Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

- Or -
Search blog archive

Katy Grimes

FPPC imposes regulation on political bloggers

The California Fair Political Practices Commission just ruled this week to require campaign committees to report to the State who they pay to post “favorable or unfavorable” content on blogs, social media or online videos, on their campaign finance statements.

The committees will also have to report the name of the website where the content appears.

The long arm of the government has found a chilling new way to intimidate new-media.

Political bloggers writing online will be subjected to new disclosure rules under state regulations the Fair Political Practices Commission approved Thursday.

Here’s how the State, under California Code Section 82013, defines a “committee”:

“Committee” means any person or combination of persons who directly or indirectly does any, of the following: (a) Receives contributions totaling one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in a calendar year. (b) Makes independent expenditures totaling one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in a calendar year; or (c) Makes contributions totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in a calendar year to or at the behest of candidates or committees. A person or… Read More

Katy Grimes

Steinberg’s “enviro reform” hidden under Sacto basketball stadium

The California Legislature ended the 2013 legislative session Thursday by passing hundreds of new bills. Most of the controversial bills were passed along party lines. However a bill from Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, granting a Sacramento arena development an exemption from the state’s strict environmental laws, had plenty of help from state Republicans.

Reform or worsen?

Steinberg insists he’s only trying to reform the California Environmental Quality Act. SB 743, is a gut-and-amend bill by Steinberg is titled, “Environmental quality: transit oriented infill projects, judicial review streamlining for environmental leadership development projects, and entertainment and sports center in the City of Sacramento.”

That’s the long way of saying this is not really a CEQA reform bill. It’s a face-saving way out for Steinberg who has been awkwardly intertwined for more than 13 years with the haphazard development of a new sports arena in downtown Sacramento.

On its way to the Gov

This isn’t a one-off bill. Exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act were granted… Read More

Katy Grimes

BART strike results in free market solution

Only two full days into the BART worker strike, it appears the 400,000 people who usually rely on the train system to get around the San Francisco Bay Area are resourceful. And, they’ve turned to a free market solution.

While Bay Area Rapid Transit employees strike for higher pay and “safer” working conditions, their unions, the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, duke it out with government officials.

But not everyone in the Bay Area is stranded.

Avego, one of the clever startup rideshare companies, jumped into action just in time for the strike Monday morning.

Avego marketed their services “with gusto” to commuters coming from the East Bay to San Francisco. “Avego was going beyond offering an easy way to share a ride with a stranger. The company was giving a… Read More

Katy Grimes

Fracking survives CA Legislature — for now

SACRAMENTO — After sitting through several recent marathon sessions in the Assembly, it was shocking to witness the powerful California environmental lobby lose its attempt to ban oil and gas hydraulic fracturing.

For this, Californians can be thankful.

That got me thinking. What if California’s powerful environmental lobby had been as powerful during the 1849 Gold Rush as it is today? Back then, they would have harassed gold pioneer James Marshall so much he would have quit. California never would have become the Golden State.

Hydrolic fracking for oil and gas has the potential to become the next Gold Rush — this time of black gold, Texas tea. But will the environmentalists stop it? Not yet — but maybe in the future.

A University of Southern California study, “Powering California: The Monterey Shale & California’s Economic Future,” looked at the development of the vast energy resource beneath the San Joaquin Valley known as the Monterey Shale. It found that hydraulic fracturing could create 512,000 to 2.8 million new jobs, personal income growth of $40.6 billion to $222.3… Read More

Katy Grimes

Corbett bill would end independent union audits

A bill written and sponsored by the union labor group State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, appears to be an effort to eliminate from monitoring and enforcing prevailing wage laws through independent compliance audits and enforcement of building contractors.

SB 776 by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, will be heard today in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. This should be interesting.

According to the non-union California Construction Compliance Group, the audits always find labor violations, and particularly those involving employee prevailing wage requirements. It’s ironic that the prevailing wage is supported entirely by unions, but it’s usually union contractors which violate this rule and do not pay prevailing wage to construction workers.

Once an audit is completed, employees receive substantial amounts of back wages they were cheated out of through fraudulent labor practices, or just sheer incompetence by the contractor employers.

If the wages were underpaid due to fraud, the State of California Labor Commissioner assesses fines and penalties on the employer commensurate with the level of fraud or… Read More

Katy Grimes

Parents fighting for kids; SEIU fighting for more money

SACRAMENTO — A modest rally at the Capitol this morning supporting a state audit of Child Protective Services competed with a humongous rally held by the SEIU.

On the South steps of the Capitol, the CPS audit rally was made up of parents and families who are victims of overly aggressive Child Protective Services divisions.

On the West steps of the Capitol, the SEIU rally was made up of thousands of purple t-shirt-wearing SEIU members demanding raises. Their t-shirts were made up for today’s rally and said “2013 CONTRACT TOUR.” The back of the t-shirt said “YOUR CONTRACT STARTS WITH YOU,” and listed the cities for the SEIU “Townhall Circuit” for 2013 contract negotiations.

Yet what should have overshadowed the small gathering of emotional parents, did not. Although, the contrast was stark.

It was mothers and fathers who said their children had been stolen from… Read More

Katy Grimes

Vindictive Obamacare bills speeding through Legislature

It’s always good to see the California Legislature proposing more vindictive bills aimed at penalizing employers.

The new “Walmart loophole” bill, AB 880, would require large employers to “pay their fair share when they dump workers onto Medi-Cal by cutting hours or wages in order to circumvent their responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act,” according to the bill’s author Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles.

Nice.

Under Gomez’s bill, the ACA threshold for fining businesses would be lowered so that large employers would be fined if their part- or full-time workers are enrolled in Medi-Cal.

The legislation — which is supported by the California Labor Federation and United Food and Commercial Workers — “aims to encourage large businesses to offer job-based coverage.”

I’d word that a little differently. The legislation, supported by two of the largest, most aggressive labor unions in the state, aims to force large non-union businesses to cover all employees, regardless of their part-time status.

And remember the other Obamacare penalty bill I wrote about earlier this week:

Read More

Katy Grimes

Politically connected HealthCare Partners sidestepped licensing for 10 years

Part One of a series

May 3, 2013

By Katy Grimes

One of the original pioneers of the Obamacare patient networks, HealthCare Partners, has been operating in California without the required state license. But according to health care experts and a new lawsuit, the California Department of Managed Care has known this, and allowed it for 10 years, saving HealthCare Partners millions of dollars.

HCP has flown under the radar of the California Department of Managed Health Care regulatory authority by claiming it’s a medical group, while in fact operating as an unlicensed Health Maintenance Organization. It has done so by taking standard HMO global risk for the patient — hospital care, medication and physician services.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, works through a network of Accountable Care Organizations providing managed health care services to all people throughout the country. Health care experts have said all along there is not enough money in the system to do what the ACA purports it can do.

The acronyms are confusing. What’s the difference between an HMO and an ACO? “ACOs amount to… Read More

Page 33 of 36« First...1020...3132333435...Last »