Mission San Antonio de Padua, Jolon in Monterey County, California
The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.
On to today’s California headlines:
President Barack Obama is coming to the West Coast for a little fundraising love.
Air Force One is set to touch down at LAX at 4 p.m. Obama will then attend a dinner at the Beverly Hills home of soap opera writer and producer Bradley Bell, famous for “The Bold and the Beautiful,” according to this Annenberg TV News report. A Foo Fighters concert is also on the menu.
The president will also make stops in San Francisco and Seattle on Thursday and Friday.
Things are looking up for California’s beleaguered economy as the recovery from the recession hits a period of slow, modest growth this year and next, according to two economic reports.
Over the next two years, the state is poised to add nearly half a million jobs and drive the current 11.1% unemployment rate down to nearly 10%, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. said in an annual forecast scheduled to be released Wednesday.
And on Tuesday, financial rating company Standard & Poor’s upgraded its outlook on California’s ability to repay its debts to “positive” from “stable.”
“We think the state is poised for credit improvement — and potentially a higher rating,” S&P said.
An upgrade in the state’s credit rating would be “a powerful vote of confidence,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.
California’s improved financial condition, however, is based partly on continued budget cutting, which has fallen heavily on government jobs and services. The state lost 85,500 local, state and federal government jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007.
When a politician, especially one who appears to be flying high, drops out of a political race much speculation inevitably follows.
So it is in Ventura County this week, as bystanders try to ascertain why Supervisor Steve Bennett, the frontrunner in the Democratic field, dropped out of the House race on Saturday minutes before delegates at the state convention were about to award him the party’s endorsement.
In a prepared statement, Bennett offered three reasons:
• “It is clear my approach to public service” is more effective working on local issues.
• He is concerned that having multiple Democrats on the ballot could result in a Republican and an independent finishing first and second in June. He urged the party to unite behind a single candidate.
• He was worried that the election of any of the announced candidates for his supervisorial seat would result in “a significant philosophical shift on the board.”
OK. But what’s the real reason?
The superintendent of the Conejo Valley Unified School District, Jeff Baarstad, says he would recommend taking legal action if the district is no longer entitled to millions of dollars it would have received through the now abolished Thousand Oaks Redevelopment Agency.
“We are owed $1 million a year for the next 10 years in a RDA pass-through agreement, and we will consider legal action if the state or county review says that pass-through agreement is not an enforceable obligation,” Baarstad said.
Under the terms of the bill passed into law last year by the California Legislature,redevelopment agencies were to be eliminated and were required to prepare a list of what they consider to be enforceable financial obligations.
California has the nation’s highest state sales tax rate, but its overall rate, including local sales taxes, drops to 12th highest, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based organization that collects nationwide tax data.
Tennessee, the Tax Foundation says, has the nation’s highest average sales tax rate of 9.45 percent, followed by Arizona and Louisiana. Five states levy no sales taxes, but of those that do, Colorado is lowest at 4.54 percent.
Enjoy your morning!