California

More States Ready for Moderate Recession Than Not | 01-18-2019

As of September 2018, 23 states had enough rainy day and other reserve funds to weather a moderate recession, while 17 states lacked such reserves, according to Moody’s Analytics. The other 10 states had reserve balances that were within 5 percentage...

Battle Over 2020 Census Under Way | 01-18-2019

A federal judge issued a ruling last week blocking the U.S. Commerce Department from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. had ordered the addition of the citizenship question nearly a year...

States Rush to Fill Gaps Left by Federal Shutdown | 01-18-2019

As the partial closure of the federal government continues to drag on, states across the country are stepping up to assist the tens of thousands of their residents impacted by the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history. Brand new Govs. Gavin Newsom...

Budgets in Brief - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

BIG TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PROBLEM IN OH OHIO has run out of money for major road projects. A coalition of local governments, chambers of commerce, contractors, engineers and truck drivers called Fix Our Roads Ohio has formed to push for solutions...

Newsom Faces Immediate Crises | 01-18-2019

Barely a week into his governorship, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is already dealing with two major crises: the bankruptcy of the nation’s largest public utility and a teacher strike in Los Angeles, the country’s second largest school...

Mad Props to the Prop Man | 01-18-2019

California Assemblymember Phil Ting introduced a measure last week that would bar Golden State retailers from issuing a printed paper receipt to customers unless they ask for one. His argument is that those receipts can’t be recycled and are contaminated...

Social Policy - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

CA and PA Bar Trump Administration Federal judges in CALIFORNIA and PENNSYLVANIA bar the Trump administration from implementing new rules that would let almost any employer deny female employees coverage for birth control by citing religious or moral...

Lawmakers Grapple With Proliferation of E-Scooters | 01-11-2019

Many lawmakers left their state capitol buildings around the country after adjourning last year having never seen an e-scooter. A good number may never even have heard of such a thing. But that’s changed for many lawmakers returning for sessions...

Federal Shutdown Impacting States and Cities | 01-11-2019

The partial shutdown of the federal government which began on Dec. 22 is already affecting state and local governments. And that impact could soon grow significantly. According to Governing , mandatory programs that receive federal funding, like...

Recreational Pot Sales Going Up in Smoke in CA | 01-11-2019

In 2016 California voters approved Proposition 64, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, on the promise that the measure would, among other things, generate billions of dollars in tax revenues for the state and curb sales on the black market....

CA Gov Proposes $209B Budget | 01-11-2019

Last week, California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom (D), proposed a $209 billion general fund budget for next fiscal year, a 4-percent increase from the budget for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Continuing the fiscally cautious...

Budgets in Brief - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

CA SCRAPS ‘TEXT TAX’ The CALIFORNIA Public Utilities Commission has canceled its plan to begin charging a fee for text messaging on mobile phones. That decision came after the Federal Communications Commission ruled last month that text...

Dem Govs Pitch Major Health Care Proposals | 01-11-2019

A pair of Democratic governors launched wide-ranging efforts last week to prop up the Affordable Care Act and to broaden health care coverage in their states. The first came from New California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who issued an executive order...

The Local Front - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

Denver City Council Votes to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy The DENVER City Council unanimously votes to ban so-called gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Denver becomes the first city in COLORADO to enact...

Reflections on Jerry Being Jerry | 01-11-2019

California marked the end of an era last week, as Gov. Jerry Brown handed off the gavel to new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Brown exited office as the state’s longest-serving governor (16 years) and perhaps its greatest political comeback story. Once the...

Gubernatorial Kid Stuff | 01-11-2019

The aforementioned Jerry Brown brought a lot to the governor’s office during his historic tenure. But one thing he didn’t bring was children. Not so for new Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who have four kids under...

Opportunities and Challenges for States in 2019 | 12-14-2018

In the third and final of our annual three-part series looking ahead to the coming legislative year, SNCJ Senior Advisor Lou Cannon takes a look at some of the challenges and opportunities that await lawmakers in 2019. This is also our final issue...

More States Under Unified One-Party Control in 2019 | 12-14-2018

As a result of the November elections, in 2019 Republicans will control both the legislature and the governor’s office in 23 states, three less than the number of states under unified GOP control this year. Democrats will control the legislative...

Budgets in Brief - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

WILDFIRE CLEANUP COULD COST CA $3B Clearing away the debris from the 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed by last month’s wildfires could cost CALIFORNIA at least $3 billion, according to state and federal authorities. That sum is more than...

CA Voters Raise Bar for Qualifying Ballot Measures | 12-14-2018

It’s going to be considerably harder to qualify initiatives and referendums for California’s ballot next year, thanks to the high voter turnout in the state for the Nov. 6 election. Signature requirements for ballot measures in California...

Energy - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

CA Building Standards Commission Finalizes The CALIFORNIA Building Standards Commission finalizes new rules that make the Golden State the first in the nation to require new homes built in 2020 and beyond to be solar-powered (ASSOCIATED PRESS).

We Need an Emoji for This | 12-14-2018

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once famously complained that in the Golden State folks are even taxed for flushing the toilet. While that’s not actually true, state regulators are apparently considering a tax on something almost as...

Energy - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

CA Building Standards Commission Unanimously Approves The CALIFORNIA Building Standards Commission unanimously approves rules that make the Golden State the first in the nation to require new homes to be powered by solar power. The regulation takes...

The Local Front - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

CA San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approves The Board of Supervisors approves a bill that would make SAN FRANCISCO the first major city in the nation to eliminate provisions that require developers to provide at least some parking spaces as part...

You Gotta Have A Dream | 12-07-2018

And for California Assembly member Phil Ting, that dream is a whole state of cars that run on something other than gasoline. Yep, Ting so wants to see the nation’s number one vehicle market move entirely to cars that don’t run on fossil fuels...

Politics in Brief - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

DEMS CLAIM 3/4 MAJORITY IN CA ASSEMBLY Democrats won 60 seats in the CALIFORNIA Assembly in the 2018 election, giving them a historic three-quarters majority in the 80-seat chamber. The Assembly Democratic caucus will be the largest since the state...

Social Policy - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

MS Law Bans Abortion Saying it “unequivocally” infringes on the due-process rights of women, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves strikes down a MISSISSIPPI law that bans abortions after the 15 th week of pregnancy. The state is expected...

The Local Front - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

The LOS ANGELES City Council approves a measure to legalize and regulate sidewalk vendors. Under the newly-adopted rules, vendors must pick up trash; ensure that people can pass on the sidewalks; and do business at a minimum distance from fire hydrants...

Better Late Than | 11-30-2018

For decades, every California governor followed up their January budget release with an appearance at a Sacramento Press Club luncheon. It was always the most heavily attended event of the year, and thus also the best moneymaker for the SPC’s journalism...

Voter-Slapped Instead | 11-30-2018

California state Sen. Joel Anderson has always been a little ornery. But as the Sacramento Bee reports , that crankiness – and a little too much booze - got the better of him last summer when he responded to a disagreement at an after-hours party...

Deadly Wildfires Intensify CA Insurance Crisis | 11-16-2018

As of early last week, the numerous wildfires raging in California - including the Camp Fire, the most destructive in the state’s history - had collectively burned over 280,000 acres, destroyed almost 7,000 homes and businesses, forced the evacuation...

Election Sends Mixed Signals for Transportation Funding | 11-16-2018

There were some big wins for transportation funding in this month’s election. The biggest was California voters’ rejection of Proposition 6, a GOP-backed effort to repeal the gas tax enacted by the state’s Democrat-controlled Legislature...

Voters Rejected Most Tax Measures on Ballot: | 11-09-2018

Proposed tax increases and restrictions on future tax hikes were on the ballot in several states last week. Most of them failed. Colorado voters rejected both Amendment 73 , which would have increased corporate and personal income taxes to provide...

Mixed Results for Closely Watched Ballot Measures | 11-09-2018

Marijuana legalization was one of the most prevalent issues on state ballots on Nov. 6. And with the approval of one of those measures, Proposal 1 , on a 54-46 vote, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational...

Governors in Brief - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

FL GOV RACE HEADED TO RECALL As of last Thursday, Democrat Andrew Gillum had pulled to within enough votes of Republican Ron DeSantis to send the FLORIDA gubernatorial election to a mandatory recount. Gillum conceded defeat last Tuesday when it appeared...

Business - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

Supreme Court Declines The Supreme Court of the United States declines to hear a case challenging a lower court’s ruling that upheld the power of the Federal Communications Commission to implement net neutrality rules in 2016. A group of Internet...

A Foundational Issue | 11-09-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown has always had his quirks, many deeply rooted in the time he spent as a youth in a Jesuit seminary. Case in point comes in the form of the space in his outer office where he often addresses reporters. More specifically, the...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Host of Closely Watched Propositions on Ballot | 11-02-2018

On November 6, voters in 37 states will consider 158 ballot measures, just one more than the 157 propositions in 2016, according to the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. Among the issues on the ballot...

Some States Easier to Vote in Than Others | 11-02-2018

Oregon is the easiest state in which to vote, according to research by political scientists at Northern Illinois University, Jacksonville University in Florida and Wuhan University in China. Using data on 33 types of election laws, including voter-registration...

Governors in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

MURPHY CALLS FOR TOUGHER NJ GUN LAWS In the wake of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) endorsed new restrictions on gun and ammunition sales in New Jersey. Murphy urged lawmakers to introduce new bills to fight...

Business - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

Business in CA: CALIFORNIA officials announce they will postpone implementing SB 822 , a bill that would impose the strictest net neutrality law in the nation . Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) opted to delay the original start date of Jan. 1 2019...

What’d They Say? | 11-02-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Air Resources Board chief Mary Nichols held a presser in Sacramento last week to announce further legal wrangling with the Trump administration. They had plenty to say that was interesting...

Election Cybersecurity Left to States | 10-19-2018

During the last U.S. election cycle two years ago, at least 21 states were targeted by foreign hackers, according to the Department of Homeland Security. And with Congress having done little to address the issue other than authorizing $380 million to...

Budgets in Brief - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

CA RECEIVES NEARLY $1B REVENUE WINDFALL IN Q1 CALIFORNIA took in $990 million more in personal income tax revenues in the first three months of the current fiscal year (July 1 to Sept. 30) than projected in June. Sales tax revenues came in slightly...

Business - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

US Supreme Court Rejects The U.S. Supreme Court rejects a plea to hear an appeal of rulings in two CALIFORNIA cases that require former makers of lead paint to pay $400 million or more to clean up old homes (LOS ANGELES TIMES). MI Governor Signs...

Environment - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

CO River Water Agreement Seven states that depend on the Colorado River for water reach agreement on a management plan for the waterway. The deal between COLORADO, UTAH, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, CALIFORNIA, NEVADA and WYOMING creates a collection of drought...

CA Pushes Net Neutrality, Feds & Telecoms Push Back | 10-12-2018

In the last bill signing session of his long and historic career, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) endorsed a measure last month that overrides federal rules and gives the Golden State the toughest net neutrality statute in the nation. But with multiple...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Opioid Taxes Not Faring Well This Session | 10-12-2018

Minnesota state Rep. Dave Baker (R) sponsored a bill ( HB 1440 ) this session that would have imposed a “penny a pill” fee on every opioid painkiller pharmaceutical companies sold in the state to provide funding for opioid abuse prevention...