The 5-2 decision, upholding an appellate court ruling, was that the taxing constraints on local governments in the state constitution don’t apply to voter-generated ballot measures that raise taxes.
It was immediately interpreted by anti-tax and pro-tax forces as allowing initiatives for “special taxes” – those for specific purposes – to be approved by voters via simple majorities, rather than the two-thirds margins required for special taxes proposed by governments themselves.
Some humility from the authors would have been welcome about the risks of the radical restructuring that basic income would entail; Van Parijs and Vanderborght see only upside. To illustrate the downside potential, consider the poor results from annual per-capita payments of casino revenues to American Indian tribes (not discussed in the book). Some tribes enjoy a very high “basic income”—sometimes as high as $100,000 per year— in the form of these payments. But as the Economist reports, “as payment grows more Native Americans have stopped working and fallen into a drug and alcohol abuse lifestyle that has carried them back into poverty.” The magazine contrasts this fate with that of more successful tribes like Washington State’s Jamestown S’Klallam, which eliminated poverty by investing in tribal-owned small businesses instead of handing out cash grants.
Scott came to the job amid escalating criticism from city residents about filth and crime in San Francisco’s streets. He spoke as newly released figures revealed that victims had reported 17,970 vehicle break-ins across San Francisco through the end of July, a 28 percent jump from the same period last year.
At this rate, the city will far exceed the 25,899 burglaries in 2015, which the civil grand jury said cost victims at least $19 million. In 2010, less than 10,000 vehicle break-ins were reported the entire year.
Magnifying the problem, guns taken in car burglaries have been used in a number of killings in the city, including the July 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle on Pier 14.
The civil grand jury report, released in June 2016, said gangs were responsible for up to 80 percent of the burglaries, but that police made arrests in fewer than 2 percent of cases.
The U.S. economy expanded at its most robust pace in more than two years in the spring and appears to have momentum going into the second half of the year, supported by solid consumer spending and a pickup in business investment.
Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S., rose at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 3% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the strongest quarter in more than two years and some forecasters expect growth will remain around that pace in the third quarter.
In the case of California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, the court by a 5 – 2 majority held that statutes proposed by voter initiative need not be held to the same procedural standards as statutes proposed by local government agencies.
The opinion by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar held that Proposition 218 does not limit voters’ ‘power to raise taxes by statutory initiative.’ A contrary conclusion would require an unreasonably broad construction of the term ‘local government’ at the expense of the people’s constitutional right to direct democracy, undermining our longstanding and consistent view that courts should protect and liberally construe it.