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5.28.2010
May Tax Receipts Could Lessen Budget Hole By $500 Million

May Tax Receipts Could Lessen Budget Hole By $500 Million

Although a final tally on refund requests won’t be known until the May 31, it still appears, as of May 28, the state will take in more than it expected for the month.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance estimates net income tax collections of $2 billion for May.

Through May 27, withholding – the tax payments employers take out of employee checks and send to the state – stands at $2.7 billion, according to the Employment Development Department.    Read more »

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5.28.2010
Carpet-Bombing Continues — Campaign Consultants Rejoice

Carpet-Bombing Continues — Campaign Consultants Rejoice

(Editor’s Note: A review on the Secretary of State’s website of the late and $5,000 or more contributions received by the “Yes on 16/ Californians to Protect Our Right to Vote” campaign shows that Pacific Gas & Electric has, so far, donated $50.6 million. Logic suggests such an investment by the investor-owned utility would  likely be made for self-interest rather than a selfless desire to protect voters from profligate decisions by their locally elected representatives.    Read more »

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5.27.2010
When Isn’t A Politician Not a Representative and Vice Versa

When Isn’t A Politician Not a Representative and Vice Versa

(Editor’s Note: Merriam-Webster’s top three definitions of a politician are, in descending order:

“A person experienced in the art or science of government, especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government.”

“A person engaged in party politics as a profession.” And:

“A person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted, reasons.”

Turning again to Merriam-Webster, a “representative,” as used as a noun in this slate mailer is:

“One that represents another or others.”

“One that represents a constituency as a member of a legislative body.”

“A member of the house of representatives of the United States Congress or a state Legislature.”

“One that represents another as agent, deputy, substitute, or delegate usually being invested with the authority of the principal.”

The purpose of the slate mail creator – Citizens for Representative Government 2010 of Redondo Beach – appears to be to use the third, most pejorative definition of politician and contrast that with the fourth definition of representative.    Read more »

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5.26.2010
Healthy May Income Tax Showers Create Budgetary Flowers

Healthy May Income Tax Showers Create Budgetary Flowers

All budget news isn’t grim – tax collections for May appear to be coming in nearly $400 million above estimates.

That helps provide the Legislature and GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with more cash to close the state’s $19.1 billion cash shortfall and pushes off the date when the state’s stream of cash will begin to dry up, estimated now to be mid-to-late August by the Legislative Analyst if no budget is enacted before then.    Read more »

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5.26.2010
Correction…

Correction…

(Editor’s Note:  In the May 25 post below — “It’s What Ducheny Said, Not What Senate Democrats Propose” — the apparently chronically inaccurate chief correspondent of California’s Capitol says Sen. Denise Ducheny is the “dean” of the Legislature. That is not true and the post has been modified accordingly.

As the term is commonly used, “dean” means the sitting lawmaker with the longest amount of state legislative experience.    Read more »

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5.25.2010
It’s What Ducheny Said, Not What Senate Democrats Propose

It’s What Ducheny Said, Not What Senate Democrats Propose

Sen. Denise Ducheny said a number of important things at the May 24 hearing of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee Number 5.

Unfortunately, Ducheny’s reasoned and revealing remarks were largely drowned out by a cacophony of carping by GOP lawmakers and others over the recommendation by Senate Democrats that 25 percent of the state’s $19.1 billion budget shortfall be filled with revenue rather than cuts in social services and health programs.     Read more »

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5.24.2010
An Alternative Computation of the State’s Budget Shortfall

An Alternative Computation of the State’s Budget Shortfall

This is excerpted from the May 24 edition of Cal-TaxReports, published by the California Taxpayers’ Association:

What Is the True Deficit?

The $19.1 billion deficit estimate is comprised of a current year shortfall of $7.7 billion, a budget year shortfall of $10.2 billion and a reserve of $1.2 billion.

However, the estimate is based on the usual budget math of determining what the government would like to spend and comparing that to available revenue.    Read more »

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5.21.2010

Consumers Might Learn the Identity of the “Absentee Florist”

While California isn’t close to closing its $17.9 billion budget gap between revenues and spending commitments, it is a step closer to outlawing “absentee florists.”

For the second legislative session in a row, Assemblywoman Mary Salas is carrying a bill that would prevent a “vendor of floral or ornamental products or services” – as defined – from misrepresenting the location of their business.    Read more »

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