Doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposes to deal with the poverty issue in part by doubling the size of the Earned Income Tax Credit designed to put extra money in the pockets of low income workers.

It’s a good idea and a worthy goal if the funding needs of the proposal can be met. Newsom has a plan.

Just as lower income tax rates are an incentive to work and produce, an “earned income” tax credit also encourages work even if an individual’s current circumstances are on the lower end of the economic ladder.

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How Do We Judge the Judges?

Lars Trautman
Senior fellow of criminal justice and civil liberties policy with the R Street Institute.

Social justice and big data are both incredibly popular in California, yet you’d be hard pressed to find many examples of either in its criminal justice system. Lawmakers sought to remedy this paradox by replacing cash bail with pretrial risk assessments only to face unexpected pushback from some reformers. The measure, which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in August, has since been stalled by a bail bond industry-backed 2020 ballot referendum.

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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation-Part II

Laura Curtis and Chris MIcheli
Laura Curtis is an attorney and Policy Advocate at the California Chamber of Commerce. Chris Micheli is an attorney and legislative advocate for the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Part II – Intent Language

In addition to the statutory changes described above, SB 1300 sets forth several statements of “legislative intent” about the application of FEHA in regard to harassment claims. The measure does so in Section One of the bill by adding Section 12923 to the Government Code that sets forth five statements “with regard to application of the laws about harassment contained in this part.”

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A Common Sense Public Safety Blueprint for Gov. Gavin Newsom

Michele Hanisee
President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys

Governor Gavin Newsom enters office with a liberal resume and promises to fulfill a progressive agenda. But this doesn’t condemn the Governor to stumbling down the dangerous path that his predecessor carved out. This path is littered with a series of public safety experiments that former Gov. Jerry Brown championed and signed, including Props 47 and 57, AB109 and SBs 1437 and 1279. The cumulative result of these measures have severely eroded public safety by drastically reducing the consequences for criminally victimizing the residents of California.
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PG&E Bankruptcy Opens the Door for Municipal Utilities

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

PG&E’s bankruptcy declaration, liabilities, stock plunge, wrathful legislators, and possible criminal charges put the utility in a life and death situation. Many alternatives face lawmakers and regulators on how to work through the crisis for the company while at the same time attempting to spare ratepayers and to compensate, to the extent possible, victims of the Camp Fire. One alternative could be a growing move toward municipal owned utilities—an issue that PG&E has fought in the past.

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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation, But Employers and Lawyers Beware

Laura Curtis and Chris MIcheli
Laura Curtis is an attorney and Policy Advocate at the California Chamber of Commerce. Chris Micheli is an attorney and legislative advocate for the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1300 (Jackson) on September 30, 2018 as Chapter 955. Among other provisions, this comprehensive bill makes a number of statutory changes for litigating sexual harassment claims and prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment.

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Scott Wiener’s SB 50 is a WIMBY Bill

John Mirisch
Vice-Mayor, City of Beverly Hills

Zev Yaroslavsky, former LA County Supervisor and former LA City Councilmember, astutely noted that state senator Scott Wiener’s SB827, which would take away local zoning authority from cities and replace it with Sacramento-mandated levels of density in certain areas, was a “real estate bill, not a housing bill.”

The exact same assessment should apply to SB50, Wiener’s latest iteration of SB827.

And I can prove it.

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Despite Record Surplus, Gov. Newsom Wants New Water, Phone Taxes

Chris Reed
San Diego Union Tribune editorial writer and former host of KOGO Radio’s “Top Story” weeknight news talk show

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s has called for a first-ever water tax and an added fee on phone bills at a time when the state is enjoying what recently departed state Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor called “extraordinary” budget health. Newsom said last week that experts now forecast a $21.5 billion budget windfall in 2019Add New-20. Until recent years, the optics of asking the public to pay more with an overflowing budget would have seemed impossible to overcome.

Specific details have not yet emerged on Newsom’s plan, but it’s expected to be similar to a rejected 2018 proposal from state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, to tax residential customers 95 cents a month to help fund water improvements in rural farming communities in the Central Valley and throughout the state.

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California’s Presidential Primary Might Matter

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

You may have heard this one before: California is going to be a difference-maker in the Presidential nominating process in 2020. Well, this time, that might be right.

By moving the California Presidential Primary to March 3, the Golden State has positioned itself to be a significant, if not determinative, battleground in the race to win the Democratic Presidential nomination and, presumably, to reestablish the party clout of the nation’s biggest and bluest state.

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UTLA Is Striking Against Itself

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

United Teachers Los Angeles is a strange teachers’ union. But it has never done anything stranger than its new strike, which is less an action against the Los Angeles Unified School District and more an attack on itself.

UTLA is strange because of its structure; it’s a rare teachers’ union that has long been affiliated with both national teachers’ unions, the AFT and the NEA. It also has a history of eccentric leadership that has seemed interest in global causes and social justice than on education. When I attended sessions of UTLA’s House of Representatives, its internal legislature, as a labor reporter for the LA Times, I was struck by how almost nothing on the agenda was actually about schools.

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