MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#18 – #10) — October 12, 2018

This is the second of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts (for the first, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018). This is the middle third of school districts based on their Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state. It’s the piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat. No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote. If the name is in bold, I have endorsed (which I have not done in this grouping). If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has four districts with no candidates this cycle. The blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

Letters to the Editor in support of Proposition 6 and giving me a polite shout out continue to appear around the state. The second piece is from the Los Angeles Daily News. The third is from Calaveras County’s The Pinetree.net.

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LA-Daily-News

OPINION

Vote yes on Proposition 6:

Letters

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/10/11/vote-yes-on-proposition-6-letters/

Vote yes on Proposition 6. For years, politicians in Sacramento have been raiding existing gas-tax revenue to pay for pet projects and general fund spending — not to fix our terrible roads and infrastructure.

State Senator (and CPA) John Moorlach released a report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax funds go to roads, and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

And as with most supplemental taxes, we can’t help but suspect this one indirectly offsets debt accumulated from unsustainable public-employee pensions.

Don’t be fooled by the misleading ballot title: “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.” The Prop. 6 title should read: “Gas tax repeal initiative that sends a message to our state government: it’s time for fiscal accountability.”

— Kathy Bence, South Pasadena

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Vote Yes on 6 to Repeal an Unfair, Regressive Tax ~ Al Segalla

http://thepinetree.net/new/?p=68424

Copperopolis, CA…The cost of living is already too high in California, and the Gas and Car Tax hikes hurts working families that already struggle to pay bills. Estimates suggest the new increase in Gas Tax total will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year. This is about what a family spends on Christmas and two years of school lunches at a public school, or a year of college textbooks.

• The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread and everything in between.

• On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.
The gas tax hike will NOT fix our roads – because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains NO GUARANTEE that even a penny will go to roads.

• For years, the Sacramento politicians have been raiding the existing Gas Tax funds to pay for their pet projects and general fund spending rather than fixing our terrible roads and infrastructure.

• By voting Yes on 6, you send a message to the Sacramento politicians that Californians want raids of our existing gas tax funds stopped immediately.

• Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Senator John Moorlach – a CPA – released a stunning report showing that only 20% of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

• A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5x national average on roads.

• All the road projects that the politicians are claiming are being paid for by this most recent Gas Tax could be paid for if the politicians used the existing gas tax revenue for doing what it was supposed to do – repairing California’s infrastructure.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100% of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla
Calaveras County Taxpayers Association

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Perspectives On Liberal Agendas — July 9, 2018

A recent Sacramento Bee editorial submission really set off reporter, columnist, and author Katy Grimes and gave her the opportunity to really let loose; and I mean really. You can find the instigation of Ms. Grimes’s rebuttal at https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article214309449.html.

This is not the first time Ms. Grimes has expressed her opinion about the job Governor Brown has done (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Devastating Legacy — October 11, 2017).

Her latest rendition is found in the Canada Free Press, and it is the first piece below.

The second piece is not an editorial, per se, but a truncation of my interview with the world famous Larry O’Connor. Larry is an old friend and he is the most listened to radio talk show host in Washington, D.C. He is also a frequent guest on The Ingraham Angle Show on FOX. He substituted for Doug McIntyre this morning and I was invited on KABC 790 AM to discuss the recent ruling by Federal Judge Mendez on California’s status as a sanctuary state.

I opined that former California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon used the election of President Donald Trump as a bully pulpit in 2017 to generate media attention for his planned run for U.S. Senate. However, an unexpected thing happened on his way to D.C., Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced she was rerunning for yet another term. In her mid-80s, who would have guessed?

Consequently, I see the hiring of former United States Attorney General Eric Holder and the numerous legislative and legal activities that resulted last year, as a way for the then-President Pro Tem to garner better statewide name recognition. It was classic showmanship and grandstanding and I gave him high marks for the strategy. But, it came at considerable taxpayer expense and the jeopardizing of public safety for California’s residents.

The brief synopsis of my interview is provided by KABC 790 AM in the second piece below.

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Governor Brown’s aberrant style of leadership has been as maniacal as a third-World dictator, and his legacy is a complete and total failure, tainted by frequent lunatic ravings.

Jerry Brown’s California: Socialist, Climate-Conscious Open Borders Utopia

By Katy Grimes

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Food or Fish, Liberty or Oppression, Victim or Fighter? We Californians have many decisions to make about our future, thanks to our maniacal third-World wanna-be dictator-Governor Jerry Brown—a childless Marxist, who cares only about himself. Brown has never lived a life that calls upon one to sacrifice for the benefit of one’s own family and children. And it shows.

The narcissistic manic Gov. Jerry Brown, California’s four-term Democratic Governor is mostly responsible for the decline of the state. The once-golden state is now a socialist, climate-conscious utopia with open borders. This has occurred, cheered-on and virtually uncriticized by California’s mainstream media—almost as if the media is state-run.

Brown, who wants to outlaw private ownership of automobiles, supports universal single-payer health care, and issues in-state “visas” for illegal aliens, hates the Californians who have “little green lawns,” are climate deniers, and “freeloaders.” California is a cesspool and Jerry Brown offers  absolution to criminals through hundreds of pardons and commutations.

Narcissists have several telltale diversion tactics they use to escape responsibility:

Intimidate/Blame. Accuse/Project. Argue/Exhaust. Deny/Rewrite. Divert/Attack. Fear/Avoid.

We’ve witnessed California’s ludicrous Governor Jerry Brown use all of these tactics to divert responsibility for the demise of the once great Golden State. Yet California is a glaring example of radical leftist policies to avoid, and in far too many places resembles a third-world banana republic. In 2017, Brown said the world needs ‘brain washing’ on climate change. Sounding indeed brainwashed, Brown said, “The problem…is us. It’s our whole way of life. It’s our comfort…It’s the greed. It’s the indulgence. It’s the pattern. And it’s the inertia.”

California has one of the worst failing education systems in the country, the highest income taxes, highest gas tax, highest poverty in the nation, a billion dollar budget deficit, the state pension system is underfunded by $1 trillion, and violent crime is on the rise. But we now have transgender bathrooms, and a new law that says knowingly transmitting HIV to a partner will no longer be a felony offense.

According to Republican State Senator John Moorlach, a CPA, many of California’s 482 cities are in financial distress, facing a tipping point to insolvency mainly due to unfunded pension liabilities. Moorlach says:

Those are the facts. Yet a recent op-ed by Bonnie Castillo, the Executive Director of the radicalized California Nurses Union, summed up what she says is wrong with California. Only she claims “these glaring needs are a testament to the worst inequality in the United States since the Great Depression,” ignoring that it is the Democrat Party’s own socialistic policies which gave us:

  • a major affordable housing and homelessness crisis;
  • a lack of jobs that pay a living wage;
  • a health care system that leaves behind millions of Californians because they have no health coverage or because they have exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for health insurance;
  • escalating public college and university tuition that limits educational opportunity or leaves students weighted down with debt for decades.

Her solution? More and higher taxes. “Legislators should continue to require the wealthiest among us to contribute to the societal common good,” Castillo said. She also took a shot at Proposition 13, which cut property taxes down to 1 percent and limited the growth rate of future assessments to 2 percent. Even with Proposition 13, California is ranked 17th out of all 50 states in property taxes, according to WalletHub.com.

High Taxes = Outbound Migration By Millionaires

Ms. Castillo’s and Jerry Brown’s socialistic attacks on the wealthy have so dramatically impacted California, that according to new research from Stanford University and members of the California Franchise Tax Board, California lost an estimated 138 high income individuals due to the passage of the Proposition 30—a tax hike pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by voters in 2012, ZeroHedge.com reported. Prop. 30 retroactively raised taxes on the state’s highest earners to 13.3%, leaving California top-earners with the highest state income tax rate in the country. It also hiked the tax rate on income between $300,000 and $500,000 by 2%, while raising the tax rate on income over $500,000 by 3%.

“How viable are millionaire taxes when lower-tax states are a short distance away?” the study asks. “Can states sustain these new millionaire taxes without suffering out- migration of top tax payers? How attached are millionaires to the places where they currently earn their income?”

Water Lies

Droughts are nature’s fault; they are naturally occurring. Water shortages are the fault of government officials, and California’s water shortages fall squarely on Jerry Brown. The state of California hasn’t significantly invested in water storage since the 1970s when Jerry Brown was governor the first time around. “This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it,” Brown said upon being elected governor in 1975, embracing the “small is beautiful” way of thinking. Since then, California’s population has doubled, as have environmental demands. And, more than fifty-percent of the state’s water resources are allowed to flow out the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

Rather than build the desperately needed infrastructure projects to collect and store water during the wet years, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law a new water conservation act that will limit each citizen to just 50 gallons per person per day by 2050. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Governor Brown “signed two bills, SB 606 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and AB 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), that require cities, water districts, and large agricultural water districts to set strict annual water budgets, potentially facing fines of $1,000 per day if they don’t meet them, and $10,000 a day during drought emergencies, Daily Wire reported.

The truth is that 50 percent of California’s water goes toward environmental purposes. Of the rest of the water, only about 10 percent goes to “urban” uses for homes and businesses, and 40 percent is used by agriculture. A full 50 percent of the water is used for environmental purposes.

Democrat lawmakers and federal environmental regulators have authorized more than 81 billion gallons of water to flow out to the ocean, instead of being used for human consumption. This is environmental extremism at its worst, and it is killing California agriculture.

More than 80,000 acres of farmland could be back into production, if only farmers and ranchers had the 81 billion gallons of water running off into the ocean.

In 2015, when California’s 5-year drought was still in full force, Gov. Brown’s hand-picked appointees at the State Water Resources Control Board  ordered the release of massive amounts of water from the New Melones Reservoir and Lake Tulloch, to save a dozen fish. This occurred at the same time Brown was threatening to fine residents who water “their little green lawns,” and for lingering in the shower too long.

So while the governor and his environmentalist water gatekeepers were going to empty reservoirs to save a few fish, farmers have been deprived of water.

“Friday, the board’s regulators released their plan to disrupt a century of California water law and demand twice as much water flow down the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers in a purported effort to save salmon,” Mike Dunbar wrote in the Modesto Bee over the weekend. “This is a water grab, pure and simple. And we must fight it, not just talk about it.”

“This declaration of economic war is not just about water. It’s a war over our homes, our jobs and our children.”

California is home to one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. California is home to the most residents living below the poverty line in the country. And now with our politicians’ disregard for federal immigration laws, more than a quarter of the 38 million Californians were not even born in the United States.

California’s Oligarchs

“Why would a labor union, for example, support open borders?” Ed Ring wrote in a recent op ed. “Don’t they understand that if you continue to import low-skilled workers, wages will remain low? But maybe these labor organizations don’t want things to improve for California’s low income communities. Maybe the worse things get, the more members they’ll recruit, the more resentment they’ll exploit, the more agitators will join their army. Maybe this is just about power.”

Governor Brown’s aberrant style of leadership has been as maniacal as a third-World dictator, and his legacy is a complete and total failure, tainted by frequent lunatic ravings.

Brown says humankind would face dire straits if his climate change policies are not fulfilled. “Maybe not in my life, I’ll be dead…Most of you people, when I look out here, a lot of you people are going to be alive,” Brown said  at a legislative hearing one year ago extending his cap and trade legislation for another decade, despite no evidence of air quality improvements. “And you’re going to be alive in a horrible situation. You’re going to see mass migrations, vector diseases, forest fires, Southern California burning up. That’s real guys. That’s what the scientists of the world are saying.”

“I’m not here for some cockamamie legacy that people talk about,” Brown  added. “This isn’t for me. I’m going to be dead. It’s for you. It’s for you and it’s damn real.”

Katy Grimes is an investigative journalist, Senior Correspondent with the Flash Report, ReaganBabe, and Senior Media Fellow with Energy and Environmental Institute. A longtime political analyst, she has written for The Sacramento Union, The Washington Examiner, Watchdog.org, The Pacific Research Institute’s CalWatchdog, The San Francisco Examiner, The Business Journal, E&E Legal, The Sacramento Bee, Legal Insurrection, Canada Free Press, and Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette, and can be heard regularly on many talk radio shows each week.

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OC GOP Senator: Kevin de León pushed sanctuary state movement for personal ambition

By Sandy Wells

KABC News

http://www.kabc.com/2018/07/09/oc-gop-senator-kevin-de-leon-pushed-sanctuary-state-movement-for-personal-ambition/

California’s “sanctuary state” laws survived a legal challenge by the Trump administration last week after a federal judge declined to block state measures aimed at confounding cooperation with Washington’s crackdown on illegal immigration. However, Judge John Mendez of U.S. District Court in Sacramento diluted his ruling with an injunction that bars California officials from imposing fines of up to $10,000 on employers who grant immigration officials access to a private workplace or to employment records.

John Moorlach, Republican State Senator from Orange County, says the statewide sanctuary movement has been driven by the political aspirations of former State Senate President pro tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

“So he uses last year – 2017 – and his reaction to Donald Trump being elected – he uses it as a bully pulpit to start hammering on Donald Trump. Almost every week we had a new resolution on the senate floor on some component. I think he saw it as an opportunity to start building his campaign for U.S. Senate.”

But he says de León’s gambit has not paid off.

“Now where is he in the polls? He’s just about nowhere.”

John Moorlach was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Attaboy — January 22, 2018

Just like anyone else, it’s nice to receive an attaboy once in a while. Last month the Apartment Association of Orange County awarded me with their 2017 Legislator of the Year Award. Allow me to extend my gratitude to its members for this kind recognition.

Last week the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) made me a recipient of one of their two 2017 Rural Leadership Awards (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Haven for Hope — January 19, 2018). Thank you, RCRC!

Yesterday, Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association provides an attaboy for my reaction to the Governor’s proposed 2018-19 Budget (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Budget and Legacy Priorities — January 11, 2018). It’s provided below in The Press Enterprise. It also made it to the OC Register and the Daily News. Thank you, Jon Coupal!

Not a bad week. But wait, there’s more. A week ago last Monday, I presented my bill, SB 656, to the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee. One of my two witnesses in support was Judge Lance Ito. It passed 5-0. Last Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee put SB 656 in suspense status. But, on Thursday, it voted to move it onto the Senate Floor and it also picked upthe Appropriations Committee Chair, Sen. Ricardo Lara, as a co-author. That’s a major attaboy.

However, last Tuesday the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to hear a reconsideration of my bill, SB 722. It addressed cheaters in mobilehome parks that are subject to rent control. Unfortunately, the Chair prefers rent control over mobilehome park owners that are forced to give lower rents to those who occupy their space as a second home. Instead of doing the task of finding housing, some Democrats prefer subsidizing those who can afford multiple homes. So, it wasn’t a perfect week.

BONUS: I have a District fund raising event this Friday, January 26th, at 5:30 p.m. I would love for you to attend and to invite as many of your friends that are concerned about the direction of this state to participate.

Former Costa Mesa Mayor Steve Mensinger and current Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer are the hosts. We’re enjoying a great response and you will be glad that you attended.

For a copy of the invitation and an easy way to RSVP, please go to https://www.efundraisingconnections.com/c/Moorlach2020/EveningReceptionJan2018.

OPINION

The two most insightful

responses to the governor’s

budget

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, listens as lawmakers

debate a bill Thursday, June 2, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.

By JON COUPAL

https://www.pe.com/2018/01/20/the-two-most-insightful-responses-to-the-governors-budget/

Last week, Gov. Brown released his proposed 2018-19 state budget. But few citizens even pay attention to public finance issues except in the most general sense. For example, we hear from media either that the budget is balanced or that we’re running a huge deficit and the world will soon end.

If people tune out news about the budget, you can’t blame them. The whole process is a bit of a choreographed Kabuki dance where every Sacramento player has a role. First, the governor proposes a budget in January, then there is the infamous “May Revision,” and that leads up — hopefully — to the passage of the final budget by the constitutional deadline in June.

Part of the January dance when the initial plan is released is the reaction from constitutional officers, legislators and interest groups that customarily supply some sort of quote to media outlets. It’s a dog and pony show, but it does help in staking out turf between now and the June 30 deadline.

Not surprisingly, the comments from Democratic legislators and constitutional officers regarding the proposed budget were positive given that the general fund budget has grown to $132 billion — a staggering 44 percent since Gov. Brown was elected in 2010. Still, most of the voices from the left called for even more spending. For example, State Treasurer John Chiang stated “I would continue to urge him and lawmakers to continue to invest more heavily in three bedrock areas that are critical to the long term prosperity of this state: higher education, affordable housing and early childhood education.”

Republicans, on the other hand, want more accountability and would prefer that some of this year’s surplus be returned to taxpayers. Fiscal watchdogs, such as Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, expressed concern with the explosive growth in Medi-Cal spending as well as the billions in unfunded pension liabilities.

Two of the best responses to the governor’s proposed budget stand out for very different reasons. The first is from Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, the California Legislature’s only CPA, who has been laser-focused on the staggering amount of public debt in California even when we have balanced budgets. His reaction was a distillation of the true state of California’s fiscal condition: “Gov. Brown admits that ‘the last 5 budgets have significantly increased spending,’ and this budget proposal is no different. Coming in at just under $300 billion dollars of total spending, debt and poverty remain at all-time highs. Even worse, our balance sheet is massively short and unfunded liabilities are in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Our underfunded pension systems will get minimum payments of $6.2 billion for CalPERS and $3.1 billion for CalSTRS. These costs are directly related to policies Jerry Brown embraced 40 years ago during his first time as governor. While he’s sensitive to a possible economic slowdown and should be lauded for increasing our rainy day funds, he has been a spendthrift in Sacramento.”

The second best reaction to the governor’s proposed budget is from Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, who simply acknowledged that the proposed budget is just that — proposed. We won’t know the true state of fiscal affairs until the debate over the final budget in June concludes. However, the way he stated this fact garners extra points for style: “Semper in excretia sumus solim profundum variat.” This Latin phrase translates as, “We’re always in the manure; only the depth varies.”

For California’s beleaguered taxpayers, Sens. Moorlach and Vidak bring clarity and truth to California’s fiscal dysfunction.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Critical Federal Tax Reform — November 28, 2017

Nearly a decade ago, when I served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, we successfully negotiated offering a lower defined benefit pension plan retirement formula for new hires. Governor Brown replicated this strategy a few years later with his Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA).

We also negotiated a provision that would allow current employees to adopt the lower formula. The reason an employee would make this decision was due to the reduction in the employee’s portion of the contribution to the pension. It would reduce their payroll check withholdings, thus increasing their net take home pay.

We had a number of Orange County employees that wanted to do this because paying for child care and housing costs was a higher priority. And a reasonable pension, with a portability component, was preferred over the gold-plated plan that was mandated.

Unfortunately, this creative solution was halted by the discovery of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul.) 2006-43. This faulty ruling denied cities the ability to offer an alternative retirement plan, whether it was a defined contribution or hybrid plan, without realizing the pre-tax benefits that employers and employees have with their defined benefit contributions.

Allow me to provide you with some history on this administrative tax promulgation roadblock, as removing this hurdle can make a major change in the finances of this nation (in reverse date order).

1. When looking back on what I accomplished as a Supervisor (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Supervisor Bartlett — December 3, 2014). :

• 2009 – Negotiated new tier for current hires, only to be stymied by I.R.S. Rev. Rul. 2006-43

2. Included as Goal #3 in my 2014 goallist:

MOORLACH UPDATE — 2014 Bucket List — October 3, 2014

3. A piece by Steve Malanga in The Wall Street Journal, giving this concern national attention:

MOORLACH UPDATE — The Wall Street Journal — December 7, 2013

Two key paragraphs:

For more than three years the IRS has failed to clarify a rule on changes to public pension systems that would allow municipalities to shift workers into new, less-expensive plans without losing any tax advantages they had under the old plan.

And

The Orange County Employees Association accepted the new plan to let workers choose more take-home pay now, but there was an unexpected glitch. Local government contributions into a defined-benefit pension aren’t counted as part of an employee’s taxable wages. However, officials discovered that thanks to a murky ruling a few years earlier, the IRS might decide that a portion of the employees’ pension contributions are taxable if a worker moves into a plan such as the one offered by Orange County. Such a ruling would remove a key tax-savings for the employee and probably cause most workers to avoid the new plan.

4. A set up discussion:

MOORLACH UPDATE — Nineteenth Anniversary — December 6, 2013

5. My treatise on the subject:

MOORLACH UPDATE — San Diego U-T — October 13, 2013

6. The national politics involved with my focus on repealing this Rev. Rul.:

MOORLACH UPDATE — H.R. 205 — August 28, 2013

7. Why I stressed this tax code modification many years ago:

MOORLACH UPDATE — Fighting/Leading — July 1, 2013

8. A SD Union-Tribune editorial:

MOORLACH UPDATE — IRS — April 10, 2012

Bottom line? I personally informed the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is a very big deal for this Certified Public Accountant. Therefore, the Republicans in D.C. are aware of the situation and need to act. My editorial submission in the Voice of OC, the first piece below, provides the recipe for thorough tax reform.

The Laguna Beach Independent announces my upcoming speaking engagement for this Thursday evening in the second piece below.

BONUS: You are cordially invited to our Annual Christmas Open House on December 6th, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 940 South Coast Drive, Costa Mesa, Suite 185. Also see MOORLACH UPDATE — Happy Thanksgiving— November 22, 2017.

To RSVP, contact Deborah Sandoval at Deborah.Sandoval or 714-662-0550. Dress is Christmas casual, which means if you wear a Reyn Spooner Christmas shirt, you’ll be provided with extra refreshments.

Moorlach: A Crucial Pension Reform Congress Must Enact

By John Moorlach

https://voiceofoc.org/2017/11/moorlach-a-crucial-pension-reform-congress-must-enact/

Regardless of what else is done, here’s the missing piece Congress and President Trump must add to the tax reform they’re working on: public-employee pension reform. What good is it if you get $500 in tax cuts from the federal government if your state and local taxes rise $1,000 to pay for burgeoning pensions for government workers?

The key: Revoke IRS Revenue Ruling 2006-43. It prevents allowing public employees the option of reducing defined benefit pension benefits in exchange for better pay. Dumping the rule would help not only taxpayers, but the public employees themselves.

I’m the only CPA in the Legislature of the largest state, so please let me explain the situation for our representatives in Washington. In 2009, the County of Orange negotiated a strategy that allowed county employees, at their choice, to move from a traditional defined benefit retirement plan to a hybrid, comprising a lower defined benefit formula, combined with an employer-matching, 401(k) plan of 2 percent of wages.

This reform also would have meant approximately a 7 percent increase in net pay for county employees electing to do so, with no added cost to taxpayers. That especially would have helped struggling young families. And it would have eased the underfunded pension crises now facing the county.

Unfortunately, the intentions of the county and its bargaining units were halted by this revenue ruling. Consequently, in 2013, a bipartisan reform to amend the Internal Revenue Code, through House Resolution 205, was pursued. It was co-sponsored by two local House members, both since retired, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, and Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine.

According to the congressional summary, it would have permitted “the treatment of certain employer contributions made to public retirement plans as picked up by an employing unit regardless of whether” the plan was a traditional one, or had been converted to a new, hybrid plan for county employees electing to do so. Unfortunately, H.R. 205 died in the House Ways and Means Committee.

All the same, in late 2013 I traveled to Washington to unclog this unnecessary and expensive roadblock. On Dec. 4, Sanchez arranged a meeting with the then-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. The meeting included Nick Berardino, the general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, and Jennifer Muir, his assistant who succeeded him in 2015 when he retired.

Camp’s district was just North of Detroit. The previous day that large city, once called the Paris of the West, saw Judge Steven W. Rhodes declare that its public-employee pensions would not be protected in federal bankruptcy proceedings.

I told Camp that if there was ever a time to be walking in with a solution for this nation’s cities, counties and states, this was it. While in D.C., I also met with the county’s outside legal counsel, who told me the reform was opposed by the AFSCME and SEIU unions, making the real complication the impenetrable prose of Revenue Ruling 2006-43.

Fast forward to 2017, with so many cities and counties in the nation on the brink of insolvency, it’s time to provide a reasonable and fair solution. And with the rising cost of housing, young employees need some relief, as well.

That’s why revoking Revenue Ruling 2006-43 is crucial now. If Republicans are going to make all these changes to the tax code, let’s make sure they address the biggest financial impediment facing our country’s municipalities by including this vital and simple pension solution.

If Congress doesn’t act, by including this obvious tax clarification, then all this hyperbole and debate over tax reform may just end up being a waste of time and energy.

John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Senate

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears

Senator Moorlach Speaks to GOP

https://www.lagunabeachindy.com/health-balance-celebrates-30-years/

 

John Moorlach

State Senator John Moorlach will discuss issues such as the gas tax hike, the state sanctuary movement and pensions as the guest speaker of the Laguna Beach Republicans on Thursday, Nov. 30.

The group meets at Mozambique restaurant 1740 S Coast Hwy, at 5 p.m. to socialize and the meeting gets underway by 6 p.m.

RSVP to highspeed8 as space is limited.

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach.

MOORLACH UPDATE — Who Is? — September 13, 2017

Greetings from under the Dome. In the final week of the legislative session before breaking for the fall, we’re in Committee meetings or on the Floor constantly, with a break for lunch. Speaking of lunch breaks, Rich Pedroncelli, the world-famous photographer for Associated Press, caught me working on my laptop yesterday in the first piece below, courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.

The Highland Community News provides the list of bills that were signed by Governor Brown on Monday in the second piece below. The good news, he signed my fourth bill of this year, SB 764 (see http://district37.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-764-client-trust-fund-protection and (MOORLACH UPDATE — Legislative Efforts — June 29, 2017).

SB 764 started with a conversation on one of my flights back to the District. Jeff Eales was sitting next to me and mentioned that his C.P.A., Jay Wikum, used to work for me. From there he explained the result of a recent state audit of his employer. The audit checklist did not have a box for insurance coverage for trust funds. So he had to double up with the acquisition of a bond. SB 764 permits the use of insurance. Thank you, Jeff.

The San Francisco Examiner provides the details of a bill, AB 186, that failed to get enough votes to pass, a rarity up here. It would allow for Supervised Injection Services (SIS) for drug users and is covered in the third piece below.

The fourth piece is from the LA Times. It has a website that stays up to the minute, and it provides this morning’s Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee meeting. I had indigestion with a provision wanting to unionize the largest manufacturing plant in California. The plant belongs to Tesla and is located in Fremont. It begs the question, “Who is?”

The fun life continues.

BONUS: You’re invited to an informal California Historical Landmark plaque unveiling at Crystal Cove. This state park has erected the marker where the plaque is placed. Come on Monday at 2 p.m. for the private ceremony.

 

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State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, works as his desk as the Senate takes a break for lunch Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP Photo

http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article172843136.html

Governor Brown Issues Legislative Update

http://www.highlandnews.net/news/political/governor-brown-issues-legislative-update/article_9f9f55d2-97e0-11e7-9da7-d742620e5694.html

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bills:

AB 242 by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) – Certificates of death: veterans.

AB 395 by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) – Substance use treatment providers.

AB 400 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) – Crimes: alcoholic beverages: State Capitol.

AB 593 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) – Structural Fumigation Enforcement Program.

AB 711 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) – Beer manufacturers: free or discounted rides.

AB 1108 by Assemblymember Tom F. Daly (D-Anaheim) – Self-service storage facilities.

AB 1398 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Annuities: cash surrender benefits.

AB 1487 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) – Public Employees’ Retirement System: limited term appointments.

AB 1504 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) – State parks: concessions: contracts.

AB 1613 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – San Mateo County Transit District: retail transactions and use tax.

SB 65 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) – Vehicles: alcohol and marijuana: penalties.

SB 157 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Invasion of privacy: distribution of sexually explicit materials: protection of plaintiff’s identity.

SB 335 by Senator Anthony J. Cannella (R-Ceres) – Nursery Advisory Board.

SB 401 by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) – Child care facilities: state employees.

SB 407 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Common interest developments: noncommercial solicitation.

SB 410 by Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) – Civil service: veterans’ hiring preference: active duty members.

SB 427 by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) – Public water systems: community water systems: lead user service lines.

SB 455 by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Pupil enrollment: military dependents.

SB 489 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) – Workers’ compensation: change of physician.

SB 525 by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) – Public employees’ retirement.

SB 554 by Senator Jeff E. Stone (R-Temecula) – Nurse practitioners: physician assistants: buprenorphine.

SB 628 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Local educational agencies: governing board elections: Los Angeles Community College District.

SB 654 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) – Local moratorium: gambling tables.

SB 666 by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) – California Gambling Control Commission and Department of Justice: postemployment restrictions.

SB 684 by Senator Patricia C. Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) – Incompetence to stand trial: conservatorship: treatment.

SB 704 by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) – Division of Boating and Waterways: invasive aquatic plants control programs.

SB 764 by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) – Real estate trust fund accounts: fidelity insurance.

The Governor also announced that he has vetoed the following bills:

AB 662 by Assemblymember Steven Choi (R-Irvine) – Restitution: tracking. A veto message can be found here.

SB 663 by Senator Jim W. Nielsen (R-Gerber) – Packages and labels of cannabis or cannabis products: children. A veto message can be found here.

For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

Wiener fails to pass bill in California Senate to allow safe injection sites for drug users

By Joshua Sabatini

http://www.sfexaminer.com/wiener-fails-pass-bill-california-senate-allow-safe-injection-sites-drug-users/

A state bill that would allow San Francisco and seven other counties to open
up safe injection sites failed to pass the California Senate Tuesday night by
two votes.

However, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco — a co-author of the bill — intends to ask the Senate to reconsider the proposal before the legislative session ends Friday.

“We all want people to get off of drugs,” Wiener said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “To my colleagues I would just ask, ‘How the heck are we doing in terms of getting people off of drugs?’ I think pretty darn poorly when you look

at the absolute explosion of injection drug use in cities, in rural areas, in California, in states across the country.”

He added, “The approach we’ve been using is a failure.”

The most recent estimates of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. shows a 21 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, with 64,070 people dying of drug overdoses compared to the 52,898 recorded overdose deaths in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

San Francisco has been studying opening up safe injection sites and could possibly become the first city in the nation to open a sanctioned one as early

as 2018, but that effort will likely be derailed if the state bill doesn’t pass. A

safe injection task force, established at the urging of Board of Supervisors President London Breed, is expected to recommend in a report this month

that San Francisco open such facilities.

Assembly Bill 186, introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman,

D-Stockton, and co-authored by Wiener, would provide legal protections for

San Francisco, along with seven other counties, to open safe injection sites.

The Assembly passed AB 186 in June by a 41 to 33 vote.

Republican senators blasted the bill on the Senate floor Tuesday when

Wiener called for the vote. Wiener managed to pick up 19 votes for it by Tuesday night, two shy of the required 21 votes to pass.

But Wiener is expected to have the Senate reconsider the bill before Friday’sdeadline, when the legislative session ends. If approved by the Senate, Gov. Jerry Brown would need to sign it into law.

Wiener built support for the proposal on the Senate floor by highlighting that it doesn’t mandate the eight counties actually open the facilities, there is no

state funding tied to it and studies show they work.

Safe injection sites allow drug users to inject drugs under supervision of

medical professionals.

“I want to just really emphasize that this is not new,” Wiener said of safe

injection sites. “The United States is behind other countries. There are over 100 programs around the world that have implemented safe injection sites. And in

all of these programs there has never been a single reported case of a lethal overdose in one of these centers.”

Wiener said studies have proven that the sites reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis, reduce litter of syringes and guide people into treatment programs.

He also said the sites would free up emergency personnel from responding to drug overdose reports. “When you stop sending paramedics on runs to

respond to overdoses, for example, in public restrooms, abandoned cars, or homeless encampments you free them up to respond more quickly to other emergencies like heart attacks or strokes,” Wiener said.

Wiener dismissed concerns that the sites would encourage drug use. “People are already injecting drugs. But they are doing it on the streets,” Wiener said. “Why not do it in a safe sterile environment off of our streets?”

Republican senators sided with law enforcement groups like the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association and the California District Attorneys Association, which are opposing the bill.

State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, argued that the sites wouldn’t end drug

use. Nielsen said “there is little hope” someone who uses the sites would “dedicate themselves to rehabilitation.”

State Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said, “One of our jobs on the floor is to promote virtue and not encourage vices like drug use.”

“I don’t think we should be enabling people here with broken hearts and

souls,” Morrell said.

State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills, said safe injection sites would

“create sanctioned shooting galleries for street heroin.”

“Let’s not tell people who are slaves to drugs that the best we can do for them

is to provide a ‘clean, well-lighted place’ for them to throw away their lives,” Gaines said.

Other Democratic state senators spoke in favor of the the bill.

Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said new strategies are needed to address the drug epidemic. “We’ve tried things that don’t work,” Atkins said. “It makes

sense to try pilot programs.”

Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said he had visited a safe injection facility

in Sydney, Australia, and saw it was effective. “We keep losing our young

folks. The epidemic continues to grow,” Lara said. “We have to treat this issue differently. Because what we’ve been doing does not work.”

Under AB 186, San Francisco along with Alameda, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Joaquin and Santa Cruz counties could operate a safe drug consumption program for those 18 or older, until Jan. 1, 2022.

Those involved in the programs couldn’t be charged with drug offenses and those operating the program would have to provide annual reports detailing syringes distributed, demographics of drug users, overdoses and referrals to treatment programs.

How the California Senate voted Tuesday on Assembly Bill 186

‘Yes’ votes:
Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica
Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego
Sen. Jim Beall, D-Campbell
Sen. Steven Bradford, D- Gardena
Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa
Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo
Sen. Bill Hueso, D-San Diego
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens
Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino
Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg
Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles
Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel
Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland
Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont
Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco

‘No’ votes:
Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon
Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel
Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte
Sen. Anthony J. Cannella, R-Ceres
Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills
Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda
Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa
Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga
Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton
Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove
Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama
Sen. Anthony Portantino D-La Cañada Flintridge
Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside
Sen. Jeff Stone R-Riverside County
Andy Vidak, R-Hanford
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley

Did not vote:
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton
Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento
Sen. Henry Stern, D-Agoura Hills

Hearing on cap-and-trade spending deal gets testy

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders may have reached a deal on spending $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade revenue, but some Democrats still have concerns.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) wondered during a budget hearing on Wednesday how much of the appropriations “were designed to meet certain expectations” of different interest groups and lawmakers who supported extending the cap-and-trade program earlier this year. The program requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, and the revenue is supposed to be spent on initiatives that further reduce emissions.

“There are a lot of Christmas trees out there,” Jackson said. “Everybody wants to pluck a bit of the ornaments, but my concern overall is the whole accountability issue. As you identify these projects, are there certain expectations that you think that they are going to accomplish, because I haven’t seen them.”

Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) questioned a last-minute provision in the spending legislation that could give unions more leverage in negotiations with automakers.

“Who is running this state?” he said.

The provision would ask state regulators to create a process for determining if automakers are “fair and responsible” in their treatment of workers. If they fall short of that standard, their vehicles could become ineligible for electric car rebates in the future.

Moorlach asked what “fair and responsible” meant. Amy Costa, chief deputy director at Brown’s Department of Finance, said it would be up to state officials to develop the guidelines.

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This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District.Ifyou no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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