Tag Archive: California Business

Feb 06 2013

The California Flap: February 6, 2013

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President Ronald ReaganToday would be the 102nd Birthday of California Governor and President of the United States Ronald Reagan

The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

An important deadline to remember:

  • February 22, 2013: Deadline to introduce bills.

Each member of the Assembly and State Senate are allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in this two year legislative session.

On to today’s California headlines:

  • S.F. GOP leader slammed by Republicans – As chairwoman of the San Francisco Republican Party, attorney Harmeet Dhillon possesses an unusual background for a GOP leader. The Indian American is a past board member of the American Civil Liberties Union and doesn’t focus on the divisive social issues that have alienated the GOP from Californians. But now that Dhillon is running to be vice chair of the California Republican Party – she would be the first female of color in the job – one of the state’s top conservative groups is ripping her for being a little too San Francisco, warning that Dhillon is a Bay Area liberal who “simply doesn’t represent our values.” The California Republican Assembly, a conservative activist group, says Dhillon’s political contributions to Kamala Harris when she was running for San Francisco district attorney and Dhillon’s 2002-05 stint on the board of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is a deal-breaker.
  • CARB honcho Mary Nichols makes power grab – What do the California Air Resources Board, the Transit Authority, the Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Bar Pilots have in common? More than you would think. Because all vehicles, railroads, aircraft, freight movers and floating vessels are polluters, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols (pictured nearby) would like a say in regulating them. The Assembly Transportation Committee originally announced it would meet on Monday, Feb. 4. The meeting agenda said it was to be about Assembly Bill 8, which would increase or extend $2.3 billion of fees on car owners until 2023. According to Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, these will include smog abatement fees, air quality management district fees, vehicle and boat registration fees and new tire fees. However, AB 8 was dropped from the agenda, and no mention of it was made at the two and one-half hour hearing.
  • California passes up millions for prison healthcare, report says – California’s court-run prison healthcare program is missing out on tens of millions of dollars a year in federal funds because of disagreement with counties and software problems, a new legislative report states. The legislative analyst’s office found increasing numbers of prison inmates who, because of their low income status, are eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. That program, delivered through counties, draws matching federal reimbursements. The LAO notes that federal policy has allowed states to collect federal Medicaid reimbursement for eligible state prison inmates since 1997. The agency states that California has only recently developed a process to obtain this funding, and is not yet seeking the full amount possible.
  • Compromise pot measure placed on May ballot – A third measure to regulate how medical marijuana clinics operate in Los Angeles was placed on the May 21 ballot by the City Council on Tuesday, offered as a compromise to two other measures that are also going before voters. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich urged the council to adopt the measure to resolve the marijuana issue after years of dispute and legal challenges. “This will put in place what we had back in 2010,” Trutanich said. “I believe this is the most sensible regulation we can come up with. This will give us the opportunity to regulate medical marijuana while making it accessible to those who need it.” Under the proposal, approved on a 10-3 vote, the original 135 dispensaries that registered with the city when an interim control ordinance was in place will be able to operate in the city. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has admitted using marijuana as part of his cancer treatment, hailed the council action.
  • California cities likely to keep right to ban medical pot dispensaries – California cities appear likely to retain the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, over the objections of medical pot advocates who argue such restrictions undermine the state law allowing the use of cannabis for medical reasons. During a hearing Tuesday in San Francisco, the California Supreme Court appeared inclined to allow cities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in a case that has sweeping ramifications for local governments across the state and in the Bay Area, where dozens of cities have enacted dispensary bans. The dispensaries argue local governments cannot ban what California law allows, but the Supreme Court appeared unready to embrace that position. Most of the justices were openly skeptical of the arguments of a dispensary that challenged Riverside’s right to ban medical pot providers. The justices appeared particularly troubled that the 1996 voter-approved law allowing medical marijuana use, and later legislative revisions, did not expressly bar local gov..
  • Gov. Brown dismisses Texas’ job-poaching efforts as ‘a big nothing’ – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday dismissed the efforts of Texas Gov. Rick Perry to recruit California businesses to relocate as a political stunt motivated by a breathless media. The story received wide attention Monday when the Texas governor launched a statewide radio ad urging California businesses to move to the Lone Star State to take advantage of what Perry called a more favorable environment for companies. Speaking at a news conference in West Sacramento, the California governor quoted philosopher Marshall McLuhan as Brown dismissed Perry and scolded reporters for giving more attention to the story than it deserves. Noting that Perry spent just $26,000 on statewide radio, Brown called the ad campaign “a big nothing.” He went on to say people have been seeking to take what belongs to California since the gold rush. “You go where the gold is,” he said. Perry is “not going to Lubbock, or whatever those places are that make up that state.”
  • Environmentalists and unions band together to fight CEQA changes – Environmentalists and labor unions are banding together to fight efforts to overhaul California’s landmark environmental law. Organizers said the new coalition, made up of dozens of advocacy groups and dubbed “CEQA Works,” was formed to counter an aggressive campaign by business groups to make changes to the California Environmental Quality Act. While legislation has yet to be introduced, Gov. Jerry Brown has called on the Legislature to streamline the law to help speed the state’s economic recovery. Environmentalists fear a repeat of last year, when lawmakers tried and failed to push through last-minute changes that activists said would have gutted CEQA. “CEQA is the most foundational environmental law in California,” said Bruce Reznik, executive director of the Planning and Conservation League, one of the coalition’s founding members. “We decided we couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore and wait for bad things to happen.”
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Feb 05 2013

The California Flap: February 5, 2013

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Connie ConwayCalifornia Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway

The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

An important deadline to remember:

  • February 22, 2013: Deadline to introduce bills.

Each member of the Assembly and State Senate are allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in this two year legislative session.

On to today’s California headlines:

  • GOP leader Connie Conway getting heat from caucus critics – Whispers are getting louder.Assembly Republicans are not talking publicly, but they’re meeting in little groups and buzzing among themselves about the possible overthrow of their caucus leader, Connie Conway.A key question is whether any Republican can corral enough votes for a coup. No Assembly member has pushed publicly to succeed Conway, though veteran Don Wagner of Irvine and freshman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach are touted privately as possibilities. They did not respond to interview requests Monday.

    Republicans are still reeling over the loss of three GOP seats in last November’s election, a stunning party defeat that handed Democrats a supermajority in the 80-member house.

  • TED conference leaving Long Beach for Vancouver – TED is leaving Long Beach.The national TED conference, which has taken place in Long Beach for four years and will have its fifth event here this month, will move to Vancouver, Canada, next year to celebrate its 30 th anniversary, officials announced Monday.TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, will host its final Long Beach-based conference Feb. 25 to March 1 at the downtown Long Beach Terrace Theater. The sold-out, invitation-only conference will be headlined by Bono, a renowned activist for social justice and lead singer of U2.

    Mayor Bob Foster said in a statement Monday that TED will be “missed.”

    “We enjoyed TED’s run in Long Beach and the past five years gave a tremendous opportunity to showcase the city to new audiences. California will miss them, but we wish them nothing but the best in Vancouver,” Foster said.

  • Janet Napolitano: San Diego border ‘secure’ – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday that the San Diego border with Mexico is secure but not impregnable.“I believe the border is secure,” Napolitano said following an aerial tour of the international line and a meeting with Mayor Bob Filner and law enforcement officials. “I believe the border is a safe border.”Others noted that illegal crossings remain more of a problem in some areas than others.

    Napolitano cited a sharp decline in apprehensions for attempted illegal crossings and increases in the capture of contraband currency, illicit drugs and human traffickers as evidence that measures used in San Diego are working.

    The secretary added that there is no way to declare the border free from illegal crossings.

  • Twitter has big Super Bowl Sunday – The 49ers may have come up short in Super Bowl XLVII, but another San Francisco entity came out a big winner Sunday: Twitter.Various postgame breakdowns on social-media use during Sunday’s big event showed Twitter has become the outlet of choice for viewers who increasingly use their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops as secondary screens to multitask while they watch live televised events.Also, Super Bowl advertisers this year heavily favored posting Twitter hashtags over links to Facebook pages during commercials aired during the game – not an insignificant trend considering that 30-second spots cost up to $4 million each.
  • Medical marijuana bans to be decided by California Supreme Court on Tuesday – The state Supreme Court this week will hear arguments about whether cities can use zoning laws to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.The high court will begin hearing oral arguments today from attorneys representing Riverside and attorneys for Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center, a medical marijuana collective in the city.The Supreme Court’s ruling will be binding on numerous cases questioning the use of zoning to ban dispensaries and could affect dozens of cities bans.

    “The Supreme Court is going to bring clarity and uniformity to the law because we now have some courts of appeal that have ruled in favor of cities in these issues and some that have ruled in favor of medical marijuana dispensaries,” said T. Peter Pierce, an attorney for Los Angeles-based Richards, Watson & Gershon, whose firm is representing Upland in a similar case that was appealed to the Supreme Court.

    “And, the trial courts are feeling like they don’t have concrete guidelines and have been a…

  • Texas governor sets sights on Haas Automation in Oxnard – Haas Automation Inc. in Oxnard will host a visit from Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 12, as the governor kicks off a campaign in California to lure businesses to his state.Perry likely has chosen Haas because the manufacturing giant and its site selection company, which negotiates packages with state and local officials on incentives and other deals, have been requesting proposals from Texas, North Carolina and Nevada, at least, for a possible expansion outside California.“I hope it doesn’t alarm anyone. We haven’t made any decisions, and I hope people understand we want to stay in California,” said Peter Zierhut, vice president of European operations for Haas, a maker of computer-controlled machines.

    “Yes, we’ve considered all our possibilities, and that includes talking to people in other states,” Zierhut said. “California has not been too bad to us, but as a growing company, it’s reasonable we listen to people when they come to us.”

  • Texas governor’s radio ad lures California business – It’s only a radio ad, but if you listen closely you can almost hear the swagger of the governor of Texas.”Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” says an sympathetic Gov. Rick Perry in the 30 second radio ad now on the air in California’s major radio markets.”I have a message for California businesses,” says. “Come check out Texas.”

    Perry’s new public relations assault is only the latest chapter in a saga that has been running now for years — a battle between the nation’s two most populous states for bragging rights about who’s got it the best.

  • California State GOP may pick a dealmaker for its revival – Jim Brulte – Desperate to return to relevance, the battered California Republican Party is looking for salvation in a shrewd dealmaker and prolific fundraiser once known for advancing his party’s interests in a Capitol dominated by Democrats.Jim Brulte, a former Senate and Assembly minority leader forced from the Legislature by term limits in 2004, is the odds-on favorite to be chosen state GOP leader at the party’s convention here next month.His plans for a rebirth focus, at the moment, on shoring up the basics: the fundraising operation, get-out-the-vote apparatus, data analysis capabilities and recruitment efforts. All have been ailing, leaving the GOP bent with debt and precipitating its increasingly poor performance at the polls.

    “I want to be the most boring Republican Party chair in history,” Brulte, who represented parts of the Inland Empire, said in an interview. “That means being in the trenches, doing the nuts and bolts. It’s not very glamorous, and it’s not very exciting, but it…

  • Engineering association funded shadowy initiative campaigns – A group that backs privatizing public infrastructure engineering work gave $400,000 to a opaque out-of-state organization that injected millions of dollars — and plenty of controversy — into California’s initiative campaigns last year.New state campaign filings show that American Council of Engineering Companies California made a $150,000 donation to a Virginia-based nonprofit in July and another $250,000 in September.That nonprofit, Americans for Job Security, in turn, gave money to another non-profit organization based in Arizona which then contributed $11 million to a California committee that opposed Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax hike and supported Proposition 32, which sought to end payroll-deducted political contributions.

    The engineering business group’s donation surfaced on Friday because California law requires political action committees to show their spending, including money that goes to issue-advocacy groups.

  • Jerry Brown responds to Rick Perry: ‘Texas, come on over!’ – Gov. Jerry Brown said today that the radio ads Texas Gov. Rick Perry is voicing in California are nothing more than a “few tricks,” doubtful they would influence businesses to leave the Golden State.”Do you think a few tricks from a politician is going to make any difference?” the Democratic governor told reporters at a business event in Los Angeles, according to a transcript provided by the governor’s office. “People invest their money where these big things have occurred. The ideas, the structures, the climate, the opportunity is right here on the Pacific Rim.”
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