It’s near-certain that California voters will decide in 2016 whether to extend the temporary sales and income taxes they passed in 2012. Meanwhile, hundreds of local tax and bond issues this year will take the temperature of voters vis-à-vis tax increases.
California’s gasoline prices have been falling due to higher production and lower demand for crude oil, but gas prices will rise early next year when fuel is included in the state’s cap-and-trade program. How much? No one knows. And the political fallout is also uncertain.
Six years ago, in response to the Legislature’s bipartisan gerrymander of California’s legislative and congressional districts, aimed at freezing the status quo and eliminating competition for seats, voters created an independent commission to redraw legislative districts, and those of the Board of Equalization.
The notion of recasting California’s 58 counties and thousands of special districts that deal with water, fire protection, parks, hospitals, mosquito abatement and many other services into multipurpose regional governments has kicked around for at least a half-century.
Under a proposed plan, a felon would be considered a recidivist only if convicted of a new felony or misdemeanor committed within three years of release from custody or of being placed under parole or probation supervision.
Dan Walters' column appears in dozens of California newspapers. He joined the Sacramento Union’s Capitol bureau in 1975 and in 1981 began writing the state’s only daily newspaper column devoted to California political, economic and social events. He and the column moved to The Sacramento Bee in 1984. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-321-1195. Twitter: @WaltersBee