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Katy Grimes

California’s new undocumented jurors

The dead Boston Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, would have been eligible to serve on a jury in California, if state legislators have their way.

The Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would allow non-citizens who are in the U.S. legally to serve on jury duty.

Just when you thought the state couldn’t favor non-citizens any more, once again California is racing to be the first state in the country to pass a ridiculous law affording non-citizens rights previously reserved only for American citizens.

But that’s not all.

Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol are currently trying to pass a law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a California driver’s license. Last year they passed a law allowing illegal immigrants to apply for and receive student financial aid benefits and state-funded grants for college.

But here is an interesting thought: The dead Boston Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, would have been eligible to serve on a jury since he was a “legal immigrant” but not yet a citizen.

This is what life in California has become under a Democratic supermajority.

“Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said his bill,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Illegal immigrant driver’s license bill races through Legislature

SACRAMENTO — Driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is back on the table and making its way through the Capitol once again. But this latest bill asserts a licensed driver is a safer driver, based on a new California Department of Motor Vehicles study.

The study, “Fatal Crash Rates for Suspended/Revoked and Unlicensed Drivers,” found that, compared to licensed drivers, suspended or revoked and unlicensed drivers are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash.

Supporters of issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants have jumped on this report as… Read More

Katy Grimes

POW!!! California $127 billion in the red

Holy understatement Batman! California is more than $127 billion in the red!

The California State Auditor recently released a report detailing California’s “net worth” as a state.

California is $127.2 billion upside down.

Holy helplessness Batman!

The Assembly Republicans California Budget Fact Check project explains: “As is a common annual practice in the business world, the Auditor totaled up all of the state’s unrestricted assets and income, and then compared them against the state’s liabilities to determine net worth. Factoring all of these things together, California had a negative net worth of $127.2 billion in 2011-12.”

Holy dilemma Batman!

The Budget Fact Check… Read More

Katy Grimes

CARB lawsuit could end cap and trade

Ding dong! Could CARB be dead?

The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit yesterday against the California Air Resources Board challenging California’s cap and trade regulation.

The cap and trade program was created by CARB ostensibly as part of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

“The regulation creates a quarterly auction program requiring many California employers to bid significant amounts of money for the privilege of continuing to emit carbon dioxide — or be faced with closing their doors in California, laying off their employees, and moving their businesses to other states,” the PLF explained in a press statement.

The PLF said the lawsuit challenges the auction process “as an unconstitutional state tax because it was not enacted by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, as required for new taxes by the California Constitution (Proposition 13 and Proposition 26).”

“The California Constitution is crystal clear that new state taxes require at least two-thirds approval… Read More

Katy Grimes

Really good state budget transparency bills – will they be killed?

In 2012, the state Legislature passed 80 budget “spot” bills — empty bills with no details. Such measures just sit on a shelf and await last-minute bill language, then are put forward for late-night passage on the last day of the budget session.

These are often the most controversial bills of each session. When lawmakers use them to avoid the legislative process, which requires committee hearings for all bills, it is clear that their goal is to avoid transparency and public involvement.

This has long been the norm. It has arguably been encouraged since the 2010 adoption of Propositions 25 and 26 into the state Constitution, allowing the Legislature to pass a budget on a simple majority vote and requiring a supermajority vote to pass fees and taxes by the Legislature, respectively. Lawmakers routinely take major policy changes and potential tax increases and drop them in trailer bill language.

Gorell and other Assembly Republicans target ‘waste, fraud and abuse’

To counter this practice, Assembly Republicans are pushing budget reform and transparency measures.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Caltrans boondoggles; director to be re-confirmed

Today, it appears the California Senate will reconfirm Malcolm Dougherty, the director of Caltrans. This will be done after only one Senate hearing, where instead of asking Dougherty to answer for the giant problems in his agency, lawmakers were silent or complimentary.

What timing. I hope Senators are paying attention today. Because yesterday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced the opening of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge may be delayed a few more weeks or even months. The latest delay of the 10-year construction project is due to the discovery of more than 30 faulty giant bolts holding the bridge together — apparently they need to be replaced before the bridge can open to the public.

Under construction for more than a decade, the Bay Bridge project has not only taken much longer to build than planned, cost overruns have escalated the total cost to build it… Read More

Katy Grimes

Does Munger hunger for ‘Gov. Maldonado?’

Abel Maldonado is running for Governor. Groan.

Only a few years ago as a state senator, Maldonado, a Republican, sold taxpayers down the river when he provided the key vote for the $13 billion tax increase of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He did this after promising he would never increase taxes.

As a reward, Schwarzenegger appointed Maldonado to the vacant seat of lieutenant governor. But Abel seemed unable to acquire the confirmation of his colleagues. He’s not exactly liked in political circles. He finally prevailed, and settled in comfortably to the most useless office in the state.

But someone likes the sound of “Gov. Maldonado.”

“Charles T. Munger Jr. confirmed Friday that he plans to contribute an undisclosed amount to a committee Maldonado is opening to explore a gubernatorial bid, but said he is refraining from endorsing any of the possible… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislature uses anti-gun laws as diversion

How convenient. Instead of focusing on criminals released the last two years under AB 109 and now committing new crimes, the California Legislature is diverting citizens’ attention by taking up gun control. AB 109 was the prison “diversion” law that dumped thousands of criminals from state prisons onto local jails, many subsequently being released into the general public.

A hearing in the Assembly Public Safety committee Tuesday advanced the diversion while making the majority Democrats seem “tough on crime.”

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence was one group that testified at Tuesday’s hearing. It advocates more gun control, while saying, “We all deserve to live in communities free from the fear and threat of gun violence.”

For a group to make such a definitive statement about public safety, there is oddly nothing on its website about… Read More

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