Power Struggle – Utilities v. Solar Providers

This winter, solar companies and utilities are headed for a showdown. Regulators will soon be deciding whether Californians installing solar panels will have to pay new monthly fees to their utility, including PG&E and the state’s two other major utilities. Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission are expected to release their proposal for what

By | 2015-12-14T10:44:35+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Energy, Funding, People and Politics|

CA Lawmakers “Behest” $28 Million in Donations

California lawmakers and other state officials arranged for donors, many with business at the Capitol, to contribute $28 million to nonprofit organizations, local museums and other favored causes during the first half of the year, according to the most recent filings with the Fair Political Practices Commission. So-called behested payments must be reported when a

By | 2015-08-04T10:38:26+00:00 August 4th, 2015|Energy, Funding, People and Politics|

Salton Sea Restoration Plan Rolled Out

The new price tag for restoring the Salton Sea: $3.15 billion. That’s how much money local officials now say they want from California, as detailed in a plan approved Tuesday by the Imperial Irrigation District’s board of directors. It’s less expensive than a $9 billion plan that died in the state Legislature, and local officials

State Revenues Continue Climb, Complicates Tax Increase

Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee political columnist The Legislature’s Democrats were miffed when Gov. Jerry Brown insisted on using his revenue estimates as the basis for the 2015-16 state budget, rather than a higher number calculated by legislators’ budget adviser. The legislators had used the larger figure as the basis for their version of the budget,

By | 2015-07-12T15:53:06+00:00 July 12th, 2015|Funding, People and Politics|

Governor & Legislature Consider Transportation Tax Fix

Gov. Brown’s call for a special legislative session to fix California’s crumbling roads, highways and bridges comes as music to the ears of those who build big projects. For months, groups representing labor, contractors, local governments, transportation interests and others worked on legislation to revamp the state’s roads and ease the movement of freight at

By | 2015-06-21T14:23:07+00:00 June 21st, 2015|Economy & Jobs, Funding, People and Politics|

Elon Musk Empire Built on Tax Subsidies

Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space. And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies. Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated

By | 2015-06-08T14:21:45+00:00 June 8th, 2015|Economy & Jobs, Energy, Funding, People and Politics|

Legislators Must Scrutinize Greenhouse Gas Revenues

Sacramento Bee Editorial By the billions, California’s cap-and-trade experiment is putting the green into greenhouse gas. Gov. Jerry Brown proposes spending $2.23 billion of the windfall. The Assembly adds to that, hoping to spend $2.4 billion. The Senate would spend $2.7 billion in the fiscal year staring July 1. But sooner rather than later, lawmakers

By | 2015-06-08T14:14:06+00:00 June 8th, 2015|Environmental protection, Funding, People and Politics|

Meanwhile, There’s Cap-And-Trade Money to Spend

While Gov. Jerry Brown is being fairly tight about spending the state’s multibillion-dollar windfall of sales and income taxes, he’s not shy about spending rapidly increasing proceeds from “cap-and-trade” fees on carbon emissions. The revised 2015-16 budget that he unveiled this month more than doubles, from $992 million to $2.2 billion, projected revenues from selling

By | 2015-05-29T16:52:29+00:00 May 29th, 2015|Funding, People and Politics|

Brown Backs Gas Tax Boost…With GOP Support

Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown has helped to resolve some of California's toughest fiscal challenges -- mainly huge structural deficits and old, forgotten debts. But this year he appears ready to take on Mission Impossible -- getting Democrats and Republicans to agree to increase the state's gas tax to fix California's crumbling roads

By | 2015-05-29T16:47:47+00:00 May 29th, 2015|Economy & Jobs, Funding, People and Politics|