02/23/2018

News

PAGA Problem Mirrors Workers Comp Before Reform of 2004

For the business community, the difficulties of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are similar to what business faced under the burden of workers compensation costs over a decade ago. Small businesses particularly had to cope with workers comp costs that stood at twice the national average threatening the viability of many establishments. While workers […]

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Cap and trade is looking more and more like a tax

The money that’s paid to the state for these permits looks a lot like a tax. But a state appeals court ruled that it’s not a tax, because it’s not compulsory. Any business that doesn’t want to pay it, the court reasoned, could simply go out of business. Now you know why other states don’t […]

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The Reality of Evs

This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the transportation industry. New cars and trucks are safer and more efficient than ever. Automakers are introducing new technologies every day and will be deploying scores of new models with technologically advanced drivetrains and other features in the coming years. Partnerships on highly autonomous vehicle deployment […]

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California’s drought restrictions on wasteful water habits could be coming back — this time they’ll be permanent

Anyone caught wasting water in California may be fined as much as $500 under new rules being considered by the state water board, officials said Monday. The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to adopt regulation coming before the board on Feb. 20 that would make it a crime to commit any of seven […]

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Politicians can’t have it both ways on climate change

Suing oil companies for causing climate change has become a popular exercise in California’s coastal communities. Officials in five cities and three counties have filed suits, alleging that the companies knowingly emitted greenhouse gases that will damage those communities as oceans rise, and should pay for it. . . .It’s easy to file a lawsuit […]

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New ZEV Bill Would Hurt the Least Well Off Californians

In effect, SB 1014 would force low income drivers into an unwinnable scenario in which they would be compelled to make a choice between plowing themselves into debt by purchasing a new vehicle, spending more than they otherwise would on a used conventional vehicle to purchase a used ZEV that effectively limits their ability to […]

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Four-month study on maybe-historic laundromat to delay Mission housing

A Mission District housing development is once again being delayed over the question of whether the building — constructed in 1924 and now a laundromat — is of historic value. The decision to delay the project for “four to five months” was made at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday and gives the city time […]

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Portland’s Bet on Forcing Developers to Build Affordable Housing Is Getting Lackluster Results

A year ago, Portland City Council enacted “Inclusionary Housing” (IH), a new policy requiring any apartment building of 20 units or more to rent a portion of them below market rates—from 30 to 80 percent of the city’s median family income, depending on the option a developer selects. When the city implemented the policy, detractors […]

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The High Cost of ‘Affordable Housing’ Mandates

As housing prices recover from the Great Recession, municipalities across America are considering laws that will raise the cost of homeownership. The Wall Street Journal reports that cities like Philadelphia, Detroit and Atlanta are requiring developers to set aside some portion of their new units to sell or rent at below-market prices to low-income households. […]

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Costly Subsidies For the Rich: Quantifying the Subsidies Offered to Battery Electric Powered Cars

There are also distributional impacts from these EV subsidies. IRS Statistics of Income data illustrate that, for the 2014 tax year, 78.7 percent ($207.1 million) of the federal consumer tax credits were received by households with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 or above. A further 20.5 percent of the tax credits ($54.1 million) […]

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How Effective is Energy-Efficient Housing? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Mexico

Despite growing enthusiasm, there is little empirical evidence on how well energy efficiency investments work. Evidence is particularly lacking from low- and middle-income countries, despite a widespread view that these countries have many of the best opportunities. This paper evaluates a field experiment in Mexico in which a quasi-experimental sample of new homes was provided […]

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Fertilizer on farm fields is a major source of California smog, researchers say

A startling new study led by UC Davis, however, says the fertilizer in farm soils is a major contributor to smog in California. In a study published Wednesday in the research journal Science Advances, a team led by UC Davis says agricultural soils contribute 25 to 41 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in California. Natural […]

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‘Extreme’ rent control could be coming to California soon

A costly and potentially bruising campaign is taking shape over rent control in California, with deep-pocketed Los Angeles activist Michael Weinstein bankrolling a proposed November ballot initiative to repeal a state law that sets tight limits on the type of housing covered under local rent control laws.

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A Calif. bill would jail people for handing out straws. It may be based on a child’s research.

The majority leader of the California State Assembly has introduced a bill that would, as written, impose jail sentences of up to six months if a restaurant worker hands out a single unsolicited plastic straw. . . . But repercussions have already spread beyond California, complicating a national movement to eliminate drinking straws. A report […]

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Environmentalism or ‘nanny state’? Efforts to regulate plastic in California take off

Environmental advocates in California who successfully pushed for a ban on single-use plastic bags have expanded their fight against plastic waste, targeting straws and bottle caps and calling on the state to increase the amount of recycled material in plastic water and soda bottles. The efforts face stiff opposition from the beverage and plastic industries, […]

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