California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced her new “Floor Team” today. These Assembly offices run the day-to-day business of the floor and are crucial to ensuring the house is run efficiently. For better context, the Assembly votes and passes on thousands of
Via Huffington Post: ‘Drinking And Talking’ Learns How Lobbyists Make And Scare Friends In Washington. Great concept by Huffington Post and actually way more interesting than what goes on at HuffPost Live. Best line for came from lobbying superstar Heather Podesta:
What happens when you add up all the cash on hand of the California statewide candidates and compared them among parties? If you’re a Republican, you may want to look the other way. Using cash on hand data reported on July 31 to the California Secretary of State, Democrats hold onto $33.2 million compared to the Republicans $420,000. Not a typo.
LOTS OF DATA, LOTS OF CHARTS! This morning the California Employment Development Department released it latest labor market information data. The data shows improvement in the Golden State’s labor market with the seasonally adjusted unemployment dropping to 7.6 percent, a level last seen in August 2008. The data also contained small improvements in the labor force as 4,600 Californians entered the labor force. Total state employment rose 39,800 to 17.2 million and unemployment fell by 35,200 to a total of 1.42 million.
The retirement announcement by Associate Justice Marvin Baxter adds one more State Supreme Court vacancy for Governor Jerry Brown to fill. Justice Kennard announced her plans to retire last year. Brown will not only make history as the longest serving California governor, he will also lead all other Golden State governors in high court appointments surpassing Pat Brown and George Deukmejian.
Simply put, there was no language in front of the conferees and this was not in the January or May Revise proposals leading up to the debate. It is brand new and been public for maybe 48 hours. Really a perfect example of how broken the State’s budget process has become.
As the Legislature prepares to pass Governor Brown’s last budget of this term it’s worth noting how it compares to his previous three spending plans. Using the numbers from Department of Finance, I was able to craft a quick chart showing all four years of spending (4th being tentative) by major program areas. This is a really simple illustration that doesn’t give the obsessive budget wonks much information about the individual state programs where the real policy takes place. So just consider this either a primer, refresher, or just something to look at.
There’s a whole lots of data analysis and number crunching that occurs during California’s budget process. Infographics continue to be the best way to explain complex data to voters in clean, accessible ways. Not too many organizations have used infographics to explain California fiscal state, but that is changing and for the better.
As the California Legislature debates raising the minimum wage, I thought it was worth plotting the history of the state’s minimum wage (as adopted in law) against the federal minimum wage to give the policy discussion some context on how the Golden State compares. I also added SB 935 by Senator Mark Leno which is the focus of this year’s debate.
The 2013-14 Budget: California Spending Plan. The LAO’s annual California Spending Plan publication includes detailed descriptions of this year’s state budget package, as approved by the Legislature and the Governor in June and early July. Included are highlights from the