Jerry Brown

How Jerry Brown got us here

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Jerry Roberts, who has long been among the best political reporters in California, has a nice, detailed piece on CalBuzz about Jerry Brown's history and legacy -- and how California got into the mess that the Guv is trying to get us out of. Read more »

What will Jerry do?

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A few good bills have emerged from the madness of the end of the Legislative session in Sacramento -- including measures by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and Sen. Leland Yee -- and now we have to wait for the governor, who isn't thinking much beyond Prop. 30.Read more »

Governor signs high-speed rail funding bill at Transbay Terminal

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The mood was jubilant at the Transbay Terminal construction site in downtown San Francisco this afternoon as political leaders gathered to watch Gov. Jerry Brown sign Senate Bill 1029, the hard-won recent authorization for selling the first $4.7 billion in state bonds to fund the California High-Speed Rail Project.Read more »

Taxes and pension reform

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Our friends at CalBuzz, who are almost always right, have a point when they say that the right wing is going to use the lack of comprehensive pension reform against Jerry Brown's tax measure in the fall. That's unless the Legislature does something productive in August, which is always a challenge.

But whenever I hear this kind of analysis, I think about some of the political campaigns I've seen -- the tobacco tax is an excellent example -- and I wonder: Will it really make a difference?Read more »

Are California taxes fair?

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Let's start with an assumption that I think most sane (non-libertarian, non-right-wing-GOP) people agree on: A tax system ought to be based on ability to pay, ought to avoid as much as possible special-interest breaks and should avoid the appearance and the reality of unfairness.Read more »

The GOP has no answer on the state budget

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The Republican leaders in Sacramento have absolutely no solutions to the state budget problems. They're against the guv's tax plan for November, they're against raising any new revenue, they have their facts completely wrong -- and they have no alternatives to offer.Read more »

The really bad news about the state budget

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There's no way to put a good spin on the new budget figures released by the Guv. No matter what happens in November, people who need help are going to get screwed in this state. Public schools will lose money. Health-care for the poor will be near collapse. Cities and counties will struggle to preserve the local safety nets. It's just a disaster, and there's no other way to look at it.Read more »

Jerry Brown says everyone on death row is guilty

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I'm glad the governor is so confident that there are no innocent people on death row.

On one level, I don't care -- I'm against the death penalty period, and I don't care how horribly guilty the folks who face execution are. Of course, many of them, probably most, were severely mentally ill at the time of the crimes, but that doens't seem to matter to the gov either.Read more »

Gov. Brown backs high-speed rail and other big ideas

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California Gov. Jerry Brown this morning used a big portion of his annual State of the State speech to promote the construction of a high-speed rail system for California – a project that has been under attack by conservatives, as we reported in this week's paper – chiding those who believe the state can't do big things anymore.Read more »

The good news about the mid-year state cuts

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Well, there isn't much good news, really -- Gov. Jerry just announced another $1 billion in cuts, mostly to education and services for the disabled and poor. Check out the state's priorities: $429.6 million in cuts to education, $225 million in cuts to MediCal, In-Home Supportive Services and developmental services -- and a whopping $20 million in cuts to the prison system.Read more »