FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ron Nehring

Instead of the state’s commission, Newsom focuses on his own “economic development”

With the nation’s highest poverty rate and one of the nation’s worst unemployment rates, it’s pretty clear that California is in need of more economic development. This means generating sufficient private sector job growth to put large numbers of currently unemployed Californians back to work.

Our state has a commission with just such a mission. It’s chaired by Lt Governor Gavin Newsom. And it’s defunct.

In a rare interview, Newsom, who was elected four years ago, made the audacious claim that he has been “much more aggressive” than his predecessors in the Lt Governor role.

Yet if the Commission on Economic Development is the benchmark, Newsom fails his own test.

The 17 member commission is statutorily chaired by the Lt Governor, with its 16 other members appointed by the state’s Democrat Governor Jerry Brown, and the Democrat-controlled legislature. Yet, no members have been appointed, and Newsom himself does not constitute a quorum. Its last… Read More

Ed Ring

City of Stanton Proposes Higher Taxes Instead of Cutting Pay and Benefits

On November 4th, voters in Stanton, California, will be asked to vote on a 1.0% sales tax increase, which if approved will raise their sales tax to 9.0% – the highest in Orange County. Nestled in the heart of Orange County, tiny Stanton, a city of barely three square miles in size with a population in 2012 of 38,915 residents, is an unlikely candidate for the spotlight, when California’s local ballots are about to be inundated with over140 local tax increasesaffecting many cities and counties that are ten times bigger. ButStanton is ground zero in a battle over how to manage municipal budget deficits, because if their voters approve this tax increase, cities throughout Orange County will follow suit.

We’re not talking small potatoes here. Stanton currently only retains 1.0% (one-eighth) of the 8.0% sales tax they currently collect. According to Stanton’sConsolidated Annual Financial Reportfor the fiscal… Read More

Katy Grimes

Bee Story Misleads on UFW Protest

The United Farm Workers labor union held a protest rally Monday in Fresno, outsidethe administrative hearing whereGerawan Farming is facing unfair labor charges. Theyare alleging that Gerawan Farming workers are intimidating witnesses testifying at the hearing.

The headline of the story says, “Union workers protest alleged Gerawan intimidation.” The photo caption says, “Workers protest alleged intimidation by Gerawan Farms.”

The intimation by the Bee is that Gerawan Farming is doing the intimidation.

There was nothing in the story about how theAgricultural Labor Relations Board and UFW are denying the right of thousands of Gerawan farmworkers to choose whether to be part of the union. The workers voted 11 months ago, but the ALRB will not count their votes. The real intimidation is the effort by UFW… Read More

Mark Bucher

2013 CalPERS Payouts Online at Transparent California

CalPERS financial struggles are draining state taxpayers. The ever-increasing contribution rates it demands from state and local governments have already bankrupted several cities. Even for more financially stable agencies, increased CalPERS contributions have crowded out other spending priorities or tax relief.

While discussions about unfunded liabilities and projected rates of return are necessary and important, the average member of the public is too busy to dive into the details.

That’s why the recent release ofCalPERS’ 2013 base payouts, including retiree names, onTransparentCalifornia.comis so important.

For the first time, average Californians can quickly and easily seehow much CalPERS paid out to retirees in 2013. The names and payouts are availablehere.

Even a casual glance at the data, shows the root cause of CalPERS’ financial struggles: It’s paying tens of thousands… Read More

Jon Coupal

GREATER TRANSPARENCY ON THREAT TO PROPERTY OWNERS

Legislation just signed by Gov. Brown may help alert homeowners to the threat posed by per parcel property taxes. Parcel taxes have become one of the most insidious threats to home ownership because they can be imposed over and above the property tax limits set by Proposition 13.

Supported by a broad coalition lead by the California Taxpayers Association, Assembly Bill 2109 requires the Controller to maintain a publicly accessible data base relating to the imposition of locally assessed parcel taxes, including the type and rate of a parcel tax and the number of parcels subject to or exempt from the parcel tax. Finally, taxpayers will be able to see the extent of parcel taxes throughout the state and the costs to property owners.

Parcel taxes came about as a result of politicians… Read More

Richard Rider

In a Fiscal Policy study, CA Gov. Brown ranks worst — next worst gov ranks 37% higher than Brown

Well, at least it wasn’t close. California Governor Jerry Brown has a LOCK on last place in a Cato study that just came out — comparing governors’ performance regarding “Fiscal Policy.” The 2ndworst governor (John Hickenlooper, D, Colorado) earned an abysmal score — but still scored 37% higher than anchor-clanker Brown.

Thank Goodness Governor Brown is fiscally prudent — verified by gushing accolades from our ever-reliable MSM. Otherwise Brown might have earned a REALLY low score!

Two state governors were not included in the report — the Republican in Alaska (due to the vagaries of their petroleum-based state budget) and the Democrat in West Virginia, who has been in office too short a time to rate in the survey.

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/fprc-on-americas-governors_1.pdf

pages 6-7 have the scores and rankings

By what can only be described as an extraordinary coincidence, the six best governors were all Republicans, while the twelve worst governors were… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Lumber Tax Cut for Small Businesses Becomes Law

Legislation I proposed to ease the burden of a lumber tax on small businesses has become law.

Assembly Bill 2031, authored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), passed the Legislature with bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Brown on September 29, 2014.

In 2012, the Legislature enacted AB 1492, which imposed a 1% assessment on lumber and engineered wood products. Unfortunately, the bill did not allow an exemption for qualified businesses that have little or no sales of wood products, causing many retailers to needlessly file returns.

AB 2031 fixes this problem by exempting businesses that sell less than $25,000 in lumber or engineered wood from paying the 1% Lumber Products Assessment. This will save nearly 1,000 businesses the hassle of separately reporting lumber sales to the Board of Equalization.

The legislation was sponsored by the State Board of Equalization and received support from the California Retailers Association, the California Forestry Association, CalTax and many small business owners.

In his… Read More

Katy Grimes

Statists and Sex Puritans Redefine The Meaning Of The Word “YES”

Sexual encounters often tragically occur where usually both parties are very drunk. Sexual consent isn’t thought of until the next day when regret sets in.

Yet, young men are increasingly being charged by female students and college administrators, of sexual misconduct — even when accusers cannot remember the events because of intoxication. Right or wrong, young men are subjected to a minimum of academic discipline, and many times, brought up on more formal, serious, and even criminal charges.

Apparently, there ought to be a law.

Protect Liberties Of the Citizens

The Latin inscription emblazoned over the dais of the State Senate Chamber says, “Senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri” — It is the duty of the senators to protect the liberty of the citizens.

However, we now only… Read More

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