March, 2010

State tax receipts down sharply

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

March 31, 2010 By JOHN SEILER A new study by the U.S. Census Bureau found that the tax receipts of the California state government dropped 13.9 percent. That was fifth highest of the states, with the higher states being: Alaska 41.2 percent drop in revenue, Arizona 17.9 percent, South Carolina 15....

Vallejo avoids tough pension fights

Monday, March 29th, 2010

March 29, 2010 By STEVEN GREENHUT (Originally printed in the Wall Street Journal) In 2008, Vallejo, Calif., was nearly broke. Faced with falling tax revenues, rising pension costs, and unmovable public-employee unions, the city was unable to pay its bills and declared bankruptcy. Now, as it prepa...

Hearing details massive state waste

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

March 25, 2010 By KATY GRIMES Sometimes the most informative legislative hearings are the informational hearings. No vote is taken, there is an abundance of tough talk by legislators, mea maxima culps uttered by egregious state agency heads, and everyone goes home until the next hearing. Yesterda...

Why does Whiman want to be guv?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

March 24, 2010 In all seriousness, will someone please tell me why Meg Whitman wants to be governor of California? She’s spending money on the race like she just won the lottery, and yet she’s behaving like someone who just learned about politics and elections and our three branches of governme...

Reform group wants higher taxes

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

March 24, 2010 By KATY GRIMES At a hearing Tuesday in the Improving the State Committee, the new “bipartisan” group, California Forward, made another heartfelt appeal to legislators for support of what is supposed to be something everyone can believe in: Higher taxes and abolishment of the two...

So much courage, so few solutions

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

March 22, 2010 When people ask why I moved to Sacramento to write about California's notoriously dysfunctional government, I say that in the next two or three years, the government here is likely to (figuratively) crash and burn, and as a journalist, I want a front-row seat for the action. While m...

What Budget Crisis?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Mar. 19, 2010 I spend my days attending state Assembly and Senate committee hearings, trying to follow proposed legislation. Most days I end up sitting in a red velvet chair in a committee hearing room, listening to the ridiculous banter and commentary passing between committee members over policy ...

DOJ to state agencies: pay up

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

March 17, 2010 By KATY GRIMES The California Department of Justice wants to be compensated by California’s state agencies for legal services. Last year, the DOJ lost $30 million of its budget and had to cut 130 attorneys from its staff. As a way to manage their caseload and still provide le...

Ed funding gets contentious

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

March 17, 2010 By KATY GRIMES Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal for education funding did not sit well with the Assembly education subcommittee. Coming from two vastly different ideological arenas, committee members appeared more open to spending, instead of budget cutting. Analyzing the g...

Is high speed rail unstoppable?

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Mar. 12, 2010 Sometimes, being a legislator can be a very lonely job. Just ask Assembly member Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point. She’s taking on the proposed California High Speed Rail project, and she doesn’t have a lot of help or support. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but high-speed rail is popula...