Industry: Economy
News
Sept. 6, 2017

Other proposals on the table include 2 bills — Assembly Bill 1505 and Senate Bill 277 – that would allow local governments to enact inclusionary housing ordinances, which requires developers to “include a certain percentage of residential rental units affordable to, and occupied by” low- and moderate-income households.

Maybe that sounds reasonable, but experience shows that inclusionary zoning results in fewer units being built. A Reason Foundation study found that it “drives away builders” and “imposes significant costs on the housing sector,” which are “passed on to landowners and buyers of market-rate homes.” It chills developers’ incentive to build.

Not all of the ideas are bad, however. A bill to streamline local government approval processes, such as Senate Bill 35, would be helpful. But any good it would do is offset by its requirement that builders pay the prevailing wage, which is sure to increase construction costs and therefore housing prices.

California needs new houses. No one will argue to the contrary. The shortage caused by decades of public policy that has diminished the incentives to build has led to dizzyingly high prices which, according to the LAO, “make it difficult for many Californians to find housing that is affordable and that meets their needs.” Because the median price of a California home is nearly $550,000 — second in the country only to Hawaii — fewer than one-third of households can afford to buy one, says the California Association of Realtors.

News
Sept. 6, 2017

Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”

Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.

News
Sept. 6, 2017

Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”

Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

Concern over soaring tuition rates and ballooning student debt has propelled a rapidly expanding campaign for free public higher education at the local, state and even national level. In California, lawmakers, gubernatorial candidates and education advocates are among those pushing for ways to get rid of fees and other costs for some students.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

It should come as no surprise that when the California Legislature recently began the process of divvying up proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions, a cavalcade of local officials, community activists and lobbyists rushed to Sacramento, with hands out.

Billions of dollars burning a hole in the state’s pocket has that effect on people, and the competition is fierce. Appeals from advocates to fund pet projects were spread over two days in late August, in windowless rooms before sometimes distracted officials. The requests are for cash for electric vehicles, to create green spaces, even for machines to cut pollution from cow manure.

Brevity is prized in this legislative equivalent of speed dating, which plays out in front of committees in the Senate and Assembly. There’s scant time to make the case for your cause. Talk too much, and you risk irritating the panelists. Nobody wants the stink eye from the people with the purse strings.

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