WatchSonoma Watch
Changes coming to North Coast’s legislative landscape

Sweeping changes across the North Coast’s political landscape will present major challenges this election year both for voters and for candidates in state races, with one possible outcome being an almost entirely new and untested slate of leaders handling local problems in Sacramento.

Are they job killers?

It’s an annual rite of the legislative session – the California Chamber of Commerce designates its job-killer bills. How will they fare this year?

New posts for Levine, Allen

Marc Levine, the North Bay’s new assemblyman, and Michael Allen, the man he replaced, each got lucrative appointments on Thursday courtesy of Speaker John Pérez.

Allen: Pension reform ‘a work in progress’

Assemblyman Michael Allen says pension reform is “a work in progress,” with additional steps potentially including a hybrid system that shifts some of the risk for investment losses from taxpayers to public employees.

A short day, for extra pay

State senators met for 20 minutes today. On the agenda: Making sure that their daily expense payments continue through the holiday weekend even though the Legislature isn’t in session.

GUEST OPINION: Demise of Redevelopment Agency is a big loss for Santa Rosa

The state’s decision to grab local redevelopment funds will have a big impact in Santa Rosa, according to City Manager Kathleen Millison and Economic Development Director David Gouin. They say the city will lose more than 2,800 construction jobs and $84 million it had planned to invest in projects, programs and services. They want residents to contact the Legislature and urge lawmakers to postpone the Feb. 1 deadline.

Redevelopment fallout reverberates across region

Local government officials express horror, warning of ‘carnage’ to budgets, delays for critical community projects and setbacks for economic recovery efforts.
School officials are encouraged, expecting to enjoy a larger slice of the property-tax pie.

Impounding legislators’ cars

A lease car has been a unique perquisite for California legislators, providing SUVs, luxury sedans and the occasional muscle car of their choice. But the keys are being collected.

Critics question Allen’s role on pension reform panel

Assemblyman Michael Allen has been appointed to a high-profile state committee that will address a crisis with public employee pensions. But the choice is drawing concern from critics, given the Santa Rosa Democrat’s long history of advocating on behalf of unions.

Petaluma chiropractor to seek Assembly seat

H. Christian Gunderson, a Petaluma chiropractor and counselor, is running for an open seat in the state Assembly representing Marin County and a segment of Sonoma County including about half of Santa Rosa. “California needs healing,” Gunderson said, asserting that “doctors would make better politicians.”

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