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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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BOE Member George Runner

California Would Create More Jobs Without Prop 30

In his recent piece for The Sacramento Bee, “State’s job growth defies predictions after tax increases,” David Cay Johnston argues that California’s recent job creation numbers prove recent tax increases embodied in Proposition 30 aren’t killing jobs or slowing economic growth.

Yet the evidence Johnston presents is less than convincing—surprising for an academic and former investigative journalist. He points to recent positive job growth numbers but neglects to mention that California’s “unemployment rate” remains tied for fifth worst in the nation.

Thirteen counties in California still have double-digit unemployment rates, the highest of which is 22%.

Due in part to California oppressive tax and regulatory climate, the recession was markedly worse in our state. As a consequence, we ended up with a bigger jobs hole, and we now need more jobs than other states to fill that hole.

Yet in the past year, states with lower unemployment rates like North Dakota, Utah, Texas, Delaware, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Indiana and Washington… Read More

Katy Grimes

LAUSD Teachers Demand 17.6 Percent Raise… Don’t Yawn, read on

Does a salary increase of 17.6 percent translate into 17.6 percent better job performance? Chances are, it does not.

The Los Angeles Unified School District and Service Employees International Union recently cut a dubious deal to increase 33,000 minimum-wage non-teaching workers’ pay to $15 an hour, nearly doubling some workers’ salaries. I wrote about it July 7 in “Dubious Deal Between Los Angeles School District andRead More

Katy Grimes

Dubious Deal Between Los Angeles School District and SEIU

In a dubious deal between the Service Employees International Union and the Los Angeles Unified School District, minimum-wage workers will receive pay increases to $15 an hour, nearly doubling some workers’ salaries.

The contract agreement will significantly boost the wages of 33,000 bus drivers, janitors, school security, cafeteria workers, and teacher’s aids, according to the… 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

Government ‘investing’ in government

In order to stimulate the inert economy, we now have the government investing in government. The public sector is trading public dollars for public dollars.

“How will you spend your future?” the California State Teachers Retirement System logo asks. I wouldn’t spend it on a solar plant. Nor would I voluntarily spend my future with CalSTRS.

‘Infrastructure investments’

Nearly every time I pick up the newspaper, the headline screams that another solar plant has closed and the business gone under. Yet I see that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is investing $42.8 million in a large solar plant in Sacramento.

“Investing” was… Read More

Tony Manolatos

Brown to San Diego: Tax yourselves or else!

San Diego Politics & Media Mashup

If you believe Governor Jerry Brown, all of us are going to suffer if we don’t agree to tax ourselves more this November.

It’s a tired sales pitch we hear too often from California lawmakers, but that didn’t stop Brown from trying to play on our fears when he visited San Diego on Monday.

The first paragraph in the U-T San Diego’s story on Brown’s press conference framed the governor’s hyperbole this way:

Jerry Brown on Monday in San Diego peddled his tax measure to raise $6 billion annually for education and other state services, promising “real suffering by you and really our whole future” if the proposal fails in November.

There is a lot I admire about the governor, but he is on the wrong side of this issue and his messaging isn’t exactly the stuff of legend.

Maybeno one told him San Diegans… Read More