New walkout At Five Hotels in Santa Monica After Talks Stall

Hotel workers at five Santa Monica properties walked off the job early Monday after negotiations stalled last week.

Unite Here Local 11 — which represents thousands of cooks, housekeepers, dishwashers, servers, bellmen and front desk agents in Los Angeles and Orange counties — has been urging hotels to agree to sweeping wage increases given how deeply the housing crisis affects workers.

The union last month urged convention organizers and visitors to “stay away from strike-ready hotels” that haven’t signed new contracts with more than 15,000 workers at some 60 properties.

Unite Here Local 11’s key demand for months had been a $5 immediate hourly wage increase and a $3 boost each subsequent year of the three-year contract, for a total raise of $11. Southern California hotel workers have been on strike on and off since July 2.

At the bargaining session Sept. 21, the union made a new economic proposal lowering that $11 total raise to $10.50, union spokesperson Maria Hernandez said. But the union said talks failed when, after a more than three-hour caucus, the hotel company representatives returned without any counterproposal.

Keith Grossman, an attorney representing a group of Southern California hotel owners and operators, said in an emailed statement Monday that the union’s proposal “only took the parties further apart.”

“Unfortunately, Local 11 made no real movement,” Grossman said. “The union’s offer, its new work stoppages, and its continued call for a boycott, which continues to damage Los Angeles and hurts employees, communicates that the union is not prepared to bargain in good faith. We believe it’s time for the union to engage in real negotiations.”

The bargaining session was the first to be held in nine weeks, he said.

Grossman did not respond to questions about specific issues that cropped up in bargaining.

Grossman has repeatedly criticized the union for failing to reach out and resume talks. The union has said it is firm on its wage proposal and that the hotel bargaining group’s wage offers have fallen far short.

Peter Hillan, spokesperson for the Hotel Assn. of Los Angeles, said the proposal, from the perspective of hotel owners, was a step back because the union moved up the start date of hotel contributions to a health and welfare fund by one month, increasing the overall cost of the contract. “That’s a takeaway from where we were earlier,” Hillan said.

German Martinez, who, the union alleged in a labor complaint, was among workers tackled at a picket line in August at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, said in a union news release Monday morning that “it was disrespectful to see our employer not even address or apologize to us, and instead come back with no offer.”

Martinez has been a dishwasher at the Fairmont Miramar for 34 years. “We will do what we have to do until we get the fair contract we deserve,” he said.

Although workers authorized a strike earlier this summer, they aren’t walking off the job at all properties at once. Instead, they are engaged in rolling work stoppages in which workers at a cluster of hotels walk out for a few days at a time.

Unite Here Local 11 officials have described it as a “strategic decision” to “keep the hotels on their toes and guessing.” The approach also helps the workers’ finances.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

The Bail Project loses appeal to temporarily block law imposing bail restrictions

At least in Indiana there is some semblance of protecting the public.

“HEA 1300 required that charitable bail funds be licensed and placed restrictions on who can be bailed out of jail if they were booked for violent criminal charges.

The Bail Project also asserted that the law infringed its right to free speech, as well as its rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Bail Project responds to questions over who it bails out

Under HEA 1300, charitable bail organizations are only allowed to bail individuals that have not been charged with a violent crime or those who have been charged with a felony but do not have any past convictions for violent crimes.

The law also stipulated that no more than three people could be bailed within 180 days without a license.

Even common sense is being outlawed b y the crime protecting Progressives.

The Bail Project loses appeal to temporarily block law imposing bail restrictions

by: Tyler Haughn, Fox59,  8/9/23

INDIANAPOLIS — The Bail Project has seen its appeal rejected in federal court, upholding a law passed in Indiana last year that limits who can be bailed out of jail.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its ruling last week, denying The Bail Project’s appeal of HEA 1300, a law the non-profit organization claimed is unconstitutional and unfairly targets charitable bail organizations.

The Bail Project sues Indiana over new state law

According to court records, The Bail Project contended that cash bail payments should be viewed as a form of advocacy and should be protected by 1st Amendment rights as a result. The court disagreed, stating that lawmakers possess the ability to regulate charitable bail funds and the pre-trial detention system.

“Indiana has a legitimate interest in regulating its pretrial detention and bail system, and HEA 1300’s regulatory scheme is rationally related to that interest,” read a portion of the court’s ruling.

HEA 1300 required that charitable bail funds be licensed and placed restrictions on who can be bailed out of jail if they were booked for violent criminal charges.

The Bail Project also asserted that the law infringed its right to free speech, as well as its rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Bail Project responds to questions over who it bails out

Under HEA 1300, charitable bail organizations are only allowed to bail individuals that have not been charged with a violent crime or those who have been charged with a felony but do not have any past convictions for violent crimes.

The law also stipulated that no more than three people could be bailed within 180 days without a license.

The Bail Project has received criticism in the past as some violent crimes were committed by people after they were reportedly bailed out of jail by the organization, including the stabbing of two officers in December 2021.

The organization responded to the criticism by pointing out that this does not reflect the general trends when assessing the hundreds of individuals and families that have been positively impacted by its work.

The Bail Project has been working to release defendants in Indiana since 2018 by paying cash to bail individuals out of jail facing various charges.

Dozens of migrants from Texas arrive in Los Angeles (City Council Wanted Them)

It looks like Los Angeles is about to get the New York/Chicago illegal alien experience.  Both NY and Chicago are sanctuary cities—hence Texas and Florida is giving them what THEY want lots of illegal aliens and money problems.  Los Angeles is so dumb that last week the City Council decided that they did not have enough criminals from foreign countries—so they made L.A. a sanctuary city.  At the time I asked how soon will buses and planes from Florida and Texas show up in this Third World city of L.A.?  Literally it took just a week for this to start.  In New York, a town of eight million people. Over 70,000 illegals aliens showed up in less than a year.  L.A., with 3 million people should expect the same—with the $10 billion a year price tag—at a time when the city has an exploding homeless and mentally ill problem that can not afford.

Hopefully the buses from Texas and Florida will show up at the Mayors mansion in the expensive exclusive Hancock Park—million dollar homes are the slum housing.  Maxine Waters lives in Hancock Park.  This would not have happened is the city did not BEG illegal aliens to come here.  And the Marxist Mayor is upset that illegal aliens are taking her up on he offer of free stuff and protection.

LA Mayor Karen Bass released the following statement, “It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games. This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles. Shortly after I took office, I directed City Departments to begin planning in the event Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a despicable stunt that Republican Governors have grown so fond of. This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it’s time to execute our plan.

Dozens of migrants from Texas arrive in Los Angeles

By Susan Hirasuna and Alexi Chidbachian, Fox11,  6/14/23

LA’s Chinatown takes in migrants bussed from Texas

A church in Chinatown is taking in migrants who arrived in Los Angeles. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he bussed the group of migrants from the U.S. border.

LOS ANGELES – Dozens of migrants from Texas arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott taking credit for the drop off. 

Two buses dropped off about 40 people at St. Anthony’s Croatian Church in Chinatown.  

Anchorwoman Wears Daring Outfit, Forgets Desk is TranslucentDefinition|


With items in hand, families from Latin America and Haiti were welcomed to the church by several people and organizations.  

Workers with the Office of Emergency Operations and Public Health were at the church all day setting up and preparing for their arrival. Several other relief organizations were on site as well.  

Migrants in bus from Texas to LA without food, water for 23 hours, activists say

Activists were told the families who were in the bus from Texas to Los Angeles were without food or water for 23 hours.

It’s believed the migrants will soon be transported from the church to other locations for shelter.

The migrants were bused in from the Texas-Mexico border and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has claimed credit for it, citing LA as a sanctuary city.

RELATEDLos Angeles gets one step closer to ‘Sanctuary City’ for immigrants with City Council vote

Abbott took to Twitter to say, “Texas just dropped off the 1st bus of migrants in Los Angeles. Small Texas border towns remain overrun & overwhelmed because Biden refuses to secure the border. LA is a city migrants seek to go to, particularly now its leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary status.”

Activists helping the migrants get settled in Los Angeles were told the families were on the bus from Texas for about 23 hours without food or water.

According to Abbott’s office, Texas has been charting buses to take migrants from Texas to locations including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, and most recently adding Denver to the list of destinations. Since beginning the busing effort last spring, more than 21,600 migrants have been shipped out of Texas to “these self-declared sanctuary cities,” according to Abbott’s office.

LA Mayor Karen Bass released the following statement, “It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games. This evening, more than 40 people were sent by the Governor of Texas to our City of Los Angeles. Shortly after I took office, I directed City Departments to begin planning in the event Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a despicable stunt that Republican Governors have grown so fond of. This did not catch us off guard, nor will it intimidate us. Now, it’s time to execute our plan. Our emergency management, police, fire and other departments were able to find out about the incoming arrival while the bus was on its way and were already mobilized along with nonprofit partners before the bus arrived. Los Angeles is not a city motivated by hate or fear and we absolutely will not be swayed or moved by petty politicians playing with human lives. We are a city that seeks to treat all people with dignity and compassion and we will continue to work closely with non-profit organizations, including the L.A. Welcomes Collective, as well as with our County, State and Federal partners.”

Gov. Newsom’s office also released a statement saying, “Contrary to what some may want to think – California is also a border state but instead of demonizing asylum seekers, we focus on working with local communities to support and humanely welcome people.Regarding the recently arrived families, the state is in close communication with the County and City of Los Angeles, and our community partners. Together, we will make sure that the children and families who arrived are safe and welcomed.”

It’s unclear where and when the migrants will be moved. Border Patrol officials say while they process migrants at the border, they don’t have anything to do with what happens to them after they make it into the United States. 

This is not the first time migrants have been flown into the Golden State… just weeks ago dozens of migrants were brought in from other states into Sacramento. 

In early June, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said three dozen migrants whom the state recently flew from El Paso, Texas, to Sacramento at taxpayer expense all went willingly, disputing allegations that the individuals were coerced to travel under false pretenses.

The Supreme Court’s Warning About Prop. 13

A decision in a Minnesota case revives questions about injustice and California’s tax revolt law.

Late last week, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a decades-old Minnesota property tax law was unlawful when it allowed the government to seize wealth from an elderly Black homeowner. The decision in Tyler vs. Hennepin County serves as a warning about legal defects in other property tax laws that unfairly harm communities of color, including California’s own Proposition 13.

The Minnesota case began when Geraldine Tyler failed to pay the taxes on her longtime Minneapolis home. Over several years, the tax debt accumulated to $2,300, exploding to $15,000 when penalties and fines were added. The county seized her condominium and sold it, keeping the entire proceeds — $40,000 — not just the $15,000 she owed.

The Supreme Court proclaimed that this money grab was unjust and unconstitutional under the 5th Amendment’s takings clause. It rejected Hennepin County’s legal reliance on the 13th century Statute of Gloucester, a law that Justice Neil M. Gorsuch characterized during oral arguments as being “about lands owned by the feudal lord and what happens when a vassal fails to provide enough wheat to his lord.”

The court’s determination that what happened to Tyler didn’t meet constitutional standards echoes and revives a concern raised in the 1990s about Proposition 13.

California’s tax-assessment limits demand radically different property taxes from owners of similar properties, based only on their time of purchase. Thirty years ago, Stephanie Nordlinger balked at paying nearly five times in property taxes for her Los Angeles home as longer-settled neighbors. An unmoved Supreme Court majority held that the differential treatment had a rational basis, but Justice John Paul Stevens disagreed.

In his dissent, Stevens concluded that Proposition 13 created “a privilege of a medieval character: Two families with equal needs and equal resources are treated differently solely because of their different heritage.”

The Supreme Court’s blessing in Nordlinger vs. Hahn upheld Proposition 13’s legality and established its feudal — and unfair — nature.

Proposition 13 raises race discrimination concerns. Assessment caps benefit long-standing homeowners — who are often white — at the expense of their more diverse neighbors who arrive later. The effects of such property taxes on homeownership’s demography suggest violations of the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act. Recent estimates show that Proposition 13 gives the average homeowner in a white neighborhood of Oakland, for example, a tax break of nearly $10,000 each year — more than triple the break provided to average homeowners in Latino neighborhoods, and about double those in Black and Asian neighborhoods in Oakland.

Ironically, people just like Tyler were the original faces of the battle to enact Proposition 13 in California and similar measures around the country. Activists in the 1970s and 1980s invoked stories of elderly widows losing their homes to convince voters that property taxes should be based on a home’s purchase price and allowed to rise just 2% a year from there, regardless of market value.

But such assessment limits have not lived up to their promise to protect homeowners. Michigan also limits the amount that an owner’s assessment can rise. Yet as real estate values declined in Detroit, those limits did not ensure that assessments fell to match, leaving low-income Black homeowners with inflated, unaffordable taxes. Like Tyler in Minnesota, many residents were forced out of their homes through tax foreclosures.

In California, Proposition 13’s overbroad system protects the propertied at a high cost to more diverse, first-time buyers. People may stay put to hold on to a tax advantage, limiting inventory and driving up home costs. Parents can also pass low tax assessments on to their children, exacerbating the problem.

The California Housing Finance Agency notes that “for the entire 2010s, California’s Black homeownership rate has been lower than it was in the 1960s, when it was completely legal to discriminate against Black homebuyers.”

While Proposition 13’s precise inequitable effects are complicated, more inclusive and less legally tenuous alternatives exist.

There are other tax reforms that could protect low-income and elderly homeowners without hamstringing cities’ tax bases and enriching wealthy owners.

Philadelphia allows low-income senior citizens to freeze their property taxes, and low-income families to spread rapid assessment increases over several years. In Massachusetts and some Connecticut towns, low-income homeowners can defer part of their property tax bill, which is paid off upon the home’s sale. California has its own property tax postponement program, which it should expand, instead of relying on Proposition 13.

The Supreme Court’s rejection of Minnesota’s greediness reminds us that the courts are watching as states tighten the vise of property tax systems on the poor and racially diverse. To be sure, Proposition 13 does not result in unconstitutional “takings.” But the concerns that motivated the court in Tyler vs. Hennepin County also apply here. And given the court’s willingness to reverse long-held constitutional precedent, perhaps the Nordlinger decision itself will be due for reconsideration.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

San Clemente Attack: 2 Marines Beaten by Group of Teens

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – Two Marines were beaten by a group of teenagers and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Monday was searching for the attackers.

The melee began about 9:15 p.m. Friday near the pier located at the end of Avenida del Mar, and OCSD deputies responded to the site, according to sheriff’s spokesman Mike Woodroof.

The pair of Marines were treated at the scene for minor injuries to their hands, knees, abdomens and heads, but they refused to go to a hospital, Woodroof said.

It’s unclear how many people attacked the two men, but Woodroof said the number was likely somewhere between 10 and 30.

A minute-long video which has circulated online captured the brawl. In the video the Marines are seen on the ground trying to shield themselves from the attack.

The brawl appears to come to an end after two individuals, a man and a woman, step in, telling the group to stop, the station reported.

Click here to read the full article in Fox 11 News

End of a love affair: AM radio is being removed from many cars

An era is coming to an end.  The AM radio, which made Rush Limbaugh a star and brings golden oldies to your car, is about be history.

“Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla and other automakers are eliminating AM radio from some new vehicles, stirring protests against the loss of a medium that has shaped American life for a century

Life and times change, we adopt or get nostalgic about is what is gone.  I have XM satellite radio in my car.  I listen to all the cable news stations, the Golden 60’ and 50’s songs, old time radio with stories of drama, comedy and history.  I do not need AM radio—and now, it will soon not be a choice.  Sad to see it go.

End of a love affair: AM radio is being removed from many cars

Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla and other automakers are eliminating AM radio from some new vehicles, stirring protests against the loss of a medium that has shaped American life for a century

By Marc Fisher, Washington Post,  5/13/23

America’s love affair between the automobile and AM radio — a century-long romance that provided the soundtrack for lovers’ lanes, kept the lonely company with ballgames and chat shows, sparked family singalongs and defined road trips — is on the verge of collapse, a victim of galloping technological change and swiftly shifting consumer tastes.

The breakup is entirely one-sided, a move by major automakers to eliminate AM radios from new vehicles despite protests from station owners, listeners, first-responders and politicians from both major parties.

Automakers, such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda and Tesla, are removing AM radios from new electric vehicles because electric engines can interfere with the sound of AM stations. And Ford, one of the nation’s top-three auto sellers, is taking a bigger step, eliminating AM from all ofits vehicles, electric or gas-operated.

Some station owners and advertisers contend that losing access to the car dashboard will indeed be a death blow to many of the nation’s 4,185 AM stations — the possible demise of a core element of the nation’s delivery system for news, political talk (especially on the right), coverage of weather emergencies and foreign language programming.

“This is a tone-deaf display of complete ignorance about what AM radio means to Americans,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, a trade journal covering the talk radio industry. “It’s not the end of the world for radio, but it is the loss of an iconic piece of American culture.”

For the first hundred years of mass media, AM radio shapedAmerican life: It was where Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his fireside chats; where a young Ronald Reagan announced Chicago Cubs baseball games; where DJs such as Wolfman Jack along the U.S.Mexico border, Larry Lujack in Chicago, Alan Freed in Cleveland, “Cousin Brucie” Morrow in New York City and Don Imus in California, Texas, Ohio and New York howled, growled and shouted out the latest pop hits.

Through the snap and crackle of distant lightning and the hum of overhead power lines, AM radio’s sometimes-staticky signal dominated the country’s soundscape. From the 1950s into the 1970s, Top 40 hit music stations in many big cities maintained astonishing shares of the audience, with 50 percent and more of listeners tuned to a single station, meaning that people could walk along a city sidewalk and hear one station continuously blasting out of transistor radios, boomboxes and, above all, car radios.

But technology moved on, and the silky smooth sound of FM radio and then the crystal digital clarity of streaming stations and podcasts narrowed AM’s hold on the American imagination.

Now, although 82 million Americans still listen to AM stations each month, according to the National Association of Broadcasters, the AM audience has been aging for decades. Ford says its data, pulled from internet-connected vehicles, shows that less than 5 percent of in-car listening is to AM stations.

Ford spokesman Alan Hall said that because most AM stations also offer their programming online or on FM sister stations, the automaker will continue to “offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music and news as we remove [AM] from most new and updated models.” The 2024 Mustang is Ford’s first internal combustion model to be marketed without AM.

Several big automakers, including Toyota and Honda, say they have no plans to eliminate AM radio, and General Motors, the nation’s top-selling carmaker, has not announced its intentions.

As Ford did, BMW eliminated AM from electric models in part because “technological innovation has afforded consumers many additional options to receive the same or similar information,” Adam McNeill, the company’s U.S. vice president of engineering, said in a letter to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

But many AM stations don’t offer alternative ways to listen to their shows. Even those that do say their audience, much of which is older, tends not to be adept at the technologies that let drivers stream anything they choose from their smartphones into their car’s audio system. And despite the growing popularity of podcasts and streaming audio, a large majority of in-car listening remains old-fashioned broadcast radio, according to industry studies.

The removal of AM radio from cars — where about half of AM listening takes place — has sparked bipartisan protests. Some Democrats are fighting to save stations that often are the only live source of local information during extreme weather, as well as outlets that target immigrant audiences.Some Republicansmeanwhile, claim the elimination of AM radiois aimed at diminishing the reach of conservative talk radio, an AM mainstay from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck to dozens of acolytes of the late Rush Limbaugh. Eight of the country’s 10 most popular radio talk shows are conservative. “The automobile is essential to liberty,” right-wing talk show host Mark Levin told his listeners last month. “It’s freedom. So the control of the automobile is about the control of your freedom. They finally figured out how to attack conservative talk radio.”

Newsom let CA default on $18.6B in fed unemployment loans

Newsom allowed $31 billion in COVID money to go to criminals stealing unemployment checks.  This included people on Death Row.  Because of this, he had to borrow $18 billion from the Feds, so California unemployed could get paid.  Now, facing $50 billion deficit, he has defaulted on paying back the Feds $18 billion HE owes them.

“California’s projected deficit comes as many other states are enjoying large surpluses, in large part due to a deluge of federal funds over the past three years to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Texas announced a record $188.2 billion in general fund revenue and projected it would have a $32.7 billion surplus over the two-year period ending in August 2023. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice is proposing tax cuts to spend some of the $1.3 billion surplus there.

Yup, Texas has a $32 billion surplus—while California has a $50 billion deficit.  Yet Newsom told people in Texas they would be better off in San Fran.  What a joke.  Newsom for President!!

Newsom let CA default on $18.6B in fed unemployment loans

BEEGE WELBORN, HotAir,   5/8/23

For a man who likes to play an unctuous super genius in commercials when he’s pinging on more accomplished governors for unsophisticated, lo-information audiences (no doubt on the state’s dime)…

…as California’s GOVERNOR, Gavin Newsom in the flesh is a walking disaster zone.

The population outflow from the state remains unabated.

California’s population continued to shrink over the last year, according to a state report released Monday.

The total population dropped to an estimated 38.9 million at the start of 2023, down from 39.1 million at the start of 2022, a 0.3% decline.

And it’s not just people walking with fewer moving in. It’s money rolling out the door with them. In San Francisco alone, the tax base loss has been staggering.

As San Francisco residents left the city in the early years of the pandemic, they took billions of dollars in income with them.

About 32,000 more people left San Francisco than migrated to the city from 2020 to 2021, according to newly released tax return data from the IRS. That’s slightly less than the 39,000 more who left than came to the city from 2019 to 2020.

Those who left accounted for a hefty sum of income; the income of departing residents in 2020 was almost $8 billion more than the total reported by arrivals. Combined with the net $6.9 billion in loss in reported wages for those who left San Francisco the prior year, people who exited the city in 2020 and 2021 made about $15 billion more than those who arrived.

That doesn’t seem to bother Gov. Hair Gel Shiny Toothed False Prophet. As I wrote this past January, the man brushed off labels of “profligate spender” even as he turned a $98B surplus into a $22.5B deficit in a year’s time.

I mean, that’s practically magic, and I can spend money with the best of them.

And Newsom really is special, because his state was the only one having the kind of trouble he was having – year-over-year tax revenue declines.

…California’s projected deficit comes as many other states are enjoying large surpluses, in large part due to a deluge of federal funds over the past three years to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Texas announced a record $188.2 billion in general fund revenue and projected it would have a $32.7 billion surplus over the two-year period ending in August 2023. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice is proposing tax cuts to spend some of the $1.3 billion surplus there.

An October analysis of the 15 largest states by Fitch Ratings showed California was the only state experiencing year-over-year tax revenue declines. While the state’s employment has rebounded over the past 14 months, personal income tax withholding is down, in part because salary bonuses and initial public offerings have declined, according to the LAO, which forecast the deficit in November.

That report was also from this January and a lot has happened since then. Tons of lay-offs in that pricey Silicon Vally corridor, San Francisco continues to implode on itself, the population outflow hasn’t subsided, and businesses across California are shuttering for good or packing up their things and moving to other states.

What’s a man with presidential aspirations to do when it’s melting down all around him, and he needs businesses thriving and making payrolls to get his tax base revitalized?

Well, the man has a budget to massage first, and there’s a little matter of massive federal unemployment insurance loans the state borrowed from Uncle Sam to cover the shortfalls during COVID when their very generous well quickly ran dry. 22 states eventually took part in the program, but by last November all but four of them had cleared their debts, with CA being the largest *gulp* outstanding loan balance by a country mile.

In the 2023-2024 proposed CA state budget, there had been a $750M set aside to start repaying the feds (just “start” – clock’s ticking, interest climbing) part of the rather hefty balance CA was on the hook for…Screencap CRS Unemployment Trust Fund pdf

…but – and I am not sure how this escaped anyone’s notice, but it sure seems to have – in January, Newsom withdrew the funding from the budget.

CA just stopped paying on the loans.

And now?

The state of California has defaulted on $18.5B in federal loans. Who’s getting screwed on this deal?

Business owners.

Little did California businesses know that they were cosigners on the state’s nearly $20 billion loan from the federal government that was used to cover California’s unemployment fund shortfall during the COVID pandemic. This ugly truth became apparent when the state recently decided to stop making payments on this loan. When a state defaults on its federal unemployment insurance loan, federal law requires that the state’s businesses repay the loan.

What makes this default even more egregious is that the stone-age-era IT system of the state’s Employment and Development Department (EDD) opened the floodgates to bad actors, permitting more than $30 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic. Those receiving fraudulent payments include incarcerated felons, a person impersonating a one-year-old, and a person impersonating Senator Dianne Feinstein. A single residential address received checks for around 60 separate individuals filing from that address.

This could have been avoided with a competent EDD. But this department’s performance has been deficient for decades, and California businesses, many of which are struggling, are left paying for blatant and costly mistakes that should and could have been solved years ago.

In the frenzied handouts, there was $30B – that’s BILLION with a B dollars – worth of FRAUDULENT claims. Of course, CA stopped paying for fraud detection software. It’s not their money.

…The EDD’s IT system dates back to the 1980s and uses software over 50 years old. After multiple attempts to fix the errors, the scope of the problems became magnified. In 2013, the EDD was granted funding by the Obama administration to purchase fraud detection software from Pondera Systems, which was used until 2016. The software, costing around $2 million per year, was discontinued due to the price, which represented less than 1% of the EDD’s budget.

And it’s going to be no grease off Newsom’s brow.

…The state had several chances to pay off the debt, including a roughly $100 billion budget surplus the previous year, $27 billion in federal COVID assistance, and a budget record of $300 billion-plus for 2022–2023. The state might have resumed payments this year despite failing, lowering the tax burden on businesses as intended in the 2023–24 budget. The state has reneged on its promise to resume payments or offset rising company federal unemployment insurance fees, though, as its financial outlook deteriorates.

He’s just handing the whole mess off to the few suckers left still trying to hack out an honest living in that state.

…With an unpaid federal unemployment insurance loan, the federal government raises the unemployment insurance tax immediately by 0.3 percent on each business within the state, and an additional 0.3 percent each year after that until the loan is fully repaid. The normal federal unemployment insurance tax rate is 0.6 percent per year, which means that California businesses will be paying several multiples of the normal federal tax rate before the loan is retired.

The state’s Legislative Analyst Office predicts that repaying the loan through higher taxes on businesses is not expected until 2029 or 2030 and note that retiring the debt could take longer, depending on the state’s economic performance. A recession would almost certainly delay repayment, and the odds of a recession in the next seven years are significant.

Don’t forget there’s a reparations brangle coming, too.

Get out of Dodge if you can.

If you have to stay, how has this clown not been impeached or whatever mechanism they have? I know, I know, – the machine is too strong to do a thing about him.

But there he shouldn’t be allowed a single moment’s peace in any encounter where he isn’t on the defensive constantly.

Man has a lot to answer for.

California Democrats Propose Tax Changes for Businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democrats in the California Senate on Wednesday said they want to raise taxes on some of the largest corporations so they can cut taxes for nearly every other business.

But the proposal was met with swift opposition from the business community and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — highlighting the likely rocky budget negotiations ahead for a state facing an estimated $22.5 billion budget deficit.

All California businesses pay a state tax rate of 8.84% on income, a figure that has not changed since 1997. This new proposal would create two tax rates for businesses in California. Companies would pay 6.63% on the first $1.5 million they make. Any money made above that would be taxed at 10.99%.

The higher tax rate would only apply to about 2,500 companies and would bring in an extra $7.2 billion in revenue for the state. Meanwhile, about 1.6 million businesses would benefit from the smaller tax rate, reducing state revenue by about $2.2 billion.

The money that is left over — about $5 billion — would go to poor people who claim tax credits and would boost state programs for public education, child care and combatting homelessness.

The proposal is still a long way from becoming law. Tax increases require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature. Democrats control a majority of seats in both chambers, but leaders in the state Assembly have not yet agreed to the plan.

Then there’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who would have to sign off on the proposal. Newsom has resisted raising taxes in the past as he has been building his national profile in recent years in advance of a possible run for president beyond 2024. Last year, Newsom campaigned against a ballot initiative that would have raised taxes on the rich to pay for environmental programs.

Wednesday, Newsom spokesman Anthony York said the governor could not support the proposal..

“It would be irresponsible to jeopardize the progress we’ve all made together over the last decade to protect the most vulnerable while putting our state on sound fiscal footing.” York said.

Still, Democrats in the Senate will try to sell the idea by framing it as a partial reversal of the federal tax cuts signed into law by former Republican President Donald Trump. Nearly every Democrat in California, including Newsom, opposed those cuts, which Trump signed into law in 2017.

“The Senate’s 2023 plan will provide much needed tax relief to those small businesses which are the backbone of our economy and that have been really whacked by inflation,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley and chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “But it also ensures that the biggest corporations that pocketed massive tax cuts under Trump will start to pay their fair share.”

The California Chamber of Commerce opposed the plan on Wednesday, saying a tax increase would “send the wrong signals to job creators and investors in the state’s economy.”

“Now is not the time to test California’s ability to withstand the impact of an economic downturn or a recession by placing our economic success at risk,” said Jennifer Barrera, the chamber’s president and CEO.

John Kabateck, California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses, said the proposal “looks appealing at first glance.” But he said his years of experience in dealing with leaders in the state Legislature has taught him not to endorse proposals too quickly.

“We’re not very keen on getting a tax break for Main Street at the expense of other businesses,” Kabateck said.

Democrats in the state Senate based their proposal on budget numbers the Newsom administration released in January. Back then, Newsom said the state was facing an estimated $22.5 billion deficit.

Those numbers will change next month when Newsom updates his budget proposal based on new tax revenue received since January. It’s likely the budget deficit will have grown, as tax revenues have continued to fall below projections. A larger budget deficit could make the Democrats’ tax cut proposal infeasible.

Adding to the difficulty is that Newsom and lawmakers will have to pass a new spending plan before July 1 without knowing how much money the state has. That’s because many Californians won’t pay their taxes until mid-October, taking advantage of an extension offered after a series of strong winter storms caused widespread damage throughout the state.

Republican state Senate leader Brian Jones said he liked that Democrats were “finally proposing to give a little back to small business.”

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Q&A: 5 questions that arise from LAUSD’s historic labor settlement

Despite the deal with the district’s service workers union, much remains to be addressed, including learning loss and negotiations over a new contract with teachers.

Los Angeles Unified School District workers, parents and leaders alike rejoiced when a labor contract agreement was reached Friday, March 24, following a mammoth three-day strike that shut down America’s second-largest school system. But as the celebrations wind down and the school year rolls on, many uncertainties remain and challenges await.

In the coming weeks, members of SEIU Local 99 — the service workers union representing 30,000 bus drivers, custodians, instructional aides, cafeteria workers and special education assistants — must ratify what is still a tentative agreement. And the district must implement its new contract with the union.

But the road doesn’t end there.

The district must also get students and teachers back into their routines, reach a separate agreement with the teachers union, respond to three days of lost learning and tie up other loose ends.

And, in just one year, the district must reach a fresh agreement with SEIU Local 99, whose leaders have made it clear that they will be ready to strike again if their problems are not addressed.

So, in the aftermath of the historic strike and settlement, here are some questions that arise:

What do the agreement numbers actually mean for service workers?

So many numbers were thrown around during the strike — around $4.9 billion residing in district reserves, a $25,000 average service worker salary, a $440,000 superintendent salary, a 30% pay raise demand and a 23% offer on the table — that it was hard to keep them all straight.

When the agreement was finally hammered out, even more numbers were thrown into the equation.

Here’s what its numbers mean in practice:

By Jan. 1 of next year SEIU members will have effectively received the 30% pay raise that labor leaders have been demanding from the outset of negotiations.

This is divided into a 6% retroactive raise for the 2021 school year, a 7% retroactive raise for the 2022 school and a 7% increase in July 2023. In January, workers will receive an additional $2-an-hour pay bump, which SEIU Executive Director Max Arias says reflects an average 10% raise for workers.

In addition, all SEIU members who worked in-person during the 2020 to 2021 school year will receive $1,000 in recognition of their sacrifices during the pandemic.

Other key numbers to bear in mind are the district’s promise to bring its minimum wage to $22.52 an hour and to invest $3 million in an education and professional development fund for SEIU members.

These figures will make a huge difference in the lives of service workers, many of whom work multiple jobs to make ends meet and one-in-three of whom have said they are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, according to a survey completed by the union.

“This is an equity-driven contract that will elevate potential, address homelessness and address poverty in our community,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho at a press conference on Friday.

Labor leaders were also excited by the agreement reached after their members sacrificed three days of pay and picketed through wind, rain and hail.

“SEIU Local 99’s Bargaining Committee is proud of the tentative agreement we reached with the District, which answers our core demands,” said Arias. “We emerged stronger than ever from this week’s strike and showed the entire nation that unions are the most powerful force for economic opportunity and equity.”

At week’s end, Carvalho also appeared pleased — and relieved — with the deal.

“When we started negotiating with SEIU, we promised to honor the dignity of our workforce, correct inequities impacting the lowest-wage earners, continue supporting critical student services and protect the District’s financial viability,” he posted on Twitter. “Promises made, promises delivered.”

Some parents, on the other hand, were frustrated by the whole affair and wish that the union had reached an agreement with the district instead of disrupting learning for three days. Prior to the strike, the district had offered a 23% raise over time and a one-time 3% retention bonus.

How will the district address three days of lost classroom time?

Around 420,000 students missed three days of classroom instruction during the strike.

Had they not just emerged from a highly disruptive pandemic, these days would likely just be a blip, said Pedro Noguera, dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. But, piled atop more than two years fraught with an alarming rate of learning loss and missed socialization, they represent a more significant harm, he added.

María Sanchez, a South Los Angeles parent whose son is deaf, said she already had a hard time getting him to readjust to in-person schooling and is very worried about how the strike will set him back.

“As it is, it’s hard for me to get him on the school bus… I’m seeing changes in his behavior. He’s become more difficult, disruptive. He’s also communicating less with me and with his classmates,” she said. “I believe this is due to all the learning disruption.”

Fortunately, Carvalho already has a playbook for tackling this issue, spurred in part by standardized test results that showed LAUSD students lost approximately five years of academic ground during the pandemic.

A key part of his plan are two bonus “acceleration days” tacked on to each semester, that offer targeted learning support, the chance for students to raise their grades and engage in enrichment activities.

The first-ever set of days took place on Dec. 19 and 20 and had somewhat lackluster attendance of around 40,000 students. The second set of these days is just around the corner on April 3 and 4 and it will be interesting to see whether more families take advantage of them in the aftermath of the strike.

Other parts of Carvalho’s strategy to address learning loss include increased weekend, during school and after school tutoring as well as a new evening bus service to encourage more students to take advantage of after school programming.

What does this all mean for ongoing negotiations with the teachers union?

In an email to its members on Friday, shortly after the district and SEIU announced they had reached a tentative agreement, UTLA touted its collective action with SEIU as a show of force and signaled that it’s prepared to ratchet up pressure on the district once more.

“Carvalho has been put on notice that he better move on our demands,” the memo stated. “If that movement is not enough to settle the contract that UTLA members deserve, we will move to the next round of this fight.”

UTLA is seeking a 20% salary increase over two years; lower class sizes; the hiring of additional nurses, librarians, counselors and other positions; and full funding of the Black Student Achievement Plan and the special education program, among other demands.

Chris Zepeda-Millán, chair of UCLA’s labor studies program, said “hands down” UTLA has the advantage at the moment.

Not only does UTLA have a larger war chest to sustain a longer strike than SEIU could, Zepeda-Millán said, there are more members of the school board endorsed by UTLA now than during the 2019 strike. And should UTLA reach the point of striking again, there’s a chance SEIU members will stage its own solidarity strike to return the favor to the teachers union for supporting it last week, he said.

“The district knows (the unions) can shut (schools) down pretty easily, and they just showed us,” Zepeda-Millán said. “That’s going to be on the back of both teams’ minds as they’re negotiating.”

What will this mean for the local and national labor movement?

You can bet that workers in surrounding school districts, as well as other large urban districts throughout the country, will want more from their employers now, said Thomas Lenz, an adjunct professor at the USC Gould School of Law and a labor law attorney.

The union’s efforts last week were “transformational,” Lenz said, noting that even when it takes a while, walkouts — and the sacrifice of lost wages that go with them —  “can have a return on investment.”

“I will be expecting the local unions will be ramping up their demands, and the members who hear about this will be increasing their expectations because they know it can be done,” he said.

Experts also took particular note of teachers and others who joined with the service workers, who rarely strike.

The fact that teachers walked off the job in solidarity with striking service workers gave them a lot more power and leverage, said UCLA education professor John Rogers. In addition, politicians at city, state and federal levels spoke out in support of the strike.

“I think that each victory for organized labor sends a message to organized labor across the country in various different industry sectors,” Rogers said. “The most powerful messages will be sent to other similarly situated education workers, who will see the advantages of aligning with their teaching union and who will see that they can build power.”

What’s next for Superintendent Carvalho?

When Carvalho first arrived from Florida, a state where labor unions are relatively weaker, many wondered how he would fare in terms of navigating local school politics and unions here in L.A.

One action that angered district employees last month was a tweet the superintendent posted on Feb. 10, which read: “1,2,3…Circus = a predictable performance with a known outcome, desiring of nothing more than an applause, a coin, and a promise of a next show. Let’s do right, for once, without circus, for kids, for community, for decency. @LASchools”

SEIU members, who took a strike authorization vote that week, were offended, believing the superintendent was effectively calling them clowns.

“For members it demonstrated blatant and continued disrespect for their work and their right to take action to improve their livelihoods,” SEIU Local 99 spokesperson Blanca Gallegos said in an email.

On Friday, a district spokesperson said in a statement that people misunderstood the tweet.

“The tweet was deleted because it was misinterpreted as related to the SEIU Local 99 strike authorization,” the statement read. “Consequently, because the tweet was wrongly inferred as a maligning of our own employees, we determined it necessary to remove.”

In a follow-up interview, LAUSD spokesperson Shannon Haber said Carvalho was referencing “one of the many national issues happening in our country” at the time, though she would not specify the issue.

Although Carvalho’s image may have taken a hit in recent weeks due to ongoing labor strife, Zepeda-Millán said, the superintendent can turn things around.

If Carvalho could settle negotiations with UTLA and get the unions to join him in advocating with the governor and state Legislature for greater longterm investments in public education, he could help lead a statewide campaign that could win him points, Zepeda-Millán said.

“Carvalho has a chance to say, ‘I’m going to do things differently this time and let’s show the state and the country that if we have well-paid teachers, smaller class sizes – what all the research says works – we could have great public schools again,’” he said.

To be sure, Carvalho still has the support of many parents.

United Parents Los Angeles, a group which oftentimes is at odds with the teachers union, said in a statement that it’s “rooting” for Carvalho.

“Carvalho has been a much-needed student and academic oriented leader that has done a lot of community outreach. Many families feel that their kids are represented for the first time in years,” the statement said.

The group went on to say that for the district to combat enrollment drops and retain students, it must prioritize smaller class sizes and support schools by “trim(ming) the fat and redirect(ing) that spending” responsibly.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Daily News

San Fran slavery fund has yet to get a donation from city contractors in its 7 years

San Fran is looking at using tax dollars to give every black in town $5 million.  But, when it comes to voluntarily use their own money—of course they won’t.

“San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission released a memo in December 2022 that advocated the city give $5 million to each eligible Black resident.

As the city of San Francisco debates how to pay for a legacy of racism, its slavery disclosure ordinance asking businesses that contract with the city for voluntary donations to “ameliorate the effects of slavery” has not received a donation in seven years.

So far all these WOKE, radical businesses that claim California si a racist State have refused to give a dime to this fund in seven years.  Hypcrites.

San Francisco slavery fund has yet to get a donation from city contractors in its 7 years

Just the News,  3/12/23 

San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission released a memo in December 2022 that advocated the city give $5 million to each eligible Black resident.

As the city of San Francisco debates how to pay for a legacy of racism, its slavery disclosure ordinance asking businesses that contract with the city for voluntary donations to “ameliorate the effects of slavery” has not received a donation in seven years.

San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission released a memo in December 2022 that advocated the city give $5 million to each eligible Black resident. The U.S. Census estimated about 42,390 Black residents in the city in 2021. The commission didn’t say how many people would be eligible for the $5 million.

In 2006, San Francisco created a “slavery disclosure” ordinance under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. The ordinance requires businesses that contract with the city to research its company’s history and report any financial transactions and activity that may have been part of the slave industry.

In 2015, two businesses acknowledged in their affidavits that they had ties to predecessor banks that benefitted from the slave trade.

Bank of America stated it couldn’t find an instance where any Bank of America legacy banks made a profit from slavery but did confirm “a direct connection to slavery by Southern predecessor banks.”

U.S. Bank National Association stated it acquired southern banks and identified records of founders or directors of predecessor banks who owned slaves. It also included a record showing the use of a slave as collateral for a loan.

That ordinance also encourages city contractors to make “contributions to a Special Fund to ameliorate the effects of slavery.” The most recent annual report in March 2022 states, “In February of 2015, letters requesting voluntary contributions were sent to all City vendors covered by the ordinance. No responses were received.”

A city official confirmed to The Center Square that only two companies had found ties to the slave trade and the fund had received no contributions.

The affidavit asks for records of each person subjected to slavery, each slaveholder and each person or entity who participated in the slave trade or derived profits from the slave trade.

The city started filing annual reports on the slavery disclosure ordinance in 2015 and sent a letter to all contractors covered by the ordinance for voluntary donations.

The city allows for exemptions.

The ordinance stated, “Insurance policies, loan documents and other documents and records provide evidence of ill-gotten profits from slavery, which profits, in part, capitalized insurers, financial services providers and textile companies. The successors of these companies remain in existence today, and such profits from the uncompensated labor of enslaved Africans represent a continuing legacy of slavery.”

Some of the businesses that filed an affidavit include Bank of America, U.S. Bank and EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants. Wells Fargo was exempt from filing an affidavit, but voluntarily submitted one. Wells Fargo is a vendor with the Controller’s Office of Public Finance.

The nonprofit Corporate Accountability profiled “the racist history of Wells Fargo” in June 2022. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia in 2008 “intertwining itself with a very dark history.” Corporate Accountability stated Wachovia descended from financial institutions “with deep ties to the mistreatment of black people.”

Antony Davies, an economist and associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, said there are likely very few companies in San Francisco today that also existed a century and a half ago.

“But, there are two entities that clearly did exist well before the abolition of slavery and clearly still exist today: the city and county of San Francisco,” Davies said. “Anyone in San Francisco who is concerned with identifying contemporaries who benefited from slavery should probably start with those two organizations.”

The city of San Francisco was founded in 1776. California became the 31st state in 1850.

The slavery ordinance states, “The City and County of San Francisco acknowledges the loss of assets that rightfully should be the property of descendants of African people subjected to slavery, and extends its apologies to their descendants who continue to suffer the legacy of slavery.”

The San Francisco Mayor’s office and a city employee involved with the slavery disclosure ordinance did not respond to emails seeking comment. Corporate Accountability didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. Wells Fargo didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.