Recently I heard KFI AM's Bill Handel say that Southern California Edison is attempting to increase its rates by 7% so that, among other things, it can cover the economic losses sustained by the pension plans of its retirees. Now wait a minute! Almost everybody's retirement plans took big economic hits during this recession, so why would we be required to reach into our pockets to pay for the losses sustained by the SCE workers? Simply stated, this is wrong, and things like this need to be addressed.
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget is addressing some of these things. Of course it also includes prolonging $9 billion in expiring annual income, sales and vehicle taxes, which is a problem, but it also seriously would reduce spending for some of his political party's favored projects. He deserves credit for that. And it also responsibly proposes a shift of the $1.7 billion annual funding of municipal redevelopment agencies from the state to local governments, which would be great for the state, but tough on the locals. (I say "responsibly," because the more local funding and control of these programs, if we must have them, the better.) Of course, now the city governments are disposing of these monies as fast as they can, so that the state can't get them back.