In a rare act of fiscal responsibility, the California Assembly voted 73-0 earlier this month to place stricter limits on a high-yield, long-term bond that was used primarily by desperate local school districts.
California’s political leaders believe that their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will slow climate change around the globe. Now they want to tackle a Herculean environmental task in their own backyard.
California remains Standard & Poor’s lowest-rated state. But the agency boosted its bond outlook last week, thanks to a decreasing budget deficit that’s more the result of cutbacks and an improving economy than tax increases.
The only thing California’s environmentally friendly Democratic legislators prefer to regulating private industry is spending public dollars. So it’s fascinating to watch them struggle with an unfolding dilemma.
California taxpayers have nothing to fear from the new Democratic supermajorities in the state Assembly and Senate. That’s the assurance we keep hearing from the political class and interest groups in the Golden State, where Republican legislators are now reduced to irrelevancy and Democrats control two-thirds majorities to pass anything they want.
If you believe California officials, you might think the state’s long-running economic and budgetary problems are over, thanks largely to the flood of money from voter-approved increases in already high income and sales taxes.
It is hard for education reformers to be too optimistic about the post-strike prospects for Chicago schools. The resulting contract significantly boosts teacher pay in exchange for some modest changes such as a lengthened school day and improved teacher testing.