Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on the Part-Time Legislature

Should California be more like Texas? That's one of the questions explored in this Sacramento Bee article on the part-time Legislature initiative. It turns out, by the way, that the per capita amount Texans spend on their legislature is more than in California, even though it meets only every other year.

Monday, September 28, 2009

State and Local Residency Requirements

Here is an interesting article from the Los Angeles Times concerning an investigation of Sen Roderick Wright and the interplay of state and local residency requirements for public office.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Privacy Interest Doesn't Trump Disclosure of Medical Records

In Manela v. Superior Court (here), the Court of Appeal has held that the State's interest in protecting the children of divorcing parents trumps the privacy interest of a father in his own, non-privileged medical records. In this divorce proceeding, the wife contended that the husband suffered from seizures that limited his ability to have custody of their child. She sought her ex's medical records from two doctors. The court granted discovery as to one doctor, because the husband had been examined by the doctor in the wife's presence, and had therefore waived the doctor-patient privilege, but denied discovery as to the other doctor. Then the Court held that although the husband had a protectible privacy interest in the medical records that were no longer privileged, that interest was outweighed by the state's interest in protecting the child in determining custody

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Briefs in Line Item Veto Case

Here are more briefs in the line item veto case: the petition in intervention filed by the legislative intervenors (here) and the amicus brief filed by Children Now(here).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Court Issues OSC in Line-Item Veto Case

The Court of Appeal in San Francisco has issued an order to show cause in the line item veto case, setting a briefing schedule and stating that the case will be set for oral argument. Here is a link to the docket, which contains the text of the order. Here is a link to the AG's opposition to the petition and here is a link to the supporting request for judicial notice.

Tax Like Libertarians, Spend Like Socialists

That's the message of this article from the Sacramento Bee describing the effects of ballot box budgeting. Nothing new, but a useful summary. Meanwhile this article from the Bee catalogs various proposed solutions to California's recurrent fiscal woes, and this article, also from the Bee, focuses on the two-thirds requirement to adopt a budget.

Monday, September 21, 2009

No Procedural Due Process For Disappointed Landowner

In Las Lomas Land Company v. City of Los Angeles (here), a city decided not to proceed with a project before completing environmental review. The developer sued, contending (among other things) that the city had violated its right to procedural due process under the California Constitution. The court rejected the claim. To state a claim for a procedural due process violation under the California Constitution, the plaintiff must allege the deprivation of a property interest or benefit that is conferred by statute. (in this the state clause is broader than the federal clause, which is limited to liberty and property interests.) There was no such statutory benefit in this case because the landowner had no statutory right to have the city continue to conduct environmental review of a project that it no longer wanted to complete.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Opposition to Part-Time Legislature Initiative

The same populist backlash that brought us term limits now want to give California a part-time Legislature. But an opposition group is forming, says the Sacramento Bee (here). To improve the measure's chances, the initiative now includes an always-popular legislative pay cut. It probably passes the single-subject rule, but just makes a bad idea worse.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweeping Tax Changes?

The Sacramento Bee reports here on the "Commission on the 21st Century Economy," another attempt to escape the messiness and difficulty of political change. The majority seems willing to sacrifice tax progressivity in exchange for decreasing volatility. No mention in the article of a "split roll" that would eliminate Prop. 13's benefits for commercial property. Here is the corresponding report from the Los Angeles Times.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Little Support For "Major" Constitutional Changes

That's what the PPIC reports, according to this story from the Los Angeles Times. There's more support for lowering the number of legislative votes necessary to pass a budget and for the creation of a property tax "split roll." Here is a link to the PPIC report itself.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

HJTA Seeks To Change Assessment Ballot Procedures

Here is a link to an article by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association on SB 321, a bill it has sponsored to "increase transparency" in assessment elections. It has been approved by the Legislature. Here is a link to the bill.