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

September 6, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, CA Government, CA Politics · Comments Off 

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 week, but the peeks I took left me with some nagging questions.

And the questions will no doubt shape my approach as a reporter to the upcoming final four days of the 2011 legislative year here in Sacramento.

In no particular order...
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Refer Madness 2012

August 18, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Politics, Elections · 1 Comment 

Getty/David McNew

Whether most voters realize it or not, the vast majority of measures that appear on the ballot in statewide elections ask them to authorize a brand new law. Rarely are voters asked to approve or reject a standing law.

And that's why the current crop of proposed ballot measures is so unusual: so far, five petitions offer voters the chance in 2012 to scrap statutes and other government decisions via a ballot referendum.
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Amazon Tax Suspended If Referendum Qualifies?

July 25, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, Taxes · 2 Comments 

Getty/Eric Tahyer

Legislative lawyers believe that if a referendum on the new law requiring sales tax collection by online retailers qualifies for the ballot, the law will have to be put on hold until the voters have their say.

If that opinion holds, it may raise the stakes for a budget written with an expectation of at least $200 million from the law in question.
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Amazon Tax Referendum Filed

July 11, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget · 5 Comments 

Getty Images

With the state budget not yet two weeks old, the first of what could be multiple challenges to its underpinning policies has been issued: a petition for the voters to overturn the new law requiring sales tax collection from online purchases.

A formal request for a referendum on ABx 28 was filed with the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday afternoon by lobbyist Charles Halnan.

Halnan lobbies for, among other companies, Amazon.
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