10/24/2019

News

Court says California violates rights of poor defendants by imposing fees

California is violating the rights of poor defendants by attaching fees to misdemeanor criminal convictions regardless of their ability to pay, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles singled out payments imposed by state law to help fund court operations and maintain a statewide […]

Read More

California pot taxes lag as illegal market flourishes

Deep in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget is a figure that says a lot about California’s shaky legal marijuana market: The state is expecting a lot less cash from cannabis taxes. The Democrat’s proposed spending plan, released Thursday, projects the state will bank $355 million in marijuana excise taxes by the end of June. That’s […]

Read More

Windfall for California K-12 schools, more spending from early to higher ed in Newsom’s first budget

School districts laboring under higher mandated expenses would receive a surprise windfall — pension-cost relief — in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first proposed state budget for 2019-20, which will also provide big spending increases for early and higher education. Using surplus money from the state’s General Fund, Newsom would wipe out $3 billion of districts’ rising […]

Read More

It’s a big deal: Newsom’s housing budget, explained

From major funding increases for affordable housing, to his threat to take away any city’s transportation dollars if it doesn’t meet its housing quota, Newsom’s plans match the audacious ambitions he outlined in the campaign. “We are not playing small ball with housing,” said Newsom. Not that his plan includes everything (more on that later), […]

Read More

Newsom offers some relief for hard hit schools

Gov. Newsom proposed a state budget yesterday that would give CalPERS an extra $3 billion to pay down debt and CalSTRS a potential extra $5.9 billion, most to pay down debt but also some for relief to schools hard hit by doubling pension costs. “We are investing an historic amount and doing what no previous […]

Read More

Newsom wants extra pension payments as retirement liability tops $256B

Following Jerry Brown’s footsteps, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he wants to make extra pension payments even as California’s retirement liabilities for state workers and teachers top $256 billion. In unveiling his first budget, flush with a surprisingly large surplus from a robust economy, Newsom said he wants to put an extra $3 billion into […]

Read More

Dan Walters: A cautious budget with a bold housing plan

While Newsom stressed the budget’s finances, it’s also a policy document whose most important segment deals with the state’s most pressing issue, a chronic and growing shortage of housing that has driven costs sky-high, discouraged private sector investment and caused the state to have the nation’s highest level of poverty. Brown was only tangentially interested […]

Read More

Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens to cut state funding from cities that don’t approve enough housing

For 50 years, California has required cities and counties to plan for enough new housing so that residents can live affordably. But many local governments fail to approve new development, contributing to the state’s housing crunch. Now, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a radical new step: punishing communities that block homebuilding by withholding state tax […]

Read More

Steven Greenhut: Here Comes the Spending Spree!

The California Legislature gets its share of national attention for some of the wackadoodle bills that it routinely signs into law. It’s 2019, which means that it’s now illegal for full-service restaurants to provide straws with sodas unless a customer specifically asks for one. Furthermore, water and unflavored milk must now be the default option […]

Read More

Finally, a Crackdown on Misuse of Taxpayer Money

Although state law specifically prohibits public officials from using taxpayers’ money for political campaigning, they have been doing exactly that throughout California. Local governments hire “consultants” to poll voters on what tax and bond measures they would find acceptable, to draft those proposals accordingly and, finally, to run so-called “information” campaigns to persuade voters to […]

Read More

The Financial Context of the Imminent California Supreme Court Decision on the “California Rule”

Any day now, the California Supreme Court will rule on what may be one of the most significant cases affecting pension reform in California history. The case, CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, challenges one of the provisions of PEPRA(Public Employee Pension Reform Act) Governor Brown’s 2013 pension reform legislation. The plaintiffs argue that PEPRA’s abolition […]

Read More

Now for the Hard Part: Getting Californians to Buy Legal Weed

A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the state — these were some of the promises made by proponents of marijuana legalization in California. One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just promises. California’s experiment in legalization is mired […]

Read More

Tesla Scrambles to Sell Cars Before a Tax Break Fades

But not for much longer. Under federal rules, the full tax credit is available only on the first 200,000 cars that a manufacturer sells in the United States; two quarters later, the credit is reduced. Tesla reached that threshold in July. As a result, the credit available to Tesla buyers will fall to $3,750 for […]

Read More

Opinion: Universal basic income is a solution in search of a problem

The fear of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) has spurred countless conversations about the future of work and how we humans will fare in an age of robots. Many fear technological unemployment as others preemptively denounce future income inequality. To confront the “dismal” future of work, many in the policy world, the tech world, and […]

Read More

Opinion: The Electric Kool-Aid Subsidy Test

Mr. Trump’s initial response to GM’s plant closure news was to threaten to punish the company by stripping its federal subsidies. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow later acknowledged that Mr. Trump can’t legally single out GM for subsidy retribution. Instead the White House may take the better route of proposing to eliminate subsidies for […]

Site has paywall
Read More