Finance

If Cities are in financial crisis, why aren’t they panicking?

If Cities are in financial crisis, why aren’t they panicking?

Most U.S. cities are experiencing an administrative and financial crisis. This appears to be at odds with the confident tone of recent budget hearings where most of the attention was placed on how to spend remaining 2021 federal relief funds and so called “discretionary funds.” Cities have been able to adopt viable budgets this year...

By Mark Moses

Inflation-adjusted per capita state spending doubles in one decade – for what?

Inflation-adjusted per capita state spending doubles in one decade – for what?

The California State Legislature has just released the “Floor Report of the 2022-2023 Budget,” and it’s a doozy. Representing an agreement between the budget committees of the Assembly and the Senate, and building on Governor Newsom’s proposal, this $300 billion monstrosity has moved one step closer to becoming final. To fully appreciate how out of...

By Edward Ring

A Surplus of Nonsense in the Governor’s Latest Budget

A Surplus of Nonsense in the Governor’s Latest Budget

There are two big days for a California governor, January 10 when the budget is presented and the May Revise when a few months of additional data and debate have passed. They’re both political documents, allowing governors to play with numbers. Few governors have been as sporting in that enterprise as Gavin Newsom. Last week,...

By John Moorlach

Tony Thurmond – Public Sector Union Operative

Tony Thurmond – Public Sector Union Operative

As the 21st century careens its way towards more geopolitical and economic uncertainty than most people alive today have ever known, with constant and transformative change the only constant, optimists among us still hope that some elements of California’s labor movement will begin to throw their weight behind policies and politicians that offer stability and...

By Edward Ring

California’s schools are burning down, and teachers union leaders bring the gasoline

California’s schools are burning down, and teachers union leaders bring the gasoline

In just three days in early May, California’s teachers unions opened the vault and moved $1.2 million into Tony Thurmond’s campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Thurmond has earned their favor. In nearly four years as the incumbent, he has advanced the unions’ demands to end charter schools, and endorsed teacher strikes — which, in...

By Eric Green

The School Fiscal Officer’s Dilemma

The School Fiscal Officer’s Dilemma

Most California school districts and their labor unions have finally come to terms on COVID-19 protocols, reconciling federal and state funding and mandate issues with the funding given them in several relief packages. Now, a new round of labor unrest is percolating across the state as new compensation contracts are negotiated. Teachers expect sizable raises,...

By Mark Moses

ESG Investing and Public Sector Unions

ESG Investing and Public Sector Unions

This article originally appeared in the California Globe. For the last few decades what used to be referred to as socially responsible investing has more recently morphed into “ESG” investing. The acronym stands for “environment, social, and governance,” and refers to how investors should evaluate the impact that every company they’re considering investing in has, positive or...

By Edward Ring

California State and Local Liabilities Total $1.6 Trillion

California State and Local Liabilities Total $1.6 Trillion

California’s total state and local government debt now stands at almost $1.6 trillion, or about half the state’s GDP. That isn’t an alarming ratio when compared to the national debt, which has now soared to 128 percent of U.S. GDP with no end in sight. But Californians carry this $1.6 trillion state and local debt ($40,000 per capita)...

By Edward Ring

Ill-Timed Fossil Fuel Pension Disinvestment Bill Threatens Economy

Ill-Timed Fossil Fuel Pension Disinvestment Bill Threatens Economy

As international tensions threaten US and global energy supplies, the California State Senate is considering legislation that would compel public pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies, potentially starving these firms of capital. The Senate bill is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to replace traditional portfolio management with a set of...

By Marc Joffe

California is Rolling in Education Money

California is Rolling in Education Money

The governor of CA is about to go on a taxpayer-funded spending spree. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his education spending plan, which comes to $119 billion including local, state and federal sources. This would raise per-pupil spending to $20,855, and make California one of the highest spending states in the country. (That...

By Larry Sand

Our Full-Employment Division

Our Full-Employment Division

Why didn’t California’s unemployment office heed past audits? Because real efficiency means fewer jobs. The report last week that the state Employment Development Department had paid $20 billion in bogus jobless benefit claims, including $810 million to convicts, added to the view that EDD is the government equivalent of a dumpster fire. It came days...

By Chris Reed

How “Vax for the Win” became a huge loss

How “Vax for the Win” became a huge loss

As the number of new people getting vaccinated in California has decreased over the past few months, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new program, “Vax for the Win” to provide incentives to those who are on the fence about getting the shot. While Newsom was not the first governor to institute such programs (see Ohio), he...

By Brandon Ristoff