Tax Performance Continues to Amaze…Mostly

I remember a time, not too long ago, when the State Controller’s monthly report of cash receipts consistently induced shudders, giving us a collective chance to cringe at just how bad the fiscal situation was.

No longer.

Today’s report (narrative version, nerd version) states that California’s three major taxes beat recent estimates by almost a billion dollars, most of that ($721.7 million) due to the income… Continue reading

How to Solve the Special Elections Problem

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 of the vacancy. The appointee would have to be from the same political party… Continue reading

More on Innovation and Smart Risk-Taking Strategies

The conversation about innovation at the local level continues!

As we reported on this blog last year, the Institute for Local Government’s board of directors has been pondering what supports and what dissuades innovation at the local level.

A key disincentive to innovation is the unforgiving attitude both the media and the public can have about new strategies that don’t work… Continue reading

Seeing Counties’ Best Practices First Hand

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days last week in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to learn about four very innovative programs. A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday in Tulare County meeting with teens and learning how one county program is enhancing their lives. Continue reading

Do You Have Trust Issues?

I went to two events this week that I think are worthy of some thought and discussion. The first provided some real insight into how government ought to, and often does work. What I learned at the second event—well, it is cause for concern for anybody connected with government, business, or the news media. And taken together—let’s just say that the content of the second event doesn’t make a lot… Continue reading