Regulations

NEW: Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

Monday, September 1st, 2014
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Dubious bills often get passed on the final night of the state legislative session, and 2014 was no exception: A measure to make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. SB270 passed despite fierce opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and after initially failing...

Unions win court round in battle with charter cities

Friday, August 29th, 2014
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Unions lost round one of their battle with California cities over "prevailing wages" on public works projects in 2012. That's when the California Supreme Court ruled against a law they'd gotten the Legislature to pass targeting charter cities for their refusal to mandate union-level pay on such proj...

Kiplinger: CA taxes highest — and state hostile to retirees, too

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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Over the years, when I've reported that the nation's CEOs continue to rank California as the most anti-business state in the country, I've gotten some blowback in emails and comments that question whether the ranking was manipulated. This is goofy paranoia -- the suggestion by CA Dems and labor type...

iPad scandal latest in long line for L.A. Unified — but different

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
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The abrupt decision Monday by Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy to suspend the district's $1 billion iPad program after reports that he manipulated the decision that led to Apple winning the big contract is hugely juicy. The program already had been under fire because it used 30-year bor...

Take your pooch out to eat

Monday, August 25th, 2014
three stooges dog

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill legalizing restaurants and bars allowing pets on patios, starting Jan. 1. Given all the animal-rights activists and dog-lovers in this state, it's surprising this took so long. Although in my experience here, this long has been allowed de facto. In Europe, peo...

CA editorial boards cool to anti-Uber power play

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
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The editorial pages of the state's largest newspapers largely agree about Tom Torlakson's being undeserving of a second term as state superintendent of public instruction. Given the breadth of ideological views among these papers, that's pretty rate. Now, rarely enough, we're seeing a second unif...

Immigration: Feinstein acts like Chicago Dem, not CA Dem

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
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California Sen. Dianne Feinstein won't put up with the CIA spying on lawmakers. Her repeated denunciations of the agency this year have been remarkable, considering her decades as a leading figure in the national security establishment. But Feinstein isn't so forthright when it comes to the polit...

Geothermal: New front in CA fracking war

Monday, August 18th, 2014
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The war over fracking in California could soon have a second front. The Economist has become the latest publication to document how the newly refined and improved energy exploration technique using precisely aimed underground water cannons works not just to free up previously inaccessible oil and...

Moody’s raises questions about teacher pension funding fix

Friday, August 15th, 2014
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Soon after the CalSTRS funding fix crafted by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown took effect on July 1, Moody's Investors Service raised CalSTRS' bond issuer rating. But six weeks later, Moody's has put out another release that examines how much strain the law meant to stabilize funding for Ca...

Feds abdicate on own rules for CA bullet train $

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
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The Obama administration has given the state $3.5 billion in funds for its bullet train project. But the 2009 stimulus funds that were the source of most of the federal bequest came with lots of strings attached, as is common with federal grants. Those rules were formally published in the Federal...