Monthly Archives: December 2016

In California, the state insurance industry is run by commissar’s edict.

December 22, 2016

Critics of California’s business climate routinely complain about the state’s high tax rates, its large and costly government, its coddled and overpaid class of government workers, and its excessively burdensome level of regulation. It’s an old story — and you can even buy a People’s Republic of CaliforniaT-shirt (or move to Texas) if you want to express your displeasure at the continuing loss of entrepreneurial freedoms here.

The People’s Republic jibes are tongue-in-cheek, of course, but there is a large area of commercial life where this isn’t that much of an exaggeration. An ongoing court case over a regulatory edict illustrates how unfree parts of our economic life in this
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California threatens legal action against Uber unless it halts self-driving cars

California’s attorney general Kamala Harris on Friday threatened legal action against the ride-sharing tech company Uber unless it “immediately” removed its self-driving vehicles from the roads in San Francisco.

The threat from the office of the outgoing attorney general was contained in a letter released to the public Friday shortly after Uber declared it would defy state regulations, a move the company said was “an important issue of principle”.

Twenty companies have been approved to test self-driving cars in California, according to the department of motor vehicles (DMV). Uber is not one of them, and the company is refusing to abide by the same rules as its rivals –  Read the full article…

Political Road Map: There are more than 15 lobbyists for each lawmaker in Sacramento

The first week of December after every election sparks a policy and political awakening in California’s state Capitol for the three houses of the legislative branch of government. Yes, three.

Civics books list only the state Senate and Assembly, but then there are the professional lobbyists who cheekily refer to themselves as the “third house.”

 For newly elected members of the Legislature, it’s a welcoming party that can be intimidating: the official registry lists 1,871 professional lobbyists, more than 15 for every legislator.

All of that lobbying doesn’t come cheap. State records show $551.9 million in lobbyist expenditures for all but the final two months of the 2015-16 legislative session. Two decades ago, total state government lobbying cost
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