Rights and Liberties

Harsh impact of CalSTRS bailout begins to emerge

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The deal struck in spring 2014 to bail out the underfunded California State Teachers' Retirement System will lead school districts, the state and teachers to increase their annual contributions to CalSTRS from $5.9 billion in 2014 to at least $10.9 billion in fiscal 2020-21, with 70 percent of the e...

CA initiative reform: Lawmakers ignore the elephant in the room

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
ballot

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on initiative reforms that take effect today. After more than a century in California’s political spotlight, the state’s initiative process will be getting a major revise next year. Even more surprising, both Democrats and Republicans in the famou...

CARB draws sharp fire on AB 32 — from the left

Monday, December 29th, 2014

David Roberts -- a Grist.org journalist who has an easy command of energy issues that makes his NRDC-style environmentalism easier to take -- has written a sharp piece about AB 32. Roberts details what he calls an "avoidable mess" in the implementation of the law by the California Air Resources Boa...

CA public schools can’t charge students for parking

Sunday, December 28th, 2014
school parking

San Diego tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson is also a libertarian civic activist challenging government nuttiness and illegality. In a public Google Docs file, he explained how to fight a petty abuse of power used in some school districts to free up more funds for teacher compensation. Here's are ...

Will young CA justices use Vergara case to audition for SCOTUS?

Saturday, December 27th, 2014
kruger.scotus

The Volokh Conspiracy, the wonderful legal blog founded by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, had a provocative post about what might happen now that Gov. Jerry Brown has named three acclaimed youngish scholars to the California Supreme Court. George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr writ...

Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
bullet.train.curve

Congress' most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren't over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some protections against a fresh round of Wall St...

Meet the Mother Jones staffer who thinks the bullet train is nuts

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
mother.jones.cover

There are bullet-train apostates among California Democrats, starting with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and bullet-train fans among state GOPers, starting with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. But by and large, the bullet-train debate in the Golden State is a partisan affair. This doesn't make much sens...

57% of CA infrastructure $ on mass transit? More, more, more!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
sb375

In 2008, California enacted SB 375, the most important state law you never heard about. It was Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's bid for the sort of green reverence that Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed because of 2006's AB 32. SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) directs the California Air Resource...

State estimates on cost of new lighting rules far too low

Sunday, November 30th, 2014
CA_Energy_Commission

It looks like California business interests have yet another example of state bureaucrats downplaying or ignoring the cost of new regulations. The Voice of San Diego has a story that seems likely to end up producing headlines around the state. New retrofit mandates meant to lower energy use and e...

Elected CA Dems duck issue of police treatment of minorities

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
rodney.king

As protests in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have shown, there are many Californians who are upset about what happened in Ferguson, Mo., with the police killing of an unarmed African-American youth. They're also much more broadly concerned about how police treat minorities, including here in th...