How Twee Can It Be? Have a Look-See

Nineteen states have created health insurance marketplaces like California as part of the Affordable Care Act, which kicks in October 1.

Half the states are electing to use a federal marketplace where their residents can shop for insurance.

Not all state exchanges are like “Covered California,” the Golden State’s version. 

Consider “Cover Oregon.”

Like California, Cover Oregon is conducting an outreach campaign to encourage residents without coverage to buy some before March 31.    Read more »



Not a Moment Too Soon

New car dealers will still be able to sell “pre-owned vehicles” without replacing their “brake friction materials,” under legislation signed September 27 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

In English: New car dealers won’t have to install new brake pads on used cars they buy and resell after 2014.

Dealers were afraid they might be required to do so under a 2010 bill requiring less copper content in brake pads sold in California.    Read more »



New Law Allows Artisan Distillers to Charge for Tastings

Small distilleries of artisan spirits such as bourbon, whiskey and fruit-based liqueurs like limoncello can offer up to six paid tastings under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry brown September 26.

Nancy Skinner

Effective January 1, 2014, the bill — AB 933 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat – lifts a current ban on distilleries charging for tastings as wineries and breweries do.      Read more »


Remembering George Zenovich 1922-2013

Remembering George Zenovich 1922-2013

In this 2006 interview by the state court’s “Legacy Project,” the former Assemblyman, senator, appellate justice and stand-up bass player from Fresno talks about his life and career.

Zenovich  died September 25. He was 91.     Read more »



Wage Increase Tightens Weave of California’s Social Fabric, Governor Says

California’s minimum hourly wage will rise from $8 to $10 between now and January 1, 2016 under legislation signed Sept. 25 in Oakland by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Restaurant owners and other businesses decried the increase, saying it would boost their bottom line and dampen economic growth.

In Los Angeles prior to the Bay Area bill signing, the Democratic governor portrayed the $2 increase as an agent of social change.    Read more »



Never Judge the Chickenshitedness of a Bill by Its Advisory Committee

 By Greg Lucas

Sacramento News-Review, September 5, 2013 — With few exceptions, things in the Legislature are at least as chickenshit as they appear. Usually more.

No matter how petty the motivation for some legislative act seems, the real cause is pettier. A “no” vote is less likely to be sparked by some lofty ideological schism than the author of the bill neglecting to compliment the other legislator on their latest dye job.    Read more »



When to Hold ’em, When to Fold ’em


“The smarter side to take in a bidding war is often the losing side.”

–Warren Buffett


     Read more »



State Economy Largely Unchanged In August, Brown Says

 “California experienced a slight uptick in the unemployment rate in July, ending 23 consecutive months of decline. However, the number of jobs continued to rise and the real estate market continued to improve.”

So begins the September 2013 Finance Bulletin of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance, which covers July economic activity and August revenue collections.    Read more »



California’s First Highway Goes “Unscenic”

A 37-mile stretch of Inland Empire freeway is no longer part of the state’s network of “scenic” highways under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

It’s the first time since the California Scenic Highway program was created in 1963 that a section of the roadway has been removed from the program.    Read more »



A Tale of Two State Capitols

Tennessee’s Capitol in Nashville  — one of only 11 state capitols that doesn’t have a dome* — was completed in 1859, more than one year before construction began on California’s Capitol on December 4, 1860.

The cornerstone of the Greek revival structure was laid on July 4, 1845. Dominating a hill along Charlotte Ave.    Read more »