Finally, Trump Does Something Right in California—Pardon Pat Nolan

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)

President Trump and his administration seem to delight in doing everything they can to harm California and its people. They pair this hostility with so many idiotic policies on immigration, taxation, health care, the environment, women’s rights, and other subjects that it’s a wonder California has only sued the administration 50 times.

In this context, it can be hard to find anything good to say about the president. Lord knows I’ve tried. But Trump hasn’t delivered a single praiseworthy California action—until now.

Read comments Read more

Housing Markets and the State

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

Each year, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) promulgates what’s known as the RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment).  As the title of the report suggests, the RHNA announces to regional governments in California – councils of governments (COGs) – their housing goals for the next eight years or so.

To complete the RHNA each year, HCD consults with these COGs and the state Department of Finance (DOF).  Through this consultation, a collective housing-need number for the state is formed, representing not simply regional projected population growth but actual new household formation – divided into four income categories.  The RHNA, the goals for which are sub-assigned by COGs to member local governments, concentrates on what zoning and land use communities should be exercised to meet the corresponding goals in eight years.

Read comments Read more

California needs to cut spending. Let’s start with the ALRB

Debra Desrosiers
Interim President of the Sacramento Taxpayers Association

The Golden State isn’t exactly the gold standard of fiscal policy. California consistently ranks at or near the top of U.S. states with highest costs of living, highest tax burdens, and highest levels of government spending.

So, what are our leaders doing about it? Are they moving to put the state’s finances back in shape and ease the pressure on our citizens? In short, no. Just this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget called for a “blizzard of new spending” according to the New York Times. In the General Assembly, lawmakers have called for as much as $15 billion in new tax increases.

Read comments Read more

Ineffective Rebate Rule Would Burden Taxpayers With An Extra $200 Billion

Mike Madrid
Partner at GrassrootsLab, and a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends. In 2001, named one of America's "Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business Magazine.

The cost of health care in this country is rising at unsustainable rates thanks in no small part to the sky-rocketing costs of prescription drugs. Today, one-in-four Americans can’t afford their medications, causing many to ration their medications – sometimes with deadly consequences. Others are forced to choose between paying for their medications or paying for groceries. Not only does this crisis come at immense personal costs for patients and their loved ones, but the ramifications are felt economically throughout the country as people are forced to spend more and more of their incomes on medications.

Read comments Read more

CA Hottest Housing Bill Unexpectedly Shelved

Matt Levin is Data and Housing Reporter at CALmatters. Ben Christopher is political reporter at CALmatters

Shock. Depression. Relief.

Those were just some of the reactions as the year’s most controversial state housing bill met its sudden demise. But very few people—supporters, opponents, and even the author himself—can claim to have seen this coming.

In a procedural vote this morning, Senate Bill 50, which would have prohibited many cities from banning four-to-five-story apartment buildings around public transit and effectively ended local zoning rules exclusively reserved for single-family homes, failed to advance out of a key state Senate committee.

Read comments Read more

Health Care Mandate: End Run Around a Two-thirds Tax Vote?

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

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to create health care subsidies by pushing a mandate requiring those who don’t carry health care insurance to pay a fee. Or is it a tax? The distinction matters because Newsom is trying to accomplish his goal of expanding health care with majority vote bills. A tax requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of the legislature.

The day following Governor Newsom’s inauguration I asked on this site, did Newsom announce his first tax increase proposal when his team declared it would seek a health care mandate based on the Affordable Care Act model of fining those who don’t participate? I pointed out that the mandate in the Affordable Care Act “was ruled a tax when U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court majority ruled that Obamacare’s mandate provision came under Congress’s taxing powers.”

Read comments Read more

Union should face UC’s fiscal realities, work for sensible reforms

John Moorlach
State Senator representing the 37th Senate District

California high-school seniors soon will receive their diplomas full of hope and eager to learn more in college. Which is why the last thing they need is a tuition increase.

Yet that’s just what could happen for those about to attend the University of California if the school meets the demands of unions threating to go out on strike on May 16. It would be the fifth strike the past year, affecting as many as 39,000 service and patient care workers. At their last strike, on April 10, about a third of those workers went on strike.

Read comments Read more

Gov. Newsom’s Reverse Robin Hood Ploy

Jeff Stone
California State Senator from the 28th District

This week California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking a statewide tour to promote his plans to expand Obamacare, including coverage to undocumented adults.

To pay for the expansion, Gov. Newsom wants to reinstate the individual mandate penalty – penalizing Californians who don’t buy insurance they cannot afford. This is the wrong approach.

When the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty first went into effect under Pres. Barack Obama, the penalty was 1% of income or a maximum of $285 per family ($95 per adult and $47.50 per child).

Read comments Read more

The Perils of Regulating Drugs by Sound Bite

Wayne Winegarden
Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D. is a Sr. Fellow in Business and Economics at the Pacific Research Institute and the author of “California’s Pension Crowd-out” published by the Pacific Research Institute

There is a legal adage that “hard cases make bad law.” California may soon rediscover this wisdom.

Assembly member Jim Wood has introduced a bill (AB 824) with the intention of discouraging “pay-for-delay” tactics. “Pay-for-delay” practices refer to a situation when a manufacturer of a patented drug pays the manufacturer of a generic drug to delay launching its competitive product in order to extend its exclusivity period. Undoubtedly, these practices are anti-competitive and violate the spirit of the entire patent system.

Read comments Read more

AB767: Why Insurance Should and Must Cover Infertility Treatment

Heather K. Haight
Head of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

Former First Lady Laura Bush wrote in her book Spoken From the Heart, “For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.”

For six years, those tiny shadows haunted me.

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.