Our Past: A Guide For Future California Water Storage

In the years following World War II, California industries grew exponentially, offering jobs and opportunity to a recovering nation. This growth, coupled with the beginning of the baby boom, led to a sudden spike in California’s population. With industry growing rapidly in the south it became imperative to find local water sources, or import water […]

California – Lack Of Business, As Usual

Nearly 8.0% of Californians are currently unemployed compared to the national average of 6.7%. Using an alternative method of looking at poverty, which includes factors such as cost of living and public benefits, the official rate released by the U.S. Census Bureau this past September determined that over a three year period, California has more […]

State Must Act to Fund CalSTRS

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) liability is growing by $22 million per day, and California must act now before the shortfall becomes even more catastrophic.  In response to this systemic deficit, I have introduced SB 984, new legislation that could appropriate up to $2 billion in emergency funding over the next two years […]

The Road to Reliable Water

Driving from the foothills of El Dorado County through the majestic heights of the Grapevine, to the Restored Mission in San Juan Capistrano, today is a much different experience than it was just a few years ago. Where once there were abundant orchards and farms plush with economic opportunity now lies a dry, fallow moonscape. […]

Restoring Our Golden Promise

After the housing bubble burst in 2007, which precipitated the “Great Recession”, for too many Californians, the opportunity for economic success was lost. The release of Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget, which includes the first surplus in over a decade, has led some legislative leaders to believe that our economic challenges are over and […]

Budget Compromise Fails to Address Major State Obligations

Recently, Governor Jerry Brown reached a new labor agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 that gives 95,000 state employees a 4.5% pay raise beginning in mid-2014. This comes on the heels of a budget compromise between the Governor and Legislative Democrats that is being touted as “conservative” and “balanced”.  Under the […]

Governing is About Tough Choices

During the Legislature’s hectic “house of origin” deadline—when each bill that originates in either the Senate or the Assembly must pass out of its respective house or it dies—many bills with sweeping implications for California’s economy come before us. Oftentimes it is easiest to simply vote “No” and move on since many bills are simply […]

The Government Seizure Of Private Retirement Plans

Quite possibly the worst bill to make its way out of the legislature this year is Senate Bill 1234 (Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles). This bill would allow the state government to enter the private pension business under the pretense of “sharing the wealth” of California’s public employee pension systems. But California has amassed a […]

Pension Deal Commentary

On the last day of this year’s session, the Legislature approved Assembly Bill 340, which Governor Jerry Brown, Legislative Democrats and our state’s public employee unions all negotiated.  Like many of you, there were a number of legislators, including myself, who were concerned and in some cases livid, with how legislative leaders pushed a complex […]

California Is Not Quite as Bad as Greece, But It Certainly Is Special

Governor Jerry Brown recently took offense with Governor Mitt Romney’s comment recently, jokingly comparing California’s economic condition to that of the debt-burdened European countries of Greece, Spain or Italy.  In an effort to protect his image and work, Brown immediately put on his rose-colored glasses and went into damage control.  “Just silly,” Brown said during […]