This month more Census forms will arrive in California mailboxes than in those of any other state. And, while anxieties about response rates and undercounts persist nationwide, it is likely that California will fill out and submit more of them than will any other state. In its rawest state, the resulting data will give planners their most fundamental piece of data - the sheer number of people the state must accommodate.
The distance between California's growing budget problems and California's ambitious environmental protection agenda continues to increase.
The consequences of the state's chronic budget deficit – currently $20 billion per year or more with no end in sight – continue to chew up everything and everybody in its path: local governments, transit agencies, the prison system, welfare recipients, school districts.
California government never fails to amuse. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears poised to eliminate his own Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and nobody – not even the state's planners – is rushing to the beleaguered office's defense. Yet throughout Sacramento, vultures are hovering, because while OPR itself may not be worth saving, the carcass appears to have value.
Is Gov. Schwarzenegger's "Strategic Growth Council" simply the latest in a decades-long string of gubernatorial efforts to make it look like they're dealing with growth? Or can Schwarzenegger actually take coherent action on growth by appointing a Cabinet-level council devoted to the issue?
The State of California needs a better system for determining how much it pays for resource conservation lands, the Legislative Analyst's Office concluded in a lengthy report issued in October. Although the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) does not say directly that the state has overpaid when it bought forests, wetlands, beaches, habitat and open space, the implication is easy to draw.
California's business community is accustomed to having its plans second-guessed by regulators seeking to determine whether a project or activity will harm birds, bugs, fish and plants. But a recent decision by the Coastal Commission appears to signal a dramatic shift in the state's regulatory environment, adding a global dimension to the list of potential impacts to be assessed.
Increasingly, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears to be in the municipal bond business. Last fall, he championed the passage of almost $40 billion in bond measures on the state ballot, mostly for infrastructure. In his State of the State speech, he called for Californians to pass $29 billion in additional bonds over the next three years. And in the budget he proposed during January, he called for spending more than $11 billion of bonds during the next 18 months. >>read more