Budget and Finance

Richmond pols continue posturing on underwater mortgages

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

A majority of the Richmond City Council still wants to use eminent domain powers to to seize “underwater mortgages" even though the bond market refused to sell $34 million in municipal bonds for the city last year due to Richmond officials' interest in the novel proposal. Prices are soaring in ...

Brown signs defense industry tax break with hidden Tesla perk

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown  signed into law Thursday a special $420 million corporate tax break for defense contractor Lockheed Martin. If that wasn't controversial enough, now word has surfaced that the bill also included a hidden perk for electric auto maker Tesla Motors Inc. According to a repo...

Legislature picks aerospace winner

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Stealth bomber

  An Air Force request for proposal (RFP) for the next generation stealth bomber is about to hit the street. The contract is worth an estimated $55 billion. Aerospace giants Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman – both of which have a major presence here in California – are in a...

CA vs. FL dogfight over stealth plane subsidies

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
F-117_Nighthawk_flight wikimedia

Like a professional sports team in search of a new taxpayer-funded arena, two defense contractors are playing California and Florida lawmakers against each other in a bid to win more tax breaks and, in turn, a $55 billion federal contract. The home team, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed...

CA Legislature boosts budget up to $156 billion

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Convinced that California's fiscal crisis is effectively over, state Democrats led the state Legislature to pass a $156 billion budget. They did so after a round of negotiations that left Sacramento just six hours away from missing the state's constitutional deadline for passing a budget into l...

Chart shows Brown budget follows Gann Limit

Monday, June 16th, 2014
Gann Limit 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators are congratulating themselves on passing a budget by the June 15 deadline and keeping a lid on spending. They insist they're avoiding the excess spending that got the state into trouble when past recessions hit in 1990, 2000 and 2007, producing massive def...

Water conservation success backfires on policy-makers

Monday, June 16th, 2014

  A longstanding truism when it comes to needed goods such as water systems, flood control or catastrophic earthquake insurance is that the public wants them but does not want to pay for them. This was confirmed anew by a recent USC-L.A. Times poll, which found only 36 percent of those po...

State budget: Governor, lawmakers expected to finalize deal

Friday, June 13th, 2014

State lawmakers reached a tentative agreement on the state budget Thursday, after Gov. Jerry Brown caved to Democratic lawmakers' demands over more funding for in-home support services for elderly and disabled Californians. “We are at this point prepared to bring the full budget to the floors o...

Sweeping new legal challenge to bullet train

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A massive California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit was filed June 4 in Sacramento Superior Court over the newly certified environmental impact report (EIR) for the bullet-train project segment linking Fresno to Bakersfield. This EIR is supposed to have far more details about the impacts of th...

Pension costs burden CA budget

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown still hasn't gotten his state's budget problems beat. A high-profile new report showed California still faces massive liabilities extending far into the future. The study, released by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, tallied over $340 billion in debts, deferred ...