FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Vaccine Bill: Political Scientists Don’t Get to Say ‘The Science is Clear’

California lawmakers have trampled all over parental rights, andmanaged to take away even more parental choice regarding vaccinations for their children. By the way — political scientists aren’t real scientists, and don’t get to determine that the “science is clear” on vaccinations, the way so many politicians claim. That’s just arrogant politicians trying to end any discussion or debate by abusing the power of their offices in order to ward off potential regime change.

Both houses of the Legislature passed SB 277 by Sen. Richard Pan, and in record time, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law Tuesday,removing parental rights while eliminating informed consent. “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California’s Gas Tax Lowers on July 1

Good news: California’s excise tax on gasoline decreases today by six cents per gallon, from 36 cents to 30 cents per gallon.

The lower rate will help correct the over collection of tax brought about by lower gas prices. Essentially, taxpayers had given government an interest-free cash advance.

State law requires the Board of Equalization to annually adjust the state excise tax rate on gasoline by March 1 of each year. The Board approved the six cent tax rate reduction during its February 2015 meeting.

Unfortunately, this cut won’t fully offset the cost of the ‘hidden gas tax’ that went into effect this year to fund Governor Brown’s High Speed Rail project and other so-called anti-global warming efforts.

And even with the lower rate, Californians will continue to pay some of the highest gas taxes in the nation. According to the latest information from GasBuddy.com, California has one of the highest average gas prices in the nation.

The new 30 cent per gallon tax rate will remain in effect until June 30, 2016.… Read More

James V. Lacy

California’s Remarkable and Powerful Gay and Lesbian Political Leadership – What is Next From Them?

For some years Californian’s have given gay and lesbian politicians extraordinary leadership opportunities and power in the state. The power these politicians possess in state government is from stronger positions and relatively larger numbers than that of many other minority groups, including Asian elected officials, in a state where Asians comprise 14% of the population, and they arguably possess more political power than African-American politicians, whose affinity group represents close to 7% of the state population. California’s gay and lesbian elected officials have wielded this power even as those same California voters disapproved gay marriage at the ballot, as in 2008, when just over 52% of voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage. (The same voters gave Barack Obama over 61% of their votes in the same election.) But times are changing, and California’s highly influential gay and lesbian elected officials, who have been so successful on civil rights issues for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and have worked so hard on issues like same-sex marriage, have surely played a role in the remarkable changes in California public… Read More

Katy Grimes

Leftist Dolores Huerta Assails Anti-union Silvia Lopez at ALRB Celebration

The biggest labor dispute in California just got more interesting. Hundreds of farm workers from Gerawan Farms went to Sacramento last week to demonstrate outside of the Stanford Mansion where Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board celebrated their 40th anniversary. I was told by several people who attended the event that pro-United Farm Worker union representative Dolores Huerta attempted to intimidate Gerawan workers, and got physical with anti-UFW leader Silvia Lopez. But the Gerawan workers stayed strong and demanded, “Count Our Votes!”

At the Sacramento celebration last week of the 40th anniversary of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, one of the radical left’s most notorious UFW union labor leaders tried to prevent the new labor leader of the non-union farmworkers from taking a photo with the governor.

Many people at the gala witnessed 85-year-old Dolores Huerta strong arm anti-union farm worker Silvia Lopez.

Darling of the left and an openly socialist admirer of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Huerta has said publicly she believes that “Republicans hate Latinos.” Huerta encourages illegal… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Attempts to change Proposition 13 are misguided

There’s been no shortage of attempts in recent years in the State Legislature to overhaul Proposition 13—California’s landmark initiative protecting homeowners and small business owners from out of control property taxes.

Multiple bills have taken aim at the proposition, but the most popular among these bills pushes the so-called “split roll” property tax, which would eliminate Prop. 13 protections for job creators but leave them in place for homeowners. This split roll idea is especially favored by lawmakers who are eager to bring more money into state coffers.

Given that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, it seems a bit out of touch, if not downright greedy, for lawmakers to focus on funding government instead of making sure there are economic opportunities for everyone.

A recent study from Pepperdine University shows that split roll would increase property taxes on businesses by an estimated $6 billion. But the same study also shows that split roll could trigger the loss of nearly 400,000 jobs and cost California’s economy a total of $71.8 billion in output within the first five years.

That $71.8 billion loss would… Read More

Richard Rider

The little-known but unsurprising growth of private firefighting companies in America

Here’s a very interesting website about PRIVATE fire fighting companies in America.

https://www.wildfirex.com/private-firefighting/

Private Firefighting In the U.S. Private firefighting is a rapidly growing industry. Yes, private firefighters make up just 4.3 percent of the nation’s total firefighters, but this is an industry on the verge of catching fire because of a growing trend toward privatization.

According to a 2012 study conducted by market research firm IBISWorld, there are 256 private firefighting companies in the United States — a number that’s expected to grow to more than 320 by 2017. At the same time,the number of firefighters employed by private companies will increase from 16,880 to 27,206.

There was been increased privatization of firefighting efforts by state and local governments as those institutions have struggled with the decline in tax revenue, stressed budgets and caused consolidation of publicly funded fire suppression resources. Between 2009 and 2011, the number of public sector firefighters and first-line… Read More

Jon Coupal

ARE THERE THOUSANDS OF NEW POLITICIANS IN OUR FUTURE?

Would-be reformers have filed an initiative that, if adopted by voters, would make the California Legislature one of the largest – if not the largest – legislative bodies in the world. The Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act (NLRA) would require one Senator for every 10,000 Californians and one Assembly representative for every 5,000. This would mean that the Senate would increase from 40 to 3,850 members while the Assembly would balloon from 80 members to 7,700.

The stated goal of this proposal is to reduce the influence of special interests, make our system more democratic and provide greater access to legislative representatives.

While proponents of NLRA may have their hearts in the right place, the plan raises a number of concerns. Special interests, who spent $48.5 million to lobby in just the first quarter of this year, are not likely to be deterred by the greater numbers of lawmakers. Lobbyists, and those interests which employ them, will still have the capacity to track all the members and, because the numbers will provide a certain amount of anonymity, bribery and influence peddling could very well may be more difficult to detect. On the other… Read More

Richard Rider

Here’s some monster new/higher taxes that California politicians are anxious to impose

Below is a pretty good summation of the major potential California tax increases now being proposed by Sacramento politicians. Here’s alinkto even more proposed CA state taxes. And there’s a link below to “Californians AGAINST Higher Taxes” — seeking funds, of course.

While my grassroots taxpayer group San Diego Tax Fighters has joined their coalition opposing this potential avalanche of higher taxes, we take no position on this taxpayer group’s effort vs. other fine tax fighting outfits in our state. This is not a fundraising pitch.

I DO recommend that you not spend much effort writing our politicians about this matter (as the pitch suggests) — their vote (EITHER way) is already pretty much locked in most of the time most of the time. If you write any politico, write a Republican — they sometimes need spine strengthening.

A better option would be letters to the editor, which reach thousands — including the politicians. But clearly we shouldn’t stand idly by while California… Read More

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