Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday proposed a revised budget that would send an extra $2.9 billion to California schools this year, including $1 billion in one-time funding to help districts implement more rigorous academic standards. Read More
Proposition 34 would replace the death penalty in California with life in prison and retroactively change the sentences of people already on death row.
Opponents of the death penalty point out that it is a draconian punishment that has killed innocent people in the name of justice. Proponents believe the punishment should fit the crime. But all such arguments should be set aside when considering Prop. 34. Read More
San Francisco is a perfect example of why it makes good sense to plan a budget two years into the future rather than just one. For that, Proposition 31 is a good idea.
But we advise a no vote on the measure for a fundamental flaw in the proposition. 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
The atmosphere was jovial and insular last Thursday afternoon as supporters of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi sat on the ground or in lawn chairs outside the hearing room where the Ethics Commission would soon consider whether he should be permanently removed from office. Read More
UPDATE: Early Friday morning the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved Mayor Ed Lee’s proposed two-year city budget after making a total of $32 million in spending changes, of which $17.1 million is for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes such things as $1.2 million for members of the board to hire a third legislative aide, $4.1 million for a cost-in-living increase for nonprofits doing business with the city, $2 million for increased services in hom Read More
San Francisco’s police and fire departments are preparing for hundreds of retirees.
To address the imminent staffing shortages, Mayor Ed Lee is funding the beginning of a six-year hiring plan for both departments in his proposed city budget. The mayor’s budget includes three 50-member police academy classes next fiscal year and a 42-member firefighter academy class. Read More
Money earmarked for programs in San Francisco schools — including physical education, art and music — will be diverted to the district’s general fund to allow the district to maintain financial reserves required by law.
The school board voted Tuesday night to divert $16 million out of $62 million in state funds earmarked for specific education programs. The vote was a required step before the board can approve a 2012-13 school-year budget. Read More
Gov. Jerry Brown has a hard task ahead of him. He has to balance the budget, and the cornerstone of his plan is tax increases — a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax, and a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in the income tax for people who earn more than $250,000. According to recent polls, Brown’s tax proposal has reasonably healthy support among the California electorate. Read More
San Francisco’s convoluted system of business taxation includes one levy unlike any other among the state’s large cities. To attract more companies to San Francisco and encourage existing employers to hire more employees, it is past time to do away with this tax.
This outlier is The City’s payroll tax, which imposes a 1.5 percent levy on business labor costs. Read More