12/16/2018

News

Steven Greenhut: State’s Fiscal Fate in High Court’s Hands

The latest California craziness to make national news is the Public Utilities Commission’s plan to vote next month on a tax on cellphone text messaging to help fund phone programs for the poor. It is the latest example of our state’s undying commitment to taxing virtually anything we do. The state general fund has $15 […]

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Ending the electric-car subsidy

This type of cronyism is bad enough on principle alone. But it gets worse in the case of EV tax credits. For one thing, the cost is borne disproportionately by lower- and fixed-income families who can’t afford electric vehicles. Who’s taking advantage of the subsidies? Primarily America’s wealthiest households. They don’t need a tax break […]

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Time ripens for much-needed school data system

A prudent investor would never consider buying shares of a company and then ignoring how the firm is performing in the marketplace. By the same token, it would be foolhardy for the state to spend $70 billion each year to educate six million K-12 students but stubbornly refuse to monitor whether those kids are receiving […]

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California’s golden pension rights need fixing

Quirky as airtime sounds, it’s the edge of a much larger issue on protecting pension rights embodied in the so-called California Rule. For decades, the courts have sided with arguments that pensions can’t be altered without compensation, an approached adopted by a dozen other states. . . . The political backdrop makes a court decision […]

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California moves to raise sales tax collections from out-of-state retailers

Shoppers looking for a bargain by skipping California sales tax will soon close a loophole that let them buy goods from out-of-state online retailers without immediately paying local taxes. That deal ends on April 1 for thousands of out-of-state online retailers that will be required to collect California sales tax for the first time, according […]

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OMG! Now California wants to tax text-messaging?

Texting your sweetheart that you’re on your way home? California may soon charge you for that. This is no LOL matter, critics say. State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless […]

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New water deal isn’t a political certainty

The WIN Act extension would, at least in theory, make restoration easier and make farmers’ water deliveries more predictable. It also would provide more than $670 million in federal funds for water storage projects that farmers and other water interests have been demanding to increase supply. While Feinstein, Brown and McCarthy are supporting the deal, […]

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Fast Train to Failure

The project’s troubles have been largely self-inflicted, starting with poor route choices. At the south end of the line, from the Central Valley to Los Angeles, rather than proceeding in a direct route from Los Angeles to the northwest through Tejon Pass, roughly along Interstate 5, the planned line takes a detour to the northeast […]

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Trump, Looking Beyond GM, Seeks to End All Electric Car Tax Credits, Kudlow Says

President Trump’s top economic adviser said the administration is looking to eliminate subsidies on electric cars, a move that could hamper the auto industry’s push to broaden the market for battery-powered vehicles. “As a matter of our policy, we want to end all those subsidies,” Lawrence Kudlow said on Monday. “And by the way, other […]

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Free community college could soon be a reality in California

Californians could soon get two years of community college for free, enough to earn an associate’s degree. In 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California College Promise, waiving the first year of community college tuition for full-time students. Assembly Bill 2, announced Tuesday, would add a second year to that program. “When […]

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The Global Carbon Tax Revolt

France’s violent Yellow Vest protests are now about many domestic concerns, but it’s no accident that the trigger was a fuel-tax hike. Nothing reveals the disconnect between ordinary voters and an aloof political class more than carbon taxation. The fault line runs between anti-carbon policies and economic growth, and France is a test for the […]

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More California kids would attend preschool under push in Legislature

Democrats return to the California Capitol on Monday with their strongest political advantage in decades poised to fulfill a huge item on their list of pent-up demands: Vastly expanded access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. Their plan comes with a big price tag, a problem that has doomed past proposals, most recently with outgoing […]

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Huge Delta water deal backed by Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Kevin McCarthy

California’s most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to deliver more Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state’s environmentalists. While controversial, the language in their proposal could help settle the contentious negotiations currently underway in Sacramento on Delta water […]

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Cal Facts 2018

With a state as big, as populous, and as complex as California, quickly summarizing how its economy or state budget works is impossible. Instead, Cal Facts is a visual guide—using a variety of different charts—to the state’s economy, revenues, and major program trends.

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The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force Report

California has the highest number of children and highest percentage of children living in poverty of any state in the nation.1 In order to help address additional strategies, in 2017 the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1520 (Chapter 415, Statutes of 2016) directing the California Department of Social Services to convene The Lifting Children and […]

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