How do we address the housing crisis: one incremental step at a time

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Productively addressing California’s housing crisis will require a long slog, not a magic bullet. The effective policies are politically treacherous, while the easy victories already have been chalked up. A broad consensus of nonpartisan policy experts and think tanks point to regulatory and litigation reform, particularly of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as the […]

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Don’t violate the Constitution when reforming the Board of Equalization

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

California legislators may vote as soon as today on a proposal to shake up the State Board of Equalization. Reforming the Board is long overdue. The structure to accomplish this as outlined in budget trailer bills may be sound or faulty, but for now, only three things are clear: Rushing a major reorganization through the budget gauntlet is fraught: it […]

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Paying for single-payer: Put up or move on

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Since the best feature of the Healthy California Act is that all health care will be free, it seems churlish to suggest that someone must pay for something. Sadly, even after asserting more than $70 billion in new savings from efficiencies that highly motivated private providers and government regulators have not achieved, and after assuming that federal […]

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Driving Californians Out of Their Cars

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

In a state whose voters are obsessed not only with curbing waste but trimming their waistlines, it should come as no surprise that state officials want to put California on a “road diet.” Not to be confused with South Beach or Jenny Craig, a road diet basically is tough love. Halting road and highway expansion […]

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One simple trick for California’s carbon diet: a robust cap-and-trade system

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Almost every January 1st I set a personal goal for weight loss. That’s easy. The hard part comes the following 364 days while I try different strategies to shed the pounds. On January 1, 2021, California must begin implementation of its ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below the 2020 levels. This is the equivalent of […]

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Book review: Recovering institutional memory

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Assemblyman Willard M. Huyck served two terms in the Legislature shortly after the end of the Second World War. Though little-remembered today, Mr. Huyck is still alive – the only surviving member of the 1940s-era Legislature, a living link to the reigns of Governor Earl Warren and lobbyist Artie Samish. Also in the 1940s, as […]

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You can have infill housing or an unreformed CEQA , but not both

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

If the question is housing affordability or greenhouse gas reductions, livable cities or infrastructure investment, then the answer often involves “infill housing.” Dense housing in communities with existing infrastructure is the holy grail for planners, environmentalists and many elected officials. “Encouraging new housing development in infill areas would spur economic growth, reduce monthly household costs, […]

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Legislation would upend local citizens’ initiatives

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

In 2016 California voters considered more than 850 local ballot measures. But that is just too much democracy, according to a measure introduced in the Assembly last month. Most local measures are placed on the ballot by a local governing board: city council, school board, transit district, etc. Most of those measures are charter amendments, tax increases or bond […]

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Expanding opportunity for all Californians

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

An abridged version of this article first ran in the Sacramento Bee. For good or ill, the new administration in the nation’s capital has upended the national policy debate, requiring the consideration of California’s politicos, and diverting their attention from our own pressing needs. From a distance it seems the California economy couldn’t do any better. […]

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Improving a good thing: making regulatory reform better

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

One of the few significant pro-business reforms to emerge from the Legislature during the recession was a more robust cost-effectiveness requirement for administrative regulations. Authored by Senator Ron Calderon but written and shepherded by then-Senate staff and now Assemblyman Ken Cooley, the measure required agencies to analyze regulatory alternatives more diligently, provide more extensive economic analysis of […]

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