🌂 Teachers Union Hands Taxpayers the Bill🌂
Prop. 50 Will Do Nothing About Corruption In Legislature
Executive Director, CA Republican Party (1999-2001)
Vice Chairman, South – CA Republican Party (2007-2011)
The legislature has placed a measure on the ballot in June, Proposition 50, which purports to tackle the corruption issue by empowering legislators to suspend a colleague without pay. This measure is a complete sham, and should be voted down. Below is a column I wrote explaining why. I encourage you to read it and share it.
Prop. 50 Will Do Nothing About Corruption In Legislature
By Jon Fleischman
Proposition 50 is a cynical play by the political class in the state Capitol to make the public think it is doing something about political corruption, when it actually does nothing of the sort.
If approved on June 7, this measure would only give more power to legislative leaders, while doing absolutely nothing about the culture of corruption that has become an accepted part of California politics.
Look back to 2014 to remember three state senators all under criminal indictment. Then-Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg refused to hold any hearings or a vote to consider expulsion of these members.
One of them, Rod Wright, was found guilty of eight felonies in January 2014 stemming from lying about living in the Senate district where he was running.
Eight months later a judge rejected an appeal from Wright and sentenced him to serve jail time, community service and probation. Confronted with that decision, Steinberg said he asked Wright to resign, but still refused to call a vote to expel him.
There is far more chance that giving the Legislature the power to take away a member’s salary will be used not to fight corruption, but to advance political agendas.
It is already difficult to find maverick legislators willing to call out corruption; it will be even rarer if it could mean your critics will trump up an accusation against you and cut off your pay.
Let’s be clear: You have a due process right and there is a burden on the state to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of criminal acts.
But no one has a “right” to serve in public office. The public, however, does have the right to be represented by people who conduct themselves in an honest and morally upstanding way.
The politicians in Sacramento do not want to be put in a position of holding hearings and possibly impeaching a colleague who has clearly crossed the line, because that would further the notion that there should be high standards governing the conduct of state legislators – not everyone deciding for themselves what is right and wrong. There is a palpable sense that politicians are above the law.
I recently had a conversation with a state Assembly member who still believes that Wright got a “raw deal” and should never have been convicted. I pointed out that Wright had his day in court and a jury found him guilty.
The response was stunning: “The people on some random jury have no idea what they are doing.”
This Assembly member is just one of the politicians in Sacramento asking you to vote yes on Proposition 50.
This column originally appeared on SacBee.com.
Please feel free to share on social media.
California Governor Jerry Brown inherited the Golden State, the land of opportunity. However, everything he touches turns Brown.
Climate change has been the top priority of his governorship… not the flailing economy, or California’s largest-in-the-country-and-growing poverty class, or the 47th in school performance issue, or the $600 Billion in unfunded public employee pension and health liability, or the desperate need for water storage, or even the illegal immigrant problem.
For Brown who has said “Latin makes you smarter than everybody,” Climate change is his ignis fatuus – his fata morgana, his hallucination, myth, hocus pocus, or head trip.
Climate Change: “one of the fundamental issues of our time”
Brown has never specified how to achieve his radical emissions target, despite it’s overwhelming importance to him. In April he issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – despite the 2006 legislation which established a GHG reduction target of 1990 levels by 2020. Some scientists say we’ve nearly reached the 2020 goal, because of improving technology and increased use of clean natural gas, so Brown felt he had to up the ante.
Talking incessantly about climate change as “the most important issue of our time,” has allowed politicians to avoid focusing on serious failures and incompetent leadership. With California Gov. Jerry Brown signing yet another controversial, extreme climate change bill, he has thrown up a huge diversion, while simultaneously helping to sink our economy even further. SB 350 puts into place by 2030, increasing utilities’ use of renewable energy by 50 percent, and increasing energy efficiency in buildings by 50 percent. Brown’s goal of reducing gasoline use in automobiles by 50 percent failed to pass, and was amended out of the bill.
In September, in a Bloomberg interview, Brown said he would challenge the Republican presidential candidates “to speak to what is certainly one of the fundamental issues of our time.”
“They fancy themselves defenders of life but they actually are willing merchants of destruction. I would like to see them be honest about climate change,” Brown said.
Still a possibility as a candidate on the Democratic Party ticket, Gov. Brown said in March that if he were running, climate change would be one of his top three priorities.
A colleague of mine calls this “perjury in office.” California’s unemployment is twice the national average, our Gross Domestic Product growth is half that of the nation, we’ve lost 9,000 companies to other states, wage disparity grows, and we have the largest poverty class in the nation. The only economic boom is to billionaire oligarchs Tom Steyer, Elon Musk, and other one-percenter government cronies.
California used to be the fourth largest economy in the world – today we are eighth or ninth.
Brown’s Extinction Warning
While speaking at a summit of mayors at the Vatican in July, Brown pontificated that the world may have “gone over the edge” on global warming. “We’re talking about extinction,” Brown said.
I’m assuming Brown and his entourage didn’t fly to Rome on solar powered planes.
“We don’t even know how far we’ve gone, or if we’ve gone over the edge,” Brown said in Rome. “There are tipping points, feedback loops. This is not some linear set of problems that we can predict. We have to take measures against an uncertain future, which may well be something no one ever wants. We are talking about extinction. We are talking about climate regimes that have not been seen for tens of millions of years. We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way.”
To those who dare to disagree, Gov. Brown calls them (us) “Troglodytes,” persons considered to be crude, reclusive, savage, or brutish, or as being deliberately ignorant or old-fashioned. However, the Governor leads a troglodytic existence more than I.
“God is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth that he shall also reap and what Saint Paul said in reference to God, we can also say about God’s creation,” Brown said. “We have heard what we are doing to that creation. What a trillion tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses will do.”
“Right in the middle of this problem, we have fierce opposition and blind inertia and that opposition is well financed. Hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, in falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country, television stations, political parties, think tanks, PHDs, university personnel,” Brown said.
Bamboozled. This is Brown’s version of “settled science.”
“We have to respond, and if we don’t the world will suffer, we will all suffer. In fact, many people, millions are suffering already.”
The suffering people are hurting because of liberal, Socialistic policies, including rabid environmentalism.
There is a difference between rabid environmentalists – who treat the cause with the fervor of religious extremists – and those of us who are conservationists who believe natural resources are to be used, but wisely and respectfully.
Drought is Climate Change
In May, Jerry Brown said climate change is “damn serious.” Brown blames climate change for California’s four-year drought, despite the state’s historical droughts, long before autos and electricity.
I remember Jerry Brown’s first two terms as California Governor. In 1976-77 during Brown’s first term in office, California had a very severe man-made drought… a drought of progress. The new governor called it his “era of limits.” Brown curtailed the building of dams, reservoirs and aqueducts to store and carry water throughout the state. He halted all freeway construction. he claimed these decisions were so people wouldn’t emigrate to California.
Brown single handily set the future of California in the wrong direction. Population doubled anyway in the ensuing years, but the infrastructure has not.
California’s other drought problem is the excessive, arcane environmental regulations, which restrict how the state’s water is used. Environmental regulations take precedence, even in times of drought, and are never suspended. California water officials are releasing massive quantities of water for migrating fish, which ends up in the Pacific Ocean. Tens of billions of gallons of water have been flushed out to sea instead of being used by agriculture and urban uses, thanks to extremist regulations and non-existent water management in California. Much of this was to save a non-indigenous “endangered” fish, the Delta smelt. While farmers have had to let millions of acres go fallow, the state was letting millions of gallons of water run off to the ocean to save only a few Smelt and 27 salmon.
Wildfires are Climate Change
Brown blames California’s devastating wildfires on global warming. “This is a wakeup call,” Brown said standing in front of a scorched hillside at the Cowboy Camp Trailhead a few miles outside of Lake County, Craig Rucker of CFACT reported. “California is burning,” said Brown, then absurdly asking politicians, “What the hell are you going to do about it?”
Yet historical records from The Climate Depot show that extreme weather is running from normal to low, including drought and fire.
“Should California deal with its very real drought by ramping up emergency response and securing new sources of fresh water, or by demonizing American industry and CO2?” scientist Anthony Watts asked. “Exploiting genuine hardship and suffering to advance the global warming narrative is shameful.”
Craig Rucker asked: “Question for Governor Brown: Had Henry Ford never mass-produced the automobile or Edison invented the light bulb, had we never had the industrial revolution and lived in squalor, would California have had one more drop of rain?”
Life expectancy in the past 150 years has more than doubled. Millions of people have risen out of poverty.
As Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, “the emission-cut pledges will cost $1 trillion a year and avert warming of less than one degree by 2100.” Jerry Brown’s climate change laws will have no meaningful impact on world temperature, nor will the UN’s climate treaty.
How much freedom and prosperity are we willing to sacrifice for less than a hundredth of a degree?
This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Blog Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
A Really Bad Day For Freedom In The California Capitol
It was a good day for the Kingdom of God, but it was a really bad day for ground level freedom in the capitol of California.
James Wilson October 14, 2015 at 9:21am
A person like myself – ever trumpeting the advent of the Fourth Great Awakening and daring to compare or conflate it into the prophesied (John 14:12-14) End Times Harvest – needs to acknowledge the co-existence of what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation. This is the part where the return of the King is presaged by the last ditch gasp of the enemy of all life and light. That time includes wars sweeping the planet, men calling evil good and good evil on a wholesale basis, and inchoate hatred of all who bear the Name of Christ etched in their personalities.
Assembly Member Shannon Grove told us how – in the midst of the praise, worship, and repentance of our California Day of Repentance – the Assembly was busy adopting ABx 2-15, the physician assisted death bill. Our gathering was in a hearing room directly above the assembly chamber, and Grove says the worship was clearly audible in the legislative chamber. It was a good day for the Kingdom of God, but it was a really bad day for ground level freedom in the capitol of California.
There is simply no reasonable way to believe this bill is consistent with the respect for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution and enshrined in the California Constitution as well. The Amendment states that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The Supreme Court has differentiated between procedural and substantive due process, as one example in a long line of decisions codifying what must be done to pass the due process test. This bill fails miserably.
The bill requires a signature from the person allegedly wishing to die. A doctor who is not necessarily trained in either pain management or psychoanalysis certifies the patient is of sound mind. The trouble is that this patient may or may not be drugged, may or may not be under the influence of friends and relatives waiting impatiently for death, and may or may not be subject to a changing mind on the desirability of early death. Let’s recall the poster child of the assisted death movement – Brittany Maynard – who posted she wanted to live two days before her scheduled death. That post was superceded a day later with a message – posted by someone else – that Maynard was “back on schedule,” and the next day she was dead. Unanswered questions about her death prompted the pulling of the bill from consideration in late Spring. How this arrangement (that makes no provision for properly vetting the capacity for informed consent to death in the patient) satisfies due process is inconceivable.
Late Summer saw the bill re-introduced as a piece of a larger appropriations package. This sly maneuver means the bill did not have to go through a committee process and hearings again, even though it was a new piece of legislation now originating in the assembly instead of the senate. It also adds to the due process question this one: If this bill is so good and so full of compassion, why do its sponsors bypass normal procedures and ensure a limited debate – outside the glare of the massive opposition it provoked in the Spring? Why is there a cavalcade of elder abuse, disability advocate, and family care groups so provoked?
Every nation and state that has launched assisted death programs has seen documented abuse under them. The longer the tenure of the law in a place, the more brazen its advocates become for including the disabled and deficient of all kinds – with or without their consent. If this reminds readers of what they remember about Nazi Germany, there is a reason for this. And the reality remains that, given the advanced state of pain management medicine – what is called palliative care – there is no reason for anyone to linger indefinitely in agony as the death advocates contend. There is only reason to clear the inconvenient actors from the stage of life.
As a Christian who takes seriously Jackson Senyonga’s famous statement that “The condition of society is the report card of the church,” I can only call for massive civil resistance to this lawless piece of legislation. I can only grieve over those weak-kneed Christians and others who say – as they say of the new marriage decree and the failure (so far) to prosecute Planned Parenthood for trafficking human organs – it is the law of the land and so must be obeyed. We are called to be law-abiding by our own Bible. But we are also called to know the difference between law and legalized anarchy – which is what we get when lawmakers and enforcers spit on law and call it good.
The good news is our God is determined to fulfill Genesis 50:20, in which He claims what some meant for evil, He means for good. Shannon Grove claims that – despite the horrific event occurring while we worshiped – there is a new and God-acknowledging spirit making itself felt in the halls of political power. Others state officials and staffers have told me how our presence in Him over the years has forged a peace-of-God atmosphere we don’t always see. It was a very bad day for freedom in the capitol that day. But if we are staunch in defense of our freedom and stronger still in our pursuit of our God and His Kingdom in California, it will be an awesome season.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
About the author: James WilsonTags: California, Christianity, God, Moral Depravity, Pro-life, The Bib
October 11, 2015
California will have automatic DMV voter registration
By Rick Moran
Governor Jerry Brown of California has signed a law making registration to vote automatic when residents obtain or renew their drivers’ licenses. The law will add millions of voters to the rolls by the time of the 2016 election.
The irony here is rich; we can use a drivers’ license to register to vote but we can’t require the showing of that license in order to cast a ballot?
The record-low 42% turnout at the polls in last November’s state election spurred legislation that will allow eligible Californians to be automatically registered to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license at the DMV.
The measure, which Brown signed Saturday with 13 other bills related to elections, permits people to opt out of registration if they choose.
The new laws will “help improve elections and expand voter rights and access in California,” said a statement from Brown’s office.
About 6.6 million eligible Californians have not registered to vote, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who sponsored the measure.
“The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting,” Padilla said Saturday. “Citizens should not be required to opt into their fundamental right to vote. We do not have to opt into other rights such as free speech or due process.”
Voting rights activists note that the registration gap is widest among young people. Only 52% of eligible Californians between 18 and 24 were registered to vote before the last election, according to Emily Rusch, a voting rights activist and executive director at the California Public Interest Research Group.
The law takes effect Jan. 1, but the new registration process will not be offered until the state completes work on a new database. That is expected around June 2016, the time of the presidential primary election.
The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), cautioned that registering more voters will not increase turnout unless candidates do more to engage voters.
“It’s going to lead to millions more Californians being registered to vote, which means more people we can talk to,” she said Saturday.
California allows illegal aliens to get a special drivers’ license which isn’t supposed to be included in the blanket DMV registration. Not to worry. There are up to a million illegals in California who already possess fake drivers’licenses. Besides, there’s no voter ID law in California os who knows who’s voting on election day anyway?
This would actually be a good idea if the program were carefully administererd and the voter rolls purged regularly of those ineligble to vote. But since this is a blatant attempt to create more Democratic voters, the last thing state authorities are going to be is careful.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/10/california_will_have_automatic_dmv_voter_registration.html#ixzz3oTBZUGes
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Can California cut gasoline use in half in 15 years? Probably not
By Kate GalbraithAugust 7, 2015
One sunny Saturday in Stockton, Mary Serrano climbed into the driver’s seat of a bright-red, all-electric Chevrolet Spark. A retiree who normally drives a 20-year-old Toyota Camry, she was curious about the new technology on display at the local fairground.
“I feel like I’m going to outer space,” she said giddily, as a company representative prepared to explain the controls. But after the excitement of the test drive, reality set in. The Camry, which had to be fixed after failing a smog test, will keep its place at her Stockton home. An electric car seems out of reach, despite the availability of rebates.
“For the moment, I don’t have the money to buy it,” she said by phone, a few months after the fairground event. “Maybe later in life.” Her situation suggests that for all the allure of emissions-free vehicles, getting Californians to adopt them will take time. That in turn creates challenges for slashing gasoline and diesel use, a goal state leaders are championing as part of their battle against climate change.
The death of a young San Francisco woman in the prime of her life was 100% preventable, and tragically 100% predictable.
View this email in your browser
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez,, an illegal alien from Mexico, most recently of Texas, simply shot Kathryn Steinle for no apparent reason as she and her family walked along waterfront on Pier 14.
From all accounts, Kathryn was an amazing young woman. She worked at Medtronic, a medical technology company in the Bay area, and loved traveling and doing charity work, including hosting a fundraising dinner recently for patients with multiple sclerosis.
Powerful California Democrats — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris — had previously celebrated San Francisco’s storied flouting of federal law, bragging about how they had made the trademark City on the Bay, a Sanctuary City for illegal criminals. Now they are scrambling for cover.
When Newsom was San Francisco’s mayor, and Harris was San Francisco’s District Attorney, both enthusiastically championed the most radical sanctuary policies in the country.
That was until a triple-murder took some bloom off the rose.
On June 8th, 2008, an MS-13 Gang Member named Edwin Ramos — also an illegal alien — was released onto the streets of San Francisco instead of into federal custody for deportation. Within 48 hours, he obtained a gun and murdered three innocent people: a father, Tony Bologna, and his two sons, Matthew and Michael, who made the fateful decision to play baseball on a beautiful summer afternoon. Tony’s widow, Danielle Bologna, blamed their deaths on San Francisco’s sanctuary policy.
While Mayor Gavin Newsom tinkered around the edges of the sanctuary policy, Kamala Harris refused to grant justice to the Bologna family due to her own personal opposition to the death penalty.
But that’s not where it ended.
Read the rest of the story here.
In my first term, I introduced a bill–AB26: The Secure Immigration Enforcement Act–that would have stamped out Sanctuary Cities in California. Maybe at long last, the policies that have cost too many American lives will be reversed. #AmericanLivesMatter
San Francisco’s Sanctuary Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi needs to be recalled!
SUPPORT OUR SUPPORTERS!
Turner’s is the only place I turn when looking to buy a new gun, stock up on ammo or any outdoor equipment. Don’t miss a deal! Be sure to check out this week’s specials here.
Firearms Policy Coalition is working hard to defend your Second Amendment gun rights in Sacramento and across the nation. I’m a member — please Join FPC and Take Action on gun bills!
Like the show…
Become a supporter. Either advertise your business on our network (which includes a large online following as well as access to be included in weekly emails to a large, growing list like this one.
Become an Advertiser
If you have a product or service to market, simply reply to this email or call Bethany in our office at 760-244-4444, and we’ll customize a package that suits your needs and gives you the greatest impact for your advertising dollar.
Sponsor a Segment
If you don’t want to advertise or don’t have a business, you can simply sponsor a segment of the show on a topic of importance to you. Contact us by hitting reply to this email or call Bethany in our office at 760-244-4444.
Copyright © 2015 Tim Donnelly Show, All rights reserved.
Showdown for bill to curtail gun speech in California schools
California State Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, is backing a measure that could change how gun threats are interpreted in schools across the
state, even if it wasn’t intended as a threat. (Photo: capradio.org)
An expansive proposal termed dangerous by gun rights advocates to both First and Second Amendment rights is up
for an important vote in the California Assembly.
The bill, which could allow many expressions that include the use of a gun to be considered as a threat, was
introduced in the state Senate in February with the support of a prominent prosecutor and passed that body in an
easy 36-0 vote in May. Now, it’s in the hands of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, where pro-gun advocates
hope to halt its progress.
Framers of the legislation, that would create a new crime under state law, see the bill as expanding law enforcement’s
ability to stop crime from happening at schools.
“Threats of gun violence are costly to schools and law enforcement, and result in lost learning time for our students,”
said Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, in his author’s statement on the bill. “These threats also create anxiety and fear
for students, school staff, and parents.”
Block’s proposal, SB 456, allows that any person who threatens to use a firearm on school grounds or in a statement
made via phone, computer or other device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it
out. The bar of determining whether the threat was real or not will depend on if a school or law enforcement agency
makes preparations based on the threat. This could lead to something as innocent as a pop-tart gun, if taken
seriously, to be adjudicated as a violation of the law.
Those found guilty of this new crime would be liable for a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or a year in
county jail, or both, as well as be held liable for reimbursement of any costs associated with countering the perceived
At least one district attorney, San Diego County’s Bonnie Dumanis, has come out strong in support of the bill, arguing
in her jurisdiction last year at least 130 threats were logged in area schools.
“Threats of school violence have increased to an alarming rate and individuals need to know they’ll be held
responsible if they make such threats,” Dumanis said. “In light of the threats, and number of school shootings that
actually take place across the nation, students and their families have a right to feel safe.”
However, gun rights advocates argue language in the bill is vague and doesn’t define what an actual threat is.
“We certainly don’t oppose the criminal prosecution of people who make true threats against innocent students,
teachers, and school staff,” Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, told Guns.com. “Our concern
is that the measure, as it stands, is overly-broad and could chill or criminalize First Amendment protected speech.”
A key committee vote on the legislation Tuesday is seen as the most likely chance for lawmakers to either kill the
proposal or at least add protections to the bill before it is sent on to the floor.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that the Assembly Public Safety Committee will appropriately amend the bill into a form
that respects First Amendment rights while giving prosecutors the tools they need to deal with real criminals,” Combs
High-speed rail mired in outrage
by James Poulos | June 12, 2015 5:29 am
high-speed rail fly californiaReacting to a new analysis showing how California’s high-speed rail could stretch between Palmdale and Burbank, affected residents descended on downtown Los Angeles to voice outrage and anxiety before train officials.
“The coordinated protest,” noted the Los Angeles Times, “presents a potent political challenge as state officials push to speed up construction of the $68-billion system in densely populated Southern California.”
For the beleaguered train project, championed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the turbulence reflected just one more round of defiance, building steadily across the Golden State as communities come to grips with the disruption it will bring.
“About 150 residents and city officials from communities and cities such as Santa Clarita, San Fernando, Acton and Sylmar spoke for a total of six hours during public comment to tell the eight member board about the potentially devastating impact the project could have on their area,” as LAist observed. “According to the analysis, the track just within that segment could affect 20,000 homes, 47 schools, 48 churches and 25 parks when completed.”
The crowd presented the High Speed Rail Authority with “complaints about potential harm to groundwater and home values, hints of lawsuits to come and indignation that the government wasn’t listening to the people it serves,” the Associated Press reported.
The meeting — L.A.’s first in two years — followed on last month’s acrimonious hearing in San Fernando. There, “elected officials joined residents in confronting state officials, going so far as to set up their own public address system in the auditorium to express their grievances,” according to the AP.
With controversy swirling around the train, already beset by delays and challenges, officials took a conciliatory but vague approach to the criticism. “High Speed Rail Authority Chair Dan Richard asked for patience among the protestors, saying it was still early in the process and they would continue to work with the community to analyze all options before making a decision,” noted Southern California Public Radio. “He said they are not at this time considering any routes other than the ones presented in recent weeks at community meetings.”
Were public opposition to push the Authority away from the San Fernando plan, officials falling back on other plans would confront outrage from different quarters. “The other three options all involve tunneling under the Angeles National Forest,” as the LA Weekly reported. “Environmentalists, equestrians and other activists hate this idea. Even though the train would run underground, there will have to be multiple access points, both for maintenance and in case of emergency.”
“Even worse, running the train through the Angeles National Forest would, according to environmental activist Kristin Sabo, endanger the region’s water supply, since it would cut through the San Fernando Groundwater Basin, one of the few sources of water DWP owns and therefore doesn’t have to buy.”
Funding at risk
At the same time, Republicans in Congress have pressed ahead with a fresh round of concerted opposition to the pricey bullet train, which still relies on Washington dollars. As CBS Sacramento reported, the Authority “may soon not be able to spend federal funds on the project under its current $3 billion matching grant with the federal government.” House Republicans voted through a new measure that would wipe out the agreement struck between the Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration — if the Senate opts to go along.
“This amendment would have no material impact on California’s high-speed rail program, even in the unlikely event that it is enacted,” said Richard, according to CBS. Although Hill watchers have not anticipated a swift Senate shift away from funding the train, if the situation in California continues to sour, that calculus could change.
Source URL: http://calwatchdog.com/2015/06/12/high-speed-rail-mired-outrage/
Copyright ©2015 CalWatchdog.com unless otherwise noted.
The California Assembly is advancing legislation to protect homeless people who live in their cars from fines and vehicle impounds.
Local governments could not punish people caught sleeping in cars under AB718. It advanced to the Senate on Monday with a 54-to-12 vote.
Democratic Assemblyman Kansen Chu of San Jose says his bill lifts a burden from Californians who have lost jobs and homes.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty says three in four California cities prohibit resting or lodging in cars.
Courts and advocates for the homeless have raised concerns about selective enforcement of the rules. Los Angeles is reconsidering its ban on living in cars after losing a court challenge.
Local government and police groups that oppose AB718 say parking lots aren’t designed for living.
Climate change: California Senate approves legislation to combat
By Jessica Calefati
Posted: 06/03/2015 12:44:38 PM PDT83 Comments | Updated: 3 days ago
Large wind turbines spin at an Altamont wind farm off Dyer Road near Livermore, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 7, 2015.
(Doug Duran/Staff file photo)
SACRAMENTO — The state Senate on Wednesday approved a far-reaching array of bills designed to cement
the Golden State’s reputation as an international leader in the fight against climate change.
If enacted, the legislation will trigger a fundamental shift in the kinds of cars and trucks Californians drive and the
way they power their homes. New targets would force industries to create more renewable energy, make more
vehicles that don’t burn gasoline and further slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Democrats roundly praised the bills, which were inspired by goals Gov. Jerry Brown outlined in his inaugural
address. They said the legislation is needed to help the environment and create jobs.
“We’re talking about creating a new economy for tomorrow,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said.
But Republicans railed against the legislation on the Senate floor. They called it “coastal elitism at its worst” and
insisted the proposals would hurt the Central Valley, the region hit hardest by the Great Recession and the
devastating four-year drought.
Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula, seethed as he told his Democratic colleagues that Senate Bill 350 would “kill
thousands of blue and white collar jobs in the Central Valley.” Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, pleaded with her
Democratic colleagues to vote no. “I beg you,” she said.
But Democrats refused to budge. “Markets change. We transform. That’s who we are,” said Sen. Bob Hertzberg,
D-Van Nuys. “Welcome to America, baby!”
Many energy experts say Californians won’t know the true impact of the legislation on their daily lives for many
years because the formula needed to achieve these ambitious goals — and the cost of such bold change for
taxpayers and business owners — remains murky.
“I’m quite dubious about our ability to accomplish these goals we’re getting so many kudos for setting,” said
James Sweeney, director of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center.
“It’s going to be up to future governors and future lawmakers to make these goals work,” Sweeney said. “Unless
we come up with a plan that’s not terribly disruptive to average Californians’ lives, they’re never going to follow
If the legislation becomes law, it will be up to the California Air Resources Control Board to implement two of the
measures’ toughest goals: cutting petroleum use by cars and trucks in half over the next 15 years and slashing
greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels over the next 35 years.
To achieve the first goal, the board has suggested getting Californians to drive less by using more mass transit,
dramatically increasing the fuel economy of cars and doubling the use of alternative fuels. But the board has
publicized few additional details about how to get there — and that omission makes the legislation impossible to
support, opponents say.
“Most of California’s businesses and families rely on petroleum for their day-to-day transportation needs and (the
legislation) has the ability to compromise the availability of transportation fuels,” the California Chamber of
Commerce wrote last month to lawmakers.
An oil industry trade group said it’s hoping for better luck and a different outcome when the measure is
considered by the state Assembly.
“We will continue to educate consumers and businesses on the enormous negative impact the legislation will
have on all Californians and hope members of the Assembly are more willing to take a critical look at this
legislation than did their counterparts in the Senate,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western
States Petroleum Association.
Along with the dramatic reduction of petroleum in gasoline it requires, Senate Bill 350, sponsored by de Leon, DLos
Angeles, and Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would also require California utilities to generate at least 50
percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources by 2030 and require state
agencies to toughen building standards.
The Senate approved the measure on a 24-14 vote, with all Republicans voting no.
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer was one among many environmental advocates who praised the Senate’s action
on the climate package as a “bold step forward” that tackles climate change “head on.”
“We owe it to our kids and our grandkids to protect them, and that means addressing climate change before it’s
too late,” Steyer said in a statement.
The Senate’s endorsement of the legislation comes several weeks after Brown signed an agreement between
California and 11 other U.S. states and foreign provinces to sharply limit emissions of greenhouse gases by
That same commitment is the backbone of Senate Bill 32, sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills,
which would extend California’s landmark climate law, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006.
The new bill — which passed the Senate 22-15 –would lock into law a goal that Schwarzenegger had set: cutting
greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by midcentury.
Other pieces of legislation the Senate approved Wednesday would establish a committee to advise the
Legislature on climate policies that could create jobs; require that California’s pension funds for teachers and
state workers divest from coal companies; and spur farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
California may not know precisely how it will achieve these goals, but UC Berkeley energy expert Dan Kammen
said he isn’t worried. He expects the Golden State’s brightest minds to create new technologies to cover any
ground we can’t with today’s tools.
“These are decades-long goals,” Kammen said. “The way to get there is to have a strategy that we know we
must update and modify as we innovate.”
Contact Jessica Calefati at 916-441-2101. Follow her at Twitter.com/Calefati.
HOW THE LAW WOULD CHANGE
CURRENT LAW: Under Assembly Bill 32, signed into law by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006,
California must cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
CLIMATE BILLS APPROVED BY SENATE: Under SB 32 and SB 350, California would be required to cut
emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The measures would also cut petroleum use in cars and trucks
in half, require California to generate half of its power from renewable sources and boost building efficiency
standards — all by 2030.
by William Bigelow 29 May 2015
Dem Legislators Raise Filing Fees to Stop Ballot Initiatives
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File
Democrats in the California State Assembly passed a bill this week that would
increase the filing fees for ballot initiatives (or referenda) from $200 to $8,000, thus
excluding most ordinary citizens from filing a petition and leaving the field open for
unions and corporations, according to Capital Public Radio.
Using, as a pretext, a bizarre ballot initiative that actually called for the deaths of gays and lesbians, legislators acted
in the apparent hope of exerting greater control of the initiative process. The filing fee has not been raised since
1943, but the percentage of the increase far exceeds the inflation in the intervening period.
As Joel Fox of foxandhoundsdaily.com wrote, “The argument that the fee has not been raised in over seventy years
rings hollow when any on-line inflation calculator will tell you that inflation over that time has risen no more than onefourth
the amount that the bill, AB 1100, co-authored by Democratic assembly members Richard Bloom and Evan
Republicans opposed the bill. Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove agreed that the petition calling for the
execution of gays and lesbians was “vile and reprehensible,” adding, “The issue is not about that person. The issue
should be about the people’s rights to be able to have a grievance against their government through the initiative
process if that’s what they choose to do,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The Bee quoted Assemblyman Tom
Lackey, R-Palmdale, calling AB 1000 “a money grab which would make it harder for Californians to make their voices
Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine, told the Bee that the Assembly had gone too far, asserting, “We’re
fundamentally changing the initiative process. We’re getting all spun up about something that will die as it should die
a natural death. We are giving the author way much more already than the 15 minutes of fame he thought he would
be getting out of this stupid initiative.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Grove estimated that an increase based on the inflation since 1943 would raise
the fee to $2,700. Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, told the Times, “Californians are very
protective of the initiative process and they will likely view an absurdly high increase in the filing fee to be an attempt
by the Legislature to thwart they public’ access to that process.”
In addition to the hike in the filing fee, the Assembly also passed Assembly Bill 884, which would allow the state
attorney general, who writes summaries for ballot measures, to include a disclaimer warning on ballot measures
indicating that the measure would violate people’s constitutional rights.