This November, Californians will vote on Prop. 23, an effort funded by polluters to repeal California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 – Assembly Bill 32 - a landmark bipartisan achievement that is already creating jobs and reducing pollution in the state. If passed, the initiative would damage California’s clean-energy economy and lower unemployment levels by crippling the emerging clean energy industries.
In August, California lawmakers approved AB 2666, a bill sponsored by Asm. Nancy Skinner that requires the state's Franchise Tax Board to compile information on corporate tax expenditures and publish the information on California's Reporting Transparency in Government website. In 2009 alone, the state spent $14.5 billion on corporate tax expenditures with no oversight or accountability mechanisms.
In a blow to states’ leadership over clean energy, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that states cannot sue power plant operators that generate pollution. The Justice Department alleges that: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency has already started to regulate greenhouse emissions; and (2) states lack standing to assert a federal nuisance claim.
Intuit, a private firm that manufactures TurboTax, has pushed California lawmakers to eliminate the popular, successful, and cost-effective public tax filing services, ReadyReturn and CalFile. These two programs offer millions of low- and middle-income Californians a free and reliable method to calculate and file taxes.
When state governments make it nearly impossible to raise taxes to pay their bills, their creditors apparently get very nervous and increase their costs to borrow money. Both Arizona and California have seen their bond ratings downgraded -- and their borrowing costs likely increasing -- with analysts citing both states' tax limitation rules that require a two-thirds vote of their legislatures to raise taxes as one reason.
California lawmakers worked feverishly at the end of June to move
forward significant health reform legislation, including implementing
new Medicaid rules for the next five years, setting a framework for
establishing health insurance exchanges, and moving the state towards a
single-payer health care system.
Members of the two-house legislative committee working on the state
budget — especially its dominant Democrats — have spent much of the week
lamenting that they don't have enough money to satisfy all demands,
including their own.