Posts Tagged: year

Analysis

Battered, California GOP struggles to maintain toehold

Republicans show support for Donald Trump at a rally at the Anaheim Convention Center. (Photo: mikeledray, via Shutterstock)

Not long ago, California Republicans slugged it out with Democrats in competitive statewide campaigns and threw considerable weight into legislative policy debates. But today, after a quarter-century slide into irrelevancy and dogma, it’s reasonable to consider if the state party still has a pulse and if its future includes a revival.

News

Inside the Capitol — procedurally

The California State Senate in Sacramento. (Photo: Trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

This is the fourth in a series of detailed articles about the inner workings of the state Capitol relating to structure, rules and procedures — including a look at vetoes and the budget.

News

California’s bumpy path to road repairs

A mid-1930s truck on a Kern County highway. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock)

California’s already poor roads deteriorated to a whole new level of disrepair this winter. Sinkholes have popped up throughout the state and major roads have closed because of damage. To cite just a few major examples: Portions of Interstate 80 and Highways 50 and 49 were closed due to mudslides. Parts of Highway 1 remain closed because of storm damage. Numerous local roads were battered severely.

News

‘Special master’ appointed to eye State Bar

An attorney gives advice to a client via a cell phone. Photo: PhuShutter)

A special master has been named to ride herd on the State Bar’s request for money – a move that follows the Legislature’s unprecedented refusal to allow the bar to collect dues from thousands of attorneys. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Wednesday appointed appellate court Justice Elwood Lui of Los Angeles to examine the Bar’s funding request.

Opinion

Schools: Time right for strong energy standards

Three young students with computers at the 11th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo in May. (Photo: David Gilder, Shutterstock)

OPINION: After years of tightened budgets, K-12 schools in California are always looking for ways to save money without diminishing the quality of classroom instruction. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has a golden opportunity to help schools do just that, with the recent release of final energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors that the CEC estimates would save Californians $370 million each year.

News

CA pensions’ tax bite exceeds national average

The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)

California pension funds take a bigger share of tax revenue than the national state average, a research website shows. Why the growing costs are outpacing the norm is not completely clear. A prime suspect for some would be overly generous pensions, particularly what critics say is an “unsustainable” increase for police and firefighters widely adopted to match a big increase given the Highway Patrol by SB 400 in 1999.

News

Governor, wife, dogs to live in official mansion

The governor's mansion, now a state historical park, in downtown Sacramento at 16th and H Streets. (Photo: Kensly, Google Earth)

Gov. Jerry Brown, his wife Anne and their two dogs intend to move into California’s official governor’s mansion — a dramatic departure from the midtown loft he currently occupies and the mattress-on-the-floor apartment he had during his first term 40 years ago.

News

A torrid June, but water usage cut

A suburban home with a lawn that hasn't been watered in months. (Photo: Suzanne Tucker, via Shutterstock)

Despite the hottest June on record, Californians cut back on their water use statewide by by 27.3 percent statewide compared with June 2013, a reduction that exceeded the level ordered in the governor’s emergency drought regulations. The cut in usage amounted to more than 182,000 acre-feet of water, or about 59.4 billion gallons by urban water suppliers.

News

Property taxes: The magic bullet for budget stability?

A graph showing the volatility of income tax revenue (solid line). Prperty tax revenue is in blue.(Graphic: LAO)

Could making our state budget more dependent on property tax revenues be the key to eliminating the roller-coaster budgets of the last two decades? Since the early 1990s, we’ve lived through the boom and bust cycles of the California budget. Today, we are more dependent than ever on personal income taxes. And those taxes are more progressive than they have been in years, meaning our economic stability is tied to the fate of the wealthy .

News

Parched state looks for rain — anywhere

Islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, an aerial view. The Delta is home to about half of California's drinking water. (Photo: Worldislandinfo.com

John O’Hagan of the Division of Water Rights told the board that the state’s snow water equivalent — which is the amount of water that the Sierra snow pack will produce — is only 14% of average. He added the states reservoirs are only 50 percent of capacity. Both figures elicited a gasp from those present.

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