Political Power Struggle Over PUC Reforms

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

The California Public Utilities Commission rightly faces questions about its effectiveness and responsibilities, but in the end the issue of reforms will come down to a question of power—the political kind. Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s proposed constitutional amendment to replace the authority of the PUC will get the debate started and public sentiment should be on […]

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Property Taxpayers in Center of School Bond Debate

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Property taxpayers are in the eye of a brewing storm whipped up by the contrasting efforts to pass a statewide school construction bond initiative and the Brown Administration’s insistence that future school construction bonds be funded locally. Depending on which way this wind blows, local residential and business property taxpayers could be hit with a […]

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Big Money Expected To Influence Citizen Lawmakers

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on legislative lobbying efforts made headlines this week but the total amount will likely pale next to what is expected to be spent this year on that other form of California lawmaking—the initiative process. Coverage of the lobbying reports disclosed that $312.7 million was spent on lobbying the legislature in […]

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Will Legislators Have to Wear Donor Patches?

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

John Cox is behind a unique initiative to require legislators to wear patches on their clothes that identify their biggest donors when they vote or give testimony in a committee or vote on the floor. No, he says this is not another wacky idea that comes out of California but a serious proposal to open up […]

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Lack of Knowledge by Budget Decision Makers … The Voters

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Which area of government gets the most money in the California General Fund budget? Not a trick question. I’d guess that nearly all of my readers know that the answer is K-12 education. But… most Californians cannot answer that question correctly. Nearly 42% of Gov. Brown’s proposed budget is dedicated to K-12 education, by far […]

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Less Punishment=More Crime?

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

At about the same time Gov. Jerry Brown was explaining his new initiative to reform the determinate sentencing law, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell was telling Town Hall Los Angeles that law enforcement was facing a losing battle with crime. The sheriff argued that ballot measures back to Proposition 36 in 2000 easing drug […]

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Hollywood Bigwigs Want to Raise Property Taxes

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

The ballot initiative to raise property taxes to pay for poverty programs is starting to report donations from influential Hollywood players. Now totaling more than a million dollars in the campaign fund, over the last few days the campaign committee for Making Poverty History has reported large donations from Haim Saban, media entrepreneur who produced […]

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North-South Rivalry Alive Over Brown’s Big Projects

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

California’s historic north/south rivalry appears to be writing a new chapter over Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed big legacy projects: the bullet train and delta tunnels. The rivalry is sure to heat up over both a report that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is reconsidering running the bullet train route north to San Jose before heading […]

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Notes on the State of the State Speech

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Gov. Jerry Brown didn’t offer any new programs in his State of the State speech. Refreshing. His focus was on how we pay for the state’s current commitments. Brown reviewed his budget talking points again on the uncertainty of economic future and the need for a strong Rainy Day Fund. No argument here. He particularly […]

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A State of the State Speech Ripped from the Archives

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Given Gov. Jerry Brown’s concern for excessive spending on new programs and his instance on maintaining budget reserves, here is a likely way he might begin his State of the State speech today: “Fortunately we began the year with a sufficient surplus to weather the decline in state revenues…But we cannot easily disregard the lessons […]

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