‘Incentive to create havoc’: Self-driving cars set to turn streets into gridlocked hell – study

RT – excerpt

Driverless cars could spark a gridlock nightmare to avoid paying for parking, a new study warns. Autonomous vehicles could even gang up to create traffic delays, allowing them to continuously cruise around instead of park.

The idea sounds like a smart one: Avoid ever having to pay for parking by getting your car to simply continue to drive around the block until you’re ready to take off again. However, this seemingly savvy hack could turn our urban streets into traffic-clogged hellscapes, roads flooded with driverless cars, making it a challenge to actually get anywhere…(more)

Major Regional Housing Plan – CASA Compact discussion on KQED Forum

Re: KQED Forum on CASA (audio track included)Monday at 9:00 am

Host: Rachael Myrow and Guests: Susan Kirsch, Founder, Livable California;
Michael Covarrubias, CASA Co-Chair, CEO, TMG Partners and Guy Marzorati, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk.

See https://www.kqed.org/forum/2010101869236/major-housing-plan-gets-approval-from-mtc-association-of-bay-area-governments

Who will pay for the CASA Compact programs if they are implemented? Who will finance a new regional development organization composed of unelected officials with authority to collecting new taxes? It feels as if the major theme is to use our taxes against us to create a dense living situation that we oppose.

California legislator revives bill to boost apartment complexes near transit

: latimes – excerpt

A California state senator has revived a major effort to boost homebuilding near transit, a proposal he says is necessary to address the state’s housing affordability and climate change challenges that have only deepened since his initial bill failed earlier this year.

Under the new proposal from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), developers would be allowed to build four- to five-story apartment complexes in neighborhoods surrounding Los Angeles Metro stations, Bay Area Rapid Transit and other rail stops around the state. The legislation would also ease some local restrictions on building homes near frequently used bus stops… (more)

Wiener misses the major objection that the opposition had to SB 287 with his new SB 50 bill. The primary problem we as independent taxpaying voters have with these bills is the fact that they are meant to override local government jurisdiction over these matters.

Some of our more honest state representatives have described to us the importance of human contact with their constituents in order to serve them when they are working at the local level. When they go to Sacramento or Washington that close relationship goes away. That is the reason we need to keep the local jurisdictions powerful to provide for the public.

The headiness that takes over once the representation becomes too general and too widespread is not healthy for our republic or our democratic government order. We need to stay local in order to solve the local problems and housing and transportation do not exist in Sacramento or in Washington they exists on all our local streets.

The work that has been done in the name of affordable housing and public transit has not solved our problems. Over the last six or seven years the state has gone into a sad condition of economic and social unrest because the state government fails to recognize the problem is a local one and needs to support the local efforts not hinder them.

Let us start with the CPUC. That entity has done considerable damage to our state by supporting corporate profits over public desires, needs, and services. We were dealing with the Ubers and Lyfts, and their ilk, but nothing compares to the looming power utility crisis that may befall us due to the CPUC’s lack of proper regulation of the power industry. We are looking at a possible failure of that system and calling on our new governor to do something about that problem that needs to be fixed before inviting any more people to move into the state.

People do not live by housing alone, as SB 50 seems to indicate. Just pile them into housing and somehow we will find the water, power, and food to keep it all going. We need a time out now and passing SB 50 is not the answer.

The YIMBYs who support Wiener did not win in his home town and many of his constituents want to recall him. That should give some people pause when they consider supporting this new bill.


Key senator vows to block climate deal that would aid polluters

By Julie Cart : CalMatters – excerpt

An irritated chairman of a state Senate Budget subcommittee says he intends to thwart a recent move by the state Air Resources Board that could give California’s biggest polluters a cushion of more than $300 million.

In a sharp rebuke of the board, Sen. Bob Wieckowski said Thursday that he’ll insert language into next year’s budget bill instructing regulators to reduce the free compensation they’re giving oil refineries and other industries covered under cap and trade, California’s signature climate policy.

Addressing a hearing, the Fremont Democrat read aloud from last week’s CALmatters story detailing the air board’s July meeting, where it unanimously voted to consider abandoning a scheduled reduction in free pollution allowances given to state industries—against the advice of its own staff and outside experts.

The board’s move came on the heels of a much-celebrated deal the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown struck to pass legislation extending the state’s cap-and-trade program to the year 2030. The bill’s author acknowledged that the fight to get a two-thirds vote required a number of deals—and that the air board’s later move was one of them.

“It was part of the deal to make sure we could get a (two-thirds) vote to extend the cap-and-trade program,” Democratic Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia of Coachella told CALmatters... (more)

When do the California citizens get to vote come in on these tax deals that will raise the costs of transporting necessary products such as food. Now they want to tax our water? What next? A tax on all citizens who live in the state? A tax to come in and out of the state for releasing carbon dioxide into the air when we breathe?

The attempt to recall Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, backed by a consortium of voters critical of Newman’s vote this year to raise the gasoline tax,  raised the necessary signatures, but, is being threatened by a new bill being formulated to stop it. These are the same people who are removing local rights to determine how our cities and towns are developed by imposing state levels.

Last-minute water tax can’t be justified however worthy the cause
Opinion: Tax water to provide clean water to Californians whose supply is contaminated

‘Right to Vote on Taxes’ Case Now Before California Supreme Court

By Jon Coupal : capoliticalreview – excerpt

Maybe not CEQA but this is related

Last week the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could determine whether the right to vote on local taxes, which is constitutionally guaranteed by both Propositions 13 and 218, will cease to exist.

The case, California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, at first glance seems limited to a narrow technical question: When a local initiative seeks to impose a new tax, does the issue need to be put to the voters at the next general election or can the proponents, relying on other laws, force a special election? But in answering that question, the lower court ruled that taxes proposed by initiative are exempt from the taxpayer protections contained in the state constitution, such as the provision dictating the timing of the election.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), which filed the petition seeking Supreme Court review, was alarmed because the constitution’s taxpayer protections include the right to vote on taxes. If local initiatives are exempt from those protections, then public agencies could easily deny taxpayers their right to vote on taxes by colluding with outside interests to propose taxes in the form of an initiative, then adopting the initiative without an election.

The import of the case was not lost on those who dislike Proposition 13’s requirement that local special taxes – those imposed for specific purposes – receive a two-thirds vote of the local electorate. For example, backers of a tax to subsidize a new sports arena in San Diego were hoping that the lower court ruling would allow them to impose a special tax with only a simple majority vote…

Taxpayers of all stripes and interests will be watching this case very closely. California is already a hostile place for taxpayers so losing the right to vote on local taxes would simply be adding to the pain… (more) 

This piece was originally published by HJTA.org

Guest comments:

The bottom line is the tax-and-spend folks are not happy with Proposition 13 or Proposition 218 (which closed gaps on Prop 13), and activist judges like to knock down “misguided” voters’ wishes.  So, the 4th District Court of Appeals said that Proposition 218 does not apply to voter initiatives; it applies only to government-originated initiatives.

Say I am the Restoration Authority and want a $500 parcel tax.  I team up with the Bay Area Council, the BAC pays a gazillion signature gatherers, and places a voter initiative on the ballot at a special election timed so there is very little voter turnout and special-interest activists can vote my measure in with 50+1% of the yes vote.  
So the HJTA, said “What!? Not so fast!” and took the case to the CA Supreme Court.

This bizarre decision by the 4th District Court merited an article on the Nine-County Coalition website.  Mention is also on the NCC Facebook Page.

The 4th District Court ruling is bizarre, and if allowed to stand it would eliminate the intent of Proposition 218.  Any proponent, including governing bodies, could team up with powerful special interest lobbies to pass a tax via an initiative.  We recommend that voters who wish to retain their power to decide how and by whom they will be taxed support the efforts of the organizations working to overturn this 4th District Court ruling.

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