Posts Tagged: representatives
A natural gas power plant near Ventura. (Photo: Richard Fitzer, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: When California’s signature climate change program was nearing its expiration date, there was serious debate about whether to extend it. This program, called Cap-and-Trade, reduces carbon emissions but it also increases the costs of gas, electricity, and numerous other necessities. That’s a significant problem in a state known for high taxes, onerous regulations, and the worst small business climate in the country.
Photo illustration, political cash on the move: IQoncept, via Shutterstock
When California introduced its Cal-Access campaign finance website, “There was nothing like it in the country,” said Rob Lapsley, who was under-Secretary of State in 2000, the year the campaign disclosure tool made its debut. Fast forward 15 years: What was once cutting edge is now obsolete. “The current system is broken, literally.”
Watering crops in California's Central Valley. (Photo: CRSHELARE, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The State Water Resources Control Board (Board) has tried for too long to bully Byron- Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), and we’ve had enough. It’s time the Board’s misguided case against BBID ends and remove the regulatory limbo the farmers within BBID currently face.
A professionally operated drone heads into the sunset. (Photo: Concept W, Shutterstock)
On a Saturday night in early December, while relaxing at his Martinez, Calif., home, Chinese exchange student Owen Ouyang decided to have some fun. He went out to the front yard and launched a sleek new drone he had recently purchased online for about $1,000. The 2.8-pound drone, advertised as “easy to fly,” proved anything but. Soon after takeoff, the drone veered dangerously toward a power line. It then climbed more than 700 feet – right into the path of a California Highway Patrol helicopter
An L.A. freeway interchange at dusk. (Photo: Shutterstock)
OPINION: California drivers are bearing the burden of the state’s transportation funding crisis, with the average driver spending more than $500 a year to repair the wear and tear on their vehicle caused by bad roads. Gas tax revenues currently fund most of the state’s road maintenance and repairs, but gas tax revenues are declining as cars become more fuel efficient and as drivers adopt hybrids and electric vehicles.
The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)
After a loss of $100 billion in the recent recession, the CalPERS funding level dropped from 100 percent in 2007 to 61 percent in 2009. It has not recovered, despite a major bull market in which the S&P 500 index of large stocks tripled. “Even with the dramatic returns we have seen over the past six years, because the demographics of plans in general have changed and plans are now by and large cash-flow negative, it’s been very challenging to dig out of that hole,” Andrew Junkin, a Wilshire consultant, told the CalPERS board last week.
By next week, consumers could see their internet service subject to taxation. Currently, internet service providers do not charge state or local sales tax, thanks to a piece of federal legislation called the Internet Tax Freedom Act. But that law, authored 16 years ago by former California Congressman Chris Cox and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, will expire on Dec. 11 unless Congress acts to extend it or make it permanent.
In the months since the FBI raided the offices of Senator Ron Calderon, the most interesting thing that’s happened in the State Capitol is what hasn’t happened in the State Capitol. Unlike broader efforts for political reform that accompanied previous corruption scandals, there has been barely a peep from California politicians of either party about the need to clean up a system that has become consumed by non-stop fundraising.