(Shutterstock)

Jerry Brown Proposes Record $123 Billion California Budget

California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $123 billion general-fund spending plan for the next fiscal year, a 6 percent increase over the current budget and the largest ever as state coffers overflow with surging tax revenue.

Jan 12, 2016 Alison Vekshin
(Shutterstock)

Budget-Busting Childcare Costs Are Talk of U.S. Campaign Trail

Policy makers are responding to the cries of parents who are forced to choose between paying childcare bills, which have climbed more than twice as fast as overall inflation since the end of 1990, or foregoing work. The soaring costs crowd out other forms of household spending, distorting the biggest part of the U.S. economy.

Nov 24, 2015 Michelle Jamrisko

The Helping Hand

Senator Holly Mitchell says a level playing field is the mission behind most of her measures

California State Senator Holly Mitchell can be an imposing figure. While most people presume that term evokes physicality, it is Mitchell’s intellect and passion for defending those she believes have little or no voice in the political process that make her such a formidable figure around the Capitol. We talked with her about her effort to turn that passion into policy.

Nov 12, 2015 Rich Ehisen
Paul Morris for Bloomberg

San Francisco Voters Reject Ballot Measure to Curb Airbnb

Airbnb fought off a San Francisco ballot measure that sought to limit the short-stay rental service in its hometown, an effort to contain housing costs that some say has made the city a playground for well-heeled techies.

Nov 6, 2015 Alison Vekshin and Eric Newcomer
(Shutterstock)

It’s Still About the Economy, Stupid

Sen. Holly Mitchell on race, law and legislating change

Most people look at the civil unrest recently seen in places like Ferguson and Baltimore as strictly a matter of law and order. But to California state Sen. Holly Mitchell, those events are the inevitable result of a long-simmering frustration within much of the African-American community — not only at what they see as heavy-handed treatment of young black men by police, but of a general shortage of economic opportunities available to communities of color.

Nov 5, 2015 Rich Ehisen
(Shutterstock)

How West Coast Businesses are (Trying to) Balance a Higher Minimum Wage

In California, higher state and local minimum wages are contributing to some owners’ decisions to sell businesses, said Bob House, general manager of the San Francisco-based brokerage BizBuySell. The company listed 2,296 businesses for sale in metropolitan Los Angeles between March and June, compared with 2,136 in the same period a year earlier.

Sep 25, 2015 James Nash
Gov. Jerry Brown announcing the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget proposal at the State Capitol last May

(Photo: Ken James for Bloomberg News)

Super-Earners Targeted in California Tax Push as Revenue Surges

Governor Jerry Brown convinced voters in 2012 they had to raise taxes if they wanted to avoid Draconian cuts to schools. It was temporary, he said. Now, as state coffers are heavy with surplus revenue, advocacy groups and organized labor want to keep the levies in place.

Sep 24, 2015 Alison Vekshin
(Shutterstock)

Minimum Wage Increase: Bad Medicine for a Recovering Economy

Increases in large metropolitan cities are not comparable to the regional economy that is growing in Sacramento

Trends in politics take hold as quickly as those in fashion, and minimum wage increases are definitely “in” this political season. But unlike in the past when Capitol Hill and state legislatures served as battlegrounds for minimum wage debates, cities are now the epicenter. Buoyed by increases enacted in a handful of megacities, American municipalities of all sizes have started asking whether they should follow suit, and if so, to what degree.

Sep 2, 2015 Peter Tateishi
(Shutterstock)

The New Age of Nursing

Recent grads look beyond acute care to improve health systems

In the next decade, as senior nurses leave the field, a new generation will take their place. The transition won’t be easy, as registered nurses fresh out of school must meet the massive demand of baby boomers and newly insured patients. But UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing alumna Nicole Smith believes new nurses can transform the health care industry by disrupting the status quo.

Aug 20, 2015 Russell Nichols

To Tip or Not To Tip?

Will an increased hourly wage decrease tips?

Unfortunately, you cannot participate in this poll, because your browser is not enabled for Javascript and/or cookies.
(Shutterstock)

Can Legal Pot Work for California?

Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon ‘not there yet’ on recreational marijuana

At least one if not two ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana use are almost assured to be on the November 2016 ballot for California voters. But while many folks see the legal sale and taxation of pot as a way to pump big money into the state’s coffers, the experiences of legal-weed states like Washington and Colorado show the road from green bud to greenbacks has more than its share of potholes.

Aug 5, 2015 Rich Ehisen