California Housing Crisis Prolonged By Policymakers’ Inability To Shed Old Impulses

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a senior fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

With every idea offered as a serious “solution,” it becomes clearer why California has a housing crisis. The thinking is stuck on policies that aggravate rather than improve.

The latest ill-considered proposal picking up support would enact price-gouging laws to keep rental costs in check. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, have publicly endorsed the idea. Gov. Gavin Newsom has carved out a similar position, railing in his State of the State address against “rent spikes,” and promising to sign “a good package on rent stability this year” if the Legislature sends him one.

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Solar May be Going Below Market

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

In what could become a savings for the federal government in utility costs, several non-profits are engineering the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of public and other subsidized housing in certain parts of the country, including California. This effort could also be a boon for the struggling solar power industry which has seen its share of the housing market diminish in recent years.

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The Long Stall

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

Every time the issue of capital punishment has been put before California voters, they have voted to keep the death penalty and rejected efforts to eliminate it. Yet our paternalistic elected officials and their appointees smugly substitute their own values over the ratified votes of the majority. This includes the Attorney General, who is supposed to defend the judgments of our courts and juries on appeal, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) which is charged with carrying out those judgments.
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Long Alliance of Democrats and Police Union Erodes

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

California’s crime rates soared in the 1970s and became a potent political issue that Republicans used, with great effect, against Democrats by accusing them of being soft on crime.

More or less simultaneously, a Democratic Legislature and governor, Jerry Brown, enacted collective bargaining for California’s public employees.

Those two seemingly discrete events spawned a clever – perhaps cynical – political bargain between the state’s Democratic politicians and newly empowered law enforcement unions.

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Defending Direct Democracy, Defending Taxpayers

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The powers of direct democracy — initiative, referendum and recall — are powerful tools to control slow-moving or corrupt politicians. These powers are enshrined in the California Constitution for reasons that are just as compelling in 2019 as they were in 1911 when Gov. Hiram Johnson, seeking to suppress the absolute control the railroads had over the state Capitol, pushed to give ordinary citizens a “legislative battering ram” — using the language of the Supreme Court — to address issues that for whatever reason the Legislature refuses to address.

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Why Not a Data Dividend?

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

Governor Gavin Newsom probably had a lot of Silicon Valley executives squirming when he suggested in his State of the State speech that, “California’s consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data.” He is seeking a proposal on creating a data dividend for Californians.

The investigation is worth pursuing and may be a way to create new income for people without resorting to a government program such as universal basic income.

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Does the State of California Need More “Public Investment”?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Renowned economists such as Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Milton Friedman often talk about the differences between “good economics” and “bad economics,” but often disagree about what these terms actually mean.

Similarly, in California politics you often hear public officials talk about the need for increased “public investment” in things such as education, health care, and infrastructure.

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Finding Legislative Intent with Daily Journal Letters After the 72-Hour in Print Rule

Kevin Duewel is an attorney practicing small business and real estate law in Folsom, California. Chris Micheli is a Principal with the government relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

In determining the intent of the state Legislature in enacting specific laws, California courts have historically taken a limited view of the methods that can be used to determine legislative intent. One such method is to review any letters the bill’s author submitted to either the Assembly Daily Journal or the Senate Daily Journal “letters to the journal”). The use of these letters of the journal is challenged by the 72-Hour in Print Rule discussed below.

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Time for Orange County Cities To Act On Housing Crisis or Newsom Will Do It For Them

Byron de Arakal
Byron de Arakal is Vice Chairman of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission

Any doubt newly minted Gov. Gavin Newsom is serious about ending the housing affordability crisis that has put the California dream “in peril” vanished Jan.25 when Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office filed suit against Huntington Beach, alleging the city failed to plan for and provide sufficient housing to meet the needs of its population.

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What to Do About the High Speed Rail “Hole in the Ground?”

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

Governor Gavin Newsom, in his State of the State speech, put the brakes on the high-speed rail project reducing its size and scope but did not abandon it completely. That is–alas– the wisest course, even though voters were sold a bill of goods originally on the cost, timing and efficiency of the project.

One California assembly member from the region, Vince Fong, called Newsom’s idea of completing the Merced to Bakersfield section of the high-speed rail a recasting of the project as a “bait-and-switch on all Californians and Central Valley residents.”

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