Redevelopment is dead — or so proclaimed Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators last year when they canceled the legal authorization for the six-decade-old urban renewal program and seized its assets to close the state’s budget deficit.
Since then, state and local officials have been dismantling hundreds of local redevelopment agencies and squabbling over payment of their debts and disposition of their assets.
Redevelopment is dead. Long live redevelopment. Read More
“The beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic” is a phrase that resonated throughout the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., this summer, and for good reason. Promising signs that prevention is within our reach are fueling global optimism.
While there have been a number of medical breakthroughs recently, and there also is very exciting news about medically based prevention strategies, does it really mean an end to AIDS? Read More
What do you think the reaction would be if someone tried to keep at least 2.1 million eligible California voters from exercising their democratic rights? Read More
This week, the San Francisco Superior Court confirmed the ballot summary language used to describe Proposition F. While there was much debate over the measure’s wording, its underlying purpose remains abundantly clear. If passed, Prop. F will require The City to prepare a costly plan that, if enacted, would drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and jeopardize The City’s water rights, resulting in huge water rate increases to construct a new delivery system. Read More
I used to be a teacher, so I have to correct mistakes where I see them. Don’t worry, no rulers.
The recent San Francisco Examiner editorial, “Ammiano’s bill is wrong approach to immigration,” has one big fact wrong. The Examiner wrote that my bill — AB 1081, the Trust Act — would order local law enforcement officials, “with the force of state law, to ignore federal law.” This is simply untrue. Read More
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