All posts by Robyn Fujii-Schofield

NICB’s 2016 Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

Anchorage, AK and Billings, MT Metro Areas Make First-Time Appearance in Top 10

June 8, 2017

DES PLAINES, Ill.—The Albuquerque, N.M. metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had the highest per capita auto theft rate in 2016 according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Spots report.

Hot Spots examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation’s MSAs.  MSAs are designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, this year’s number one spot, the Albuquerque, N.M. MSA, includes all thefts within the entire county of Bernalillo, not
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NICB: Motorcycle Thefts Post Increase in 2016

Thefts up 2 percent from 2015

DES PLAINES, Ill., May 18, 2017 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released a report on motorcycle thefts in the United States for 2016. A total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2016 compared with 45,555 reported stolen in 2015—an increase of 2 percent.

Although 2016 delivered another slight increase in motorcycle thefts, motorcycle thefts are down considerably since 2006. They have dropped from 66,774 in 2006 to 46,467 in 2016—a decline of 30 percent.

The top 10 states with the most reported motorcycles thefts in 2016 were California (7,506), Florida (4,482), Texas (3,692), South Carolina (2,057), North Carolina (1,847), New York (1,731), Indiana
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Consumer Watchdog collects millions, but does it lower your insurance rates?

By Jim Miller – January 13, 2017

Nearly 30 years ago, consumer activist Harvey Rosenfield wrote and helped qualify Proposition 103, the November 1988 ballot measure that overhauled state regulation of home and auto insurance rates.

The initiative, dubbed by supporters as the “Voter Revolt to Cut Insurance Rates,” also contained a provision that got little attention during one of the most expensive campaigns in state history: outsiders could challenge proposed insurance rates and get reimbursed for their costs.

The so-called intervenor process has become a significant source of revenue for the nonprofit founded by Rosenfield and its successor, Consumer Watchdog – and a major thorn in the insurance industry’s side.

More than three-quarters
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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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‘Mod squad’ growth offsets Democratic supermajorities

Dan Walters: November 29, 2016

It became official this week when one state Senate race in Southern California was called: Democrats recaptured two-thirds legislative “supermajorities” in the Nov. 8 election.

Although it underscores California’s status as a political outlier as Republicans take full command of the federal government, it will probably mean little in practical terms.

Gov. Jerry Brown holds up four bills he signed related to climate change on Sept. 14, 2016, in downtown Fresno. One of the bills, AB 1613, directs $900 million in “cap-and-trade” auction funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs that benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems. However, Brown failed to persuade the Legislature to
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NICB Says Car Thieves Stay Busy Around the Holidays

News Release: November 22, 2016

ForeCASTSM Report: 2015 National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Holiday Vehicle Theft

DES PLAINES, Ill., Nov. 22, 2016 — When you’re making the rounds at the stores this holiday season, make sure your car isn’t on someone’s gift list. Unattended vehicles, especially those loaded with valuables, make attractive targets for thieves.

New data released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows a total of 9,600 vehicles were reported stolen in 2015 on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Holiday vehicle thieves had their busiest day in 2015 on Halloween, stealing 2,238 vehicles according to NICB’s 2015 Annual Holiday Vehicle Theft Report. Theft
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Political Road Map: This is why it takes so long to count votes in California

By John Myers: November 20, 2016

In an era when there’s almost nothing that can’t be found out quickly, the long wait for final results from an election in California feels interminable. And yet, there’s a pretty simple reason why it takes so long to count all the votes.

California is not just home to more voters than any other state in the U.S. But it also has more election laws designed to maximize a voter’s chances of casting a ballot.

“We don’t put up any of the barriers that you see in other states,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation.

Full California election results »

Lawmakers through the years have taken a decidedly pro-voter
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