4 SACRAMENTO — The demise of a San Francisco state senator’s sweeping bill to allow denser residential construction around public transit and in wealthy suburbs thrusts the state’s efforts to fix its housing shortage into an uncertain future. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB50 died Thursday when it fell three votes short of passage in the Senate for the second day in a row. It’s the third time in as many years that Wiener’s main housing legislation has failed to advance to the Assembly, and although he said he would come back with a new measure later this year, the path to approval is anything but clear. SB50’s death was also a significant setback for Gov. Gavin Newsom, who campaigned on building millions of new homes in California, and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who maneuvered the bill through legislative roadblocks to keep it alive. Both had expressed their desire to pass the bill in some form this year to … [Read more...] about Fixing California’s failed SB50 housing bill – solutions won’t come easy
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SACRAMENTO — Things have been looking up in California. Vaccines will soon be available to everyone over 16. Los Angeles schools are about to bring hundreds of thousands of students back to classrooms. Disneyland, dark for a year, will throw open its gates in just a few weeks. At the state capital, however, the coronavirus pandemic still clouds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s horizon. Soon, the secretary of state is expected to announce that a campaign to recall him has officially qualified for a special election. Led by Trump stalwarts , amplified by Republican National Committee money and fueled during the pandemic by Mr. Newsom’s own political missteps , the recall initiative is widely regarded as a long shot. Putting it on the ballot requires roughly 1.5 million signatures from disgruntled voters, a drop in the Democrat-dominated bucket of 40 million residents. But even if Mr. Newsom prevails, the pandemic has both tested and tarnished him politically. The tall, telegenic … [Read more...] about California’s Governor Was Tested by the Pandemic. Now a Recall Looms.
The hottest new destination for political tourists this summer is a barren and crumbling arena surrounded by an empty parking lot, where off-duty law enforcement officials providing security lounge under a flimsy plastic tent to escape the punishing sun and triple-digit heat radiating off the cracked asphalt. Inside Phoenix Memorial Coliseum, a parade of Republican legislators from across the nation have come to observe an audit of the more than 2.1 million votes cast last year in Maricopa County, an examination ordered by the Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate. On Friday, Arizona legislators hosted colleagues from Georgia, Utah, Michigan, Washington and Oklahoma. Legislators from Pennsylvania, Alaska, Nevada and Virginia have already stopped in town to observe. A team of Wisconsin legislators will visit Saturday. ADVERTISEMENT “They just want to see the audit and see what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, what procedures we’re using. They want to understand it, what … [Read more...] about Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists
SACRAMENTO — When the state Senate leader’s priority housing bill died as the clock struck midnight on the Legislature’s annual session, it shone a spotlight on infighting that contributed to the stunning collapse this year of an agenda to tackle California’s most pressing problems. In a bleary-eyed Zoom news conference two hours later, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins criticized the “absolute needless delay of housing production bills,” including her own SB1120, which aimed to address the state’s housing shortage by making it easier to split lots and convert homes into duplexes. The measure — which passed the Assembly three minutes before the legislative deadline Monday night, leaving no time for final approval in the Senate — would have paved the way to build out neighborhoods that are now limited to single-family housing. “That was impossible,” the San Diego Democrat said. “To lose a common-sense bill like SB1120 in the middle of a crisis because of running out the … [Read more...] about How California’s most pressing problems fell victim to Legislature’s infighting
DALLAS — Long before Elon Musk, the Tesla magnate and billionaire Californian, announced that he was moving to Texas, Marie Bailey, a California transplant now living north of Dallas, fastened a customized license plate onto her very own Tesla, with a message that has become her ethos. “Move2TX,” it reads in block letters, underneath an emblem of the one-starred Texas flag. The news by Mr. Musk, who announced his move on Tuesday , in a snub to California and its strong regulatory environment, added fuel to the longstanding rivalry between the nation’s two most populous states. California, with its steep housing costs, raging wildfires and strict business regulations, has been losing residents to other states, with Texas as the most popular exodus destination. Of more than 653,000 people who left California last year, about 82,000 went to Texas, more than any other state, according to census figures. Or, as The Stanford Review wrote in a nod to the native Texan George … [Read more...] about ‘Welcome to Texas!’: Musk’s California Departure Stokes the States’ Rivalry