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Realtors’ initiative could boost home sales, limit property taxes

SACRAMENTO – Property-tax-limiting Proposition 13 has long been viewed as the “third rail” of California politics given its continued popularity among the home-owning electorate. Public-sector unions occasionally talk about sponsoring an initiative to eliminate its tax limits for commercial properties,

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California’s Legislative Analyst claims NIMBYism driving state’s housing crisis

When Gov. Jerry Brown’s aggressive proposal to jump-start housing construction by sharply streamlining the approvals process for urban housing projects that met certain conditions died quietly in September, the general consensus was that it was a victim of powerful factions

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LAO: State’s reserves could weather mild recession, face “considerable uncertainty”

Although it faces “considerable uncertainty,” the state’s budget could survive a mild recession for four years without a tax hike or sharp cuts, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The LAO warned that the stock market fluctuations and other

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Competing death-penalty measures revive old feud

SACRAMENTO – Thirty years ago, California voters did something unprecedented (and not seen since): They bounced Chief Justice Rose Bird from the supreme court. Two other state high-court justices also failed to win reconfirmation to the court, following an intense

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Prop. 53 could have far-reaching consequences for state project financing – or not

SACRAMENTO – Most California voters are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the municipal-bond process. Many are likewise unfamiliar with the differences between, say, “general obligation” bonds and “revenue” bonds. Nevertheless, they will be asked Nov. 8 whether to require

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Tobacco tax one of the most heated for November ballot

SACRAMENTO – There’s broad agreement that the 17 initiatives on the statewide ballot on November 8 cover some of the most significant public-policy issues to come before voters in more than a decade. For instance, voters will have a chance

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Why Prop. 47 fiscal critique may hurt Brown’s Prop. 57 push

Proposition 47 — the 2014 state ballot measure recategorizing many felonies as misdemeanors — has already faced heavy criticism. Prosecutors and police chiefs across California say it is behind a wave of petty crimes as offenders who previously were locked

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Bullet-train route change doesn’t win over many

Trying to build fresh momentum in Southern California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority last week unveiled major changes in the proposed bullet-train route meant to limit disruption to poor communities in the San Fernando Valley. But the reaction wasn’t as

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LAO: Teacher pension fund too risky and complex

Policy analysts are calling on state lawmakers to simplify the way the teachers’ pension fund gets funded — to improve oversight and to avoid the state being left in a lurch. According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the “subjective” funding

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Brown: State of the State is fiscal restraint

With a cautiously optimistic tone, Gov. Jerry Brown preached prudence on Thursday morning during his annual State of the State address. The speech — courteous in its brevity, clocking in at under 20 minutes — touted accomplishments and initiatives, like

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