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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Career Pathways Bolster California’s Competitive Advantages

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

One of California’s competitive advantages has been a skilled workforce for many growing industries. In a sea of high costs, our well-trained college graduates have stoked the growth of companies in many basic and cutting edge industries. We can maintain that advantage only by ensuring a steady pipeline of well-trained and highly motivated young workers […]

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Warning of Recession, Governor Proposes Prudent Budget

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Emphasizing his commitment to fiscal prudence, Governor Brown this week proposed a $171 billion balanced state budget with no new general taxes and an $8 billion rainy day reserve. Even though General Fund spending is projected to rise by more than $9 billion over the past two years, actual spending is held in check. Thanks to the […]

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New Advisory Ballot Measure Tool Could Backfire

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

In a somewhat surprising turnaround, the California Supreme Court unshackled the Legislature to place advisory measures on the statewide ballot. With only one dissent, the Court concluded that advisory measures are well within the Legislature’s authority to investigate and research public policy, and that the State Constitution does not prohibit the placement of advisory questions on […]

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More Skirmishes on Prop 30 Extension

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

Another piece has been moved on the November ballot chess board. Last week attorneys for the California Teachers Association and California Hospital Association submitted another version of an extension of the top brackets of California’s personal income tax. These brackets were added, ostensibly on a temporary basis, by Proposition 30 in 2012. The new proposal […]

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