California governors don’t make New Year’s resolutions – publicly, at least. The closest they come to vows of self-improvement is the annual State of the Address, delivered every January before a joint session of the State Legislature.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and other pension systems in the Golden State might be celebrating their recent investment returns, but don’t be fooled. Their problems are nowhere close to solved — and those problems are taxpayers’ problems.
In 1850 California passed its first professional licensing law requiring foreigners to buy a monthly license to mine gold. During the next hundred years the state so dramatically expanded its licensing regime that by 1950 one in every twenty workers required a license. Today one in five working Californians requires a license from the state government; a recent study found that California is the most broadly licensed state in the nation.
A quality public education is the right of every child and the foundation of every community. A good education is the best path out of poverty and will provide every child with a chance to succeed in life. Yet in Los Angeles less than 30 percent of students meet state standards in math; less than 40 percent of students meet state standards in English. Only one-third of LA Unified School District’s 2015/16 graduating cohort met the standards to apply to California’s public universities. Another 25 percent did not graduate.