California Has A Slow-Motion Housing Emergency

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

The state is under-building by tens of thousands of new houses and apartments each year that are needed to meet demand. As a result, home prices and rents are soaring and commutes are lengthening – especially in coastal metropolitan regions. If a fire or flood or earthquake had wiped out a thousand or five thousand homes and apartments, the […]

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Memo to Prop 53 Boosters: Curt Schilling Doesn’t Play for California

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Struggling to justify their claims that Proposition 53 plugs a “loophole,” proponents have launched a nationwide search for victims. This would be laughable if the consequences of fundamentally eroding local control, creating new litigation threats, and stalling needed infrastructure projects weren’t so serious. (Prop 53 would demand a statewide vote to approve large revenue bond issues.) Their latest […]

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Who will run the Coastal Commission?

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Why bother having public-facing commissions if they can’t deal with the public? A century-old hallmark of the Progressive Era, quasi-independent boards and commissions wield broad executive powers implementing and enforcing laws, permitting business operations and land development, and punishing wrongdoers within their jurisdictions. Some of the most powerful in California are the Public Utilities Commission, […]

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Three Deceptive Measures Head For Ballot

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

The shape of the fall ballot is a little clearer, with last Friday’s milestone for submitting petition signatures. As many as fifteen citizens’ initiatives, plus one referendum and a couple legislative measures may populate the ballot come November. But clarity on the size of the ballot means nothing when it comes to the clarity of […]

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New Rules To Promote Infill May Further Tie Up New Housing

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

California’s most influential and notorious environmental law, CEQA, has taken on more new forms than the Terminator. Originally written in 1970 to disclose local environmental impacts of government projects, the California Environmental Quality Act has morphed into a powerful tool requiring deep analysis and mitigation of a long list of environmental impacts of public and private […]

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Complex Politics Color Minimum Wage Debate

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Few issues defy consensus like the minimum wage. Voters strongly support raising it. Most business owners, especially in retail and hospitality, decry government-ordered wage hikes. Economists are decidedly mixed on the subject. California has raised the minimum wage five times since 1998, which was the last time voters themselves had a say in the matter. […]

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You Can Help Reform How California Pays For Roads And Highways

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

California’s transportation finance system is running out of gas. Not literally, but the buck or two for each gas station fill-up is getting much less bang than it did a decade ago. The Governor and Legislature are debating how to resolve a $5.7 billion annual mismatch between revenues and spending for road and highway upkeep. […]

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Use Market Pricing to Reduce California CO2 Emissions

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Nobody should be surprised that California’s cap-and-trade program is the most cost-effective strategy to reduce carbon emissions. What’s astonishing is that policy makers insist on pursuing other more expensive options. The existing mandate to GHG reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 is apparently on an achievable path, helped by the historic recession, national automobile […]

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A Continuing Dependence On High Income Taxpayers

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

In releasing his proposed budget last week, Governor Brown warned of over reliance on the “volatile personal income tax which, as history shows us, drops precipitously in time of recession.” He further cautioned that changes in the income of a relatively small group of taxpayers can have a significant impact on state revenues.” He’s not exaggerating. As California’s economy […]

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Replacing the Gas Tax to Stabilize Road Funding

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

One of the few recent initiatives to improve California’s economic base was left undone when the Legislature recessed this fall without addressing transportation finance. Governor Brown called a special session to fill what he estimated as a $5.7 billion annual hole in highway, bridge and road maintenance and upkeep. The Legislature remains at a standoff over whether […]

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