2018 elections: Voters eye deluge of water money

The Owens River cuts through the Owens Valley near the east slope of the Sierra. (Photo: Bart Everett)

California voters may be asked this year to approve $13 billion in two separate water bonds that promise to pay for safe drinking water and improve flood protection. Proposition 68 is a $4.1 billion measure and is already set for the June 5 ballot. The Water Supply and Water Quality Act is an $8.9 billion bond and could come up for a vote in November. The Secretary of State’s office is reviewing the signatures turned in and should decide by the end of the month whether it qualifies for the ballot.

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Letters

Letter to the Editor: BOE gas tax, redistricting

Dear Editor: I respectfully disagree with Paul Mitchell’s opinion in the April 24, 2018, Capitol Weekly article,“CA120: Political intrigue: BOE’s redistricting and the gas tax.” My vote against raising the gas tax was a matter of policy, not politics.

Opinion

Wildfires, insurance: Avoid the quick fix

The Canyon Fire 2 approaches Anaheim in October 2017. (Photo: Aarti Kalyani)

OPINION: After a barrage of devastating wildfires raged across our state in recent months, it is time for all Californians to accept a sobering fact: this is the new normal. Several factors — including warmer and drier summers, and decades of fire suppression — have created a California that will be much more susceptible to wildfires in the future.

Analysis

CA120: Political intrigue: BOE’s redistricting and the gas tax

Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton chats with colleague Diane Harkey in the Capitol. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Whether you liked it or not, the state Board of Equalization successfully blocked a gas tax increase.  This saved Californians 4-cents-a-gallon at the pump, but handed Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers a $617 million hole in the state budget. What caused this rather dramatic policy move?  I keep being drawn to the extraordinary events surrounding the 2011 redistricting of the BOE, which has four directly elected members.

Opinion

Claims adjusters need training, background checks

A man surveys the charred debris of Glen Ellen home following a 2017 wildfire. (Photo: Rebecca Jane Call, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Recently Capitol Weekly printed an article by David Farber (“Don’t fix unbroken system for claims adjusters,” April 16) asserting that the California Department of Insurance (CDI) was advocating for a bill, SB 1291 by state Sen. Bill Dodd, which would, in Farber’s words, “create a shortage of claims professionals” in the aftermath of last year’s devastating wildfires. Farber couldn’t be more wrong.

News

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Louis Mirante on Housing and SB 827

Louis Mirante of California YIMBY. (Photo: Tim Foster)

Nothing ever really dies in the Capitol, as the saying goes, but sometimes you come across a knockout blow. And that’s what happened with SB 827, a sweeping bill aimed at addressing California’s housing crisis. To the surprise of just about everybody and after months of media attention, the measure was rejected decisively in its first committee hearing.  Joining us today to take a look at all this is Louis Mirante of California YIMBY,  who sat down with Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster to chat about the issue.

Opinion

Prop.1 grants should include groundwater storage

Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge headquarters, South San Francisco Bay, Alviso.(Photo: Sundry Photagraphy)

OPINION: The California Water Commission has the opportunity to create a new paradigm for water storage that delivers more cost-effective storage and an ability to ensure there will be enough water for communities, business and public purposes –keeping our rivers alive with enough water for fish, wildlife and recreation for people. That opportunity is to include groundwater storage in Proposition 1 allocations.

Analysis

Washington and Sacramento, side-by-side

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo SchnepfDesign, via Shutterstock)

Clearly, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento share many things in common — including such negatives as a hyper-heated political culture, insularity and a pervasive sense of entitlement. And California’s Legislature is obviously based upon the federal legislative model. Nonetheless, their legislative  rules are different, so let’s take a look at some of the major distinctions.

News

Bills target police conduct, use of force

Sacramento police officers preparing for protests over the shooting of Stephon Clark. (Photo: Kevin Cortopassi, Flickr Creative Commons)

The recent police killing of an unarmed black Sacramento man has left protesters and local politicians demanding revisions to California’s Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights — the decades-old protocol for officers facing disciplinary investigation. But state lawmakers, despite the national attention directed at the shooting of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, have not introduced legislation or even made reference to the 1976 law, known as the POBR.

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