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Katy Grimes

Cap and Trade Hearing Has Lawmakers Lining Up With Spending Plans

With billions of dollars expected to be generated by the California Air Resource Board’s cap and trade auctions, many in the Legislature are excited with ideas of how to spend the money.

But rather than scheming on foolhardy, unsustainable spending plans, if the real goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, experts involved in the process say the Legislature should give the money back to the businesses it taxed, with the proviso the money is spent helping the companies lower their emissions.

What is AB 32 and Cap and Trade?

Last week, the Senate held a very long… Read More

Katy Grimes

Minimum wage will sideswipe California’s ‘job creation engine’

“California is definitely back,” Governor Jerry Brown recently trumpeted. Brown then proclaimed the state a “job creation engine.” But the magical California job creation engine has shifted from a healthy manufacturing economy, to a service economy – from high-paying jobs with benefits and growth potential, to low-wage, nowhere minimum wage jobs.

Rather than creating policies to make California a healthy business state once again to incentivize businesses, politicians are instead focused on these low-paying jobs, and treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease.

The winter of our discontent

The growing discontent between politics, politicians, and the hard-working electorate could turn into anguish, misery and rebellion with the latest minimum wage increase proposal.

Before the last minimum wage… Read More

Katy Grimes

Could the oil tax bill be a shill for a ballot initiative?

With the 2012 passage of Proposition 30, voters were assured the significant tax increase would go entirely to education. However, less than 50 percent actually does.

Now, a new bill is moving through the Legislature, claiming to tax oil and gas production for – ahem, you guessed it — education.

SB 1017, an urgency measure, would impose a severance tax on the extraction of oil and natural gas, effective immediately after being signed into law.

Pay attention to the taxman behind the curtain who wants to add more taxes onto oil and gas production.

However, if the California legislature doesn’t pass an oil severance tax this year, billionaire hedge fund manager, Tom Steyer, is preparing a ballot initiative for 2016.

Because Gov. Jerry Brown vowed that all new tax increase proposals would go before the voters, there are reports which say he’s largely rejected the oil tax this year. But NextGenClimate Action, Steyer’s political action committee, can do it for Brown instead, with the… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s business ‘leakage’ becoming a deluge

The list of businesses leaving California for greener pastures is long and growing. And now we can add Toyota to it.

The word ‘leakage’ is the new politically correct term used by legislators, the Governor, bureaucrats and the California Air Resources Board, to describe what happens when California businesses leave the state because of tax increases and stupendous regulations… as if any of them really know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and physically move equipment, machinery, offices and records. And, the CEOmust figure in the cost of business interruption, as a business’s productivity will be undoubtedly be reduced after a move.

Who is “leaking?”

Apparently California is ‘leaking’ businesses… as if businesses and middle class families are dribbling away, or just accidentally… Read More

Katy Grimes

Bill to stop High-Speed Rail in its tracks

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority continues to forge ahead with the project to build the $68 billion train system, despite a court decision saying the HSRA cannot use Proposition 1A funds that were approved by the legislature.

To address this and many other controiversial decisions by the HSRA, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, has introduced AB 1501 to protect California taxpayers from a risky financial obligation by the HSRA.

“By continuing to spend federal money, the HSRA is leaving taxpayers holding a bag full of matching state bond funds that a judge has said can’t be spent,” Patterson said in an interview. “We are essentially overdrawing our bank account by spending these federal funds. We simply don’t have the matching funds required by the federal… Read More

Katy Grimes

State of the State: Gov. Brown seeks ‘fiscal restraint’ — and more spending

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his2014 State of the Statethis morning. It was largely a recap of his recent2014 Budget proposal press conference, but shorter.

As Brown often does, he first took on his critics:

“It occurred to me that these critics – who have long recited our state’s decline – perhaps have nothing to say in the face of California’s comeback – except, ‘please, don’t report it.’ Well, I’m going to report it, and what a comeback it is: A million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions and a minimum wage rising to $10 an hour!”

Brown stressed again the need for “fiscal restraint” from the Legislature. But then he went on to discuss several big state… Read More

Katy Grimes

Arena Derangement Syndrome update: Arena lawsuit nears deposition of city officials

Opponents of the push for a heavily subsidized downtown Sacramento basketball arena are closer to forcing key city insiders to tell what they know about how much taxpayers actually will have to pay for the project.

Last week,Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balononissued a tentative ruling in the lawsuit targeting the arena deal orchestrated by Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star. It supported petitioners’ requests that they be allowed to depose Sacramento Councilman Kevin McCarty and Sacramento Economic Development Director Jim Rhinehartabout undisclosed dealings between city officials and the new Kings ownership group to help it buy the team.

The Sacramento Investor Group,led by tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive,… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Governor Brown’s Budget Won’t Solve California’s Problems

A budget that demonstrates fiscal restraint is essential for California to stay on track. Yet the Governor’s high speed rail funding plan shows his funding priorities are off track.

Our increased revenues are primarily the result of temporary tax increases that will soon expire. A successful, comprehensive plan will prepare for the ending of the increases Californians imposed on themselves to get out of the fiscal hole of overspending and recession.

California cannot solve its long-term budget problems by relying on temporary solutions that undermine job creation and economic growth.

It is also vital to set aside reserves for future shortfalls, or the Legislature may push to make temporary tax increases permanent. A strong rainy day fund is an important part of ensuring our state’s fiscal stability.

Ultimately, California’s budget challenges will only be truly solved when a strong and healthy private sector is able to create jobs and opportunity for more Californians.… Read More

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