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Investigative Reports

Appellate court seems to OK high-speed rail

May 29th, 2014 By Kathy Hamilton. This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Is a green light ahead for California’s high-speed rail project? In a crucial hearing on May 23 before the Third District Court of Appeal, questions asked by the justices seemed to lean toward a reversal of a lower-court decision on March 4 by Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny that would delay the rail project from moving forward. The laws...

Ending water wars could spark tax wars

May 23rd, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   Phil Isenberg wants to end California's water wars. The member of the Delta Stewardship Council and its past chair wants to connect the cost of water more closely to its users. According to a report by the California Economic Summit, he points out that the cost of water is about $30 billion a year for the state. And it breaks down to 4 percent from federal spending, 12 pe...

SB1188 could expand product litigation

May 20th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   “California has consistently had one of the worst lawsuit climates in the nation, currently ranked at 47th for lawsuit fairness,” concluded the Institute for Legal Reform’s 2012 Lawsuit Climate Report. “The courts in Los Angeles rank as the country’s second worst for legal fairness, with San Francisco’s courts coming in at fourth worst.” Unlikely to improve Ca...

Do Californians want to raise oil taxes?

May 15th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   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 a barrel of oil. It would raise up to $2 billion a year. Steyer is not new to pushing tax increases. In 2012, vot...
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