I admit, there are times when I wish it was a little simpler to use my smart phone to just make a phone call. But for every time I struggle to find my way back to the keyboard, there are at least five times when I am thankful for this app, or that function that makes my life easier. What was the name of that restaurant again? Is it on 9th or 10th street? Where is the nearest gas station? Smart phones are supposed to make our lives easier with that type of information at our fingertips, and now thanks to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, your smart phone can even make it easier for you to participate as a voter!
During the budget process the Legislature, famous for passing the buck—or the bill in this case—reviews mandates it has placed on local agencies. By law, Sacramento is required to fund any mandate it imposes on local agencies but when the state’s coffers run dry the Legislature routinely suspends or repeals specific mandates and uses the money for something else. The state currently owes about $1.8 billion to local governments for state mandated programs.
This is not fair to local governments which are then are left with some tough choices. Do they suspend programs on which constituents have come to rely or just cobble together some dollars and run the program on a string?
In a recent Sacramento Bee, the prolific political writer Dan Walters discusses the problem of legislative vacancies and how to fill them, focusing on a proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Senator Steinberg has introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment 16, which would require the Governor to fill legislative vacancies by appointment within 21 days [...]
The Secretary of State just released the official list of parties that are qualified for this June’s statewide primary. No surprises here, although we might be forgiven for sometimes forgetting that 1 in 16 California voters is registered with a party whose name doesn’t start with a D or an R (specifically, an L, a [...]
More and more, Californians are turning to the initiative process to propose and enact sweeping changes to public policy in everything from taxes and school funding to social policies including immigration and gay marriage. As we have seen with Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage, the initiatives do not always stand the test of [...]