Category Archives: CA Government

Super Committee for California's Initiative Process

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Frustrated by the tendency of elected officials to kowtow to political pressure and the unchecked power of interest groups to write their own laws that never get revisited, California’s latest governance reform effort proposes a new third way: a citizens … Continue reading »


Analyst: Take a Pass on Tinkering With Current Worker Pensions

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While referring to Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal for changes in public employee pensions as a “bold, excellent starting point,” the state’s independent fiscal analyst’s office nonetheless concludes that neither Brown’s proposal — nor any other — that seeks to rejigger … Continue reading »


Government Reformers Eye November 2012

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Efforts to reform California’s system of government — a system that virtually no one denies is dysfunctional — have been percolating for the last few years, but have never actually reached the boiling point. Now, reformers hope they can finally … Continue reading »


Brown Paddles Left, Right on Bills

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It is easily the most familiar (and perhaps overused) shorthand for Governor Jerry Brown’s philosophy of governance and politics. And yet Brown’s self-described “canoe theory” seems to have stood the test of time, with his paddling skills put to the … Continue reading »


Reporter's Notebook: Bill-o-Rama!

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California’s state legislators have gone home, leaving in their wake hundreds of bills either ratified or rejected. They have also, for the time being, shut down their interparty warfare operations… which gives us a moment to open up a raft … Continue reading »


5 Questions I Wasn't Supposed to Think About on Vacation

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There’s a sort of unwritten, and yet often violated rule, when my family goes on vacation: don’t keep checking your smartphone. I didn’t break it too often while visiting my waterlogged family on the coast of North Carolina this past … Continue reading »


Poll: Longer Legislative Terms, Stronger Initiative System

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If a unique gathering of Californians for a weekend full of talks about government proved anything, it may be that the best chance for consensus lies in the what’s most absent in politics: substantive dialogue. On the last weekend in … Continue reading »


Ex-Legislators: Why Go Home?

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One of the essential selling points of California’s move toward term limits for legislators two decades ago was that, by serving shorter terms, more citizen legislators would be elected who would do their time in Sacramento and go home. But … Continue reading »


Budget Lawsuit #1: Redevelopment

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Local redevelopment officials and leaders of several California cities took aim — as expected — at the newly inked state budget this afternoon, suing the state for its plan to revamp redevelopment agencies and redistribute billions of dollars to state … Continue reading »


Notebook: Taxes, Maps, Parallel Universes

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If there’s one sure way to get a reporter’s attention, it’s to amend a contentious piece of legislation with so many new proposals as to make it a symbolic rallying cry… and… a candidate for political squeeze play of the … Continue reading »