FROM George Runner
Amazon, Traditional Business and the California Ballot The US Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that online retailers don't have to collect sales tax unless they have a physical presence in the state. Amazon is headquartered in Washington State, but Governor Brown has just signed a new law requiring it to pay taxes in California, on the grounds that Amazon's so-called "affiliates" give it a "presence" here. Amazon is trying to qualify a referendum for next year asking voters to turn that around.
Has Jessica’s Law Kept California Children Any Safer? Last year, 70% of California voters approved Jessica’s Law —a measure designed to crack down on sexual predators. It prohibits paroled offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or a park used by children. It requires that parolees wear GPS monitors for the rest of their lives. But local officials say the residency requirement is so tough that parolees can’t find places to live and that the GPS monitors are too expensive. Governor Schwarzenegger created the Sex Offender Management Board to study the problems, and it held hearings last week in San Francisco, Bakersfield and San Bernardino.
Schwarzenegger Cries Budget Wolf Governor Schwarzenegger once promised to " blow up the boxes " by reorganizing state agencies that are inefficient and sometimes dysfunctional. Now, he is boxed in by the very structural problems he and the legislature have failed to resolve.
Intransigent Republicans Attack Welfare The Assembly and Senate were supposed to pass a state budget almost a month ago. Last week the Assembly passed a $145 Billion dollar spending plan and left on vacation. Republicans in the Senate insisted the Assembly version was not balanced, and they refused to go along. The budget requires a two-thirds vote so they can hold it up, even though the Democrats are in the majority. Today the Republican Senators got specific about $840 Million dollars in cuts including a $300 Million cut from welfare.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.