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Katy Grimes

Legislative fractured fairy tale

The swearing-in of new legislators is usually a party atmosphere. Lawmakers feel celebratory after long campaigns. Yesterday’s swearing-in was not a disappointment however, along with the celebratory mood, there was an air of fantasy and fairy tale.

This is the largest freshman class, with 39 newly elected lawmakers, since 1966.

Perhaps the party mood was because of the new Democratic supermajority. While Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg insists that Democrats will not go hog wild with their unobstructed power, not everyone believes that. “I just don’t think we should come hurtling out of the gates talking about a bunch of new taxes,” Steinberg told media Monday.

“It’s in their DNA,” one Capitol staffer told me, but asked to remain anonymous. “It would go completely against everything they stand for. They can’t help themselves.”

Fractured fairy tales

When it came time to nominate the Assembly Speaker, the Capitol sergeants should have handed out airsick bags.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Humbolt, nominated current Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles. Chesbro said Perez… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. business leakage is a bummer

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 know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and move a business.

As The Dude in the Big… Read More

Katy Grimes

Is CA about to become a sanctuary state?

Immigration issues within states are becoming more prevalent. The usual complaints are that the federal government isn’t doing enough to enforce U.S. policy.

California is different. Earlier this year, it already embarked into uncharted territories, with the state Legislature voting to allow the children of undocumented aliens to attend the state’s public universities and colleges, at estimated costs of $65 million a year in financial aid and scholarships.

California: Sanctuary State

There have been many failed attempts to pass state laws allowing undocumented immigrants to live and work in California without the constant threat of deportation. Many say that this should have sent a clear message to lawmakers. Even a ballot initiative, the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act, failed to get enough signatures to quality for the November ballot.

“But noooooo,” as John Belushi used to say on “Saturday Night Live.”

Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar, together with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, revived the attempt. In one of the most repugnant moves legislators can make, they gutted and… Read More

Katy Grimes

Air Resources Board dodges accountability – again

The California Air Resources Board seems to be on everyone’s list of what not to do in state government. Charged with implementing AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB is under increasing scrutiny for operating as a rogue agency, appearing to be accountable to no one.

All attempts to reel in the agency have failed, including another attempt to audit its operations and finances–thanks to Democratic legislators who clearly are getting marching orders from Assembly and Senate leaders.

A Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing on Wednesday brought CARB close to accountability with the threat of the six-month state audit. But the committee chairman, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, surprised everyone when he nixed the plan after having made the pretense that he was on board.

CARB and AB 32

In 2006, the Legislature promised that AB 32 would help clean the environment while still protecting the economy. Supportive legislators promised that utility and gasoline costs would not increase with the implementation of the climate change law.

The opposite has happened, and businesses are now… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Leaders Should Consider Amazon Jobs Proposal

I sent a letter to theGovernor and legislative leaders todayurging them to consider aproposal by Amazon.com that would bring an estimated 7,000 jobs to California. I also asked them to re-evaluate the projected budget revenue associated with the “Amazon Tax” (AB 28X).

Read my letter here.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Debt Sale Could Help Close Budget Gap

The State of California is currently sitting on billions of dollars of uncollected debt that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars on private debt markets. Rather than raise taxes on the hardworking people of California, state leaders should sell off debt to raise the cash we need—just like private businesses do.

Selling aging debt is a common practice in the private sector and has also been used successfully by many local governments. Selling debt makes a lot more sense than selling buildings you have to turn around and lease back.

The sale of these assets could provide much-needed one-time cash. Combined with rising revenues, these dollars could help protect priority programs and eliminate the perceived need to impose higher taxes on struggling Californians.

Today I called upon the Governor and legislative leaders urging them to consider such a sale in their ongoing budget negotiations.

Below is the text of my letter.

—-

June 6, 2011

Dear Governor Brown and Legislative Leaders:

I am writing to suggest monetizing a portion of the billions of dollars in debt owed the State of California as a possible… Read More

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