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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 2010 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
The president of the University of California and the chancellor of the California community college system have quit the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors after the group voted to endorse Republican Meg Whitman for governor. The endorsement is the latest example of the state's largest business organization increasing its political profile. Jack Scott, a former Democratic state senator from Pasadena who was appointed as community college chancellor by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his resignation Friday in a letter to chamber President Allan Zaremberg after the endorsement vote.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - A proposal to charge a tax on oil pumped from the ground in California was approved Thursday by a state Senate panel on grounds that it would help fund higher education in the state. The Senate Education Committee voted, 5-2, to advance the bill that would levy a 9.5% tax to raise $2 billion annually to be divided among state universities and colleges, state parks and human service programs. “California is the only major oil producer in the world that does not collect taxes on oil production,” Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
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BUSINESS
September 22, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The California Chamber of Commerce may have the Capitol's deadliest aim when it comes to shooting down bills that its members don't like. The giant lobbying group, which represents 13,500 large and small employers, posted a near-perfect score in efforts this year to defeat legislation it labeled "job killers. " This year, the chamber went gunning for 38 such bills. Only one made it through both the Democratic Party-dominated Legislature and landed on the governor's desk.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Nearly 100 chanting and placard-waving union members marched to a downtown Sacramento office tower in a staged and futile attempt to serve a $240 million bill on the California Chamber of Commerce. The "invoice," union officials said, represented the amount of unpaid wages awarded by the state labor commissioner's office to workers that went uncollected from 2008 to 2011. The Service Employees International Union is sponsoring a bill aimed at preventing so-called wage theft.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A bill that would boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it. The measure would raise the current $8 minimum wage to $9 an hour next July 1 and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. The 25% increase would be the first minimum-wage hike in California in five years and would put extra money in the pockets of an estimated 2.4 million Californians. "This is the time to raise the minimum wage to provide relief for hard-working families," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)
OPINION
May 19, 2011 | By Donald Cohen
Since 2003, the California Chamber of Commerce has published an annual hit list of bills it labels job killers. The list has included state legislation to protect consumers, workers and the environment, and to raise revenue to fund public services or support middle- and working-class families. No politician — Democrat or Republican — wants to be known as someone who kills jobs, so many of them will avoid supporting any bill so labeled. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used the list as a to-do list for his veto pen. His Democratic predecessor, Gray Davis, vetoed some of its top targets.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
For the second time in a month, a California Chamber of Commerce political action committee funded in part by major insurance companies is bankrolling TV ads to help Republican Mike Villines in his race against Democrat Dave Jones for state insurance commissioner. In campaign finance disclosure documents, the deep-pocketed chamber reported that it was spending $280,234 to fund "media production" for television advertisements that oppose Jones. The same report showed that the chamber's political action committee, called JobsPAC, received six contributions from insurance company interests totaling $387,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2010 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
There's ample baggage to hang around Jerry Brown's neck from his stint as governor way back when. But it does not include his being a tax-and-spender. Brown never raised general taxes. In fact, he reduced the income tax. If anything, Brown didn't spend enough. Ask anyone who was paying attention during that 1975-1983 period and you'll probably hear a complaint that the young governor allowed the state's infrastructure to begin decaying. He especially didn't invest enough in highways and universities.
NEWS
December 17, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
If he weren't the nation's oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016. He boasts a household name, an impressive list of accomplishments in the country's most populous state - a state some once deemed ungovernable - glowing national media coverage and a deep familiarity with the pitfalls and rigors of a White House bid, having run three times before. Now, some are pushing Brown to consider another try for the White House, even if it means taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the prohibitive, if still undeclared, Democratic favorite.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Californians routinely use their credit cards to buy songs and videos on the Internet, so a worried state Senate on Thursday approved a measure to protect consumers' information from being misused. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposed SB 383 in response to cases in which hackers have been able to steal the personal financial information of millions of credit card users. Her measure would limit online merchants to collecting personal information from consumers only if it is necessary to combat identity theft.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers for years have been battling ravenous metal thieves, who pull copper wires out of street lights, grab rebar from construction sites, and steal pumps and other costly equipment from farmers' fields. Now, a bipartisan group of legislators led by Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert), is trying to put more manpower and money into the fight. Nestande's bill, AB 2313, would create a metal theft task force within the attorney general's office that would provide grants to local police and prosecutors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Californians routinely use their credit cards to buy songs and videos on the Internet, so a worried state Senate on Thursday approved a measure to protect consumers' information from being misused. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposed SB 383 in response to cases in which hackers have been able to steal the personal financial information of millions of credit card users. Her measure would limit online merchants to collecting personal information from consumers only if it is necessary to combat identity theft.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By James Barragan, Marc Lifsher and E. Scott Reckard
President Obama named Los Angeles businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a community bank and a former California Cabinet member, as his nominee to head the Small Business Administration. Obama said Contreras-Sweet, who has worked with small businesses in the private sector, understands what small businesses need. "Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business," Obama said Wednesday. "The grueling hours, the stress, the occasional self-doubt. " "So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity," he said.
NEWS
December 17, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
If he weren't the nation's oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016. He boasts a household name, an impressive list of accomplishments in the country's most populous state - a state some once deemed ungovernable - glowing national media coverage and a deep familiarity with the pitfalls and rigors of a White House bid, having run three times before. Now, some are pushing Brown to consider another try for the White House, even if it means taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the prohibitive, if still undeclared, Democratic favorite.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - After working at the top levels of state government in three administrations, Marty Morgenstern is calling it quits - again. This time, California's outgoing Labor and Workforce Development secretary is stepping down as head of the agency that oversees unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and on-the-job safety. At age 78, he has worked on and off for Gov. Jerry Brown, himself 75 years old. Morgenstern, who will remain an unpaid senior advisor to the governor, distilled his theory of government work to just three sentences: "We never have enough money.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Hundreds of items found on supermarket shelves, such as shampoos, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and food packaging, could get chemical makeovers under new rules being put in force by California. On Thursday, state toxic chemical regulators will unveil what they say is the nation's most comprehensive program for identifying and reformulating common consumer products containing hazardous chemicals. In the past, the state took a piecemeal approach. Lawmakers would ban specific chemicals from particular products, such as bisphenol A in baby bottles and sippy cups.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - After working at the top levels of state government in three administrations, Marty Morgenstern is calling it quits - again. This time, California's outgoing Labor and Workforce Development secretary is stepping down as head of the agency that oversees unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and on-the-job safety. At age 78, he has worked on and off for Gov. Jerry Brown, himself 75 years old. Morgenstern, who will remain an unpaid senior advisor to the governor, distilled his theory of government work to just three sentences: "We never have enough money.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher and Tiffany Hsu
SACRAMENTO - In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016. The governor and labor union leaders said the increase is needed, given that the last hike - of 50 cents an hour to $8 - took effect at the start of 2008. "The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs," the governor said in a statement Wednesday as lobbyists from both sides worked the 40 Senate members.
BUSINESS
September 25, 2013 | By Shan Li
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016. The wage hike will go into effect in two phases: The current minimum of $8 an hour will be lifted to $9 on July 1, 2014, and then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. Brown put his signature to the legislation Wednesday in front of workers at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles. He called it his "moral responsibility" to give Californians a chance to earn a living wage.
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