News < Re: Week of August 9
August 13, 2010 by Ash Roughani
That's the amount in unpaid bills the state will accrue if it does not enact a budget by the end of this month, according to State Controller John Chiang. While it might be premature to speculate on the the budget debacle extending into September, Senate Republican Leader-Elect Bob Dutton is giving Big 5 leaders until September 3 before he steps in to replace current Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth.
Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation held an informational hearing on the Democrats' proposed budget solution to lower the state sales tax and raise the state income tax along with the vehicle license fee. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that some industries and experts are in favor of the plan. Dan Walters thinks that tax reform should reduce volatility, not increase it. CA Fwd's proposal for reducing revenue volatility is to only use one-time revenue for one-time purposes.
State workers should report to work tomorrow, as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven A. Brick prevented Gov. Schwarzenegger's furlough order from becoming effective. Continuing the saga, the Governor's Office will appeal. We're not holding our breaths here.
Meanwhile, in response to the exorbitant salaries of city officials in Bell, legislation is moving through the Capitol that would restrict compensation based on a formula tied to a city's population.
Capitol Weekly reports on the nuances between the two redistricting measures (Propositions 20 & 27) on the November ballot. We'll give you a hint: one is fake reform and the other is real reform.
In other electoral reform news, the state's Fair Political Practices Commission urged staff to move forward with regulations that would bring more light upon the funding sources behind online communications when existing expenditure reporting thresholds are triggered. In the same meeting, Chairman Dan Schnur advocated for expanding disclosure of independent expenditures when communications are "susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate or measure.” The current disclosure trigger requires specific "magic words" such as "vote for candidate X." Unfortunately for reformers, those regulations will not go into effect until after the November election.
Ash Roughani is a project associate at California Forward.