Failure of California’s Prop 30 Would Mean More State-Level Austerity on a Grand Scale

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 2:44 pm

Hopes that we are at the end of the cycle of state budget cutbacks dragging on overall growth may be dashed if Proposition 30, a measure that would increase taxes mostly on the wealthiest Californians making over $250,000, fails at the ballot box in two weeks. And two polls out today find support tanking for [...]

California’s Competing Tax Measures Could Sink Both

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 7:45 am

There are actually three tax measures on the statewide ballot. Prop 39 concerns a corporate tax loophole, and would dedicate the revenue from closing it to energy projects. That exists separately from Brown’s measure, and so both Prop 30 and Prop 39 could pass under the law. But Prop 38, promoted by millionaire lawyer Molly Munger, is a different animal. Munger’s proposition would increase overall state income tax rates to pay for schools and early childhood education. It conflicts with Brown’s increase on just the top tax rates (along with a small 1/4 cent increase in the state sales tax). So both measures cannot pass; if they both cross the 50% threshold, whichever proposition gets the most votes will get implemented.

Why California’s Gas Prices Have Skyrocketed

By: Monday October 8, 2012 12:07 pm

Brad Plumer has a decent enough explanation of why gas prices have soared in California over the past week or so. Being a California resident, perhaps I can provide a bit more insight into how this has played out on the ground. Professor James Hamilton explains that a series of refinery and pipeline shutdowns, and [...]

California State Senate Vote Do-or-Die for High Speed Rail

By: Friday July 6, 2012 6:55 am

Today is a consequential day in the future of high speed rail in America. The California State Senate will vote to approve initial funding for the state’s HSR project through a bond issue. The Assembly has already passed the funding, but observers expect a tougher road in the Senate. Governor Jerry Brown has been a [...]

Hard Times in California for Bank Accountability

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 7:09 am

California’s efforts to create a better environment for foreclosure victims have begun to fade. $410 million from the foreclosure fraud settlement that was supposed to go into counseling and legal services was instead diverted to pay for a state budget shortfall. While this has angered the legal aid community, with the enormity of the budget [...]

Brown Defends Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Raid With Talk of “Balance”

By: Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:20 pm

California Governor Jerry Brown defended raiding funds from the foreclosure fraud settlement meant to go to help homeowners today: The Democratic governor said he would consider any “vital programs” that may be affected, but he suggested much of the money from the settlement with large banks would otherwise have been used for lawyers. “Any program [...]

CA AG Kamala Harris Rejects Governor Brown’s Attempt to Raid Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Funds

By: Tuesday May 15, 2012 6:59 am

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has responded to Jerry Brown’s bid to raid foreclosure fraud settlement funds through the back door by zeroing out the state support for the programs she has slated for the money to go. The state Department of Justice stood firm for over a year against the nation’s largest banks on [...]

Brown Proposes Clever Raid of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Funds

By: Monday May 14, 2012 11:35 am

This was inevitable. California is $7 billion more in the budget hole than they expected at the end of last year, and they need money from any source. The federal government delivered $410 million to California in the foreclosure fraud settlement. That money is supposed to go to homeowners, but many states have raided the [...]

California $7 Billion More in the Budget Hole Than Expected

By: Monday May 14, 2012 7:35 am

Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that the budget deficit for the next fiscal year has nearly doubled, from $9.2 billion to $16 billion. This almost assuredly means a commensurate increase in cuts to the state budget. In the last fiscal year, Brown staved off a series of budget cuts by playing a [...]

CA-Init: Progressives Force Compromise on Jerry Brown-Led Tax Initiative

By: Wednesday March 14, 2012 12:18 pm

A major battle between progressive activists and a sitting governor in the nation’s largest state is nearing a conclusion today. California Governor Jerry Brown and a coalition of progressives have entered into negotiations to finalize a tax measure for the November 2012 ballot, after both sides offered competing plans. The story is that Brown offered [...]

California Conundrum: Competing Ballot Measures on Taxes Could Undermine One Another

By: Tuesday December 6, 2011 7:50 am

It is said that California is a harbinger for the nation. Since we’re having a national conversation about taxes for the wealthy, it’s natural that California would play a role in that conversation. But a difference of opinion in how to go about that conversation could result in a counter-productive disaster – or a bounty [...]

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