News Stories

Lawmakers hold hearing on stormwater retention projects

February 26, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —California is letting billions of gallons of perfectly good water wash down its storm drains and out to sea.

That was the take-away lesson from a hearing at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee and the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee held a joint hearing on the potential for stormwater savings projects.

By Darla Givens

February 26, 2015

The drought took center stage in a committee room at the Capitol Wednesday.

The goal of the informational joint meeting -- with the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Senate Governance and Finance Committee -- was to explore innovative and cost-effective ways to fund projects to recapture and re-use rain water and dry weather runoff, rather than letting it flow into the ocean.

Governance and Finance Committee Chair Bob Hertzberg said there is about $200 million earmarked for projects.

February 25, 2015

To listen to Sen. Bob Hertzberg's interview, click on the link below. 

By Amy Quinton

February 24, 2015

Recycling stormwater runoff could help provide more water during the drought. 

Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg says he believes such projects are more affordable than importing water from state and federal water projects.

“We spend so much money and have such environmental impact by moving water around the state, when right in front of our noses there’s a lot of opportunity to capture it," says Hertzberg.  "So we’re looking at best practices and trying to figure out new policies we can develop to make that happen,” he says.

February 23, 2015

By Sen. Robert Hertzberg

As the new Legislature settles in, students are protesting tuition increases while the state faces yet another funding crisis for higher education. This has set lawmakers abuzz about what tax plan should replace Gov. Jerry Brown's temporary increase that will soon wind down and that he vows not to renew.

This welcome debate should not once more be about cobbling together short-term measures. Instead, it ought to be about a vision of California and how that should shape our tax system, not vice versa.

February 11, 2015

Rarely does a freshman state senator propose anything substantial during his or her first few days in office. But Robert Hertzberg, elected last fall from a safe Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, is hardly a typical newbie.

Capitol Journal, by George Skelton

February 9, 2015

(This) no-brainer bill would make it easier to vote by requiring that every registered voter be mailed an absentee ballot. Now you've got to request one or be listed as a permanent absentee voter.

OK, but how much would that cost?

Less, says Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), author of the bill, SB 163. "Think about it."

“Nothing less than our democratic way of life is at risk”

February 6, 2015

Every registered voter in California would get a vote-by-mail ballot, whether they asked for one or not, under legislation being considered in Sacramento.

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, says it might help reverse a slide in voter turnout.

“Unless we find a way to increase voter participation statewide, nothing less than our democratic way of life is at risk,” says Mr. Hertzberg, author of the legislation known as SB 163.

Voters would still have the option of voting in person at their designated polling location.

January 30, 2015

Gov. Brown should use his poll numbers to craft better tax system
Don’t blow it, Governor. California is more pleased than ever with Gov. Jerry Brown’s performance, according to a statewide poll this week. Once-wary voters might even stomach continuing a higher sales tax, the poll found. Meanwhile, revenues are pouring in, with more money in the future.

It’s political nirvana, a moment to savor for any state leader. But this high point invites a question: Will Brown use this moment to create a genuine legacy that will serve California?

By Timm Herdt

January 28, 2015

Periodically, whenever state government revenues are riding high or falling fast, big thinkers in California begin earnestly arguing for major tax reform.

The crux of their argument is the undeniably outsized fluctuations in state revenues. It’s either caviar or cat food, and there’s no dispute about the reason: The personal income tax accounts for two-thirds of California’s general fund revenues, and more than half of all income taxes are paid by people with annual incomes in excess of $300,000.

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