Index
Thursday
Feb042016

SACRAMENTO: Legislative Analyst Office report, state budget, tax revenue estimates?: "California revenue dips, possible sign of 'revenue deterioration' to come" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California revenue dips, possible sign of 'revenue deterioration' to come" - From the Bee:

It’s been a heady ride for California finances in recent years, with budget revenue outpacing estimates by billions of dollars, buoyed along by the state’s healthy economic growth in 2015. Could that trend be coming to an end?

Preliminary tax revenue for January stands at a net $167 million less than estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, according to a report Wednesday by the Legislature’s non-partisan fiscal analyst.  Income taxes came in $260 million less than budget estimates, preliminary numbers show, with corporation tax revenue $93 million above estimates. The income tax dip likely reflects a modest slowdown in economic growth and the lackluster stock market, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported.

“Five months of 2015-16 income tax collections remain, including the key income tax months of April and June,” the LAO writes. But “the possibility now exists for some revenue deterioration between now and the May Revision.  “Our biggest concern is that continued stock market weakness could affect (personal income tax) taxpayers’ first two quarterly estimated payments for 2016 in April and June,” it concluded.

Thursday
Feb042016

L.A. CITY HALL: Oversight of oil operations within city limits, editorial: "It's past time for L.A. to seriously regulate its oil and gas wells" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Citiy of Los Angeles, petroleum administrator position?)....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "It's past time for L.A. to seriously regulate its oil and gas wells" - From the LAT:

For decades, city officials in Los Angeles have taken a hands-off approach to oil and gas drilling, allowing companies to operate and even expand near homes and schools with little scrutiny. Now faced with increasing pressure from community and environmental groups, elected officials are beginning to step up their oversight of roughly 1,000 active wells within the city limits. They have a lot more to do.

This week City Council President Herb Wesson called for immediately hiring a full-time expert to oversee drilling operations and coordinate agencies responsible for regulating exploration and extraction. Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Times his office is already interviewing candidates for the job. The city had a "petroleum administrator" in the 1960s, '70s and '80s who'd been responsible for addressing issues related to oil extraction. But the position has gone unfilled in recent decades, leaving no coordination in City Hall on oil and gas issues, no tracking of past oil drilling permits and no follow-up on conditions imposed on oil operations to protect their neighbors.

Yet, community groups say, the city continued to "rubber stamp" plans to drill new wells and expand operations with no environmental review and inadequate safeguards for the neighborhood, particularly in low-income and minority communities in South L.A. and Wilmington . . . . . . . .

Even city staff in a 2014 Planning Department report acknowledged there was "significant room for improvement" in the way L.A. regulates oil and gas activity . . . . . . . .

Wesson's proposal to hire a new oil administrator is a good first step, but ............

Thursday
Feb042016

L.A. CITY HALL: Port of Los Angeles, pollution/emissions, increased oversight?: "Officials seek action to correct emissions breaches at Port of Los Angeles" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Port of Los Angeles, terminals, pollution reduction?)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Officials seek action to correct emissions breaches at Port of Los Angeles" - From the LAT:

Elected officials are demanding swift action and increased oversight at the Port of Los Angeles following disclosure that a second major shipping company has been allowed to skirt requirements to reduce harmful diesel emissions.

Port officials failed to require two large terminal operators, TraPac and China Shipping, to comply with air quality improvement measures the city adopted years ago, including mandates that massive cargo ships shut down their diesel engines and plug into shore-based electricity while at the docks. Instead . . . . . . . .

TraPac's failure to meet the requirement is "a huge breach of faith," said U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles), who as an L.A. City Council member helped negotiate the shore power requirement as a condition for allowing TraPac to expand operations at the city-owned port in 2009. Hahn renewed a call she made two months ago for independent oversight of the port after The Times reported that port officials had secretly given China Shipping permission to ignore the shore power mandate. "It's clear the port cannot police itself," Hahn said Wednesday morning.

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In a written statement on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said . . . . . . . .

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City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who chairs the committee that oversees the port, said he is "extremely concerned" and plans to question port officials at a public hearing this month ..............

***ALSO:

* Daily Breeze:  "Rep. Janice Hahn calls on Port of L.A. to resurrect community advisory panel"

Wednesday
Feb032016

POLITICS/MEDIA/SPORTS: NFL, Raiders, Las Vegas?: "Sheldon Adelson, the NFL and Las Vegas: A perfect match?" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Michael Hilltzik):  "Sheldon Adelson, the NFL and Las Vegas: A perfect match?" - From the LAT:

Every so often, nature brings together two prospective partners who truly deserve each other. Such a match made in heaven is the alliance of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and the National Football League. 

No deal has yet been done, but Adelson reportedly met last week with Mark Davis, owner of the NFL Oakland Raiders, who are hankering to leave their hometown. Adelson's gaming and resort company, Las Vegas Sands, is leading an investment group proposing to build a $1.2-billion domed stadium for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, within a block or two of the Las Vegas Strip. The venue, obviously, would also accommodate a pro team.

Here's the part that makes this a quintessential NFL money grab: According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, two-thirds of the financing would come from the public.

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The most intriguing aspect of the stadium proposal involves . . . . . . . .

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Among other things, the threat to transfer the Raiders to Las Vegas would give Davis more leverage with Oakland and the league itself in his quest for a better hometown deal. The NFL shot down the Raiders' proposal to relocate to Los Angeles last month, so the team is still looking for an alternative to its current home. What better option than to move into a new stadium for which the public puts up most of the cash?

Wednesday
Feb032016

AFTERNOON MEMOS: "State Senate leader de Leon picks Clinton -- less sure on marijuana"; commentary (Dan Walters), "Gov. Jerry Brown's two taxes are not alike"; education, "Non-tenure-track faculty at two USC schools approve plan to unionize"; commentary (Dan McSwain), "Why California gasoline is so expensive" ....

***Various items this afternoon from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Gov. Jerry Brown's two taxes are not alike"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "State Senate leader de Leon picks Clinton -- less sure on marijuana"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Non-tenure-track faculty at two USC schools approve plan to unionize"

* San Diego Union-Tribune:  "Why California gasoline is so expensive" - "Government raises cost -- and industry profits -- above U.S. average"