Archive for the ‘ Finance ’ Category

The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS makes huge New York real estate deal

calpers

CalPERS has completed the purchase of a New York office building for $1.9 billion.

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
February 9, 2016 – 10:18 AM

  • Purchase is one of largest real estate investments in fund’s history
  • Almost fully leased, building represents conservative strategy

CalPERS has completed one of the biggest real estate investments in its history, purchasing a New York office tower for $1.9 billion.

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The Sacramento Bee: Lawmakers unveil California health plan tax proposal

Healthcare Tax

California
Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
February 8, 2016 – 6:26 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

The California Legislature on Monday unveiled a bill imposing a new tax on health insurance plans that would prevent a massive $1.1 billion hole in the state budget.

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The Sun: How the former Rialto Airport will be developed

Rialto-Seal

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 02/07/16 – 4:20 PM PST |

RIALTO >> One of the larger redevelopment projects in the Inland Empire is currently taking shape in and around the former Rialto Airport, with developers in discussions with potential tenants and city officials eager to usher in new housing, job and revenue opportunities.

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The San Francisco Chronicle: California’s $400 billion debt worries analysts

Debt

By Melody Gutierrez
February 6, 2016
Updated: February 6, 2016 – 2:53pm

SACRAMENTO — California has come a long way to dig itself out of budget deficits, but the state remains on shaky ground due to nearly $400 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt from public pensions, retiree health care and bonds, financial analysts say.

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Dan Walters

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 6, 2016 3:40 PM

  • Bullet train, tunnels would be governor’s legacies
  • Both projects, however, face critical tests
  • Financing for both still very uncertain

The two immense public works projects that would be Jerry Brown legacies will soon face pivotal moments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg Business: Payrolls in U.S. Climb as Jobless Rate Declines, Wages Rise

Bloomberg Business

Victoria Stilwell
February 5, 2016 — 5:30 AM PST
Updated on February 5, 2016 — 7:16 AM PST

Job growth settled into a more sustainable pace in January and the unemployment rate dropped to an almost eight-year low of 4.9 percent, signs of a resilient labor market that’s causing wage growth to stir.

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Calstrs

.

METRO

By Daniel Borenstein
dborenstein@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 02/04/2016 06:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 02/04/2016 09:14:06 PM PST

Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through a 32-year plan to shore up the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

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NYSE Trading Floor

Specialist Michael Gagliano, foreground, works with traders at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. The stock market’s problems likely contributed to lower-than-estimated California income tax revenue in January, the LAO reports. (Richard Drew AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 3, 2016 3:53 PM

  • Preliminary income tax revenue for January $260 million less than proposed budget estimate
  • Corporation tax for month $93 million above estimates
  • LAO cautions that “continued stock market weakness” could mean lower revenue through June

It’s been a heady ride for California finances in recent years, with budget revenue outpacing estimates by billions of dollars, buoyed along by the state’s healthy economic growth in 2015.

Could that trend be coming to an end?

Read the rest of this entry »

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo “engaged in a regular practice of reckless origination and underwriting” of Federal Housing Administration loans, prosecutors alleged. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

James Rufus Koren
February 3, 2016

Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $1.2 billion to settle claims that it duped the federal government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages in the years leading up to the housing crash, the San Francisco banking giant said Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Riverside-County-Seal

Supervisor Marion Ashley presents 16-point plan to address financial challenges, which the board agrees to have staff look more into.

Published: Feb. 2, 2016
Updated:   Feb. 3, 2016 – 8:04 a.m.

Employee furloughs, Friday office closures and a hiring freeze are among the ideas suggested by a Riverside County supervisor Tuesday, Feb. 2 to deal with the county’s ongoing financial challenges.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 2, 2016 – 3:37 PM

  • California’s governor wants new taxes for health care, highways
  • Republicans oppose any new levies
  • The two proposals, however, are different

Within the Capitol – and the media that cover it – there’s a tendency to conjoin Gov. Jerry Brown’s two tax-increase proposals.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino Police

Police Officer Edward Lee, a member of the San Bernardino Police Department, at a wall that a robber reportedly climbed. (Credit Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times)

By Michael Wines
Feb. 2, 2016

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Detective Ryan Wicks trained the headlights of his Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor on a young man spotted fleeing local gang members and climbed out of his car, a battered black-and-white cruiser of mid-2000s vintage. The odometer stood north of 95,000 miles. A rear fender was scarred by the belt buckles of hundreds of suspects who had been spread-eagled against it.

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The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union resolve $40 million in claims

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 02/01/16 – 9:26 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> An agreement between the city and its firefighter union that ends more than $40 million worth of disputes is now final, with approval from both sides.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 1, 2016 3:55 PM

  • Fuel prices drop to under $2 a gallon in some areas
  • As prices decline, gas taxes are adjusted downward
  • Meanwhile, politicians mull raising taxes for roadwork

California gasoline prices have been dropping sharply of late – below $2 a gallon in some areas.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County pension fund suffers another quarterly loss

SBCO

Monday, February 1, 2016 – 08:30 a.m.

It’s nice that San Bernardino County coffers are flush with money.

Because it looks like it’ll be needed for the pension fund, the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA).

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 31, 2016 3:30 PM

  • State’s residents had nation’s sixth-highest tax burden in 2012
  • That was a drop from fourth a year earlier
  • Voters will decide this year whether to increase tax load

California’s state and local governments hit us with about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian.

Read the rest of this entry »

MarketWatch: U.S. GDP fizzles in the fourth quarter

Economy

By Jeffry Bartash, Reporter
Published: Jan 29, 2016 – 1:30 p.m. ET

  • Growth tapers off as consumers, businesses cut back
  • Exports were a drag on growth throughout 2015.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The economy bogged down at the end of 2015, raising questions about whether U.S. growth is losing momentum.

Read the rest of this entry »

City of Industry

City of Industry City Council closes their council meeting after a closed session on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The state controller’s audit concludes “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” over the past decade in the City of Industry. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
and Rebecca Kimitch, LA Daily News
Posted: 01/28/16 – 10:19 AM PST |

The state’s top fiscal officer has audited the city of Industry and concluded “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” in the city over the past decade.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: San Bernardino gets $148 parcel tax, fire outsourcing

San Bernardino Seal

Local Agency Formation Commission voted unanimously to move forward Wednesday with the city of San Bernardino’s proposal to annex the 137-year old San Bernardino Fire Department into Fire Protection District Service Zone FP5-5, giving responsibility for fire and emergency medical response to the county fire department.

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/27/16 – 11:09 AM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A plan to outsource the city Fire Department and add a parcel tax of $148 per year took a big step forward Wednesday with the unanimous approval of the agency in charge of overseeing that process.

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Accounting

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
January 27, 2016 11:12 AM

  • The state’s unfunded liability grew, but more slowly than expected

California faces a $74.1 billion obligation to cover state retirees’ medical expenses over the next three decades, according to a new report released by state Controller Betty Yee.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union reach tentative ‘global settlement’

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/25/16 – 9:10 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city and one of its most consistent legal adversaries, the fire union, have a tentative agreement that ends all of their legal disputes, after the City Council approved it during a closed session meeting Monday, according to City Attorney Gary Saenz.

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Standard & Poor's

Allen Young, Staff Writer
Sacramento Business Journal
Jan 25, 2016 – 2:27pm PST

Standard & Poor’s, one of the nation’s top three credit ratings services, has forecast another year of economic growth for the California economy. But in a report released Monday, the agency also warned that the growth may soon end.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 24, 2016 – 9:02 AM

  • Jerry Brown wants to sock away extra billions
  • Democratic legislators want to spend extra billions
  • Governor warns that reserves needed to cushion recession

The single most important factor in writing a new state budget is determining how much money there is to spend.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: SAN BERNARDINO: Bankruptcy plan hurts those injured by city

San Bernardino Seal

Those who have filed claims against the city would receive 1 percent of what they’re owed under the insolvency proposal

Published: Jan. 22, 2016
Updated:   Jan. 23, 2016 – 9:06 p.m.

The city of San Bernardino hopes that a provision of its bankruptcy-exit plan will erase more than $49 million from the books by allowing it to pay only 1 percent – $500,000 – to its unsecured creditors.

To read story by Brian Rokos in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Inland Empire

In December, unemployment in Inland Southern California dropped below 6 percent for the first time since the recession, according to figures released by the state.

Published: Jan. 22, 2016 – 3:58 p.m.

For the first time since the recession, the Inland unemployment rate dropped below the 6 percent figure, hitting 5.9 percent for December in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area.

To read Staff Report in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 23, 2016 – 9:55 AM

  • California ended 2015 with employment gain
  • Yet recovery from recession has been uneven
  • High-skill and low-skill jobs grow, middling jobs stagnant

Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a mixed economic message to the Legislature last week – hailing California’s strong recovery from the Great Recession but warning it could quickly turn sour.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pothole

California transportation officials plan to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years.

Patrick McGreevy
January 22, 2016

Faced with plummeting gasoline tax revenue, state transportation officials have announced plans to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years, the greatest reduction in two decades.

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The Sacramento Bee: Surcharges piling up on telephone bills

taxifornia

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 22, 2016 – 5:56 PM

  • Total charges have gone from 2.78 percent at end of 2012 to 7.894 percent
  • Universal Lifeline program driving increase
  • Lifeline program expanded to wireless plans in 2014

If your monthly cellphone or landline bills seem higher these days, take a look at the state surcharges.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Chris Kirkham
January 22, 2016

California employers added 60,400 jobs in December, according to state data, one of the largest single-month gains in the last three years.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: As California gas prices slowly edge lower – a look at taxes

Gasoline Taxes 10-01-2015

(Source: American Petroleum Institute – 10/01/15)

Friday, January 22, 2016 – 09:30 a.m

Price Alert! The average price of unleaded gas in California has dropped to a whopping $2.701 per gallon, according to tracking website Gasbuddy.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

State of the State address

John Myers
January 21, 2016

In a short speech with a long view of California, Gov. Jerry Brown used his State of the State address to challenge lawmakers to better balance the cyclical nature of success and setback that has dominated state government for the better part of two decades.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 21, 2016 6:08 PM

  • Jerry Brown’s State of the State address explores no new ground
  • He appears content to check off items on political bucket list for California
  • But does he see a political role as governorship winds down?

No Latin phrases. No paeans to pioneer ancestors. No quotes from obscure philosophers. A brief reference to climate change. Just a couple of mild quips.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hand Out

By Tracy Seipel
tseipel@mercurynews.com
Posted:    01/21/2016 – 12:01:48 PM PST
Updated: 01/21/2016 – 07:01:54 PM PST

California’s four largest health plans may be on the hook for $10 billion in state back taxes — and at least $1 billion every year going forward — if a closely watched legal case does not break their way.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: More San Bernardino County investigations under the surface

SBCO

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

There’s more under the microscope in San Bernardino County than meets the eye.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 19, 2016 3:42 PM

  • Unfunded retirement costs at least $200 billion
  • Latest pension reform effort collapses
  • Benefit debt is destined to grow even larger

With no thought to long-term financial consequences, California politicians, both state and local, have saddled taxpayers with hundreds of billions of dollars in debt for pensions and retiree health care.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Public Radio

Ben Adler
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

California voters could be asked this fall to touch what’s been an untouchable law: the property tax initiative known as Proposition 13. A potential November ballot proposal would raise taxes on the state’s highest-value properties and spend the money on anti-poverty programs.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: State’s hide-the-pea accounting practices

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 17, 2016 4:58 AM

  • Accounting method can affect budget’s bottom line
  • State has constantly shifted income-outgo systems
  • Including retiree costs would make big difference

Fair warning: This column is about state accounting practices, which means you are in danger of being stupefied.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pension Reform

Associated Press
Posted: 01/18/2016 – 10:51:49 PM PST
Updated: 01/18/2016 – 10:52:19 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — The California budget that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed this month marks a shocking financial turnaround for a state that just a few years ago faced a $26 billion deficit.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California Driver’s continue to get hosed at the gas pump

Gas Prices

Monday, January 18, 2016 – 11:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 – 05:00 p.m.

As crude oil prices hit multi-year lows, California continues to get hosed by gasoline refiners.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 17, 2016 – 9:06 AM

  • Millions of people in state are mired in poverty
  • Caring for their needs costs $200 billion a year
  • But politicians wrangle over whether it’s enough

Gov. Jerry Brown was still explaining his new budget to reporters on Jan. 7 when advocates for the poor, who didn’t like what he was saying, began firing email blasts.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: State’s big housing dilemma

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 16, 2016 9:54 AM

  • California falls short in meeting housing demand
  • Shortage pushes costs, especially rents, sky-high
  • Politicians talk about it, but do little

It’s time once again for some fun with numbers, in this case the data on California’s serious – and worsening – housing crisis.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: REGION: Cities still pursuing own police force

Riverside County Sheriff

Twelve Riverside County cities seeking to save money on law enforcement costs.

Published: Jan. 15, 2016 – Updated: 10:45 p.m.

Twelve Riverside County cities looking to save money on law enforcement costs could decide next month whether to pursue a feasibility study on forming their own police force.

To read article by Imran Ghori in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The Press-Enterprise: ONTARIO: CVB Financial tops Forbes list of best banks

Citizens Business Bank

CVB Financial tops Forbes 2016 list of America’s best banks

Published: Jan. 14, 2016 – 11:25 a.m.

CVB Financial tops Forbes 2016 list of America’s best banks.

To read article by Fielding Buck in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

March ARB

Rose Institute study puts area base’s annual economic value at $579 million

Published: Jan. 14, 2016 – Updated: 8:11 p.m.

March Air Reserve Base near Riverside gives the Inland area an economic boost worth $579 million a year, an analysis has found.

To read Staff Report in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Los Angeles County - Men's Central Jail

The front of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail is shown. Lawsuits involving the Sheriff’s Department, which runs the county jails, contributed to a dramatic increase in the county’s legal costs in 2015. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Abby Sewell
January 15, 2016

Los Angeles County’s spending on lawsuit-related attorney fees, settlements and judgments rose 24% last year — an increase driven largely by litigation against the Sheriff’s Department.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: Rams, not Raiders, approved for move to Los Angeles

Rams

By Aaron Wilson and Rachel Swan
January 12, 2016
Updated: January 13, 2016 – 7:22am

HOUSTON — Oakland, the city with no stadium plans and a halfhearted effort to hang on to the Raiders, gets to keep the team anyway — for now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 12, 2016 10:46 AM

  • Effort to extend Proposition 30 taxes changed to include reserve account funding

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown criticized a ballot measure to extend temporary tax increases for containing the “fatal flaw” of circumventing California’s budget reserve requirements, proponents of the initiative said Tuesday that they have amended the proposal to address his complaint.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Analyst calls Jerry Brown’s budget ‘prudent’

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown carries notebook paper outlining his proposed 2016-17 state budget after a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 11, 2016 11:38 AM

  • Legislative Analyst’s Office warns of possible economic downturn
  • Brown’s estimates for local property tax revenue about $1 billion too low

The Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst on Monday called Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal a “prudent” spending plan, while arguing he may underestimate the amount of available revenue.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Tax issue nags Jerry Brown

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 10, 2016 3:30 PM

  • Brown wrestled with complex issue four decades ago
  • State has changed corporate taxation formulas several times since
  • It’s still unsettled in Brown’s second governorship

State taxation of multistate and multinational corporations is not an issue for the fainthearted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, addressing the media on Dec. 2, has cleared the way for a vote on possible relocation to Los Angeles. (Brandon Wade / Associated Press)

Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno
December 9, 2015

The current stadiums in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego are “unsatisfactory and inadequate,” and the proposed solutions are not viable to keep the Raiders, Rams and Chargers in their home markets, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a report distributed Saturday to all 32 teams.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown leaves a news conference where he unveiled his proposed 2016-17 state budget. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

John Myers
January 8, 2016

It was during a boisterous and brusque budget presentation when Gov. Jerry Brown offered a candid assessment of why he’s unwilling to grant too many legislative spending requests.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg: Payrolls Surge, U.S. Jobless Rate at 5% as Workforce Grows

Bloomberg Business

Sho Chandra
Updated on January 8, 2016 — 7:09 AM PST
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

  • U.S. Employers Add 292,000 Jobs in December

America’s labor-market juggernaut continued to roll unabated at the end of 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »

California

Capitol Alert
By David Siders, Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 9:45 AM

  • Democratic governor warns of possible downturn
  • Brown will build reserves more than required
  • School funding increases also planned

Gov. Jerry Brown, issuing a $170.6 billion state spending plan Thursday, proposed billions of dollars in new funding for schools, climate change programs and services for the elderly and disabled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 12:08 PM

  • Brown proposes $170.7 billion budget
  • Governor warns of new recession
  • Tells legislators to curb spending plans

Gov. Jerry Brown, warning that “the next recession is getting closer,” doubled down Thursday on holding down state spending and building reserves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the 2012-13 budget in 2012. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

John Myers and Melanie Mason
January 7, 2015

In an effort to break a political and policy logjam, Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a state budget that revamps a controversial tax on health plans to avoid jeopardizing federal healthcare dollars.

Read the rest of this entry »

down-arrow

Business & Real Estate
By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com
January 6, 2016 12:07 PM

  • $12.86 billion in shipments is the lowest in six years
  • Analysts cite slowing economies among key trade partners
  • Year-to-date totals lag record 2014 by 4.3 percent

Sacramento —

Wavering economies among key California trading partners in the last half of 2015 landed with a thud in the Golden State in November.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: ECONOMY: Inland index shows marked decline

csusb_logo_new

The Purchasing Managers Index from Cal State San Bernardino scored at 42.1, down from 52.3 in November

Published: Jan. 5, 2016 – Updated: 2:40 p.m.

Weakness in new orders and production helped pull the area purchasing managers index for December to a six-year low, sparking concerns about a potential economic contraction.

To read the Staff Report in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown, waits to answers questions during a news conference where he announced a budget agreement last June. Brown will release his latest budget proposal Thursday. (Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller and David Siders
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 5, 2016 5:34 PM

  • Democratic governor will release spending plan Thursday
  • Revenue running above last year’s estimates
  • Brown and fellow Democrats in Legislature have butted heads on spending proposals

Gov. Jerry Brown will release his budget proposal for the coming year Thursday, amid a strong state economy and fiscal experts’ predictions that tax revenue will continue to surpass estimates from last June.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 5, 2016 4:50 PM

  • New bill exempts feminine hygiene products
  • Should all ‘necessities’ be tax-free?
  • What about cars, homes and utilities?

As the Legislature reconvened this week, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia quickly introduced a bill to exempt female hygiene products from sales taxes.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California’s budget windfall could be flashpoint

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 4, 2016 2:37 PM

  • State getting billions of extra dollars
  • Democrats want to spend financial windfall
  • Gov. Jerry Brown remains reluctant

Halfway through the 2015-16 fiscal year, state finances are continuing to improve with billions of extra revenue dollars.

Ordinarily, that would be good news.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Capitol

Juliet Williams, Associated Press
Sunday, January 3, 2016 – Updated: 10:57 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers return to the Capitol Monday facing two of the most vexing problems from last year: a looming $1 billion hole in funding for the state’s health care program for the poor and a $59 billion backlog in road repairs needed over the next decade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Bulletin: Passenger, cargo volume up at Ontario airport

Up Arrow

Passenger traffic is up 4 percent and cargo is up 13 percent at L.A./Ontario International Airport from November 2014 to November 2015.

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 12/29/15, 6:51 PM PST |

ONTARIO >> As they prepare to hand off control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, officials from Los Angeles World Airports are reporting a 4 percent passenger increase and a 13 percent increase in cargo at the Inland Empire travel hub for November this year over the same time last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters: U.S. holiday retail sales grow a ‘solid’ 7.9 percent: MasterCard

Reuters
Monday, December 28, 2015

(Reuters) – Strong online sales and demand for furniture and women’s apparel helped U.S. retail sales grow by a “solid” 7.9 percent this holiday season, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Monday, December 28, 2015 – 09:45 a.m.

Every knew they wouldn’t let it go on for too long.

“They” being oil companies. “It” being low gasoline prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Hill: Fury of the right falls on Ryan

The Hill

By Scott Wong
12/26/15 – 12:02 PM EST

Outside the Beltway, the right is livid with new Speaker Paul Ryan’s trillion-dollar spending deal with Democrats.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Inland Empire economy sees growth and expansion in 2015

Amazon

Workers work the assembly line at the new Amazon distribution center in San Bernardino. A fourth Amazon warehouse opened this year in the Inland Empire. (Staff File Photo)

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 12/24/15 – 5:23 PM PST |

Positive employment growth, the expansion of the logistics industry in the Inland Empire and local control of Ontario Airport were key highlights for the regional economy in 2015, experts say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Orange County Seal

By Jessica Kwong / Staff Writer
Dec. 24, 2015 – Updated 9:25 a.m.

SANTA ANA – Employees with Orange County’s largest union are heading into the holidays assured of their biggest salary raise since the recession, under a three-year contract the Board of Supervisors approved Wednesday morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters: Bankrupt San Bernardino spars with creditors over police spending

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

By Robin Respaut
December 23, 2015

The bankrupt California city of San Bernardino won praise from bondholders on Wednesday for its handling earlier this month of the massacre that killed 14 people, but at the first significant court hearing since the attack, creditors questioned a plan to increase spending to bolster the police force.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Neighbors perhaps, friends no

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 22, 2015 4:41 PM

  • California, 3 neighboring states much different
  • We get along with Oregon, not Arizona and Nevada
  • Relations with Nevada are particularly frosty

There’s always been an incongruity about California’s having three disparate states on its borders.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: MURRIETA: City taking $4.8 million hit to budget

Murrieta

State has ordered city to pay county to settle dispute about loans made to the city’s former redevelopment agency.

Published: Dec. 20, 2015
Updated:   Dec. 21, 2015 – 6:53 a.m.

The state’s Department of Finance is forcing Murrieta to pay $4.8 million to Riverside County to settle a dispute about loans the city made to its former redevelopment agency in the mid-2000s.

To read article by Aaron Claverie in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Los Angeles Times: What California stands to gain from Congress’ budget deal

California Money

By Christine Mai-Duc
December 18, 2015

The sweeping budget deal — a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill — tackles a number of policy areas, including making some $650 billion in tax breaks permanent, adopting new cybersecurity rules and repealing a decades-old ban on crude oil exports.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Chris Kirkham
December 18, 2015

California employers added just 5,500 jobs in November, according to federal data — a significant slowdown from more robust monthly gains earlier in the year.

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Help Wanted

In this Oct. 1, 2015 photo, a shopper walks past a store with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 12/18/15 – 10:13 AM PST |

Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire both posted healthy job gains in November but California’s net gain amounted to just 5,500 jobs, the smallest monthly increase in more than three years.

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Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Lisa Mascaro
December 17, 2015

By approving a massive package of tax breaks Thursday, House Republicans — who have made deficit-slashing the holy grail of their majority — just piled on nearly $650 billion in red ink.

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Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen removes her glasses as she testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 25. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Jim Puzzanghera
December 16, 2015

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark short-term interest rate for the first time in 9 1/2 years, providing a long-awaited vote of confidence for the recovery from the Great Recession by beginning to remove the last of the central bank’s extraordinary steps to boost economic growth.

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Politico: 2,200 pages, $1.8 trillion, dead of night

U.S. Capitol

Congress released more than 2,200 pages of legislation in the dead of night. | AP

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Politico

What’s really in the year-end tax and spending bill?

By Bernie Becker
12/16/15 – 04:24 PM EST

Congress released more than 2,200 pages of legislation in the dead of night — containing $1.1 trillion in spending, about $680 billion in tax cuts and a string of other policy changes.

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Roll Call: Winners and Losers in the Omnibus and Tax Bills

Roll Call Logo

By Roll Call Staff
Posted on Dec. 16 at 10:52 a.m.

Both Democrats and Republicans won a few and lost a few in the $1.1 trillion spending bill and package of tax extensions that congressional negotiators agreed on late Tuesday.

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Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan announces the bipartisan budget agreement on Wednesday. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

Michael Hiltzik
December 16, 2015

When Congress legislates at night and in haste, you can be sure mischief is being done. Sure enough, the budget deal announced late Tuesday by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), takes an ax to efforts to limit the torrent of big money into politics.

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Martin Shkreli

32-year-old suspected of plundering Retrophin to pay debts. (Martin Shkreli – Photographer: Francesco Nazardo)

Bloomberg Business

By Christie Smythe and Keri Geiger | December 17, 2015

Martin Shkreli, the boyish drug company entrepreneur, who rocketed to infamy by jacking up the price of a life-saving pill from $13.50 to $750, was arrested by federal agents at his Manhattan home early Thursday morning on securities fraud related to a firm he founded.

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Secretary of State

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 15, 2015

  • Controller’s searchable website covers $36 billion in wages
  • City wage, benefit costs decline while county costs increase

State Controller Betty Yee has released a new searchable database of local government salaries, covering 602,377 positions with more than $36 billion in wages.

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The Sacramento Bee: California’s taxable property passes $5 trillion

BOE

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 14, 2015

  • Property taxes should top $57 billion
  • Placer County has highest increase

The value of all taxable real estate in California has surpassed $5 trillion, according to the state Board of Equalization.

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calpers

Melody Petersen
December 14, 2015

The state’s biggest public pension fund has repeatedly missed a key performance goal for its controversial private equity investments.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Los Angeles could be Olympic winner and loser

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 13, 2015

  • City’s bid for 2024 games advances
  • Boosters say it could be profitable on $4.5 billion budget
  • But city would have to cover any losses

Los Angeles moved closer last week to becoming the venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics when voters in Hamburg canceled its bid.

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Kevin de Leon+Jerry Brown+Toni Atkins

California Gov. Jerry Brown, with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, in June. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

John Myers
December 11, 2015

In the eyes of Martin Weil, it’s not the hard slog of political deal-making that explains why his 26-year old daughter, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy who is unable to speak, struggles to keep the services she needs.

It’s more like political malpractice.

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The Sacramento Bee: Californians have high poverty, high incomes

Farm Workers

Farm workers pull weeds in a Kings County field in 2014. The agricultural county has California’s highest poverty rate, according to a new Census Bureau study. (Matt Black/NYT)

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 9, 2015

  • California has 15th highest state poverty rate in nation
  • Official poverty measure disregards living costs
  • State has highest poverty level by alternate method

Californians have both above-average poverty levels and above-average median family incomes, according to a new Census Bureau report.

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