Calif. Legislature approves renewable energy rules
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 11:54
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 7:18 a.m.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California lawmakers have approved a bill that would create the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the nation, giving utilities less than 10 years to receive one-third of their power from wind, solar and other alternative sources.
The bill's author, Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto, says it maintains California's place as a national leader in clean energy, provides environmental benefits and will create jobs. He says the legislation also protects ratepayers from excessive costs.
Critics say the bill forces utilities to turn to more expensive sources of energy, which will drive up business costs and hurt the state's competitiveness.
Booth at Tax Day Rally in Sacramento
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:05
CA BUDGET CRISIS
Saturday, 19 March 2011 11:14
The latest on California politics and government
March 18, 2011
Both houses approved the main budget bill, Senate Bill 69, but they plan to hold onto the legislation until they know whether they can get additional revenues to pay for it. That likely means until June.
However, the two houses will send 15 other budget "trailer" bills with cuts to Gov. Jerry Brown. Which raises this question: How can the governor sign budget trailer bills before signing the actual budget bill? As the word "trailer" suggests, trailer bills are hitched to the main budget bill.
The answer lies in Senate Bill 84, which specifies the new trailer bills are tied to last year's 2010-11 Budget Act, not the 2011-12 Budget Act that just passed. It's a clever maneuver; some of the new trailer bills were approved on a majority vote using Proposition 25 powers that didn't exist when the 2010-11 Budget Act was approved.
Of the $14 billion in solutions approved this week, $9 billion are in the trailer bills, according to fiscal details provided by the state Senate. Most of the savings won't start until July, but some cuts in health and welfare programs can begin 90 days after Brown signs them
CA Helping Japan
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 March 2011 17:38 Friday, 18 March 2011 17:41
California Helping Japan
As Californians, we are no strangers to the the constant danger of earthquakes. Our hearts break for the citizens of Japan who are suffering from the ongoing effects of last Friday’s tragedies.
While Japan is a modern, resilient nation with the means to rebuild over the long term, the short term humanitarian needs are overwhelming. International aid is desperately needed.
I am donating directly to the Red Cross in Japan so that the aid is is applied as quickly and efficiently as possible. Below you will find links to several organizations that are working to ensure the best possible outcome for Japan and her citizens.
Doctors Without Borders
Save the Children
Japanese Red Cross Society
American Red Cross
Another good way to donate and effect an immediate result is to Shelterbox USA. I've donated through the link below as part of a group fundraiser. Shelterboxes, if you aren't familiar with them, are quite literally a lifesaver. (From Annie and thanks for the suggestion)
Legislature Reaches a Deal
Friday, 18 March 2011 08:53
March 17, 2011
Both houses of the California Legislature passed the main budget bill today and have now solved roughly half of the state's $26.6 billion deficit, mostly through cuts and taking funds from special state accounts. But nobody's celebrating yet.
The Legislature has left unsettled two of the thorniest issues in Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal -- the elimination of redevelopment agencies and a special election asking voters to extend higher taxes on sales, income and vehicles.
Without those changes, the Legislature will have to cut deeper or find new pots of money other than taxes. So far, Brown and Democrats remain focused on finding enough GOP votes to place taxes on the ballot.
Thursday didn't provide much hope for an immediate bipartisan solution. Tempers flared in both houses Thursday, and the partisan divide was as evident as ever.
Democrats amended various budget bills to require only a majority vote, using powers granted to them by voters in last year's Proposition 25. That led to party-line votes throughout the day.
Meanwhile, debates in both houses led to Republicans asking for apologies from Democrats. In the Senate, rhetoric overheated during debate on a bill redirecting inmates from state prisons to local jails and shifting parole functions to local governments.
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