Push to promote ‘defensible space’ in homes at fire risk faulted

After the deadliest and most destructive four-year stretch of wildfires in modern California history, Gov. Gavin Newsom took office in January determined to escalate state efforts to limit fire threats and to adopt safer building and fire maintenance practices. Within

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Are voters ready to approve two massive tax hikes in 2020?

Because voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978 — the ballot initiative that capped property tax hikes at 2 percent per year and required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before taxes could be added or increased — California became known as

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Weakened rent control bill advances in Assembly

Opponents of rent control and new restrictions on how landlords treat tenants succeeded in either weakening or blocking bills that needed to advance last week to have a chance of being enacted this legislative session. Coming seven months after voters

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Faculty housing? No thanks, says Berkeley faculty Senate

The need for less expensive housing in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley has been so plain for so long that many of those on the outside of California looking in wonder why local governments, developers and voters can’t get

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Can Gov. Newsom ‘lead from behind’ on wildfire legislation?

Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wildfire “strike force” surprised some with the vagueness of its most important recommendation: That it’s time to revise the “inverse condemnation” state law that holds energy utilities can be held fully responsible for fires that

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Credit rating agencies concerned about California pensions costs

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the number of state residents worried about the cost of government pensions is at a 14-year low. In recent remarks to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, new state Superintendent of

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New proposal would provide banking access for cannabis industry

Four months after a high-profile effort to find a way to provide California’s legal marijuana industry with access to financial services ended in failure, state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and state Treasurer Fiona Ma are back with a new

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Bill blocking ‘rent gouging’ draws buzz in Capitol

Less than six months after voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have gutted a 1995 state law banning new types of rent control on all single-family homes and all rent control on apartments or condos built after the

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Court ruling praised by both sides of pension debate

For the second time in two years, the California Supreme Court has released a ruling on a large state issue that analysts say creates new uncertainty going forward. Last week, the court issued its long-awaited decision in a court case

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5 bills target consumption of sugary drinks

The California Legislature’s determination to lessen the amount of sugary drinks consumed by state residents may never have been greater than now – at least if the metric used is the number of bills introduced. This session, five will be taken

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