Finance

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

How the people can fix California

How the people can fix California

The deadline to file citizens initiatives for the November 2022 state ballot is this August, and not nearly enough has been done so far. Active measures submitted to the California Attorney General include the highly necessary proposition to “prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude,” along with one to “require earth sustainability training in public schools.” Because apparently we’re...

By Edward Ring

Why are we not talking about California’s pension problems?

Why are we not talking about California’s pension problems?

It is no secret that California has its own myriad of economic issues: high taxes, a bloated government, overly powerful unions, and many more. However, one issue that is a product of all of these, but does not get nearly enough attention, is skyrocketing public pensions. For as long as I can remember, unions and...

By Cecilia Iglesias

Defining an omni-shambles: California’s unemployment agency

Defining an omni-shambles: California’s unemployment agency

By: Thomas Buckley, Guest Contributor The organization’s crisis response has opened a window into how it truly feels about the public it serves On January 1, 2021, 1.4 million Californians woke up with something much worse than a hangover. They found a surprise email from the state’s Employment Development Department telling them that their unemployment...

By Thomas Buckley

Fighting, and Winning, School Choice in California

Fighting, and Winning, School Choice in California

There is going to be a school choice initiative on the state ballot in November 2022. While this is not an absolute certainty, the grassroots support for school choice is strong, and the infrastructure necessary to nurture a grassroots effort is now in place. The RecallGavin2020 campaign has proven the model, and fed up parents from Chula...

By Edward Ring

Newsom Can’t Hide Behind Pandemic

Newsom Can’t Hide Behind Pandemic

In his 2021 State of the State Address, Governor Newsom’s focus, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, was to defend his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A quick review of the 3,634 word transcript indicates only 20 percent of his remarks had to do with anything else. It’s understandable that Newsom would focus on the pandemic....

By Edward Ring

Letter to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Letter to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

In a little-known and influential institution, a group of experts at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regularly update best practices and standards for government financial practices and procedures. They are best recognized for their generally accepted accounting principles. As described in their website, “GASB develops and issues accounting standards through a transparent and inclusive...

By Jordan Bruneau

Government Unions and California Ballot Propositions

Government Unions and California Ballot Propositions

Californians voted on twelve state ballot propositions on November 3. On nine of these propositions, California’s government and private sector unions spent significant amounts of money, over a million in five cases, and over ten million in two cases. But of these nine, the unions only got their way on one of them, Prop. 19, which changed...

By Edward Ring

Placentia’s Independent Fire Department Saves Millions and Improves Service

Placentia’s Independent Fire Department Saves Millions and Improves Service

On July 1, 2020, the City of Placentia formally terminated its contract with the Orange County Fire Authority, where the average operations employee in 2018 collected pay and benefits in excess of $241,000. Seeking to create a new model that reduced these unaffordable levels of pay and benefits, as well as made more efficient use of...

By Edward Ring

Firefighting in Orange County – Part Three, Placentia’s War for Independence

Firefighting in Orange County – Part Three, Placentia’s War for Independence

On July 1, 2020, the Placentia, California’s new Fire and Life Safety Department commenced operations, marking a revolution in California firefighting – and in municipal finance. As documented in the two previous installments of this report, Placentia’s new and independent department replaced the more expensive services (part one) that had been provided by the union-dominated Orange County...

By Edward Ring

A different kind of pandemic is stalking California’s cities

A different kind of pandemic is stalking California’s cities

Image: San Gabriel (Creative Commons) If you’re looking for dark entertainment, you could do worse than the reality show unfolding throughout California. First, state and local officials supported the nearly total shutdown of the state’s economy as a necessary response to Covid-19. That killed the sales and other tax revenues that are the life’s blood...

By California Policy Center

Huntington Beach denies pandemic reality, dispenses pay raises

Huntington Beach denies pandemic reality, dispenses pay raises

On Monday, April 6 the Huntington Beach City Council voted to increase pay for its police officers and city employees. The cost for these raises over the next three years is estimated at $5 million. In a city that reported general revenues of $188 million in the fiscal year ended June 2019, this raise can accurately be described as...

By Edward Ring

Rating California counties on the thoroughness of their COVID-19 data dashboards

Rating California counties on the thoroughness of their COVID-19 data dashboards

Editor’s Note: The following was originally published on Reason. In terms of providing quality information that researchers, hospitals, public health officials, and taxpayers would find the most useful, the best portals are offered by San Diego, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin counties. County governments across California are providing an array of public coronavirus data...

By Marc Joffe

COVID-19 Worsens Fiscal Distress for Lindsay California

COVID-19 Worsens Fiscal Distress for Lindsay California

The city of Lindsay, in Tulare County, is California’s fourth highest risk city according to the California state auditor. And that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Its fiscal condition will likely deteriorate further as residents shelter at home, raising the specter of sharp service cuts or even Chapter 9 bankruptcy for the city. The mistakes...

By Marc Joffe