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share save 120 16 Flaps California Morning Collection: June 17, 2011
lombard street in san francisco Flaps California Morning Collection: June 17, 2011

A morning collection of links and comments about my home, California.

The big news in California today is the Jerry Brown veto of the California State budget yesterday. A budget passed over the objections and votes of the California GOP. In other words, Brown vetoed (the first such veto in California history) his own Democratic Party’s majority passed budget.

So, what is everyone concerned about in the Capitol today?

Why, it is whether California Legislators will get paid.

Wow!

In the meantime, the California economy continues in a downward spiral and unemployment actually increased this past month.

No word on the ridiculous Amazon Tax, but I assume that it was vetoed with the California Budget veto yesterday. But, I could be wrong. How convenient for the Governor though.

On to the links…..

California loses 29,200 jobs in May, a blow to recovery

California’s economic recovery stumbled in May as employers shed 29,200 jobs from payrolls, a surprisingly large loss in a state that had been on the mend. The state’s unemployment rate still dropped to 11.7%,  from 11.8% the month before, according to numbers released this morning by the federal  Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The numbers follow a slate of bad economic news throughout the country. The nation added just 54,000 jobs in May, and its unemployment rate grew to 9.1%. The previous three months, it had added an average of 220,000 jobs a month. Home prices have dropped in California and the nation to surprising lows as sales slow.

California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, after Nevada, although Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped significantly in May, to 12.1% from 14.9% the year before.

California had added an adjusted 14,900 jobs in April, after cutting a net 11,600 in March. It experienced five straight months of job growth from October through February.

“We do know that the picture is not terribly rosy,” said Johannes Moenius, an economist at University of Redlands.

Brown’s big budget bet

Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of the new state budget Democrats passed this week represents a gamble that California’ deadlocked Legislature can find its way to a bipartisan solution that has evaded it all year.

Brown, in his veto message, blamed Republicans for refusing to go along with his proposal for a special election at which voters would be asked to ratify the extension of about $10 billion in taxes due to expire at the end of this month.

Brown also slammed his fellow Democrats, indirectly, by describing the budget they passed as filled with “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings.” He noted that it would leave the state’s books unbalanced for years to come and add billions of dollars of new debt to the California’s already overburdened balance sheet.

But Brown’s rejection of the budget does not guarantee he is going to get anything better from the Legislature in the days and weeks ahead.

Republicans remain opposed to new taxes, and even to extending the temporary taxes that are about to expire. Democrats remain opposed to making the kind of spending cuts that would be required to balance the budget without those taxes. There appears to be very little middle ground.

Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Marathon: Judge extends McCourt talks, deal might be close

Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Thursday rescinded his finding that Frank and Jamie McCourt were at an impasse in their settlement talks, and he set a hearing for later today to determine if a deal had been reached. “I think we are close,” said Jamie’s lawyer Dennis Wasser, according to AP. “Hopefully, we can get it done tonight.

Dan Walters: If California legislators get paid, vetoed budget is giant charade

That presumes, of course, that the Democratic budget somehow put pressure on Republicans. In fact, it may have had the opposite effect of increasing their leverage on Brown to make concessions to get his centerpiece, an extension of expiring sales, income and car taxes, on the ballot.

A complicating factor is that Steinberg, Pérez and public employee unions really don’t want the fall election that Brown seeks on taxes, fearing – with good reason – that voters would reject them.

Still another is the new state law that strips legislators of salaries and expense checks, about $400 per day each, if a budget is not passed by June 15.

Controller John Chiang has appointed himself the law’s enforcer. Legislative leaders contend that Wednesday’s budget action complies, but Brown’s declaration that the budget was unbalanced gives Chiang grounds to stop the paychecks if he wishes.

Chiang was waffling Thursday, saying he wants “to complete our analysis” before deciding whether to pay lawmakers at the end of the month.

If Chiang pays legislators, the rejected budget will look like a giant charade by Democrats to evade the law.

Non-Californians at UC campuses get summer subsidy

A taxpayer subsidy that out-of-state students enrolled in the University of California system have been receiving for years is under scrutiny as the schools search for extra revenue.

During the regular school year, nonresidents pay up to three times as much as students from California, bringing the universities a few hundred million dollars. But partly due to measures taken to boost summer enrollment, they are spared from paying higher fees for summer classes.

“It seems out of sync,” said Steve Boilard, director of higher education policy for the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Enjoy your morning!

share save 120 16 Flaps California Morning Collection: June 17, 2011

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