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Katy Grimes

Digital Democracy Project Unleashes Oversight and Accountability on CA Legislature

Every year in California’s state capital, 120 full-time lawmakers, 2,000 full-time staff, and 130 legislative committees, introduce an average of 5,000 bills each legislative session, thus creating a booming industry for California’s 1,100 registered lobbyists. They do this with a $150 billion annual budget. And they do this while simultaneously managing to keep out most of the public.

In… Read More

Katy Grimes

New Assembly Bills Offer Union Employees (GASP) Union Choice

Two Assembly bills were just introduced addressing labor union transparency and designed to offer a choice of labor unions, and to force unions to open up their books.

Assemblywoman ShannonGrove, R-Bakersfield, is working with union employees who have been fighting the Service Employees International Union for transparency, and they’ve been educating members of their option to opt out of paying the share of dues that is used for political purposes. This is information the Union does not tell it’s members.

The bills are on behalf of the workers. Most media has reported that the bills are an attack on labor unions, but… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown’s Latest Tax Increase May Have Republican Support

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

~Ronald Reagan

Despite California’s highest-in-the-nation taxes, a couple of Assembly Republicans have allegedly agreed to vote for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax on health plans in the State of California.

Even if Brown is able to convince health insurers, he needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Legislature. And this is where Republican votes come in. Currently, Democrats do not have a supermajority, and need to peel off a couple of Republican votes for tax increases.

Predictably, Brown has been trying to convince Republicans his health plan tax is really “tax reform.”

“This is not a tax increase, no matter what anyone tells you,” he said during his State of the State address.

“It will be pretty easy to tell if this is a tax increase, or some sort of revenue neutral swapping of one tax for another,” said Jon Fleischman, publisher of the Flash… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Governor’s Budget Takes Cautious Approach

I’m pleased that the Governor continues to take a cautious approach to the budget. While California’s economy improves, it makes sense to strengthen our rainy day fund.

During this time of additional revenue, the Governor should be commended for keeping his promise to voters to end temporary tax increases on schedule.

However, I’m concerned that the boost in revenue will cause many lawmakers to clamor for more spending. The last thing we need to do is mirror past mistakes that led to prior budget crises.

Now, more than ever, lawmakers should focus on improving quality of life for Californians by prioritizing jobs, roads and education without raising taxes.… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s Department of Business Prevention Strikes Again: Another Minimum Wage Hike

From the State of California’s Department of Business Prevention comes another random minimum wage hike to help kill off more businesses.

The final phase of the 2013 Assembly Bill 10 went into effect Jan. 1, bumping the minimum wage to $10-per-hour statewide. AB 10 is the final step of a two-stage increase. California and Massachusetts are now the states with the highest minimum wage. Only California is also home to the highest income taxes, sales taxes, and high property taxes.

Bureaucrats Interfere

Work should be valued only between those who… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s False ‘Green’ Economy: The Rest of the Story

By Katy Grimes and Tom Tanton

False claims about the success of California’s green economy have been front-page headlines for several years. Green tech groups, green energy investors, stakeholders and even green tech media claim California has a “thriving clean energy economy.”

What’s missing from the news is The Rest of the Story. The political and economic impact of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), the greenhouse gas reduction mandate foisted on Californians by the Democrat-dominated Legislature, and signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, hasn’t been good for the economy.

While recent newsreports show unemployment has slightly dropped, the facts show otherwise. The U.S. unemployment rate cannot possibly be 5.3 percent, nor can California’s be 6.3 percent. The only way it can be reported this way is by excluding those Americans who have given up finding a job, and are no longer participating in the workforce.

But this Legislature and governor would much rather talk about a warming climate, than the business climate or… Read More

Katy Grimes

Real ‘Income Inequality’ Is In UC, CSU Academia

Those on the left who wail incessantly about “income inequality” need look no further than California academia. While the left focuses like a laser beam on private sector CEO salaries, the salaries in government and state run academia are soaring.

There’s no risk being a public official; the real risk belongs to CEO’s who can be tossed out of their jobs on the whim of boards of directors. Private sector employees are subject to performance reviews and standards — it’s called merit. When was the last time anyone in government was terminated for poor performance? The faulty Oakland Bay bridge… no heads have rolled yet on that.

Income Inequality Belongs to California Academia

The UC Regents approved 3 percent raises for 15 of the University of California’s highest-paid executives. The new pay scale for the five UC chancellors are: $772,500 for UC San Francisco’s Samuel Hawgood; $516,446 for UC Berkeley’s Nicholas Dirks; $441,334 for UCLA’s Gene Block; $436,120 for UC San Diego’s Pradeep Khosla; and $424,360 for UC Davis’ Linda… Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge Halts Sacramento Officials’ Mass-Deletion of City’s Emails

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has put a halt to the City of Sacramento’s plan for a mass-deletion of millions of e-mails deemed “non-public record,” following two California Public Records Act requests — one of which was mine.

The California Public Records Actrequires judges to balance the publics’ right to access records with the public interests in not accessing records.City officials said that the email being deleted does not qualify as public record and is mostly “transitory in nature.”

I filed my PRA request June 25, 2015 specifically in response to the recent public statements by City Officials, including City Attorney James Sanchez, that the City will be destroying all emails in its possession, two years or older on July 1, 2015. My requests are, among other things, to obtain copies of those electronic messages prior to their deletion by the City.

Richard Stevenson, a grass roots community… Read More

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