Poor Mouthing As A Strategy: The May “Revise”

jerry brown

Sheila Kuehl: Over the course of 2012-13 and 2013-14, the Governor, even with the low revenue projection, allocated $1046 more per K-12 student than before.

California’s Budget: Even the Bard Knew the Mind Suffers with the Body

jerry brown

Sheila Kuehl: In the Governor’s proposed January budget, one can see a clear expression of belief in the lack of connection between education and healthcare — the mind and the body.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 37: What’s In Your Food?

Urban Food Deserts

Sheila Kuehl: A decision on this proposition comes down to whether you think it important to know whether you are purchasing and ingesting food that has been genetically modified.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 36: Three Strikes

california prison

rop 36 reduces the prison sentences for those who committed a non-violent, non-serious felony as their third strike. The new sentence would be twice the usual sentence for the crime they committed as a third strike.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 35: Sex Trafficking

sex trafficking

Sheila Kuehl: Prop 35 would also define crimes related to the creation and distribution of obscene materials with minors as a form of trafficking, including duplicating or selling such materials.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 33: Automobile Insurance Laws in California

shattered window

Sheila Kuehl: About 20% of California’s insureds would presumably see their rates go up because they had a lapse in insurance that didn’t fit into acertain categories.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 34

death penalty

Sheila Kuehl: This measure comes at the same time as a growing interest in the effects of solitary confinement in small, windowless, cells, on prisoners in state prisons.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 32: Neither Rich Nor Poor Can Sleep Under the Bridges of Paris

screw 32

Sheila Kuehl: The measure is crafted to look as though it is limiting the ability of both unions and corporations to make campaign contributions to candidates or measures, but, in truth, it would place a far greater burden on unions

Sheile Kuehl on Prop 31

prop 31

Sheila Kuehl:Prop 31 was designed to find ways to make government more efficient and responsive. Several critics have opined that Prop 31 doesn’t really accomplish the goal, but simply recycles a number of ideas that have been floated through the years without a good deal of empirical evidence on whether or not they accomplish their stated goals.

Shiela Kuehl on Prop 38

education-dollars

Shiela Kuehl: Proposition 38, which amends state statutes (not the Constitution) to increase state income tax for any Californian earning more than $7316 a year, and allocates the increased revenues to K-12 education, state debt and early childhood education.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 30

tax the rich

Sheila Kuehl: The approach adopted by this measure is like holding a gun to your head and shouting “Stop me before I hurt somebody!”

Two Triggers: One Stuffed, One Deflated

jerry brown

Although I have to admit I found it a bit creepy, the stuffed remains of Roy Rogers’ beloved steed was displayed on a Rose Parade float honoring Roy’s 100th birthday. Dangerously wobbling at the front of a somewhat over-the-top float, this Trigger, though dead, looked fat and healthy. The state budget Triggers, on the other [...]

Lame Duck Governor Fabricates Hoped-For Legacy

Sheila Kuehl: From the beginning, Arnold Schwarzenegger has exhibited a woeful ignorance about the role of a Governor and the role of governance.

Water, Water, Everywhere, but Now We Stop and Think

water-crisis

Given the breathless tone of the several press reports on the “great California water reform package”, you would have thought the Legislature had parted the waters, rather than simply passing five water bills.

As Ye Judge, So Shall Ye Be Judged

California State Senator Chuck Poochigian

I knew from experience that Sen. Poochiaign’s votes had consistantly indicated animosity to civil rights statutes regarding gender, disability and sexual orientation.

For a Man May Smile and Smile and Still Be a Villain

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, front left, smiles at Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, second from right and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“Why do they keep sending me budgets I won’t sign?”, the Governor asked, after saying no, once again, to any proposal but his own, cuts-only solution. And, since he had all the guns, no one in the Legislature asked in return, “Why does he keep refusing our budgets?”

Interpreting the Failure of Prop 1A

california-budget

Immediately after the election, the Governor announced that the “voters had spoken” and that the defeat of Prop 1A “clearly” meant that Californians stood adamantly against any new taxes or fees. He must have been reading the leaves in the bottom of his tea cup in order to come to a favored conclusion, however, because [...]

Prop 8 Ruling: The Measure of a Court

no-on-prop-8-unite2

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled on the validity of Proposition 8, the measure adopted by California voters last November to add a new section 7.5 to Article I of the California Constitution, as follows: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. The measure was challenged by a [...]

Sheila Kuehl: My Take on California’s Propositions

capitol

It seems pretty obvious that, whether the propositions pass or fail, they create a significant, but different, problem for the state. The total monies brought into the current budget by all the propositions together is about 6 billion dollars. However, over $5 billion of that revenue comes from the sale of the lottery. This makes [...]

California’s Budget: How Abel Raised Cain

Finished: California's Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg (left), congratulates GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado for casting the vote that ended a three-month budget impasse (Photo credit:  Rich Pedroncelli/AP).

While the disciplined Assembly stood by in mid-February, waiting for the Senate to get its game on the field, the Senate speechified on the Floor and slept in the Big White Building. As in the familiar children’s game of musical chairs, the Governor and Senate President pro Temps Darrell Steinberg were simply looking for that [...]

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

california-begging

On Thursday, December 18, frustrated with their inability to attract any Republican votes through long negotiations, both the State Assembly and the State Senate decided on an entirely different tack. They would pass a series of majority-vote bills to cut and change the current, 2008-09 budget. Though such a move would not get the state [...]

California Budget: What Happened Last Fall — The New Budget Immediately Starting Bleeding Red Ink

arnold2

The 2008-09 budget which was passed in September of last year ( two and a half months late) contained several overly optimistic (I would say wildly unsustainable) assumptions concerning revenue: First, it assumed the sale of over $3 billion in revenue bonds, but no one wanted to buy California bonds. Second, it “borrowed” from over [...]

The Push to Do Away With State Boards

tires-people

Literally from the first moment I walked into the California Legislature, and, probably, for years before that, my colleagues “across the aisle” (that is, Republican colleagues) have unceasingly advocated for the elimination of any and all state oversight boards. Pressed to articulate their reasons, they cite the usual mantra of “waste”, and insist that it [...]

A New Day In Health Access: Tom Daschle, Secretary of Health & Human Services

Sheila Kuehl

Though he’s not yet confirmed, it looks like former Senator Tom Daschle will be joining President Obama (I so like saying that) in his Cabinet, heading up all the agencies that provide resources and oversight for America’s health and healthcare dollars. In addition, he will wear another, related, hat: heading up the new White House [...]

LAO Confirms Single Payer Reduces Health Care Spending, Contains Annual Growth

Health Care Reform Cartoon traffic jam

This is my fifth essay for 2008. I interrupt my presentations on the current budget crisis to report on a confidential analysis of SB 840, my legislation creating a single payer health insurance system, requested by anonymous members of the Assembly [the requesters' names are not revealed, as a matter of course, by the Legislative [...]

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