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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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… Read More

Katy Grimes

Hertzberg Bill Benefits Taxpayer-Financed Union Slush Fund

The Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 is rearing its ugly head once again in the California Legislature, as it roars to the end of the 2015-16 session. The idea behind the “Labor Management Cooperation Committee” ostensibly is to improve communication between representatives of Labor and Management, expand and improve working relationships between worker and managers, and to ensure health and safety working conditions in the construction industry, among other stated goals. But really, it is to put non-union companies out of business.

Senate Bill 954 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, would redefine what benefits employers can pay into as part of their obligation to pay workers on public works projects the prevailing wage. Specifically, the bill qualifies certain prevailing wage benefit payments, but only if they are made by an employer “obligated under a collective bargaining agreement.”

What this means is that non-union groups will be… Read More

Richard Rider

NY state edges out CA as the least free state. Relieved?

California’s elected officials should thank their lucky stars for oppressive New York state. If the Empire State (a surprisingly descriptive nickname) were run by slightly less insane politicians, then California would “win” the award as the nation’s least free state.

As it is, we’re “only” the SECOND worst state. Again. We’ve been 49thevery year since 2006.

Here’s the Cato Institute summation of why we are the “runner-up” state when it comes to liberty and freedom. You can check out the other states as well:

http://www.freedominthe50states.org/overall//california

CALIFORNIA — RANKED 49thSINCE 2006

State Facts

Net Migration Rate(?)-4.9 %

Personal Income Growth… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Let’s Pump the Brakes on Cap-and-Trade

In 2006, elected officials gave the California Air Resources Board (CARB) virtually unchecked authority to implement AB 32, which aims to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The legislation, including the controversial cap-and-trade program, expires in four years.

Some lawmakers have already introduced legislation, such as SB 32, to extend CARB’s authority. However, instead of rushing to renew this controversial and expensive program, we should slow down and come up with a more affordable solution that benefits all of California.

Cap-and-trade limits carbon emissions by energy producers and raises money through the sale of carbon credits. It’s supposed to fight global warming by making it more expensive to use carbon-based fuels. But that’s not the only thing it does.

It turns out the program has made life more expensive for Californians as well.

Since being given the authority, CARB has implemented a steady stream of costly regulations, such as the “hidden gas tax.” Experts agree that this hidden tax costs California drivers at least 10 cents more in added cost per gallon of gasoline. They also acknowledge CARB’s… Read More

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