Last Friday, I questioned how much emergency power Governor Schwarzenegger might be able to use given the ruling in superior court that backed up his order to furlough state workers twice a month due to the budget crisis, which the court declared an emergency. Using emergency powers to streamline the regulatory process will get projects up and running faster, which is better for the economy.

Now, we hear from three former California governors that using emergency powers and streamlining environmental procedures is a way to help get us out of the fix we’re in. Former governors George Duekmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis published a commentary in the Washington Times yesterday supporting the use of emergency powers to push along projects that they expect will be funded by the president’s stimulus package. You can read the Washington Times piece here.

A week ago the San Francisco Chronicle carried an article about how property tax collections will drop this coming year because the housing crisis will devalue properties. The article bemoaned the fact that local governments will not have the revenue local officials say they need and blamed Proposition 13 for putting local governments in this predicament. Strangely, all those interviewed for the story agreed with this premise. No one spoke to the fact that for the past thirty years the Proposition 13 assessment system has kept property taxes rising steadily through all kinds of economic situations.

Under the title, “Selling Newspapers by Scaring People,” Board of Equalization member Bill Leonard rebutted this “news” article in his blog issued yesterday. Leonard argued the scare tactics in the piece hope to build a foundation for more taxes and changes in Proposition 13. However, he concludes that while property taxes will drop, the drop can be absorbed and could even be “a good excuse to exam government programs that should be eliminated as lower priority.” Read Leonard’s post on his website here.