News Categorized: People and Politics

Legislators Call For Major Overhaul of Public Utilities Commission

State legislators are calling for a major overhaul of California’s utilities regulator by striking it from the state Constitution and reassigning its sprawling portfolio in the wake of a series of controversies, including the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said his measure would decentralize the California Public Utilities Commission’s… Read more »

State Revenues Decline in January

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? Preliminary tax revenue for January stands at a net $167 million less than estimates in Gov. Jerry… Read more »

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… Read more »

CPUC Emails May Snare Brown in Controversy

A new batch of emails released by the City of San Bruno last week show Gov. Jerry Brown supervising his appointees on the California Public Utilities Commission closely. That interaction could be seen as routine and necessary political oversight, especially now, or it could have deeper implications for Brown given that the agency has been… Read more »

Increasingly Powerful Legislative Dem Mods Name New Leaders

The informal but increasingly powerful cadre of business-aligned Democrats in the Legislature tapped two assemblymen to lead their caucus after last week’s decision by the group’s current chairman to leave office at the end of the month. Assemblymen Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield) now share top billing of the so-called Moderate Caucus…. Read more »

Property Tax Debate May Move to Ballot

Commentary from the Sacramento Bee Millions of Californians will be paying billions of dollars in local government and school property taxes this week. The exercise will be repeated next spring as the second semi-annual property tax installment payment comes due and the grand total for the 2015-16 fiscal year will be somewhere north of $55… Read more »

Climate Change Conference Fall Out: “…Never Underestimate Coercive Power of Government,” Says Brown

One of the goals of Californians who traveled to Paris for climate talks this week was to showcase green-energy businesses that are succeeding in the state. But it was the “coercive power” of government for which Gov. Jerry Brown was seeking credit. Regulations, he said at an event with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer at an… Read more »