“As the state prison population comes close to exceeding a court-mandated limit, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is pursuing new regulations that aim to get more inmates paroled more quickly over time,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “The proposed rules, originating from voter approval of Proposition 57 in November and unveiled [March 24], would allow ‘nonviolent’ felons to first seek parole at the conclusion of the base term for their primary offense, before serving additional time for other charges and enhancements that can add years to their sentence.”
As Hamby’s experience reflects, the frustrations of living in the Bay Area have become so pronounced that confidence in the economy has sunk to its lowest level in four years, according to a survey released Saturday by the Bay Area Council. Housing and traffic concerns have usually topped the list, but they have intensified this year. In 2014, 53 percent of respondents said they felt the economy was doing better than it was in the previous six months. According to the survey, only 31 percent of respondents feel that way today.
Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015. The statewide numbers are just as striking: Police recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, according to the California attorney general’s office, with about 1.1 million arrests in 2015 compared with 1.5 million in 2006.
Taken together, these charts show that not all job growth is created equal. The Bay Area is booming with new high-wage jobs, while much of the rest of the state is being led by lower-wage job growth. As the California economy changes its form, the economic engine of the state has moved North. Meanwhile, in parts of the state that are home to most of the population, the job growth has been below the state average and tends to be lower-wage work.
Many measures track some form of business optimism, and generally reveal the same trends. But the RSM Index has a novel twist: a new set of questions that track how that optimism is tied up in expectations that President Donald Trump will be able to change the business environment for U.S. firms. The surge in business optimism largely owes to hopes that regulations and taxes will decrease, and that the federal government could invest heavily in the nation’s infrastructure. These views have come in for criticism from those wondering if the new administration will be able to execute on all of its goals. But businesses are already building in different expectations about how much will be accomplished in Washington in coming years.