Barbara Boxer and Bill Jones will be reporting their fundraising progress in the US Senate race soon, and both jumped the gun today with press releases in advance of the official filing deadline. The news: Boxer has raised $11 million to date and has $5.9 million on hand for the race ahead. Jones reports raising $1.4 million since his campaign began, and has $200,000 on hand. That obviously wonít do it for the Republican rancher and former Secretary of State. Jones announced that Anne Dunsmore, a veteran Republican fundraiser who has been finance director for Bush-Cheney in California, will be his chief fund-raiser for the Senate race. She has her work cut out for her.
Posted by dweintraub at 3:45 PM
In advance of the April tax returns that will determine the stateís near-term fiscal fate, the treasury is getting a little bit of good news. Audits by the state Board of Equalization have turned up more than $200 million in sales tax payments from the third quarter of last year that hadnít yet been counted in state coffers, and word is that a similar amount or maybe more will materialize from a review of fourth-quarter payments. And while the stateís tax receipts were running $600 million below forecast in January and February, March was more encouraging. Personal income tax receipts were $300 million above forecast for the month. While much of that might be offset by declines in other revenues, thereís at least a ray of hope from two straight months in which tax withholding has exceeded forecasts. In March, the growth in withholding compared to a year ago was nearly double what the Department of Finance had projected -- a sign that the economy is picking up. And tax refunds, which had been running higher than projections, slowed. These trends are too short to put much stock in. But if they continue through April and are accompanied by decent final payments at mid-month, the numbers might be sufficient to let the Schwarzenegger Administration goose their projections just a tad for the coming year with a straight face. Or at least not move them any lower.
Posted by dweintraub at 8:50 AM
Do California companies really leave the state because of high costs and a poor business climate? That's a never-ending question for state policymakers, and one that can't be answered statistically. LA Times business writer Don Lee takes a look at it here, talking to business owners, relocation consultants and recruiters from other states. He concludes that there is evidence for the exodus charge, and his sources suggest that the trickle might become a flood in the years ahead.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:36 AM