A branch of Bank of America in Beverly Hills. (Photo: 4kclips, via Shutterstock)
By law, currently California cities and counties typically have one place to deposit the funds they collect from taxes, fees and fines: private commercial banks. Billions of dollars of public money are handled by commercial banks — for a fee. Despite having billions of dollars banked, municipalities have no say in how their money is used by commercial banks. Bank management, owners and stockholders set policy.
A loan document ready to be signed. (Photo: Lane V. Erickson, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The California Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill that caps consumer loan rates and threatens to sever a vital credit lifeline for many. Oddly, three commercial lenders who offer the kind of loans subject to this regulation support it.Assembly Bill 539 would cap the interest rate at 36% plus the federal funds rate on loans of more than $2,500 but less than $10,000.
A stem cell researcher with microscope and digital tablet. (Photo: moreimages, via Shutterstock)
The $3 billion California stem cell agency, which is running out of cash, has served notice that it would stop accepting applications for more research awards beginning next month. The low key announcement on Thursday is another step towards the looming demise of the 14-year-old agency, created by voters in November 2004.
A 3D rendering of stock indices in open space. (Image: Vitaly Sosnofsky)
There are clouds on California’s economic horizon, but whether they herald a coming recession is uncertain. The experts agree that there is a slowdown, but there is little consensus beyond that.
Workers on the job at a construction site. (Photo: fuyu liu, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: As Californians, we should write the history we want – by strategically and pragmatically addressing the present economic challenges in a way that enables the next generation of Californians to thrive. Gov. Newsom this month announced the creation of the Commission on the Future of Work, and this is a powerful opportunity to align new policies and new politics.
A pharmacist puts medications on the shelves of his store. (Photo: viewfinder, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: We’ve seen the stories of Pharma Bro, we’ve read about Big Pharma’s Q1 profit margins. What drug companies are trying to keep secret though, is Pay-for-Delay, a sneaky tactic that brand name and generic drug companies are using – and getting away with — that costs Americans $3.5 billion per year in higher health care costs.
Visitors in the former federal prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. (Photo: Benny Marty, via Shutterstock)
Former state and federal prisoners, including those on parole, would have the right to vote in California, under a constitutional amendment approved by an Assembly committee. The measure, ACA 6, was approved Wednesday by the Democrat-controlled Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee in a 6-1 vote. The final decision will be made by voters.
Nursing students at a university health care facility. (Photo: Africa Studio, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Nursing is in my blood. My parents are both nurses. My sister, countless cousins and others in my family have all dedicated themselves to serving others through the noble profession of nursing. When I graduated high school, I briefly tried to outrun my destiny. I left Los Angeles to enroll at UC Merced, only to find that the call to nursing remained strong.
A photo illustration depicting sky-high interest rates. (Image: Becky Stares, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: High-cost, extreme interest rates are having a detrimental impact on the financial stability and well-being of both credit markets and borrowing consumers. We strongly support Assembly Bill 539 (Limón) as the right approach for consumers to have a loan that is affordable and accessible while promoting a sustainable, healthy credit market for lenders.
The state Treasurer's headquarters in Sacramento, where CalSavers is based. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)
A new state workplace retirement savings program, CalSavers, will open to an estimated 250,00 to 300,000 employers on July 1 — offering an automatic IRA payroll deduction for the 7.5 million California workers with no retirement plan on the job. The massive program, expected to handle billions in savings, is voluntary for employees.