State Issues

State Issues

Poll finds voters remain ignorant on budget

Polling by the Public Policy Institute of California consistently shows that California adults are ignorant about how the state budget allocates money among the major spending categories, wrongly believing that prisons come first in spending when, in fact, they come in last.

State Issues

As cap and trade awaits fate, auction tests market

California’s highly controversial cap-and-trade system of allocating carbon emission allowances faces legal and political hurdles. Meanwhile, however, another quarterly auction of allowances is scheduled this month and its results will test its standing among emitters and investors.

State Issues

Gray’s bill would make state water board accountable to the public

As California and the San Joaquin Valley struggle to meet our water needs, the recent rains promise to bring some relief. Unfortunately, it is not enough to offset the multi-year drought, new groundwater regulations and the proposed permanent water take from our reservoirs by the State Water Resources Control Board. In the board’s own words, its actions will create a permanent “regulatory drought.”

State Issues

Tax board’s hijinks make case for giving it the boot

The California Board of Equalization, which handles a variety of taxation matters, has been a hotbed of hijinks by its elected members. It’s time to abolish the board and the Franchise Tax Board and fold both into a department of revenue with professional expertise and accountability.

State Issues

Sales tax ruling shows need for tax reform

A landmark appellate court case, chastising California officials for trying to tax communications software, underscores the need for comprehensive tax reform that would bring the state’s revenue system into alignment with changing consumer practices and ever-changing technology.

State Issues

Brown puts lid on school aid, may rekindle old fight

California’s public schools have seen big budget increases in financing as a healthy economy filled the state’s coffers with tax money. However, revenue growth has slowed and Gov. Jerry Brown is holding down school spending, which may rekindle old battles over the multi-billion-dollar issue.

State Issues

Expose California’s secret budget process to the light

California state budgets used to be drafted in secret by two men, then came into the open, only to go back behind closed doors, and the sneakiness of the process has become more pronounced in recent years. Voters adopted Proposition 54 to shine more light on budget bills, but other reforms are still needed.

State Issues

Reality penetrates public pension system

Facing reality, the California Public Employees Retirement System has reduced its projection of future investment earnings, but not far enough to prevent its “unfunded liability” for pension promises from growing. Something else should be done.

Videos

Delhi's Jesse Flores stars at Masters wrestling

Delhi heavyweight Jesse Flores climaxed the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships with his third straight pin on Friday night, Feb. 24, 2017, at Stockton, Ca. (By Ron Agostini/ragostini@modbee.com)
mrowland@modbee.com
Delhi's Jesse Flores stars at Masters wrestling 1:03

Delhi's Jesse Flores stars at Masters wrestling

Ripon boys hold off Sonora in D-IV playoffs 1:12

Ripon boys hold off Sonora in D-IV playoffs

Modesto Sewer Line Repair 1:01

Modesto Sewer Line Repair

Turlock school board approves selling Measure N, O bonds 0:51

Turlock school board approves selling Measure N, O bonds