What Happens in the Middle Part of the Legislative Session?

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

This is the second installment in a 3-part series about the major happenings in the legislative process pursuant to the California Constitution and relevant statutes. Part II is focused on the middle part of the Legislative Session, which is essentially the adoption of the state budget and consideration of bills in their second house. Part I is focused on the first part of the Legislative Session. Part III looks at the last two months of the Session.

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Heavy Rains Affirms Need for L.A.’s Measure W

Maria Mehranian
Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Cordoba Corporation and a former member and Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Driving to the office during our recent rainstorms, I thought about the irony of the title of the song by Albert Hammond “It Never Rains in Southern California”– a very popular song from the 1970s.

Driving through puddles, flooded intersections and freeway lanes, clearly, we can see that it does indeed rain here in Southern California. So much so, it has been disheartening to see so much water go to waste, streaming into storm drains and then lost to Pacific Ocean.

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How to Stop Housing Construction

Stuart Waldman
President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association

Housing. Affordable housing. Market-rate housing. Luxury housing.

I find myself talking about this topic way too often, but it’s because decision makers stress the need to address the housing crisis, yet they fail to approve policies that will attract developers to build more projects without breaking the bank. Instead, they approve policies that undermine those efforts.

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Calling the State Supreme Court—Tell Us What You Were Thinking

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

It is time for the California Supreme Court to clarify whether taxes that reach the ballot through citizen initiatives must receive a two-thirds vote to pass. This issue arose when the court decided a case on initiative tax increases in 2017. Whether the courts action meant that a two-thirds vote was necessary to pass local earmarked taxes was left unclear by the court’s decision, yet since then some local jurisdictions plan to collect special taxes passed via the initiative process with a simple majority vote.

As local governments begin the process of collecting those taxes, they face lawsuits, which ultimately will be settled by the Supreme Court. Better sooner than later.

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He Huffed and He Puffed, and SHE Blew His Wall Down

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

When Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union Message tonight, he will be doing it in Nancy Pelosi’s House.

The first faceoff between President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi clearly demonstrated who is the amateur and who is the pro in Washington’s political arena. The Speaker took The Donald to the woodshed as the President and Congressional Republicans ended the latest federal government shutdown with a whimper and some false bravado. It is too early to bury Trump’s border wall, but its fate is still highly uncertain.

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Will Businesses Pay Unfunded Pension Debt?

Charles Crumpley
Editor and Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

It sure seemed reassuring to hear that California expects to have a huge budget surplus this year – $21.5 billion – and even better that the new governor, Gavin Newsom, said he wants to put $3 billion extra into the California Public Employees Retirement System and almost that much into the state pension fund for teachers.

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Strong Workforce Apprenticeship Program in L.A. County Drawing Rave Reviews

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When Jeffrey Forrest, recently arrived from Missouri, took his job at the College of the Canyons in 2016, his chancellor told him, “We need an apprenticeship program.”

Forrest, the vice president for economic and workforce development, began to talk with employers and attend meetings and he soon ran into Tracy DiFilippis, apprenticeship coordinator an sector strategies manager for Goodwill of Southern California.

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Kamala Harris is the New George McGovern

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Shades of the past. Kamala Harris is setting up the Democrats to repeat history and lose a perfectly winnable election. In a throwaway line in her first television interview Harris called for ridding 180 million Americans of the private health insurance they find perfectly acceptable. With such careless chatter, Donald Trump will chew her up like a dog toy if she is the nominee.

Harris, like so many other Democrats, has bought into “Medicare for All” as America’s new health care system. Medicare is a very popular program, so why not extend it to everyone? Sounds good, except for a couple of practical problems. Current Medicare is not on a sound financial footing, it is running short on money just at the time baby boomers are entering the Medicare population.

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Lawmakers Already Killed Measure Supporting Transparency at the Pump

Ronald Stein
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

California lawmakers are at it again. A 2018 bill, SB 1074, sponsored by State Senator John Moorlach (R) from Costa Mesa and championed by the minority party in the State was effectively bottom drawered by the ruling party, the Democrats. They are now fueling the idea, pun intended, that the oil companies are filling their pockets with the extra money California consumers experience at the pump. The local media are unknowing co-conspirators in this ruse.

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Misguided Solutions to State Homeless Problem

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

Recently, state Senator John Moorlach (R-Orange County) wrote in this space about California’s struggle to solve the problem of homelessness. In his piece “Grappling with California’s Housing Crisis” Moorlach, however, comes dangerously close to accepting the notion that if government throws enough money at a problem like homelessness we can solve it.

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