05/22/2019

News

From The West Coast To New England, Lawmakers Push Policies That Inflate Gas Prices & Utility Bills

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently called for the state’s energy commission to investigate the cause of California’s relatively high gas prices. At the time of Newsom’s request on April 23, California drivers were paying an average of $4.03 per gallon according to AAA, or $1.18 more than the national average. “Independent analysis suggests that an […]

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Retail Sales Declined In April

Spending at U.S. retailers declined in April, signaling hesitation among consumers as the second quarter began. Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in April from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The drop fell short of economists’ expectations for a slight increase. It […]

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5 Takeaways From Newsom’s Revised Budget Plan

Buoyed by California’s strong economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom sent state lawmakers a revised budget on Thursday that boosts his already-hefty January proposal to $213.6 billion. Ka-ching! Public schools will reap most of the gains if the Democratic-controlled Legislature rolls with him. Newsom also upped his ante on the housing crisis with a proposed $1 billion […]

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Trump Tax Cut To Be Eroded Next Year By Inflation Switch

Last year’s big tax cut is about to start shrinking. The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday announced the tax code’s parameters for 2019, implementing a new method for making inflation adjustments that will result in higher tax payments—and government revenue—over time. The shift will cost Americans $133.5 billion over a decade, according to Congress’s Joint […]

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Apple Supplier Jabil To Close Silicon Valley Site, Impacting Nearly 300 Employees

Jabil Inc., a manufacturer for tech giants like Apple Inc., is closing one of its Silicon Valley sites and laying off or transferring hundreds of local employees as business slows. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based electronics manufacturer and contractor is closing its Silver Creek facility in San Jose, affecting 298 total employees, the company confirmed to […]

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Do Early Polls on Split Roll Tell Us Anything?

Once again, PPIC tested the value of Proposition 13 with voters. And, once again likely voters declared Prop 13 worthy. Asked if Proposition 13 was mostly a good or a bad thing, 64% of likely voters said it was a good thing, only 24% responded it was mostly bad. The margin was larger than the […]

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Do California Cement Factories Pollute More Than Those In China Or India? Study Suggests Time To Further Reduce Carbon Emissions.

California’s cement industry could be overhauled if Sierra Club California and a Bay Area Assembly member get their way. A new Sierra Club study says cement production is responsible for 5 percent of carbon pollution globally. “This is one industry that has managed to keep the status quo even though the science is showing we […]

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‘It’s the Human Way’: Corruption Scandals Play Out in Big Cities Across U.S.

A senior aide to a former mayor of Atlanta collapses on a courtroom floor after hearing that she is headed to prison. F.B.I. agents in Los Angeles haul away computers and documents during a raid of a veteran councilman’s office. News cameras trail the most powerful alderman in Chicago as he walks to court to […]

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Vacancy glut in SF could spur tax on empty storefronts

Under Peskin’s proposal, owners of commercial properties in Neighborhood Commercial Districts — areas where stores and services are clustered — that are vacant for more than six months would face a fine of at least $250 per day. And while storefronts are the visible face of the long-term vacancy problem, Peskin wants to target residential […]

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Big polluters get help from the state, renewing doubts about California’s climate goals

The 2017 deal, for subsidies worth as much as $350 million, rescued a cliffhanger vote in the Legislature that extended the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030. Under cap and trade, industries may pay to pollute by buying allowances in a carbon-trading market. In addition, some receive free allowances from the state. The state Air Resources […]

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Judicial Hellholes 2018-19

The 2018 – 2019 Judicial Hellholes report shines its brightest spotlight on nine jurisdictions, courts or legislatures that have earned reputations as Judicial Hellholes. Some are known for welcoming litigation tourism or as hotbeds for asbestos litigation, and in all of them state leadership seems eager to expand civil liability. A recent study released by […]

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Another conflict brewing over work disability costs

Oregon’s workers compensation system is the go-to oracle on how costs vary from state to state. Its latest national survey, released this month, found that California, which long had the nation’s highest costs as a percentage of payroll, had dropped to No. 2 behind New York. California’s current rate in the survey, 2.87 percent, is […]

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Business Continued to be Plagued By PAGA Lawsuits

I hear from business owners and managers daily and these lawsuits are life changing experiences and could be compared to the stress of a divorce or the death of a spouse. Most of the stories are the same, their employee teetering on the edge of being fired, and the employer trying to help them. Final […]

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California’s carbon-credit market often pays for greenhouse gas reductions that would’ve happened anyway

However, reporting by the San Diego Union-Tribune has revealed numerous instances where companies and nonprofits selling offsets didn’t shrink their carbon footprint as a result of the program — raising questions about the ability of the program to fight climate change. In some situations, groups maintained green business practices that long preceded the offset program, […]

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Increased Crime By Mentally Ill Homeless Worries San Francisco North Beach Residents

Residents of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood packed a community meeting on Monday night to voice their concerns about the concurrent increases of both homelessness and crime in the area. Over the weekend, San Francisco police said a mentally ill homeless man viciously attacked a man walking in Washington Square Park with his young son. […]

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