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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Farmworker OT Bill a Disaster for the Ag Industry – Unless That is the Goal

The California Legislature is threatening its own agriculture industry again with an expansion of overtime rules for farm and ranch workers.

State government has been hostile to California farmers and ranchers for some time: cutting water to farmers and water rationing, “humane” chicken farm laws, regulating farm stands, regulating dairy farms almost out of existence, and very hostile labor relations with the malignant Agricultural Labor Relations Board. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Following a staged publicity stunt hunger strike last week by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the recently gutted-and-amended bill to expand overtime for farm workers was passed by the Senate.

Using the shell of another bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, in cahoots with the United Farm Workers, the… Read More

State Sen. Joel Anderson

Solar Fight at the Imperial Irrigation District

In the Imperial and Coachella Valley, the local municipal utility, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), abruptly ended its solar net metering policy, without warning, leaving about 1,200 applications for the program in limbo. Many of these customers already had solar panels installed on the roof and were just waiting for the utility’s approval to interconnect. They are now left with stranded assets and sunk costs.

This is a failure of government. Not only has the utility shut down a growing solar industry, but they’re punishing their own customers who supported it.

The responsibility for this situation lies with IID, not with people who went solar. Last fall, IID stopped accounting for net metering applications received from solar customers. Over the ensuing months, applications for net metering in IID piled up to the point where the utility lost track of how close it… Read More

Richard Rider

Surprisingly sharp drop in rate of U.S. births since 2007

We all know that the U.S. and Europe are experiencing declining birth rates. But I was struck by the MAGNITUDE of the U.S. drop since 2007. As the accompanying chart shows, it’s dropped for every race, though most dramatically for the Hispanic population. More important, we’re now below the “replacement level fertility” level.

The “Replacement level fertility” is the totalfertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. Thisrateis roughly 2.1 children per woman for most [developed] countries . . . .Read More

Katy Grimes

Republican Votes For Supersizing California’s Failed Climate Change Plan

Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 0.03 per cent to 0.04 per cent has not caused and is not causing catastrophic runaway global warming. Dishonest references to “97 per cent of scientists” equate a mild warming influence, which most scientists agree with and more importantly can demonstrate, with a catastrophic warming influence – which most don’t agree with and none can demonstrate. –Alex Epstein, author of theMoral Case For Fossil Fuels, on the fundamental problem with the climate change industry

Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. announced this week he is anxiously awaiting SB 32and AB 197 to hit his desk. If these bill numbers don’t… Read More

Ed Ring

California Supreme Court Strikes Down Vergara Appeal

Here’s an axiom of California politics. When it’s the teachers union against everyone – that’s right, everyone else – the teachers union wins. Yesterday’s decision by the California Supreme Court to not hear the Vergara case is just the latest example.

Prior to losing on appeal, which brought the case to the attention of the State Supreme Court, the original Vergara ruling upheld the argument of the plaintiff, which was that union supported work rules have a disproportionate negative effect on poor and minority students.As reported in the Los Angeles Times in June 2014:

“Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu tentatively ruled Tuesday that key job protections for California teachers violated students’ rights to equal educational opportunity. Treu struck down state laws that grant teachers tenure after two years, require seniority-based layoffs and govern the process to dismiss teachers. He ruled that those laws disproportionately harmed poor and minority students… [writing:]

‘All sides toRead More

Richard Rider

Explosion of college online course offerings is main reason to oppose all higher education school bonds

Below is an article that unintentionally presents a MAJOR reason to oppose ANY further “bricks and mortar” spending on California colleges — including the many college school bonds on the November’s ballot across the state. Just as the revolutionary “Uber” ride-sharing industry is changing the cab business, so is online learning rapidly changing the academic business. And in both cases, the entrenched “old school” providers will try to use government to block such innovations, while spending taxpayers into a deeper and deeper hole for outdated infrastructure.

This timely article in the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE points out that in ONE YEAR the number of San Diego Community College District online courses has grown 21%. Students like it — the faculty does not. But clearly it’s the future in education.

Not that there won’t be SOME need for “hands on” training. But not much in the liberal arts curricula, which usually constitute the majority of the courses and the students.

The San Diego CC district deserves kudos for being so innovative. A couple other regional community… Read More

Jon Coupal

HIGH SPEED RAIL IS “ON TRACK” TO INCURE BILLIONS IN OVERRUNS

High-speed rail continues to be an expensive, sick joke for California. Under the current plan, it is no longer “high-speed” and projected costs, which seem to change almost daily, appear to be doubling.

In the latest news, the nascent California high-speed rail system is running $50 million over budget for a two mile stretch in Fresno.

Let that sink in for a moment.

$50 million, over budget, for just a two mile stretch.

Let’s see, HSR has a $50,000,000 cost over run on 2 miles of a 32 mile job. Does that mean we can expect total cost overrun of $25 million per mile times 32 miles or $800,000,000?

To read the entire column click here http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/high-speed-rail-is-on-track-to-incur-billions-in-overruns/Read More

Laer Pearce

Another Email Scandal: FOIAd Emails Reveal Feds Messing with New Water Supplies for California

In January 2014, President Barack Obama called Gov. Jerry Brown to express his concern about the impact of California’s prolonged drought on the state’s citizens and pledge federal support for drought relief efforts.

He must not be keeping tabs on what’s going on at his Interior Department.

On August 17, the Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial, “The Pipeline and the Short Seller,” revealed a chain of emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Cadiz, Inc. filed the request after its plan to bring 50,000 acre-feet of water annually to Southern California from a massive aquifer under the Mojave Desert was delayed when the California Director of the federal Bureau of Land Management, an agency within Interior, signed a controversial guidance opinion, left it on his desk, walked out the door and retired.

The guidance stated that the Cadiz… Read More

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