| Aug 27, 2009
Here's a way to start fixing the state Capitol. Maybe also repair some city halls and county courthouses.
The bipartisan reform group California Forward has proposed a modest, reasonable and doable set of significant changes in how state and local...
| Aug 13, 2013
| 7:40 PM
You've paid your taxes for decades, but your crumbling street hasn't been repaved since the Eisenhower administration. So you ask City Hall to step up, and the response goes something like this:
Sure, we'll fix the street. But only if,...
| Jul 3, 2013
| 6:40 PM
SACRAMENTO — July 4th. American democracy. Majority rule.
That's my cheap way of getting into a column about making approval of local public works projects more democratic.
For a very long time in California, a small minority of voters —...
| Jun 12, 2013
| 5:18 PM
SACRAMENTO — The Capitol's three most powerful politicians danced a victory jig Tuesday to celebrate the pending passage of an on-time, balanced state budget. And they did deserve to enjoy the moment.
Spiffed up in dark suits, buttoned jackets and...
| Jan 23, 2013
| 9:20 PM
SACRAMENTO — Imagine a lawmaker being allowed to read a proposed law before voting on it.
For that matter — and this seems like a stretch — try to envision the public being offered an opportunity to express its view on a bill before...
| Nov 7, 2012
| 5:11 PM
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and fellow Democrats have scored a stunning, historic victory in California. But they should have been careful what they wished for.
Brown sold his Proposition 30 tax increase largely on the premise that it would...
| Sep 26, 2010
California's magnificent state parks are falling apart fast.
The budgeting system for state government is in shambles and practically dysfunctional.
Proposition 21 on the November ballot would fix the parks. But it would pound another kink into...
| Dec 6, 2012
SACRAMENTO — With their new supermajority power, Democratic legislative leaders promise they won't overreach. But bet on this: They'll reach just as far as they believe is safe.
"Yeah, you're darn right," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg...
| Nov 15, 2012
| 1:07 AM
Hiram Johnson, the revered reformer and father of the California "citizens" initiative, must be either crying or laughing.
It was 101 years ago that Gov. Johnson, a former San Francisco graft prosecutor, teamed with other do-gooder...
| Sep 28, 2012
| 7:38 PM
It's the kind of education news that never makes headlines: Dozens of teachers and principals from both charter and district-run schools across the Southland gathered last weekend at Loyola Marymount University to talk about what's working in their...
| Oct 7, 2012
| 6:09 PM
SACRAMENTO — The most nerdy, wonky and nap-inducing measure on the Nov. 6 ballot is Proposition 31.
It's not a minor measure, exactly, but it's hardly monumental either.
It might do some good, might do some bad.
On the ballot, it's called: "State...