Go-It-Alone CA Healthcare Plan Won’t Fly

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

Go-it-alone California has staged daily dramas of opposing the new president and even talking about separating from the union. But the issue that will test whether California can indeed stand on its own is healthcare. The demand from the left grows that California go single payer. Even leading gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is on board. But, going it alone on single payer health care is not going to happen for financial reasons.

Put aside for the moment that the California single payer plan would need check-offs from the Congress and president who have no compunction to assist the state that throws a stream of darts at both institutions. Even if the state continues to get its accustomed flow of funding from the federal government, the financial obligation of single payer as envisioned with no deductible and no co-pays would be massive. The lack of funding mechanism is what blocked the senate approved health care plan, SB 562, from advancing in the assembly.

Read comments Read more

Graham-Cassidy Is An Act of Anti-California Aggression

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)

It’s not health care policy. It’s revenge.

U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy have hardly hidden one big impact of their Obamacare repeal bill: that it punishes California. To the contrary, they’ve used the anti-California nature of the bill as a talking point.

Cassidy has suggested that California is getting too much revenue from the Affordable Care Act. Graham has echoed that: “I like Massachusetts, I like Maryland, I like New York, I like California, but I don’t like them that much to give them a bunch of money that the rest of us won’t get. Now, if you live in Massachusetts, you don’t get twice the Social Security or 50 percent more than if you live in Pennsylvania. Now how can this happen? Obamacare, for whatever reason, favors four blue states against the rest of us.”

Read comments Read more

California Legislative Session Ends With Higher Taxes, Anti-Trump and Union Priorities

Steven Greenhut
Senior Fellow and Western Region Director for the R Street Institute, and he writes for American Spectator, Reason and the Orange County Register.

California’s legislative session, which completed its work in the wee hours Saturday morning, was one of the more controversial ones in years, given the degree to which the Democratic majority was able to secure various tax and fee increases. It was also one of the more divisive recent sessions from a partisan standpoint.

The most significant measures passed long before the session’s deadline. In April, lawmakers passed a controversial 12-cents-a-gallon gas-tax increase by a razor-thin margin. The law also increased vehicle-license fees. In July, they passed a 10-year extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program, with the help of several Republican legislators. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the measure could increase gas prices as much as 63 cents a gallon by 2021.

Read comments Read more

How San Diego’s Blue Economy could help elevate state’s jobs and economy

Rafael Castellanos
Vice Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, Port of San Diego

Everyone can agree that California needs more great jobs. What if some of those jobs are blue jobs?

Great jobs come from strong socially responsible companies that locate or grow in California. Lawmakers often talk about the importance of pro-economic development incentives to create job growth, such as recent legislation that granted tax breaks to major businesses looking to move to California. These efforts are proving effective. A 2015 Study from Beacon Economics and the California public policy research group Next 10 found that in the last decade, California has produced new businesses at one of the fastest rates in the nation and in 2013 ranked 4th among states in terms of net job creation.

Read comments Read more

The Title & Summary Ballot Test

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

There seems only one way to remove from the attorney general the power of writing ballot measure titles and summaries–through an initiative. The obvious problem—the attorney general gets to write the title and summary for such an initiative. You can imagine the result.

Back in July, I wrote that new California Attorney General Xavier Becerra would face his first test on writing a balanced, impartial ballot initiative title and summary with the filing of a gas tax repeal measure. This week, a Sacramento Superior Court judge said he failed the test. Unfortunately, the title and summary fairness test must be harder than the Bar Exam since attorney generals of all political persuasions seem to have a tough time mastering it.

In this case, Judge Timothy Frawley tabbed as confusing and misleading the description written by the Attorney General. He said that a reasonable voter would have trouble understanding what the measure would do. The judge’s tentative ruling will be finalized at a hearing on the matter today.

Read comments Read more

Don’t Have $2,000 to File a California Ballot Initiative? File in Europe Instead!

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)

The California ballot initiative system used to provide a cheap way for regular citizens to get some attention for their ideas, be they good or bad. But that was back when it cost just $200 to file an initiative, and get it posted online with a title, summary and fiscal analysis. Even if you didn’t have the money to actually qualify the measure with millions of dollars’ worth of signatures, you could get a little attention.

Democrats, who have been trying to strangle California’s direct democracy, curbed that open process by raising the filing fee to $2,000. But here’s some good news: there’s another place to advance your ideas: Europe.

The European Union has a European Citizen’s Initiative. It’s not a ballot initiative but it is an agenda-setting initiative. You can advance your idea, get on a web site (on which people can sign – an option that California doesn’t give its citizens), and get some notice for your idea.

Read comments Read more

Bills, Bills, Bills…The Tally

Chris Micheli
Attorney and Lobbyist at the Sacramento government relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

817 bills were introduced in the Senate in 2017.

Of those, 514 bills were passed by the Senate, while only 3 were refused passage on the Senate Floor. That leaves 303 bills as 2-year measures which may be considered in January 2018. So, 63% of introduced bills passed out of the Senate, while .4% of introduced bills failed passage on the Senate Floor.

In terms of authors and bills, the most bills were introduced by Senator Lara with 29. Galgiani introduced 28; Hill had 26; and five senators introduced 24 bills each (Bradford, Glazer, Leyva, Nguyen, and Portantino).  On the other end of the spectrum, Senators Gaines and Mitchell introduced only 9 bills each. Vidak introduced 12.

Read comments Read more

What a difference three days makes: How voters shook up California’s Legislature

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Something was different this year.

As lawmakers in Sacramento approached the last night of their session—the final opportunity to pass or kill bills for the year—they had had three days to figure out how to vote.

Three days may not sound like much, given the magnitude of the decisions involved in shaping policy for 39 million Californians. But it’s three more days than lawmakers used to have to make up their minds on some measures.

That’s because a new law voters imposed last year forbids them to act on a bill until it’s been available to the public for 72 hours. While most legislation is published online for several weeks or months, every year lawmakers write some new ones at the last minute, leaving almost no time for the public—or even their colleagues in the Legislature—to scrutinize the proposals.

Read comments Read more

Plaintiffs’ lawyers appreciate Legislature’s data dump

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

In a recent article about a job-killing bill that threatens more workplace litigation, CalChamber’s Jennifer Barrera and the internet trade association ComTIA’s Kara Bush stated, “By using the smokescreen of transparency, the bill author and her plaintiffs’ attorneys allies aim to unravel the carefully structured compromise. In effect, the legislation would require employers to serve up reams of data that attorneys need to establish a case. What a gift!”

In short, the proposed law would require many private employers and nonprofits to collect data on salaries of all well-paid white-collar employees. The statistics for each job title or classification must be analyzed and re-categorized according to whether the job duties are substantially similar. Thousands of businesses would deliver the data to the secretary of state, to be posted in public. Legitimate reasons for pay differentials wouldnot be included in the database.

Read comments Read more

California Supreme Court Strengthens Local Government by the Developer and the Public Employees

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)

Here’s one sign of just how awful the supermajority-crazy California system is. Even when a court eliminates a perfectly awful supermajority, it makes things worse.

That’s what happened when the California Supreme Court killed off a supermajority that required local ballot initiatives that raised revenues to win supermajorities of voters to be approved. The court, in long and unconvincing argument, effectively nullified statewide ballot measures that had established supermajorities for local ballot initiatives that raised revenues.

The court’s argument was that direct democracy is so strong that a local measure that is an initiative – which means it is put on the ballot by signatures – should not be constrained by a supermajority. Effectively, the court’s dangerous logic is that direct democracy exists in a time and space beyond local or state government. Direct democracy is an authority unto itself.

Read comments Read more

Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.