Opinions

Tax debate must get beyond politics

The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Shutterstock)

OPINION: With more than a dozen major tax measures moving through the Legislature or toward the November 2016 ballot, California’s perennial debate about taxes is set to begin anew — with millions of dollars in political campaigns preparing to shape how the state will raise billions of dollars in revenue, and provide public services, for years to come.

Opinions

Vocational training key to skilled workforce, economic health

An apprentice engineer uses a milling machine at a training facility. (Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Shutterstock)

As the uneven economy recovery continues in California, there is one area where jobs remain available: technical workers. Workers with vocational training are currently in demand. The hardest segment of the workforce to replace has been the skilled trades, due to a shortage caused by the exodus of highly-skilled baby boomers that are entering retirement.

Opinions

Illness doesn’t discriminate — and neither should health care

Elementary school students in a California classroom. ((Photo: Monkey Business Images)

Right now California has the opportunity to lead the nation in one of the most pressing issues of our time: immigration reform and health for all. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a budget that will offer Medi-Cal access to all children, regardless of immigration status, sometime next year. While this is a significant investment in

Opinions

Making the case for ‘open data’

Voluminous data displayed on a computer monitor. (Photo: Dimitri Nikolaev)

“Open Data” is a hot topic in the Capitol, and as legislative deadlines approach, it’s worth updating on where the issue stands, and what to keep in mind as the state considers a path forward. Standardized and freely shared, public data can inform policymakers as well as state residents about the operations and performance of government.

Opinions

In medicine, experience and training are key

Health care delivery in California is moving toward an integrated model that brings together physicians, nurses and other health professionals, each playing a specialized role as a member of a team. As professionals that have served in multiple roles on that team, and done the training for each, we believe we are in a unique position to comment on Senate Bills 323 and 622, which would alter the roles of nurse practitioners and optometrists, respectively.

Opinions

Attempts to change Proposition 13 are misguided

Multiple bills have taken aim at Prop. 13, but the most popular among these bills pushes the so-called “split roll” property tax, which would eliminate Prop. 13 protections for job creators but leave them in place for homeowners. But a Pepperdine University study shows that the split roll could trigger the loss of nearly 400,000 jobs and cost California’s economy a total of $71.8 billion in output within the first five years.

Opinions

Small business, labor join together on franchises

It may seem nostalgic to think that small businesses and the people they employ could work together for the strength of our communities, but that old-fashioned idea is making a comeback because giant corporations like 7-Eleven are threatening the survival of both local franchise owners and workers in our communities.

Opinions

Politics, pocketbook go together

Everyone knows about the pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors and other financial interests that dominate political spending in Washington, D.C. Because federal spending provides a big share of those businesses’ revenues, it’s not surprising they spend heavily for a Congress sympathetic to their interests. But fewer know about the financial interests that dominate political spending in Sacramento.

Opinions

Vaccination bill dismantles parents’ informed consent

SB277 removes the right of informed consent from California parents. It slid through the Senate Floor on a Democratic Party line, and paused briefly at the Assembly Health Committee Hearing June 9th, drawing over 5,000 people in protest to the Capitol stairs and hallways of Sacramento. Its next stop, this week, the Assembly Floor Vote.

Opinions

Imported gas key to curbing methane emissions

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

California is in the midst of multiple regulatory efforts to reduce methane emissions from natural gas and oil operations throughout the state. It’s a key opportunity to make a real dent in the state’s climate impact since methane, the primary component of natural gas, packs over 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it is released unburned.

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