Under a measure that may appear on the November ballot, vehicle license fees would more than double in California. "If you continue to put off repairs, the roads will get worse," said former Caltrans director Will Kempton.
Your annual vehicle license fee would more than double under a measure that may appear on next year’s ballot.
“California is facing serious transportation challenges,” former Caltrans director Will Kempton said. “We need to do some things very quickly in order to protect the existing system.”
Streets are falling apart, highways are deteriorating, and mass transit systems need new rail cars, Kempton said. So he and California Transportation Commission member Jim Earp have filed a proposed ballot measure that would hike the fee from .65 percent of the value of a car to 1.65 percent.
The proposed constitutional amendment would be phased in over four years – a quarter percent a year. Until the late 1990s, the annual vehicle license fee in California was 2 percent. The state legislature reduced it under political pressure.
William Funderburk, Mel Levine, Michael Fleming and Jill Banks Barad are four of the five Board of Water and Power Commissioners.
The L.A. Department of Water and Power is ratcheting up scrutiny of two nonprofits that have received more than $41 million in ratepayer funds since 2000.
The money has been given at the rate of more than $3 million a year to the Joint Safety Institute and the Joint Training Institute. The groups are jointly run by trustees from DWP and its employee union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18.
About a month ago, the union said it would conduct a review of spending by the groups. DWP commissioners had been poised to ask for an official city audit, but agreed to forestall the inquiry pending the outcome of the union review.
At Tuesday's meeting of DWP commissioners, no representative of the union was present. DWP General Manager Ron Nichols, who acts as a trustee for the nonprofits, said the groups would likely have some information for the board by next month.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
A man walks through flood waters caused by Hurricane Sandy, on October 29, 2012 in Cape May, New Jersey.
Some Southern California residents have been surprised to discover that despite living in an arid climate, their home is actually in a flood zone. That means they have to buy flood insurance – which can be expensive.
On Capitol Hill Tuesday, members of Congress considered whether a new flood insurance law should be delayed.
Federal flood insurance has been around for almost half a century, providing coverage when insurance companies won’t. But the program has been perpetually starved for money. Realtors asked Congress to stabilize the program and a reform measure was passed last summer.
At a hearing Tuesday on the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, co-author Maxine Waters told her colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee: "The intentions of our well-meaning piece of legislation has caused grief to families from coast to coast."
LA city officials want UC Berkeley earthquake researchers to hand over a list of potentially unsafe concrete buildings.
Scientists from UC Berkeley met with building and safety officials in Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss releasing a list of potentially unsafe structures in the city.
After the meeting, Mayor Eric Garcetti's office issued a statement:
"Researchers agreed to coordinate regarding how the city might use data generated by the study following scientific publication." It is unclear when researchers plan to publish their ongoing study of older concrete buildings in Los Angeles.
“Public safety is our top priority and we look forward to analyzing this,” Building and Safety Department Interim General Manager Raymond Chan said.
Researchers have compiled a list of about 1,500 concrete buildings that may collapse during an earthquake as part of a $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation. But they’ve so far refused to release that list to city officials.
The cost of a terminal upgrade at the Port of Los Angeles has more than doubled over the last four years because of design changes that were not approved by city officials.
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Today is Tuesday, Nov. 19, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
The price of a container terminal upgrade at the Port of Los Angeles has doubled over the last four years due to changes that were not approved by city officials, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Mistakes were made at the highest levels ... [on] a project that had questionable price controls," said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the San Pedro area.
The city of Los Angeles is preparing for its own plastic bag ban, reports the Daily News. Grocery stores and drug stores will be impacted starting on Jan. 1.