State. As controversy swirled around the police shooting of a homeless and mentally ill man on Skid Row in Los Angeles, legislators in California considered a new set of regulations activists said would “decriminalize” homelessness by providing a so-called “right to rest” in public. The...

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California Political News and Views
Split Roll Debate Continues

While supporters of changing Proposition 13 to increase taxes on commercial property usually focus on raising the tax rate or frequently reassessing property, UCLA Law School professor Kirk Stark has a different idea – broaden the base of business property taxes by reassessing more often but at the same time lower tax rates on...

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