Newsom Kills The Death Penalty
Earlier this week, Governor Newsom announced that he was effectively ending the death penalty in California, despite voters clear support of it time and time again, and granting reprieve to more than 700 death row inmates. Whether or not it is even legal for Governor Newsom to override the will of the voters is still unclear, and there are many victims' rights groups and District Attorney's offices around the state working on the question on constitutionality right now. The California electorate has voted to keep the death penalty three different times in recent years, with the latest death penalty measure on the ballot not just supporting it, but effectively speeding up the process to execution. In 2016, Gavin Newsom claimed he would uphold the "will of the voters" after his referendum to repeal the death penalty failed. "I would not get my personal opinions in the way of the public's right to make a determination of where they want to take us" on the death penalty, he said three years ago. And yet, here we are. What other promise is Governor Newsom willing to go back on? CLICK HERE to sign the petition to STOP Governor Newsom's death penalty moratorium.
Rent Control Again
In another example of ignoring the will of the voters, California Legislative Democrats are working on passing a rent control bill, despite the electorate's decisive rejection of it last fall. AB 1482 (Chiu, D) comes in a housing bill package that includes a series of legislation that aims to target rent. AB 1482, in particular, would annually cap rent increases. Just 4 months ago, voters blocked the passage of Prop 10, which would have imposed rent control state-wide. So why then, do our Democrat leaders think they know better than California's voters? Simple economics tells us that a rent control does nothing to truly protect renters in this market. Rent control will create shortages when landlords are forced to sell and then where do renters turn? They can't afford to buy a home either. What we need is affordable housing creation, and rolling back burdensome CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) reforms on housing construction is a step in the right direction. Legislative Democrats should listen to Californians and leave Costa-Hawkins alone!
More Taxes, Please
In another effort to squeeze small businesses until they are dry, the state is trying to collect back taxes from e-commerce retailers that sold their products on Amazon while temporarily housing their merchandise in California. If the company had any sort of physical presence in California since 2012, the state tax collection agency is asking the small business merchants to pay up. But some of these retailers didn't even know they owed the state of California taxes, since they didn't know that their merchandise was ever housed in Amazon's California fulfillment centers. This crack-down of "third-party" sellers on Amazon could leave many of them bankrupt and out of business. They could face a $5,000 fine on top of the back taxes and interest, as well as prison time. California's Tax and Fee Administration said it alerted more than 2,500 online retailers that they may own California back taxes. But these "third-party" sellers claim they have no control over where Amazon sends their merchandise, so Amazon should be on the hook for the alleged back taxes. Either way, the state should figure out how to promote small businesses to flourish in our state by easing the tax burden, but instead they continue to drive business further and further away.