A late-blooming, business-backed drive to significantly alter the 42-year-old California Environmental Quality Act died late last week when it crashed into a wall of opposition from influential environmental groups.
That wasn’t the official reason, of course. Rather, legislative leaders insisted that putting off CEQA modification was a good government decision not to rush something so significant. Read More
The Sacramento Bee published a lengthy article recently about the proliferation of special committees in the California Senate that rarely, if ever, meet, just as rarely produce worthwhile research, and appear to exist mainly to give senators extra, off-the-books staff.
Bee reporter Jim Sanders spent many hours poring through Senate documents, looking — mostly in vain — for evidence that the special committees serve some valid public purpose. Read More
No session of the California Legislature would be complete without at least one “scope-of-practice” bill. What’s that, you ask?
Health care is the largest single piece of the California economy, involving about $200 billion a year. That cornucopia fuels competition among medical specialists over the legal scope of their practices. As some seek to expand their fields, they encroach on others’ turf. Read More
For years, even decades, business groups have complained that the California Environmental Quality Act’s complex provisions were being misused to block worthwhile projects, often for reasons that had nothing to do with the environment. Read More
Given its record on other issues, such as the deficit-ridden budget, it’s not surprising that the California Legislature doesn’t handle scandal very well.It almost always ignores internal scandal, including its members who run afoul of criminal laws. It’s difficult to say how outrageous a legislator’s conduct would have to be to earn censure. Mass murder, perhaps? Read More
It’s unlikely that anyone would say it is “frivolous” to exercise and eat well to guard against heart disease and diabetes. Both of those preventive measures have been proven to be highly beneficial in avoiding more serious health problems. Read More
The 2012-13 school year is right around the corner, and on Monday, 54,200 public-school students and 8,189 staff members will fill 131 child development centers and elementary, middle and high schools throughout our beautiful city. Read More
After Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment in connection with an argument he had with his wife, Mayor Ed Lee suspended him and brought charges to remove him for official misconduct. Mirkarimi exercised his right to contest the removal before the San Francisco Ethics Commission and Board of Supervisors. Read More
The back-to-back bankruptcy filings of Stockton and San Bernardino, following Vallejo’s insolvency a few years earlier, have sparked finger-pointing about causes and speculation about whether more California cities may go under.
Those on the political right say the bankruptcies resulted from local politicians’ caving in to pressure from unions for higher pay and better pension and health benefits. Read More
It’s high time to correct some of the myths that are perpetrated about commercial real estate, myths that can cause bad public policy.
Myth: Commercial buildings are owned by old fat cats who limo around town stuffing their pin-striped silk suits with gobs of rent money. Read More