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State Assembly approves plan to bring back Kelo-style redevelopment

Redevelopment agencies would once again have the power to seize private property for big developers under a bill that passed the California State Assembly earlier this month. Assembly Bill 2, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, would give local governments the

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CA’s history of direct democracy sometimes brings out ‘crackpots’

This week, lawmakers once again loudly proclaimed their outrage at a proposed ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide whether gay people should be shot. The notion is both sickening and unconstitutional, but it’s also part of California’s political

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BOE: New services tax could boost CA revenue by $122 billion

Placing a tax on business services in California has the potential to raise an additional $122.6 billion annually for state and local governments, according to a recent Board of Equalization study. A services tax could become a reality if Senate

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State Controller Betty Yee to audit City of Industry

First, it was widespread corruption at the city of Bell. Next, came an even bigger embezzlement scandal in Pasadena. Now, it’s $326 million in cronyism at the City of Industry. This week, State Controller Betty T. Yee announced that her office

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Senate committee OKs increased energy regulation

A bill that ratchets up energy restrictions in California passed a Senate policy committee last week, despite concerns from business representatives and Republican legislators that it will drive up energy costs, cost jobs and place too much power in the

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Unions, environmentalists clash over wind farm

Usually reliable allies for three liberal causes – renewable energy, environmental protection and labor unions – clashed recently over whether to grant a three-year extension for a wind farm in the Altamont Pass on the eastern fringe of the Bay

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State is owed millions in allegedly unpaid fees from Verizon

Verizon owes $11 million to a state fund to help the poor, the hearing-impaired and people in rural areas access telecommunications service, according to a draft document from the state’s Public Utility Commission. The fees are owed on service to prepaid

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Hoover analyst: CA already met 50% renewable goal

Eureka!  California already surpassed Gov. Jerry Brown’s 50 percent goal for renewable energy power by 2030. It did so, in fact, in 2011. That’s the conclusion of an article in the March-April issue of Eureka, a new periodical by the Hoover

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Committee passes double holiday pay bill

A bill requiring California businesses to provide double pay for employees working on Thanksgiving and Christmas recently passed the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, despite concerns that it will further hurt the state’s business climate and may be unconstitutional. Assemblywoman

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Studies show tradeoffs on health vs. environment

Two new studies show cleaning the environment to improve health is about tradeoffs. One study is on clean-air regulations, the other on diesel truck exhausts. The studies give policymakers more information on the choices they will be making. The first

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