San Bruno pressured by state to approve housing project

The May decision of state Senate Appropriations Chairman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, to kill a sweeping bill making it far easier for developers to build four- or five-story condominium and rental projects near mass transit led many disappointed pundits

Read More

Feds unexpectedly clear way for bullet train planning to advance

Three months after canceling a $929 million federal grant to the troubled California bullet train project, the Trump administration has unexpectedly given its go-ahead to the state to approve environmental documents that are needed to complete planning for the long-delayed

Read More

UC tuition plan could ‘fall apart,’ regent warns

University of California President Janet Napolitano and other top UC officials have proposed a new plan to manage tuition increases. But their plan runs the risk of backfiring because it depends heavily on consistent future support from the state Legislature

Read More

Ex-justices see big problems with California initiative process

Despite the 2014 adoption of the most significant reforms to the initiative process in recent California history, two former state Supreme Court justices have gone public with criticism over the dominant role of money in direct democracy, suggesting that the

Read More

Two new headaches for California high-speed rail project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority – the agency in charge of building the state’s bullet train system – has already faced a tough year, with Gov. Gavin Newsom signaling in February that he’s not confident the full system can ever

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More