Tag: California Proposition 30

The California Flap: February 20, 2013


California Cap and Trade

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:

  • Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy – California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases resumed this week with its second auction of carbon allowances to industrial polluters. The market is being closely watched around the world, and billions of dollars are at stake. But some nagging questions are lingering from the first auction. The state’s first-ever carbon auction last November was a very exclusive online event, open only to bidders and regulators at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Four days later, Mary Nichols, who heads the board, declared it a resounding success, saying the auction came off “without a hitch.”
  • Second cap and trade California auction needs big bucks – In a private and somewhat secret event on Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget inched a little more towards balance… or further towards a multi-million dollar hole created by what’s turned out to be relatively low demand for greenhouse gas pollution credits. It was the second of three initial auctions of carbon dioxide credits, and the first since November’s offering came up significantly short in revenues available to the state. Net proceeds won’t be revealed by the California Air Resources Board until Friday.  The first auction brought in $55.8 million, less than a third of the $200 million expected in the governor’s budget through the end of June.
  • We predicted there was no California tax ‘windfall’ – The bottom line is that people react to tax increases. When he was plumping for the $6 billion Proposition 30 tax increase last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown touted a study by two Stanford sociologists that rich people supposedly don’t leave to avoid paying higher taxes. I debunked that study here and here. Wayne Lusvardi did so here. In about two months we’ll know much more about how Prop. 30 — and the federal Obamacare and fiscal cliff — tax increases have affected tax receipts and employment.
  • CalPERS to sell all its stock in two gun manufacturers – The nation’s biggest public pension fund is taking a stand against gun violence by voting to sell all its investments in two firearms manufacturers: Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm, Ruger & Co. On Tuesday, the Investment Committee of the California Public Employees’ retirement System voted to sell about $5 million worth of the gun makers’ stock and other securities. Some of the two companies’ products — particularly assault weapons and cheap handguns, known as Saturday night specials — are illegal in California. They “present a significant danger to the health, safety and lives of California residents, including our members, no matter where such weapons are sold or trafficked in the United States,” read the motion approved by the CalPERS board’s Investment Committee in a 9 to 3 vote. Representatives of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger did not respond to requests for comment on the CalPERS vote.
  • California Insurance commissioner touts new plan for CA health-care regions – Saying the Legislature’s existing proposal could exacerbate rate shock, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones unveiled his own proposal Tuesday for dividing California into geographic regions for implementing federal health-care reform. Jones vowed to appear Wednesday before Senate and Assembly health committees to push his 18-region plan instead of existing legislative proposals for six regions in 2014 and 13 regions in 2015. “I believe very strongly that we should draw regions in a way that minimizes rate increases,” Jones said. Because costs of providing health care differ among communities, residents could find themselves paying higher or lower premiums based on the extent to which regions drawn by the state differ from those currently used by health insurance firms.
  • A Mighty Wind – California Flatulence Jokes

The California Flap: January 24, 2013


Jerry BrownCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown AP Photo

This morning California Governor Jerry Brown will deliver his State of the State address.

The address, at 9 a.m., will be broadcast live by KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles and on KPCC-FM (89.3) radio. It can be seen online here. And, on the California Channel (check your television provider).

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.

Some important deadlines to remember:

  • January 25, 2013: Deadline to send bill ideas to the California Legislative Counsel for drafting.
  • 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 the morning’s California headlines:

  • Optimistic State of the State address expected from governor – Gov. Jerry Brown will deliver a State of the State address Thursday morning that lays out an ambitious and optimistic policy agenda for a state he says is on the rebound.After persuading voters to erase much of California’s budget deficit with billions of dollars in new taxes, Brown is free to shift his focus from patching holes in the government’s finances to a longer-term vision.He is expected to expand on his plans for shaking up public universities, shoring up water systems and boosting the state’s international trade.

    The governor may also renew his call for changes in the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, which business interests say inhibits growth with onerous requirements.

    And he may reiterate his warning to fellow Democrats that the state’s improved finances are not an invitation to spend freely.

  • The battle for CEQA – California’s core environmental protection law, a 43-year-old statute frequently denounced by developers and business interests as a tangle of red tape, is on a Capitol hit list once again.But the political dynamic this year is unusual: Those pushing hard for change are Democrats, including Gov. Brown, the Senate and Assembly leaders and a farm-belt lawmaker.At issue is the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, which requires builders and others to detail their projects’ potential impacts over time on the environment and offer ways to fix them – which helps local zoning commissions and city councils weigh the benefits and negatives of the proposals in their decision-making.
  • Cal lawmakers propose 72-hour posting of bills before final votes – A bipartisan group of California lawmakers concerned by the past rushing of legislation has proposed asking voters to require all bills to be in print and online for 72 hours before final passage.Sen. Lois Wolk (D- Davis) and Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) have introduced identical bills with the aim of improving transparency in the Legislature.Wolk noted that in the last two-year session, the Legislature considered nearly 5,000 bills. “While most of those proposals were publicly shared and well-vetted, some were not,” Wolk said. “Last-minute changes to bills can leave legislators unsure of what they are voting on, and prevent the public from weighing in on proposals.”
  • Ex-Treasury official Neel Kashkari mulling run for California office – Neel Kashkari, a Republican executive who worked for the U.S. Treasury Department at the height of the financial crisis, is reportedly weighing a run for public office in California.Kashkari, 39, announced today that he is stepping down from his job as management director for Pacific Investment Management Co., a Newport Beach investment firm. He expressed an interest in entering public service in California in multiple interviews published today and has launched a website touting his biography and leadership bona fides.
  • Court: Putting Prop. 30 on top of ballot was illegal – Anyone who still believes that there isn’t monkey business in politics needs only to look at the most recent election and a significant legal ruling handed down on Friday regarding Proposition 30. While it may seem too little, too late, this ruling does matter.The California State Court of Appeals found that Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature manipulated the ballot process, maneuvering Prop. 30 to land at the top of the ballot, above all of the other ballot measures. Prop. 30 increased taxes $6 billion a year.
  • Sacramento GOP consultant files suit against Lance Armstrong – Sacramento-based Republican strategist Rob Stutzman and local chef Jonathan Wheeler have filed a class-action lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and his publishers, alleging that the infamous cyclist deceived readers in a 2001 best seller.The 59-page suit lays out various “misrepresentations” in Armstrong’s “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.” It says Armstrong credited his Tour de France success to training, diet and drive while denying that he ever used banned substances.The suit was filed Tuesday in Sacramento’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleging unfair business practices, fraud, false advertising and deceit. The complaint seeks, among other things, attorney’s fees and refunds for California customers who purchased the book.

The California Flap: January 23, 2013


San Diego, California

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.

Some important deadlines to remember:

  • January 25, 2013: Deadline to send bill ideas to the California Legislative Counsel for drafting.
  • 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 the morning’s California headlines:

  • Friends remember Bob Larkin, long-time Republican and Simi Valley activist – Bob Larkin, a gregarious, small business owner, who once headed the county’s Republican Central Committee and championed Simi Valley causes has died.Larkin, who served as the committee’s chairman in the early 1990s, was a moderate Republican who was critical of the very conservative branch of the party and in return received criticism for some of his opinions, but he was unwavering in his beliefs, friends recalled on Monday.

    “He was always dedicated to what he believed in,” former U.S. Congressman Elton Gallegly, a Simi Valley Republican, said. “He clearly was involved. He was not afraid of controversy. He was not afraid or taking a controversial opinion. He wasn’t one of these guys who was out on a soap box waiving his finger at anyone. He let people know what he thought.”

    Larkin, who was in his mid 70s, died over the weekend.

  • Amazon to build huge distribution center in Tracy – Amazon said Tuesday it will employ hundreds of full-time workers at a new million-square-foot distribution center it will develop in Tracy, part of its quest to provide next-day and same-day deliveries.”It’s great to be getting these jobs,” said Michael Ammann, CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership. “This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility. It is not just going to be a few people with forklifts in a warehouse. It is going to be a very sophisticated operation for Amazon.”

    Potentially 500 or more full-time Amazon employees could work at the Tracy site.

    Amazon in late 2012 opened a center to fill customer’s orders in San Bernardino. And in the Stanislaus County city of Patterson, Amazon is building a distribution center that could employ 350 to 400, according to estimates from the governor’s office and the city of Patterson.

  • Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags – Assemblyman Marc Levine announced today he will revive a proposal banning all single-use plastic bags in California grocery stores.Under the proposal, most grocery retailers could no longer provide thin plastic bags for customers starting in 2015. For 18 months, retailers could offer paper bags made of recycled materials or reusable plastic bags for customers to bag their milk, eggs and other groceries.

    Starting in July 2016, grocery retailers could only provide reusable plastic bags, which many stores already offer at a fee. The new proposal, Assembly Bill 158, also leaves room for stores to provide recycled paper bags at a charge.

    Levine, a San Rafael Democrat in his first term, argues that the proposal would save marine life because he says single-use plastic bags account for roughly 10 percent of ocean debris. Environmental groups have backed similar bills in the past.

  • Herdt: Bob Larkin rang a bell; state GOP didn’t hear – Larkin died suddenly at his Westlake Village home on Saturday, and will be remembered as a civic-minded community leader in eastern Ventura County, as a dedicated businessman who continued to serve his customers every day until his death, a good-natured friend, a loving husband and a devoted golfer.
    As for his political epitaph, it can be written in four words: “I told you so.”

    Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, who benefited from Larkin’s support and mentoring, said recent history has proved Larkin to be something of a political prophet.



But, Herdt has the politics wrong and I will write about it another time.

  • Proposition 8: Backers of same-sex marriage ban make arguments to Supreme Court – Supporters of California’s Proposition 8 on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, firing the first legal volley of many to come before the justices hear arguments in the historic case in late March.In an 83-page brief, Proposition 8’s defenders decried a federal appeals court’s ruling last year declaring the 2008 gay marriage ban unconstitutional. California voters had a right to define “the vital social institution of marriage” as being between a man and a woman, the Proposition 8 legal team wrote.

    “In short, there is no warrant in precedent or precept for invalidating marriage as it has existed in California for virtually all of its history, as it was universally understood throughout this nation (and the world) until just the last decade, and as it continues to be defined in the overwhelming majority of states and nations,” they declared.

  • California sees a revenue bump after tax changes – After years of budget agony, California is seeing something strange this month: a heap of excess cash.The state is poised to finish January about $4 billion ahead of what forecasters expected in income taxes, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office – the biggest one-month overage that state fiscal experts can recall in recent memory.

    California also set a single-day record Jan. 16 when the Franchise Tax Board received $2.2 billion in taxes, mostly in payments from the 6 percent of filers who pay quarterly rather than have money deducted from paychecks.

  • Glendale City Council To Consider Gun Show Ban – City council members will consider a proposal Tuesday evening that would ban gun shows at the Glendale Auditorium.The Glendale Gun Show has been held at the auditorium since 1992 and is next scheduled to take place in March.

    Last year, three gun shows were held within city limits.

    City councilman Rafi Manoukian first suggested the proposal in December after the fatal shooting of 27 children and adults in Newtown, Conn.

    The council has several options for the ban: canceling rental contacts with the Glendale Gun Show for coming events, banning all gun sales on city property, and allowing the show to operate through the rest of 2013 and then enforcing a ban.

    But not all city residents believe a gun show ban will prevent violence.

  • Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale? – Ro Khanna — the former Obama Administration trade executive and Democratic rising star with a $1.2 million warchest — may be eying a big move: a House race against Democratic South Bay incumbent Mike Honda in 2014.That would be a 2014 Democrat v. Democrat battle worth watching.

    For one thing, it would represent a generational fight — pitting a 71-year-old, longtime political veteran of Japanese ancestry against a 35-year-old emerging leader of the South Asian Indo-American community, which is booming and flexing its muscle in the South bay.

    It would be a challenge of a longtime, traditional, respected Democratic labor favorite and party leader against an up and coming Democrat with tech saavy — and big Silicon Valley ties.


What Happens When Jerry Brown’s California Proposition 30 Fails?



Trick or Treat with Dan Walters and Proposition 30

Dan Walters explains the aftermath when Jerry Brown’s big tax increase and California budget initiative fails at the polls next Tuesday.

As the political odds turn against Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure, political insiders are turning their attention, however reluctantly, to the fallout should, indeed, voters reject the sales and income tax hike on Tuesday.

The measure would deliver $6 billion a year in new revenues and should it fail, Brown and the Legislature have already passed $6 billion in so-called “trigger cuts” that would be imposed, overwhelmingly on K-12 schools.

So that would seem to be that. But it’s not.

As Brown campaigns – with increasing desperation – for the measure, he insists that were it to fail, he’d refuse to sign legislation changing the trigger cuts to schools. But he has to say that, because the threat to schools is the core of his pitch to voters.

Whether he really would stand pat on the triggers is, therefore, problematic. Brown has never let a seemingly solid public position preclude changing his mind when political winds shift.

What we do know is that his allies in the educational establishment, especially unions such as the California Teachers Association, have no intention of meekly accepting the trigger cuts, even if most school districts have already built that worst-case scenario into their current budgets.

They would not only press Brown and the Legislature to reduce or eliminate the trigger cuts, but most likely would challenge their constitutionality in the courts, because the stakes are not just the 2012-13 fiscal and school years, but the shape of school finance for years to come.

Were the courts to void the triggers, they would take Brown and the Legislature off the political hook of having imposed them – much as the U.S. Supreme Court solved their political dilemma about overcrowding of prisons. “The judge made me do it” sounds much better to voters than “I changed my mind.”

The fact is Jerry Brown and his Democratic cronies in the Legislature will wear NO clothes after the tax increase fails.

They will have to make unpopular cuts – but as Walters explains they will have to make some anyway since Prop. 30 doesn’t solve the structural budget deficit.

Jerry Brown has wasted an entire year with Proposition 30 – no leadership there. Let the voters screw themselves and solve his budget dilemma.

However, Californians may have just screwed up his plan.


Governor Jerry Brown Takes Action to Try to Lower California Gas Prices


Sign of California Gas Prices

This is a screencap from last night and I understand prices have gone up even more this morning!

Californians are hurting with gasoline prices spiraling upward seemingly out of control. Now, California Governor Jerry Brown is taking emergency action to try to lower prices.

Gov. Jerry Brown took “emergency steps” Sunday to try to bring down record gas prices in the state.

He directed the California Air Resources Board to increase the fuel supply by allowing the immediate sale and import of cheaper and more available winter-blend gasoline.

The move would reduce the price of gas in California by 15 to 20 cents per gallon, probably within a few days, said energy expert Chris Faulkner of Dallas-based Breitling Oil and Gas.

“This would immediately increase the supply of gasoline in California,” Faulkner said, but he cautioned that it would take a few days for the governor’s move to be reflected at the pump.

“Gas goes up quickly and comes down slowly,” Faulkner said.

Winter-blend gasoline is a mixture that evaporates more quickly than gas sold in summer months. It’s considered more detrimental to air quality during warm weather.

Winter-blend gasoline typically isn’t sold until after Oct. 31.

I don’t mean to sound cynical, but Jerry Brown, a captive of the environmental lobby, really wants his tax increase measure, California Proposition 30, to pass in November. Voters would be less likely to vote for a sales tax increase if they are paying more for gasoline.

Of course, I doubt that Prop. 30 will pass anyway since Californians are not apt to increase their taxes in the horrible California economy.

Here is a video report from a local Los Angeles television station: