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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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Deal to send rice water to SoCal could dry up before summer

The Sacramento Bee recently reported it’s a done deal to transfer water from Central Valley rice farmers to Southern California. The transfer would alleviate curtailments of urban water allocations. But if California does not provide the full allocation to the owners

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Housing report by Legislative Analyst raises affordability questions

The California Legislative Analyst’s new report on housing costs puts numbers to what housing-hunters know on the ground: affordable housing in the state’s coastal areas is scarce and getting scarcer. But the report itself raises new questions. According to the

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Study: CA ranks last in spending transparency

California ranked at the bottom for the second consecutive year on the annual report on state government transparency compiled by the Public Interest Research Group, an investigative and advocacy organization based in Boston. And the state’s beleaguered Department of Technology, or CalTech, can be assigned part

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LAO questions local school funding accountability

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in July 2013 that increased funding for the state’s neediest students and restored local control over how that money is spent, he hailed it as “historic.” Brown also called it “truly revolutionary. We are

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