CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- With most statewide offices filled with first-term incumbents planning to run for reelection, 2014 holds a shortage of job opportunities for aspiring pols. But in the races that are open -- state controller and secretary of state -- candidates are beginning to jockey for position. Earlier this month, state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) announced his candidacy for secretary of state. His colleague Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has also announced a bid. Joining the two Democrats in the race is Pepperdine University's Pete Peterson, a registered Republican.
April 9, 2013 |
With California still ranked last nationally in per capita state spending on government grants to the arts, advocates hope an improving economy will bode well for the first legislative bid in four years to address its lowly status. An Assembly bill introduced by Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) would dedicate $75 million a year from the state's general fund for the California Arts Council - up from the current $1 million. The bill, AB 580, passed the Assembly's committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media by a 4-2 party-line vote Tuesday.
October 18, 2012
Proposition 31 is a little like the dreamy stranger glimpsed across a crowded room - alluring, exciting, all promise and possibility - who is revealed on closer inspection to be an unbalanced and dangerous monster. Is it a bad date, or just a Halloween movie? It's a real-life constitutional amendment, outwardly attractive but inside an absolute mess. California voters should run. The budget and government reform measure was assembled by California Forward, a bipartisan group that has done, and we can hope is likely to again do, some serious thinking and planning to help the state emerge from its organizational chaos and seemingly perpetual fiscal crisis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The most nerdy, wonky and nap-inducing measure on the Nov. 6 ballot is Proposition 31. It's not a minor measure, exactly, but it's hardly monumental either. It might do some good, might do some bad. On the ballot, it's called: "State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. " Are you still with me? INTERACTIVE: 2012 California Propositions It's long and complex. To the average voter, I suspect, it reads like gobbledygook.
September 16, 2012
A new Census Bureau report confirms that the slowly rising tide of the U.S. economy hasn't lifted all boats. The 20% of Americans with the highest incomes captured an even larger share of the earnings in 2011, while the rest collected the same share or less. The widening income inequality is disturbing, but as the report shows, things could have been considerably worse. Without such safety net programs as unemployment benefits and food stamps, millions more families would have fallen into poverty.
August 21, 2012 |
So what's on the Nov. 6 ballot ? California's marquee measures are two competing tax increases, three crime-and-punishment reforms (including eliminating the death penalty ) and a controversial initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods . In comparison, the already arid topic of state budget reform comes off as even drier and dustier. But Proposition 31 could, in the end, be Californians' most important ballot decision in years. It's a head-scratcher, though.