The latest studies, editorials, and investigative reports on issues affecting California’s democracy, economy, and opportunities.
April 3, 2020
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** THE INMATES NOW RUN THE VENICE BEACH ASYLUM
Rent checks were due this week for millions of Californians. However, last Friday, Gov. Newsom issued ([link removed]) an executive order banning evictions statewide through May 31st, so those who cannot pay rent because they’re ill or unemployed are not penalized.
Venice Beach has shut down everything except for homeless encampments. CPC’s Edward Ring explains the numerous consequences that come with the inmates running the Venice Beach asylum. Read more ([link removed]) .
Back in 2006, then-Gov. Schwarzenegger announced the need for California to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in medical equipment to combat the avian flu, large-scale emergencies, and other natural disasters. According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times ([link removed]) , much of the resulting large medical reserve was donated in 2011 after then-Gov. Brown cut off state funds to store and maintain its stockpiles of supplies and mobile hospitals.
On Tuesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported ([link removed]) that Clovis Honoré, President of the San Diego NAACP, had been suspended by the national board. In a one-page letter, the board called his “activities, behavior and conduct detrimental and inimical to the NAACP.” Honoré, who was elected in 2018, believes that the national board is singling him out for helping the San Diego branch of the NAACP pass a resolution with other local chapters to oppose the national NAACP’s call for a moratorium on public charter schools.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, is calling on Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to halt the opening of public charters for the 2020-21 school year due to the coronavirus. Absent from his demand is the fact that one-third of high schoolers ([link removed]) in LAUSD schools are not checking in with their
teachers daily. As CPC contributor Larry Sand points out, government union bosses will not let a crisis go to waste. Read more ([link removed]) .
San Francisco has reduced ([link removed]) its jail population by 25% in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Yet no inmates in San Francisco have tested positive for COVID-19. “What we’re trying to do...is ensure that the jail is only being used for people who present such a serious risk of physical violence that they can’t be safely released,” District Attorney Chesa Boudin said. “The difficult
decisions that we make in the criminal justice system during this moment of crisis have the very real potential to save countless lives.”
Six Bay Area counties have rewritten ([link removed]) their laws to ban the use of reusable bags through May 3rd. The counties, which led the nation in pushing for a ban on single-use plastic bags, are now being forced to recognize the reality of their actions: reusable bags breed germs. CPC fellow Edward Ring applauds this decision and explains why this is the right call. Read more ([link removed]) .
It might be a while until Californians are able to receive unemployment benefits according to state analysts. The Sacramento Bee reports ([link removed]) , “Due to the limitations of (the Employment Development Department’s) current information technology systems, changing (unemployment insurance) benefit levels—for instance, by increasing the maximum weekly benefit amount or setting a minimum weekly benefit floor—could take as long as a year to implement.” Perhaps the EDD will finally beat out the DMV as the most hated government agency in California this year?
California cities like El Cerrito have been unprepared for bear markets for years. Thanks in large part to massive spending on items like boutique pensions, it's uncertain how the Bay Area will weather the latest storm. CPC contributor Marc Joffe offers a path forward for California’s most financially distressed cities. Read more ([link removed]) .
The University of California announced ([link removed]) Wednesday that it will eliminate SAT test scores and letter grades for required courses, saying that the “grave disruption” to schools during the coronavirus crisis calls for maximum flexibility in evaluating students. Both the UC and Cal State systems also said they will suspend the letter grade requirements and honor admission through fall 2020.
Pensions for state and local government employees in California are three to five times as costly as Social Security, and at least twice as costly as the Federal Retirement System. Thanks in large part to the defined benefit feature, government pensions have become not only underfunded but also increasingly insolvent. With the coronavirus increasing unfunded liabilities statewide, CPC fellow Edward Ring offers solutions for how California can enact meaningful pension reform. Read more ([link removed]) .
There is nothing more certain than the California Environmental Quality Act being used to greenmail, bully or block developers. This week, CPC contributor Chris Reed writes about an effort by a grocery store to stave off competition by invoking CEQA and using a citizen’s group to do it. Read more ([link removed]) .
Both the United States and California are at a crossroads. Having accumulated vast debt and prioritizing growth in the financial sector, large swaths of our economy have been crippled as a result of coronavirus. CPC fellow Edward Ring offers his recommendations on how we can be better stewards of what we’ve been given. Read more ([link removed]) .
CPC President Will Swaim and CPC Board Member David Bahnsen discuss the heroes of the coronavirus crisis, California's pension problem, and their contempt for partisan politics. Listen here ([link removed]) .
Finally, are you affected by AB 5, California’s new law that’s reduced people’s ability to work as independent contractors or in the gig economy? If you have been hurt by AB 5, we would like to know your story. Please contact me at .
As always, if you’d like to join our movement to save California, we invite you to support us. Click here to donate to CPC ([link removed]) .
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The California Policy Center promotes prosperity for all Californians through limited government and individual liberty.
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