FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Rep. Darrell Issa

Increased Spending Makes “Doc Fix” Bad Policy

[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Rep. Darrell Issa.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

The status quo in Washington is perhaps best summed up by the phrase, “continually kicking the can down the road.” And perhaps the only thing worse than a perpetual inability to effect meaningful, lasting change, is to finally attempt to solve a problem and to only do so in a half-baked manner. Unfortunately, I believe that is a fair characterization of the recent vote over… Read More

Katy Grimes

UFW Inflates Membership Numbers – A Lie, or Premature Calculation?

The United Farm Workers labor union is either lying about how many members it really has, or is boastfully counting future farm worker members, while assuming it will win the fight over the workers.

Gerawan Farming employees are under assault by the United Farm Workers labor union, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and by Democratic politicians up and down the state.

The workers don’t want to be members of the UFW, and held an election in 2013 to officially decertify the labor union. But the ALRB locked up the workers’ ballots, refused to count them, and has instead assisted the UFW in its takeover attempt.

Gerawan Farming is a third-generation family farming operation, growing peaches and grapes in the Fresno area. The farming company is well known as a favored employer, and currently employees 5,000 workers. Gerawan has a history of paying the highest wages and compensation package in the industry, according to the many employees I’ve spoken with.

It is apparent the UFW labor union is trying to gain what they can no longer win through the secret ballot process and sincere labor negotiations with… Read More

Richard Rider

Four San Diego city firefighter hiring reforms we need

Here’s a San Diego city firefighter hiring reform we need. Four, actually.

1. Do what EVERY OTHER CITY IN THE COUNTY DOES — hire already qualified firefighters who graduate from accredited firefighter academies — primarily our community college programs. Let the students pay for their firefighter education. No need to start from scratch with a new recruit — putting him (occasionally her) though the city’s own firefighter academy totally at city taxpayer expense. If the city wants to do additional training on top of that, fine — use OJT or hold a short academy for new hires. That’s what other cities do.

2. Not only do we pay for our SDFD new hires’ education, we actually pay them a SALARY to go to our free school. I think it’s currently about $2,500 a month — with zero commitment to the city upon graduation. This subsidy is TOTALLY unnecessary. Moreover, by having the students as employees, we taxpayers are subject to a lifelong disability risk while in the city academy — a risk that the students normally are responsible for while in school.

3. As I mentioned, our SDFD academy graduates — educated… Read More

Ed Ring

Pension Reform is BAD for Wall Street, and GOOD for California

“His idea [Mayor Chuck Reed’s] of pension reform is, you sign up for one pension system, we’re going to change it now in mid career, and now you’re going to get something different.” Lou Paulson,President, California Professional Firefighters (ref.CPFVideo, April 1, 2015)

The biggest problem with Mr. Paulson’s comment is the double standard he applies. Changing pension systems “mid-career” are just fine when they improve the benefit to Mr. Paulson’s unionized government workforce, but when it comes time to roll back these financially unsustainable changes, he cries foul.

The most obvious, indeed egregious example of a “mid-career” change to pension systems that improved pension benefits began during the internet bubble year 1999, whenSB 400was passed by the California State Legislature. SB 400 changed the pension benefit formula for California’s Highway Patrol officers from “2% at 50″ to “3% at 50,” a 50% increase… Read More

Assemblyman James Gallagher

Leading in Sacramento from Day One

[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Asm. James Gallagher.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

California faces significant challenges due to flawed policies instituted by liberal lawmakers in Sacramento. Whether it’s the state’s deteriorating business climate, education or natural resources, California is struggling. Republican leaders are working diligently to improve the forecast and make California the golden land of opportunity it once was.

From an overly burdensome and a regulation-heavy business climate that has forced business to leave California, to an education system that refuses to evaluate teacher performance and serves the powerful union instead of ensuring the most quality education for our state’s children, California is being held back from being a true “Golden… Read More

Tom Scott

Counties Should Reconsider Their Involvement in Public Nuisance Lawsuits

[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Tom Scott.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

An Open Letter to the County Counsels’ Association of California

To the legal representatives of California’s counties:

As you meet this week in Monterey to discuss civil law and litigation, there is a major issue that merits your attention: the growing trend of California counties and cities, urged… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Revenue Report Dangerous in the Wrong Hands

At the request of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, the Board of Equalization’s Research and Statistics Section today released a report showing the State of California could reap up to $122.6 billion by imposing sales and use tax on services.

The size and scope of California’s service-related industry is mind-blowingly large, and the last thing overtaxed Californians need is another tax. In fact, these numbers are dangerous in the hands of legislators who want to raise taxes.

However, I hope this report stimulates conversation about how taxes can be simpler, and how we can attract more jobs to our state.

Although I strongly oppose Senate Bill 8 (Hertzberg), which would impose a $10 billion tax increase on service industries, I am open to considering a broader sales tax if it’s part of revenue neutral tax reform, such as abolishing the Franchise Tax Board and California’s income tax, along with other taxes that destroy jobs.

I’ve called for dynamic economic modeling that would show the benefits of such a change and look forward to being able to share those results with you… Read More

John Wood, Jr.

California’s Economic Recovery is for the Few

There is a strange disconnect that can be noted in the definition of economic recovery promoted by many on the political left when it comes to evaluating the economic performance of Democratic executive office holders. In the case of President Obama, many Democrats are eager to observe the resurgence of the stock market and the return to pre-recession baseline revenue levels as evidence of a restored economy. More recently, as the headline unemployment rate has declined, they’ve claimed the official reduction in unemployment as a landmark of economic recovery. Yet even as progressive rhetoric stresses income equality and champions the financial plight of the poor and the working class, real unemployment (when one factors in those no longer counted in the labor force) is near 10%, the poverty rate close to 15% (where it has been for several years) showing millions of Americans sliding down the… Read More

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