Budget and Finance

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Assembly subcommittee flunks UC budget

Tuition hikes marched to the head of the class at a recent hearing of California Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance. Assembly members balked at a 28 percent tuition hike advanced by UC President Janet Napolitano and approved by the University of

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Appellate court pulls plug on utility charge

Taxes are taxes – even when collected by a city on a municipal service. That’s the recent ruling by California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal enforcing two tax-limitation initiatives, Propositions 13 and 26. The action threatens a source of revenue for

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Entrepreneurs fret over CA business climate

Although California’s economy is finally picking up after seven years of recessionary blues, many small business owners continue to feel government is hurting more than helping them. That was one of the messages from entrepreneurs at a Feb. 11 hearing

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Fresno beats SF, San Jose in economic growth

The gleaming high-tech companies of San Francisco and Silicon Valley now are California’s face to the world — even more than Hollywood. But — surprise! — an updated Brookings Institution study found the inland metropolitan areas of California beat out the

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Comparing CalPERS and CalSTRS with AT&T retirement

Following yesterday’s CalWatchdog.com story, “State pensions improve, but members living longer,” it would be useful to compare California’s two large state retirement funds with a roughly equivalent private one, AT&T. Most private companies have switched to “defined contribution” pension plans, in

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State pensions improve, but members living longer

Is it morning in California for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System? Both CalPERS and CalSTRS’ funds have performed better lately, even as members are living longer. CalPERS is doing much better since 2008,

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Look for the budget trailer-bill details

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, released Friday, is just that: a proposal. It’s a starting point. What’s key are the details he and his allies include in the “trailer bills” to the budget they advance for fiscal year 2015-16, which

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Do Californians want to raise oil taxes?

  Are Californians ready for another tax increase? That’s what California hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer sought to find out in his “People’s Poll” on whether voters would support an added oil extraction tax in California. The tax would be 9.9 percent on

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LAO: Possible 2016 recession would devour budget surplus

  There is good news and bad news in the impartial California Legislative Analyst’s recent release of its “2014-2015 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook.” The good news, “Stunning turnaround: California has budget surpluses as far as LAO can see.” That’s the San Jose

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State of CA worsened Desert Hot Springs’ financial problems

Desert Hot Springs is a poor city east of Banning. The city’s median income of $31,356 is 55 percent of California’s $57,287. It also has a reputation for crystal meth production straight out of  the television series “Breaking Bad.” Hot

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