California

Budgets in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

TIT FOR TAT ON NYC TRAFFIC TOLLS U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D- NEW JERSEY ) said he intends to introduce legislation potentially cutting federal funding for NEW YORK or its transportation authority if the congestion pricing plan just approved for Manhattan...

Newsom Wants More Legal Protections for CA Utilities | 04-19-2019

A report from a special “strike force” to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) says the Golden State should ease its strict liability laws for utilities found to have caused devastating wildfires. The report came in the wake of the bankruptcy...

Governors in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

MI GOV SIGNS STREAMLINED MEDICAL WEED OVERSIGHT BILL MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation ( SB 203 ) that requires only those with 10 percent or more of an ownership stake in a medical marijuana business to undergo the state’s...

The Local Front - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

Sacramento City Council Passes Ordinance The SACRAMENTO City Council passes an ordinance that makes it illegal to sell flavored e-cigarette cartridges, menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products within city limits (SACRAMENTO BEE). CO...

The Price of Protest | 04-19-2019

California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has big ambitions, beginning with beating out fellow Republican Brian Dahle for a currently-vacant Senate seat. That race is TBD, but Kiley has a little extra motivation to move on – he’s been relocated to...

Regulatory Crackdown on Youth E-Cigarette Use | 04-12-2019

Lawmakers in at least 10 states are considering bills that would impose the first state bans on the sale of flavored tobacco and “vaping” products. The measures are part of a wave of legislation dealing with e-cigarettes and other vaping...

States Consider Bans on Flavored E-Cigarettes | 04-12-2019

As of April 9, at least 10 states had introduced bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Most of the proposals would exempt establishments that prohibit minors. Some would apply only to e-liquids...

Governors in Brief - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

NEWSOM TO PARTNER WITH CA CITIES ON HOUSING CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced his administration would partner with a handful of Golden State cities to help develop affordable housing on state-owned properties. The announcement came after...

Business - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

CO House and Senate Give Final Approval to SB 78 The COLORADO House and Senate give final approval to SB 78 , net-neutrality legislation that would bar internet service providers from receiving state taxpayer money if they slow access to the internet...

The Local Front - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

AR House Gives Final Approval to SB 411 The ARKANSAS House gives final approval to SB 411 , a bill that would bar Razorback State cities from becoming so-called “sanctuary cities,” which bar law enforcement from cooperating with federal...

Not In My Posh Back Yard | 04-12-2019

It’s a safe bet that many of the folks living in the affluent Bay Area suburb of Hillsborough grew up on the 1960s-era Flintstones cartoon. But city officials have filed suit against a wealthy homeowner who has turned her entire property into a...

Surfing Diplomacy or Presidential Prelude? | 04-12-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said last week that the Golden State’s lucrative surfing culture could serve as an example for building a thriving tourism industry in poverty- and violence-plagued El Salvador. Newsom made the remarks after a three...

California Data Protection Law in Flux | 04-05-2019

We’re still 10 months away from California’s historic first-in-the-nation data privacy law taking effect. Which to lawmakers, tech companies and maybe even Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) means there is still plenty of time to change it. According...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States | 04-05-2019

Legislation dealing with consumer data privacy has been introduced this year in at least 25 states, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net. As of April 3, such measures had been passed by their...

Will Other Cities Follow NYC’s Lead in Embracing ‘Congestion Pricing’? | 04-05-2019

“Congestion pricing , ” charging drivers for accessing heavily trafficked areas, has long been considered a politically toxic idea by city officials. But that could change with traffic slowing to a crawl in more and more cities - and the adoption...

States Seeking to Influence ‘Opportunity Zone’ Investment | 04-05-2019

Included in the 2017 federal tax overhaul was a substantial tax break for investments in businesses and properties located in economically distressed areas. Although state governors had a hand in selecting the nearly 9,000 “opportunity zones”...

A Limited Victory for Pension Reform | 03-22-2019

Pension reformers won a narrow victory this month in the California Supreme Court, but the justices dodged a decision on the “California Rule,” a restrictive provision cherished by public employee unions. In a nationally watched case...

Dozen States Adopted ‘California Rule’ on Pensions | 03-22-2019

In 1955 the California Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. City of Long Beach (1955) that workers enter a contract with their employers from their first day on the job, and their pension benefits can’t be reduced unless they’re replaced with comparable...

Retiree Renters Present Challenges, Opportunities for Cities | 03-22-2019

Between 2007 and 2017, the number of renters in the United States over the age of 60 increased by 43 percent, according to a report this month from RentCafé , a nationwide apartment search service. That surge in older renters, in turn, helped raise...

CA Gov Getting Tough on Housing Problem | 03-22-2019

In February, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced he was filing a lawsuit against Huntington Beach, the largest of several cities in the state that aren’t in compliance with a 2017 state law requiring local governments to include a “housing...

Murphy Ensures NJ Stays Cash-Friendly | 03-22-2019

Countering a growing trend among retailers toward accepting only credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation last week requiring brick-and-mortar retail operations to accept cash and imposing potentially...

Trouble In Bloom | 03-22-2019

It’s been an uncharacteristically rainy winter in California. Not a bad thing, as we natives know we’re always just a bad year or two from a big drought. The rain also produces wildflower “super blooms” in various remote locales...

Towers of Power: Federal, State and Local Governments Vie for Control of 5G | 03-15-2019

The next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could bring major advancements in everything from entertainment to public safety. But federal, state and local governments are at odds over how that technology should be deployed and where regulatory authority...

Newsom Pauses CA Death Penalty | 03-15-2019

Calling capital punishment “ineffective, irreversible and immoral,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order on Tuesday all but abolishing the death penalty in the Golden State for the foreseeable future. Newsom joins...

Governors in Brief - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

EVERS SEEKS ROLLBACK OF WALKER-ERA WI WORK LAWS The budget proposed by WISCONSIN Gov. Tony Evers (D) would roll back several employment laws implemented under former Gov. Scott Walker (R), including a repeal of the state’s so-called “right...

The Local Front - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

ID House Approves HB 217 The IDAHO House approves HB 217 , a bill that would require a public vote on any public projects using urban renewal money. It moves to the Senate (IDAHO STATESMAN [BOISE]). 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge...

States Grapple with Complexities of Health Reform | 03-08-2019

It has been just over two years since President Donald Trump famously bemoaned the complexities of the American health care system, telling a meeting of the nation’s governors that “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” ...

NY Spends Most on Medicaid | 03-08-2019

New York pays a larger share of its total Medicaid spending than any other state, at 51.2 percent, with the federal government covering the other 48.8 percent, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation . New York also pays the most in...

Cities, States Taking on Mental Health Funding | 03-08-2019

The Affordable Care Act mandated that insurance companies cover mental health services at parity with medical care. But loopholes in the ACA and other federal laws have let some plans limit or exclude mental health coverage. So state and local governments...

Walz Sets MN 100 Percent Clean Energy Goal | 03-08-2019

Calling climate change “an existential threat,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued a proposal to bring Minnesota's electric sector to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050. Under the proposal, by 2050 all Gopher State electric utilities...

Governors in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

DUCEY VOWS VETO OF ANTI-VAX BILLS Breaking a tradition of not commenting on bills that are still in the legislative process, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he is “pro-vaccine” and would veto any bills to weaken the state’s vaccination...

The Local Front - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

San Diego City Council Gives Initial Approval The SAN DIEGO City Council gives initial approval to a proposal to eliminate parking requirements for new housing developments that are within a half-mile of a public transit stop. Downtown housing developments...

Don’t Get Mad, Get the Money | 03-08-2019

California for the most part really doesn’t like Donald Trump. This is hardly news. Alas, it is news that the California Public Employee Retirement System – the largest pension fund in the nation - is one of the larger shareholders in American...

States Claim Trump Violated U.S. Constitution | 02-22-2019

Sixteen states led by California sued President Donald Trump on President’s Day, alleging that his proclamation of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexican border was unconstitutional. Trump proclaimed the emergency a week earlier after expressing...

States To Take Financial Hit From Trump Border Wall Action | 02-22-2019

President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border could collectively cost states, the District Columbia and two U.S. territories as much as $6 billion in federal military construction and National...

Trump Administration Cuts Off Funding for CA High-Speed Rail | 02-22-2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced last week that it was canceling a $929 million grant to California for a high-speed rail project that was supposed to link San Francisco and Los Angeles. The announcement also said the department was...

Governors in Brief - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

NEWSOM WANTS TO STEP UP CA POT ENFORCEMENT Citing a lack of cohesive enforcement to stamp out CALIFORNIA’s illegal marijuana market, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced expanded efforts by the state National Guard to work with federal officials to...

High Speed Foot in His Mouth | 02-22-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has a way with words. He also loves the sound of his own voice so much that he often keeps talking when he ought to shut up. Or at least talk out of only one side of his mouth. Such was definitely the case during his recent...

But Then We Wouldn’t Need a Train | 02-22-2019

Speaking of fast times in California’s sprawling Central Valley, how’s a Golden State Autobahn grab you? As the Los Angeles Times reports , state Sen. John Moorlach has introduced a bill that would authorize building new lanes with no speed...

Newsom Paddles His Own Way In CA | 02-15-2019

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was famous for his “paddle to the left, paddle to the right” philosophy of governance. But in his State of the State address last Tuesday, new Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) made clear he is paddling his own way...

The Local Front - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

Los Angeles City Council Unanimously Approves Statute The LOS ANGELES City Council unanimously approves a statute that makes the City of Angeles the first to require companies that have contracts with the city to disclose under affidavit any contracts...

No Dutch Treat | 02-15-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an expansive State of the State speech last Tuesday. It covered a little of everything, from the oft-troubled high speed rail system to the endlessly-troubled plan to send Northern California water to Southern California...

More States Propose Paid Family Leave | 02-08-2019

When the sun went down on 2018, a half dozen states and the District of Columbia had laws in place ensuring workers could take paid time off to deal with family illnesses or the birth of a child. When the calendar closes on 2019, several more may have...

Paid Family Leave Bills Active in Many States | 02-08-2019

As of late January, legislation dealing with paid time off for workers to care for a newborn or ill family member was pending in at least 26 states, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Since...

Early CA Primary Could Help or Hurt IA Caucus | 02-08-2019

Since 1972, Iowans have been the first to cast votes in the presidential nominating process. But California will hold its presidential primary on March 3rd next year. And while that’s still a full month after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses...

Record Number of Women Serving as State Legislative Leaders | 02-08-2019

After picking up over 200 state legislative seats in the 2018 midterm elections, women now hold 2,112 legislative seats nationwide, nearly 29 percent of the 7,383 total, a record high, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics...

Governors in Brief - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

BAKER REFILES MA CYBERBULLYING BILL Responding to a study that showed growth in cyberbullying in Bay State schools, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled a bill that would require schools to teach kids about the dangers of taking and sharing...

Uh, Yeah, This Is Ours Now | 02-08-2019

The historically long federal government shutdown had lots of repercussions across America, most of them bad. But for a large colony of elephant seals, the shutdown was as good as hanging out a welcome sign. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports , the...

States Forge Ahead with Obamacare | 01-25-2019

Battered by partisan opposition and bruised by a federal judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional, the Affordable Care Act continues to be embraced by the states and the clients it serves. Democrats made preservation of the ACA, often...

LA Teachers End Strike | 01-25-2019

Los Angeles teachers ended their walkout and returned to their classrooms last week, after reaching a tentative contract agreement with the district. Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said there was wide support for the contract...