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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

50 Shades of Brown: Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrat Party Rule

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to sign another climate change agreementwith “government leaders from around the world,” as his office announced, remember the recent agreement Brown got into with the scandalized Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber. “In October 2013,California Gov. Jerry Brown, together with the Governors of Oregon and Washington and the British Columbia Premier,signedthePacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, “to align climate change policies and promote clean energy,’” I wrote in February.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative links with theWest Coast Infrastructure Exchange(WCX), a compact betweenCalifornia, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, formed in 2013 to promote “the type of new thinking necessary to solve the West Coast’s infrastructure crisis.” And the WCX is linked to… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Governor Releases May Revise

Today Governor Jerry Brown released his revised budget proposal. He’s right to recognize that much of the money currently pouring into Sacramento is one-time dollars. Whether the Legislature will show similar spending restraint is an open question.

One thing is clear: given the current revenue windfall, tax increases are off the table. Instead of proposing tax hikes, the Legislature should spend its time ensuring taxpayers receive value for their money.

There’s no question government is doing well. We now need to make sure the people who fund government with their hard-earned dollars have a chance to prosper too.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento’s Billion Dollar 
Budget Fairy Tale

Subtitle: The Fleecing of Sacramento’s Taxpayers

Sacramento’s City Manager John Shirey released the proposed 2015/2016 budget last week. It’s clear that this city manager, the mayor, and the city council members are cavalier with their spending of other people’s money.More is never enough. And the word “austerity” is not in their vocabularies.

The other important issue to note is even with his latest attempt to become a strong mayor squashed (again) by the voters last year, Mayor Kevin Johnson is the driving force anyway behind this budget and the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown Jumps-the-Shark on Climate Change Policy

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order Wednesday for a new target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts. Brown said it was critical to address what he called “an ever-growing threat” posed by global warming to California’s economy and well-being. Brown’s order goes even further than Pres. Obama’s radical proposals, but aligns with the European Union and United Nations proposals. Jerry Brown hasjumped-the-sharkon climate change (Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Thus was labeled the lowest point of the show).

Senate Republican Minority Leader Bob Huff correctly replied to Brown’s latest edict:

“The state already has the nation’s most stringent goals. Before moving the goal post, we should be careful about the impact of increased energy costs. These higher costs will hurt the low income and working poor the hardest and will create an even greater divide between the haves and have nots. At what point does being on the leading edge of climate change and… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Gas Tax ‘Unfair and Foolish’

The California Democratic Party claims to be for the poor and middle class, but killed a bill Monday which would have cut California’s highest-in-the-nation gas tax.Californians pay 68 cents tax on every gallon of gasoline – the highest gas tax in the nation.

Not content to be the first state in the country to tax the air we breathe, California is the first in the nation to impose a cap and trade tax on transportation fuels.

In response, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and more than 20 other Republican lawmakers, introduced AB 23, theAffordable Gas for California Families Act,legislation to exempt transportation fuels and natural gas from the California Air Resource… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s Green Jobs Scheme Killing CA’s Middle Class

Recent revelations resulted in the resignation of Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber over collusion between his office, California and Washington State governors’ offices, and environmental groups to force climate coordination and collaboration across the U.S.

Emails from 2013 and 2014 reveal Kitzhaber agreed to a deal with the governors of California and Washington, to implement low-carbon fuel standards and develop a scheme to foist green-energy agendas on multiple states.

Coincidentally, Gov. Jerry Brown, D-California, has made climate change one of his top priorities. During his January inaugural address Brown said he plans to require that 50 percent of all energy use come from renewable sources, and automobile gas consumption be reduced by 50 percent.

Yet last month,… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Government Has More Than Enough of Your Dollars

After years of debt, deficits and budget cuts, it may come as a surprise to learn that our state government is flush with cash. But you wouldn’t know it by the talk of tax increases coming out of Sacramento.

First the facts:

California is outspending other states – As the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters recently reported, census data shows California state spending jumped 7.5% last fiscal year and is well above average when compared to other states. The Governor’s proposed budget is huge – In January, Governor Jerry Brown unveiled a $113 billion budget proposal—the largest ever in California state history. If there’s any criticism of the Governor’s budget so far, it’s that he is underestimating revenues. The Legislative Analyst’s Office recently reported that current fiscal year revenues alone will exceed the Governor’s forecast by $1 to $2 billion or more. California taxes are really, really high – Californians pay some of the highest income, sales and gas taxes in the nation. According to the Tax Foundation, many small businesses face top marginal tax rates … Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Air Resources Board May Choke on Diesel Regulations

Shasta College in Redding, California has a diesel engine mechanics class, which gives students entry-level job skills into a diesel technology career. But the college had to destroy all of its diesel engines following implementation of the California Air Resources Board’s diesel regulations, which were based on bogus science.

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, passed under AB 32, requires cutting greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by year 2020.

Under AB 32, the California Air Resources Board has demanded trucking companies, construction firms, supply chains, and all other businesses which use diesel trucks, retrofit or replace their diesel equipment.

But there are problems with these regulations in the Golden State.

CARB Missed the ‘Coordination’ Phase

In November 2013, the Alliance for California Business filed a complaint in Glenn County Superior Court over the mandated diesel particulate filters that… Read More

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