News Stories

May 26, 2018

By S. Burr Eckstut and Ingrid Rechtin

California has taken a conservative step on the path to greater regulation of blockchain technology or legal recognition of blockchain-secured data.  On May 18, an amended bill was referred to the State Assembly Appropriations Committee for review that would provide for the establishment of a blockchain working group to evaluate “the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by state government and California-based businesses.”  The amended bill also provides a legal definition of “blockchain.”[1]

May 22, 2018

by Antoinette Siu

Consider these two scenarios: A family spends Saturday afternoon at the local shopping center, buying a new washing machine, summer sandals, children’s books and dog food. With every purchase, the state takes its cut, courtesy of California’s 7.25 percent sales tax.

Then consider a mid-sized advertising firm across town. It contracts with an accountant, a software developer, a lawyer and a cleaning service. Every time the company pays for these services, the state of California collects absolutely nothing.

May 22, 2018

By Jeff Powers

Democratic Senator and former Speaker of the Assembly, Bob Hertzberg, isn’t slowing down.

May 18, 2018

By Bettina Boxall

California cities and towns may find themselves on a water budget in the next decade under a pair of bills approved Thursday by the legislature.

The measures follow Gov. Jerry Brown's call to make water conservation a permanent way of life in a state long accustomed to jewel-green lawns and suburban tracts studded with swimming pools.

More than a year of legislative negotiations reflected the enduring conflicts over state and local control.

May 17, 2018

By Fiona Ma

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he will leave states’ cannabis regulations alone should give hope to the millions of Californians who voted for Proposition 64 in 2016. Ideally, Trump would also push for wholesale changes in federal banking law that would allow the cannabis industry access to credit just like other legal businesses in the state.

But California can’t wait to take action. If elected state treasurer, my top priority will be banking for cannabis.

May 16, 2018

After testing the waters for the last three years, state Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is making his strongest push yet to pass legislation that would impose a tax on services provided to businesses.

Hertzberg says Senate Bill 993 would better align the state’s tax code with the shift toward a more service-based economy. By 2022, the bill would create a new 3 percent tax on services — such as legal representation, accounting, design work and consulting — delivered to businesses in California.

May 11, 2018

By Dylan Svoboda

What’s in a name? When it comes to social media, maybe a lot more than you think.

There is a move in the Capitol to force social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to identify “bots,” those robot-like, automated accounts that move through the internet and interact with real people — and each other.

April 28, 2018

By Olga Grigoryants

A massive San Fernando Valley transit project is poised to get a piece of $1.7 billion in state funding, officials said.

The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor and a few other Valley transit projects might receive the funding in the form of grants if they are approved by the California Transportation Commission next month.

The funding comes from Senate Bill 1, overseen by the California State Transportation Agency in partnership with the Local Partnership Program and Solutions for Congested Corridors Program.

April 25, 2018

by Catherine Ho

A second state Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would make it easier for California cannabis businesses to write checks — instead of using hoards of cash, as is common practice now — to pay taxes, rent and fees to vendors.

April 23, 2018

California could become the next U.S. state that allows companies to store data - including information about stockholders - on a blockchain.

Bill 838 was first introduced by Senator Robert Hertzberg in January, but public filings show that the measure has picked up steam in recent days. The State Senate's Banking and Financial Institutions Committee referred the measure to the Judiciary Committee on April 18 after advancing it with a "do pass" recommendation.

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