Eber: Concord Sends Lennar Five Point Packing

Rich Eber, the writer of this article has been working on this story for five years—not a typo.  I first met him at a bloggers conference in Denver and he was talking about Lennar, the lawsuits against Lennar and the corruption of the process by the company.  Now, the city council of Concord decided to pull the plug on Lennar running a $5 billion development project.

  • “It is believed that Lennar does not have nor is willing to commit the resources to perform the needed infrastructure work for Naval Weapons Station.  This was indicated last October when they stopped reimbursing the city for their initial design work which came to some $ 37,000 per month.  The project was being managed by Lennar subsidiary Five Point Holdings whose current price in the $ 4.00 range is not enough to buy a Big Mac and a coke at Mc Donald’s.
  • Lennar’s recent history of dealing with Hazmat contamination, broken promises to cities, along with law suits at their developments at Hunter’s Point, Treasure Island, Mare Island, and elsewhere did not bring goose bumps of confidence in Concord.
  • Even though local affordable housing advocates supported the Miami Corporation developing the Naval Base property, they have built less than 10% of promised low income apartments around the state during the past decade.

When all of these points were taken into account, the inability to negotiate a PLA is not the only issue involved with the Concord City Council sending Lennar packing.  Although it was never mentioned by those voting, there was a growing consensus that Lennar could not be trusted to be a so called partner on this 5 billion plus project.

This is one of the few times the people were heard by a government agency. This is one of the few times that a company with a spotty record of lost lawsuits, people involved with the company having severe legal problems, creating environmental problems in other areas—and now the people of Concord took them down.  One person was at the hearings, talked to officials—over a five year period, Rich Eber.  Congratulations on doing the job journalists are supposed to do—find the truth.

Concord sends Lennar Five Point packing By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  3/27/20 


This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

T.S. Elliot

With little fanfare without the benefit of advocates from both sides the City Council of Concord terminated their relationship with the countries largest builder Urban Lennar to be Master Developer for the former Naval Weapons property.

By a 3-2 vote with no one in attendance at a teleconference witnessed on the seldom viewed public access channel, the city fathers decided that they no longer required of services of Lennar or their subsidiary Five Point Holdings.

It is estimated that the 5000 acre property will someday be the home for 50,000 new residents, In addition  a Cal State campus, commercial,  parks, open space and other community benefits are planned on this surplus Naval property.

Why did Concord give the heave ho to Lennar Five Point?

  • The principal issue at the meeting was Lennar’s inability to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with Contra Costa Building Trades Council (CCBCTC) representing the unions in the region.  The City wanted the PLA to make sure there was local hire and training while Lennar countered that this pact would not allow them to make a profit.
  • It is believed that Lennar does not have nor is willing to commit the resources to perform the needed infrastructure work for Naval Weapons Station.  This was indicated last October when they stopped reimbursing the city for their initial design work which came to some $ 37,000 per month.  The project was being managed by Lennar subsidiary Five Point Holdings whose current price in the $ 4.00 range is not enough to buy a Big Mac and a coke at Mc Donald’s.
  • Lennar’s recent history of dealing with Hazmat contamination, broken promises to cities, along with law suits at their developments at Hunter’s Point, Treasure Island, Mare Island, and elsewhere did not bring goose bumps of confidence in Concord.
  • Even though local affordable housing advocates supported the Miami Corporation developing the Naval Base property, they have built less than 10% of promised low income apartments around the state during the past decade.

When all of these points were taken into account, the inability to negotiate a PLA is not the only issue involved with the Concord City Council sending Lennar packing.  Although it was never mentioned by those voting, there was a growing consensus that Lennar could not be trusted to be a so called partner on this 5 billion plus project.

The apprehension about Lennar started almost five years, when writing for another publication, I revealed that then Concord Mayor Tim Grayson received campaign donations for his Assembly race of $ 16,000 from Lennar related entities.  He later returned these funds but continued to push for them to win the Master Developer contract.

During this time by mere coincidence Grayson received free political advice on two occasions from Willie Brown that was arranged by his campaign manager Mary Jo Rossi. She had previously interned under the then Speaker of the California Assembly.  Naturally, during these tutoring sessions, all parties denied any mention was ever made of the Naval Weapons Station contract

One of those who gave money to Grayson was Willie Brown’s business partner Steve Kay in Golden Gate Global. They sold EB-5 Green cards to Chinese business people for which loans were given to finance Lennar developments.  This was arranged by Kofi Bonner, then VP of Lennar who was later made CEO of Five Point.  Last month when Five Point crashed, Bonner quit and started a political consultant firm Shipyard Advisors with his buddies Brown and Kay.

In the fall of 2015 under intense pressure from Rossi and Grayson’s attorney Jim Sutton to push for a vote on who was to be named Master Developer, Concord City Attorney Mark Koon tragically committed suicide.  In the fallout from this event, the city appointed public interest attorney David Jenkins to look into what had transpired.

After his investigations Jenkins reported that Lennar did not act in good faith but did not recommend how the City Council should deal with them.  Lacking the co-operation from Brown, Kay, Bonner, and Rossi, he could not proceed further in his investigations.

Ironically, the day following his report, Jenkins gave a seminar to the Concord City Council on obeying the Brown Act after it was revealed City Manager Valerie Barone had broken it by trying to cover up  a staff report recommending  Lennar’s competition Catellus be given the master developer  contract.

Soon after Catellus CEO Ted Antenucci had seen enough and withdrew his company from being part of the Naval Weapons Station developer competition.  The corruption was too much in Concord for his firm that had a policy against donating funds to political campaigns of any sort.

Despite what occurred, the city council allowed Lennar to stay involved with competing to become Master Developer.  With no competition they were given the exclusive negotiating rights although Lennar was required to meet the terms of the Catellus proposal.

With little progress made in the ensuing three and a half years, Lennar cut off their funding of the project in October of 2019. They were impatient wanting to be formally named master developer for at least the first phase.  This would have enabled them to receive bank loans and eventually sell land as well

It is has been speculated Five Point Co-CEO Kofi Bonner was trying to strong arm the City government to speed things along.

After a meeting where public testimony was heard in January, Lennar was given an extension until March 31st to get a PLA agreement done with the CCBTC.   In the interim Kofi Bonner quit his position in Five Point being replaced by Lennar President Jon Jaffe

When this deadline approached Lennar tried to meet their obligations by negotiating with a couple of unions rather than the entire group.

At the March 25th meeting, apparently the Concord City Council had seen enough overruling the staff recommendation to give them an extension to finish negotiating with the unions.  By a 3-2 vote, they determined that Concord had to find another partner to develop the Naval Weapons property with.

Now the divided City Council of Concord must decide likely after the Corona Virus Pandemic is over, how they want to proceed. Hopefully with more thoughtful public input, they can learn valuable lessons from the previous debacle.

As for Lennar and Five Point, their ability to conduct business in other municipalities around the State for large mega projects may well be influenced by what occurred in their Concord gambit.  Only time will tell.

Colman: AMERICAN READINESS

This is a great history lesson for us in a time of crisis.  Dr. Colman is right, FDR had to go to a private sector leader to bring the leadership needed to government War efforts.  In the same way, President Trump has done the same—it is him.  He closed travel from China against the advice of the Democrats, He need the same to Europe while the Democrats were more cautious.  As a businessman he knows we are in a War and government regulations held back our responses.

 Roosevelt, ignoring his New Deal advisers, hired Knudsen to handle industrial production for World War II.

 Knudsen was a Danish immigrant who, after coming to America, worked on the shop floor of an industrial company.  Over years, Knudsen, considered an industrial genius, rose to become the president of General Motors.

 Knudsen was told to use America’s industrial might to make warplanes, tanks, guns, and other materiel.  Sometimes, when Roosevelt received plans to make a given number of airplanes, the president often ordered that production be doubled.

 Information about American preparations for World War II can be found in the book, “Freedom’s Forge” by Arthur Herman.

 In battling the coronavirus pandemic, America needs a version of Knudsen.  America has too many conflicting ideas being floated about by politicians and bureaucrats.

Trump is not a product of government think, the Establishment or the special interests, like unions.  He is guiding us through this as a businessman, not a politician.

AMERICAN READINESS

By Richard Colman, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  3/26/20

As World War II approached, America was not prepared for war.  

Now, there is a cononavirus pandemic and people can ask if America is prepared.  History can help provide some guidance.

 President Franklin Roosevelt around 1940 received two types of advice.

 One type of advice suggested that Roosevelt’s New Deal team run preparations for war.  During the Great Depression, which went from 1929 to 1940, the New Deal team was in charge of building roads, schools, hospitals, and bridges.

 The other type of advice suggested using America’s industrial might, which was largely in private hands, be selected to handle war preparations.

Roosevelt consulted with Bernard Baruch, the Wall Street financier.  Baruch had been in charge of American wartime production during World War I.

 Roosevelt asked Baruch to help get America ready for World War II.  Baruch, who was 69 years old at the time that war clouds were gathering for World War II, claimed that a younger man should be selected for the job.  Baruch strongly recommended such a man.

 Baruch told Roosevelt that his (Baruch’s) first choice for World War II industrial readiness was Bill Knudsen, then the president of General Motors.  To emphasize his point, Baruch said Knudsen was also his second choice and his third choice.

 Roosevelt, ignoring his New Deal advisers, hired Knudsen to handle industrial production for World War II.

 Knudsen was a Danish immigrant who, after coming to America, worked on the shop floor of an industrial company.  Over years, Knudsen, considered an industrial genius, rose to become the president of General Motors.

 Knudsen was told to use America’s industrial might to make warplanes, tanks, guns, and other materiel.  Sometimes, when Roosevelt received plans to make a given number of airplanes, the president often ordered that production be doubled.

 Information about American preparations for World War II can be found in the book, “Freedom’s Forge” by Arthur Herman.

 In battling the coronavirus pandemic, America needs a version of Knudsen.  America has too many conflicting ideas being floated about by politicians and bureaucrats.

 An American with special medical training is needed to take charge of stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

 Using the expertise of private enterprise, America prevailed in World War II.  Now, some 80 years later, the American government needs someone associated with private enterprise to stop a dangerous pandemic.

SF supervisors push for more gig worker protections during the coronavirus pandemic

Restaurants are only delivery or pick up—no more dining rooms.  Amazon and others are exploding their temporary employment.  Newspapers are closing down, but the courts have rule you can no longer be a journalist unless you pay a bribe to a union and a company hires you.  Of course, the greatest harm is in the health care field, where workers come and go, work a few days or hours and more on.  In this crisis we need as many doing this work.  Instead AB 5 and the Democrats are making it harder for people to get and find work—without bribing unions.

“This resolution, which Gig Workers Rising and We Drive Progress advocated for the board of supervisors to adopt, comes after Gig Workers Rising urged California lawmakers to enforce AB 5. Earlier this month, Gig Workers Rising sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials asking them to step in and protect workers during this pandemic.

“These companies have been putting drivers and passengers at risk during the coronavirus era and long before,” rideshare driver and Gig Workers Rising member Edan Alva said on a press call today. “These large corporations are preying on the most vulnerable populations.”

He added that drivers often work paycheck to paycheck and therefore have no ability to save money.

Now there are no paychecks—and government wants to make it too expensive to get workers.  Who loses?  The people, especially those needing a few extra dollars.  Shame on the Democrats for hating honest work.  Maybe those who lost jobs because of them will thank them in November by voting Republican.

SF supervisors push for more gig worker protections during the coronavirus pandemic

Megan Rose Dickey, Tech Crunch,   3/24/20 @me

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is pushing a number of legislative bodies to offer more protections and benefits for gig workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As gig workers are still out delivering food to people and providing rides, supervisors are asking the SF Office of Labor Standards Enforcement to establish enforcement procedures in compliance with Assembly Bill 5, which outlines what types of workers can be legally classified as independent contractors.

This resolution, which Gig Workers Rising and We Drive Progress advocated for the board of supervisors to adopt, comes after Gig Workers Rising urged California lawmakers to enforce AB 5. Earlier this month, Gig Workers Rising sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials asking them to step in and protect workers during this pandemic.

“These companies have been putting drivers and passengers at risk during the coronavirus era and long before,” rideshare driver and Gig Workers Rising member Edan Alva said on a press call today. “These large corporations are preying on the most vulnerable populations.”

He added that drivers often work paycheck to paycheck and therefore have no ability to save money.

“Without health insurance and sick days, we are left with the impossible choice when we get sick,” Alva said. “Drive sick and put ourselves and passengers at risk or stay at home and lose the roof over our heads, our car and our livelihood.”

The supervisors are also asking for both SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to seek injunctive relief to prevent misclassification of workers as they seek paid sick leave and unemployment insurance.

Additionally, the board of supervisors wants the Department of Public Health to implement minimum health and safety guidelines for ride-hail drivers and delivery workers. Lastly, they want California Labor Secretary Julie Su to offer guidance around accessing benefits for gig workers during this time.

The supervisors outline how, without help, gig workers “face many uncertainties, including housing and food insecurity, no access to health care, exposure to COVID-19 without safety training, sanitation and protective equipment…” Meanwhile, gig economy companies “continue to flout our state and city laws, leaving their misclassified employees without access to unemployment insurance, paid sick leave, medical benefits, workers’ compensation, and other crucial benefits…,” the resolution states.

On a press call today, Supervisor Gordon Mar said denying workers their rights during a public health crisis is “immoral.” Fellow Supervisor Matt Haney added that it’s critical every measure is taken to protect public health.

“Many of us are being told to have your food delivered, have your food dropped off,” Haney said on the press call. “Having workers at these companies is actually becoming essential for us to operate during this time, but at the same time we are not treating these folks fairly…we are putting them in even more marginalized and vulnerable positions economically.”

In many ways, Haney said, gig workers are performing emergency response jobs during this crisis — delivering food to people who can’t go out to the store or driving people from point A to point B.

It’s not that companies like Uber, DoorDash and Instacart have done nothing. Some have offered up to two weeks’ worth of sick leave, for example. But it’s that they’re not doing enough.

“TNCs were designated by Governor Newsom as an integral part of critical transportation systems necessary to deliver essential services during this national emergency,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement. “Lyft is playing a crucial role in delivering essential services during this pandemic by connecting people with vital services and goods. Attempting to force TNCs to adopt an employment model in the midst of this crisis would result in the widespread elimination of work for hundreds of thousands and the immediate interruption of essential services for vulnerable populations. It will hurt drivers and at-risk communities at a time when they need our services most.”

On the press call, however, driver Mekela Edwards expressed some concern about Lyft’s healthcare initiatives. Edwards pointed to how drivers are not properly equipped with the skills or training patients might need on their way to the hospital.

“And we definitely don’t have protections such as masks or gloves or things in case we have to help a passenger get in and out of the car,” Edwards said. “As a driver, it really should be something that is looked at closely before a company touts that that’s what they’re offering.”

Meanwhile, there are reports from Uber drivers that their requests for paid sick leave are getting rejected. TechCrunch has reached out to Uber to learn more about that. We’ll update this story if we hear back.

Should Californians fix Prop. 13 or the state’s whole system of taxation?

The unions want a split roll tax—to tax industrial and commercial property at much higher rates.  Not to get revenue to help the community—but to have money to pay CalPERS and higher wages for bribe paying government workers.  But the issue is bigger that repealing Prop. 13.  It is about a tax system that steals the most from paychecks than any other State.  Why are Californians left with over 12 million in poverty?  Government, policies, regulations and taxes.

“Californians likely pay less in property taxes than they would without Prop. 13, but local government revenues have continued to increase on a per-person basis. Local governments which previously relied on property tax revenue instead began to draw more heavily on sales taxes, hotel taxes, and fees. 

Between 1977 and 2018, the most recent year for which there is data, local government revenue increased from $3,300 per person to $4,183.87 in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars, according to data from the Census Bureau. Other revenues, particularly for school districts and transportation funding, began to come from the state. Accordingly, state government revenue increased from $3,745.45 per person in 1977 to $5,193 in 2017, in 2019 dollars.

Maybe the current crisis will force voters to make a change.  Think about your vote in November—want more taxes, more regulations, want to be forced by government to leave the State to survive?

Should Californians fix Prop. 13 or the state’s whole system of taxation?

By Michael Tanner and David Hervey, Special to CalMatters, 3/25/20 

One of the most important decisions facing Californians this November is whether to make any changes to Proposition 13. While voters continue to give Proposition 13 an overwhelming nearly two-thirds approval rating, there are serious questions about whether the tax cap still accomplishes more good than harm.

Conservatives will undoubtedly portray Proposition 13 as a tax cut, a restraint on the growth of government, and an important protection for property rights. Liberals will blame it for a lack of state resources. Both sides will invoke the state’s housing crisis. In reality, there is reason to be skeptical of all these claims. 

Prop. 13 — not to be confused with a bond measure this year of the same name — passed in 1978, limiting yearly property tax increases to 2% as well as overall property taxes to 1% of purchase price. This sharply contrasts with a roughly 3% property tax rate and horror stories of sharp increases after tax reassessments before Prop. 13.

Californians likely pay less in property taxes than they would without Prop. 13, but local government revenues have continued to increase on a per-person basis. Local governments which previously relied on property tax revenue instead began to draw more heavily on sales taxes, hotel taxes, and fees. 

Between 1977 and 2018, the most recent year for which there is data, local government revenue increased from $3,300 per person to $4,183.87 in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars, according to data from the Census Bureau. Other revenues, particularly for school districts and transportation funding, began to come from the state. Accordingly, state government revenue increased from $3,745.45 per person in 1977 to $5,193 in 2017, in 2019 dollars.

Similarly, did Prop. 13 limit the size of government? Or as backers of the split roll initiative would ask, did it starve local governments of the revenue they need to effectively provide services? California’s government is clearly larger today than it was in 1977. Local governments employed four times as many people on a per capita basis in 2018 as they did in 1977, while the state doubled its per-capita inflation-adjusted expenditures since Prop. 13 passed. Although Prop 13 may have slowed some of this growth, it clearly did not prevent it.

California’s tax system has shifted over the past four decades to rely more heavily on income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, and fees. While each increment was hotly debated, both sides may have been too fixated on specific taxes rather than the taxation system itself. The Californians who voted for Prop. 13 weren’t simultaneously voting to increase their sales taxes, income taxes or even tobacco taxes. 

If Prop. 13 didn’t cut California’s tax burden or starve the state of some revenue, what did it do? 

Prop. 13 changed who bears the tax burden. Prop. 13 did cut taxes for California homeowners, and therefore, property being a form of wealth, Prop. 13 spread the local tax burden from wealthier Californians across society. Sales taxes, the center of local governments’ reaction to Prop. 13, are relatively regressive: the poor pay a larger share of their income in sales tax than the wealthy do. California politicians are trying to lift Californians out of poverty and simultaneously taxing those same people more than ever before.

It may be prudent to trade some of Prop 13’s protections for a decreased sales tax burden, or for a reduction of the housing impact fees that have contributed to California’s housing crisis. It may also be prudent for the government to refocus spending on its top priorities and reduce the overall tax burden.

These are conversations that Californians should have. So far the conversation about split roll has focused on whether the measure is a necessary “fix” to Prop. 13 or an $11 billion tax increase. It’s right to ask whether aspects of California’s taxation system need fixing, but let’s ask if the system as a whole is broken, rather than just Prop. 13.

_____

Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, [email protected] David Hervey is a research associate at the Cato Institute, [email protected] They work on the Institute’s Project on Poverty and Inequality in California.

‘We live paycheck to paycheck’: Undocumented workers struggle as economy grinds to a halt

Illegal aliens steal jobs, lower wage rates, cause an overcrowding of schools and hospitals—but are protected from deportation by Californian government.  Now these law breakers are upset they can not get relief, all the health care they want, free education or welfare.

“Laid off due to the coronavirus, undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for many federal and state programs, even though they pay taxes.

More than 2 million undocumented workers, who do not quality for many state and federal benefits, are among the hardest hit Californians as the economy is battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress is working to provide an emergency relief fund that could benefit U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents. However, undocumented workers are not included.

Also, undocumented workers do not qualify for unemployment insurance, or for the California Earned Income Tax Credit, a cash back credit that puts money into the pockets of workers.

Actually, they can get, legally, all that they want and need—just by going back to their home of origin.  Why do we have a shortage of affordable housing—illegal aliens are taking up hundreds of thousands of units.  We do not have an affordable housing problem, we have an illegal alien problem,  When the crisis is over and folks go back to work, how many honest Americans will lose jobs to illegal aliens.

 ‘We live paycheck to paycheck’: Undocumented workers struggle as economy grinds to a halt

By ,Jacqueline Garcia , Jackie Botts, Calmatters,   3/24/20   

In Summary

Laid off due to the coronavirus, undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for many federal and state programs, even though they pay taxes.

More than 2 million undocumented workers, who do not quality for many state and federal benefits, are among the hardest hit Californians as the economy is battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress is working to provide an emergency relief fund that could benefit U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents. However, undocumented workers are not included.

Also, undocumented workers do not qualify for unemployment insurance, or for the California Earned Income Tax Credit, a cash back credit that puts money into the pockets of workers.

With non-essential businesses closed throughout California, forecasters at the UCLA Anderson School of Management predict that more than 280,000 jobs could be lost by this time next year.

Nearly one in ten California workers is undocumented, and their situation worsens by the day. 

Until last week, Luis, who doesn’t want his last name used because he is undocumented, was working at a car wash in Los Angeles. Due to the rainy weather, his hours had been cut already from 40 to less than 16 per week. 

“On Friday we were told that the business is closing for a month,” said Luis. “All of us take this issue very serious and if I could, I would stay at home but I have to work to provide for my wife and daughter.”

Luis said about 26 workers at the car wash lost their job on Friday. He was able to secure a part-time job at a liquor store but his savings are so small that he doesn’t think they can last for a month.

Maria Ortiz is an undocumented resident who owns Ortiz Ice Cream in San Bernardino. She said her small business has been up and running since 2005 with the required permits and a tax identification number. 

Ortiz Ice Cream caters events for the city, school districts and some colleges. “About two weeks ago things got pretty bad when the governor shut down all the (non essential) businesses,” said Ortiz. “All the events got canceled.”

Now Ortiz and her husband, who also is undocumented, have to figure out how to provide for themselves and their four children, ages 13 to 5 years old. 

Her greatest help has come through the San Bernardino Unified School District’s grab-and-go meal service for children. “We go there every day really quickly at 11:30 a.m. and then come back home,” she said. 

Ortiz said the situation is dire.

“We live paycheck to paycheck and we don’t really have any savings. We don’t qualify for unemployment, or for the CalEITC, even though we work and pay taxes,” she said.

If one parent in the filing household, like Ortiz, has an Individual Tax Identification Number, the whole family misses out on the Earned Income Tax Credit, even if there are U.S. citizen children in the family. Also, those with a Social Security number who lose their DACA or Temporary Protected Status status do not qualify. 

The California Immigrant Policy Center found that the top occupations that would benefit from expanding the tax credit are domestic workers, maintenance workers, farm workers and health care workers.

Nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants reside in California. They “work disproportionately in agriculture, construction, and manufacturing,” according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

A survey of 500 Latino immigrants in Los Angeles conducted by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in mid-March showed that 446 were worried about sudden layoffs, 474 worried about their bill payments and 299 had problems with child care. 

Campaigning for CalEITC

Sasha Feldstein, an advocate at the California Immigrant Policy Center, said the state earned tax credit could help immigrants if it was expanded to the undocumented community.

In its first year, in 2015, the CalEITC boosted the income of about 385,000 families, who shared almost $200 million from the cash back credit. In 2019, more than 2 million people claimed the credit, totaling close to $395 million.

“This program has shown to be one of the most effective programs at fighting poverty, more than any of our other social programs,” said Feldstein.

Since its inception, the CalEITC program has expanded in terms of who could be eligible, such as age requirements and self-employed people. It has also increased the amount of the credit and the income eligibility guidelines so that now people earning up to the equivalent of full time minimum wage can be eligible for cash back.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last year invested $600 million in the credit so that people could receive more money. He also instituted the young child tax credit, which gives an additional $1,000 to families with children under six.

“But year after year, the people who continue to be left out are immigrant tax filers who file their taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number instead of a social security number,” said Feldstein. “Immigrant tax filers contribute up over $3.2 billion in state and local taxes every year, they contribute immensely to our economy. 

Many of California’s estimated 2.1 million undocumented workers could benefit from the tax credit if it is expanded, she said.

“It wouldn’t cost that much money and would have a huge impact on families, especially families right now who might not be eligible for things like unemployment insurance,” she said.

If this program was approved, Ortiz and Luis could benefit, not only as ITIN workers but also with the additional $1.000 per child since they have U.S. citizen children.  

Newsom requested that President Donald Trump make a Major Disaster Declaration in California to free up emergency response efforts, including disaster unemployment assistance for the groups who do not otherwise qualify, including business owners, the self-employed and those who have not earned enough to qualify for regular unemployment benefits. But while Trump did make the declaration, he did not approve the disaster unemployment assistance, and immigrant advocates say they do not know whether undocumented workers would quality for it.

A call to action

Last week a coalition of dozens of pro-immigrant organizations, led by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, sent a letter to the federal, state and local governments advocating for help for undocumented immigrants as coronavirus continues to take its toll. The organizations ask the federal government to ensure free coronavirus testing and treatment without discriminating based on income, gender, nationality, disability, and citizenship.

The advocates also are asking the state to expand access for undocumented people to state-funded programs such as the California Food Assistance Program and Cash Assistance for Immigrant Program for at least 6 months. Also, they request immediate inclusion of ITIN workers in the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit program retroactively for tax year 2019 and ongoing.

In California, undocumented people over the age of 25 are not eligible for Medi-Cal, though the governor has proposed to expand the state’s health insurance for low-income people to undocumented seniors 65 and over.

State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, a Los Angeles Democrat, urged Newsom to go even further, extending Medi-Cal coverage for coronavirus-related testing and treatment to all Californians, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Currently, some health clinics are waiving test fees for the uninsured. The California Department of Public Health has said that people who are uninsured and have symptoms should contact their local health department to find out where free tests might be available.

Meanwhile, some state legislators are pushing to extend health insurance to all of California’s undocumented residents. 

“As coronavirus fears sweep the nation, people are… working from home, stockpiling food, and visiting doctors over any possible symptoms,” Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, a Fresno Democrat, said in a press conference last week. “For many low-income, immigrant communities, however, these precautions and accommodations are essentially luxuries, making them particularly vulnerable during the pandemic.” 

Here are some relief funds for undocumented immigrants:

•Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. For restaurant workers in need of financial assistance. https://rocunited.org/relief/application/

•One Fair Wage Emergency Fund. Cash assistance for restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money.  https://ofwemergencyfund.org/help

•USBG National Charity Foundation – Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. For bartenders, or the spouse or child of a bartender who have experienced an emergency hardship. https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap

•Another Round, Another Rally Emergency Assistance. For workers in the hospitality industry, dishwasher, bartender, server, busser, chef, cook, sommelier, manager, host, concierge, cleaning staff, or bar back may apply for funds.  https://anotherroundanotherrally.org/?fbclid=IwAR2NYl5YUCDvpIjCYRjxzvxaoMrYOLW3DWANoQKDJEKZT-yFf6x2OsCXias

•Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. For emergency assistance for those employed by restaurants or bars or are employed by a restaurant or bar supplier. https://form.southernsmoke.org/smoke/application/

Jacqueline García is a reporter with La Opinión. CalMatters reporter Jackie Botts contributed to this article. This article is part of  The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.

Does Gov. Newsom Have the Power to Shut Down Private Businesses Because of Coronavirus?

Governor Newsom, like governors in numerous other States, have ordered that non essential businesses be closed.  In California gun shop, to protect people while the police can not, are considered non essential.  But selling recreational marijuana is considered essential and pot shops are open.  You can’t protect yourself in California, but you can get high, per the Governor.

“On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom Declared a State of Emergency.

On March 11, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office published the fact that it was California Department of Public Health’s policy of preventing gatherings of groups larger than 250 people “should be postponed.” This was not an executive order by the governor, instead it was a California Department of Public Health policy. This policy does not cite a single law that gives the California Department of Public Health authority to shut down events of 250 people or require social distancing of more than 6 feet. While these may be good guidelines to follow, they are simply policies, they are not the law.

To emphasize that this was just a policy and not a law, on March 12, 2020, Newsom issues his next executive order (N-25-20). This executive order states that “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance of state and local public health officials, including but not limited to the imposition of social distancing measures, to control the spread of COVID-19.”

Notice the language of this order. “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance …”. If you look up the word heed in the dictionary, you will discover that it means “to give consideration attention to.” It does not say you must obey. Gavin Newsom in his executive order utilizing his powers granted him after declaring a state of emergency told the citizens of California that Californians should takes the advice given by the California Department of Public Health into consideration when making decisions.

No authority, but hoping folks do not notice.  At some point there will be lots of lawsuits and damages caused by Newsom misusing his office.  Will the GOP be able to take advantage of this in 2022?

Does Gov. Newsom Have the Power to Shut Down Private Businesses Because of Coronavirus?

Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? Are Shelter in Place Laws Valid?

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  3/19/20  

Can a health officer issue a quarantine of everyone in the county?

California Constitutional-Election Law Attorney Attorney Mark Meuser has been questioned so much about the Coronavirus shelter in place orders, and social distancing, he prepared a video and comprehensive explanation of the executive Orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California counties public health officials’ orders.

 I have been asked by numerous people to help them understand what is going on in the state of California regarding the shutting down of businesses and shelter in place laws. Does the governor really have the power to shut down private businesses? Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? This video is my attempt to provide some basic understanding about the difference between martial law and the governor declaring a state of emergency. In this video, we will look at California statutes, the Governors Executive Orders, and the subsequent county health orders of shelter in place. Hopefully as we go through all these documents, you will gain a better understanding of what exactly is going on in this state.

Because of all the misinformation and a lack of information regarding what is going on, if you find this video helpful, can I ask you to share this video on your social media. Tell your friends and family to watch this video so that they can be better educated on what exactly is going on legally that led to all these shelter in place laws.

Please remember that things are changing by the minute and as such, it may not necessarily reflect the most current legal developments. As such, all the information presented here is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should seek the advice of legal counsel of your choice before acting upon any of the information contained in this video.

First off, let’s start off with the term Martial Law. What is Martial Law, and when can the governor declare Martial Law?

California Military and Veterans Code Section 143 is the statute that gives the Governor authority to proclaim Martial Law. This statute reads:

Whenever the Governor is satisfied that rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riot exists in any part of the state the Governor may, by proclamation, declareto be in a state of insurrection, and he or she may thereupon order into the service of the state any number and description of the active militia, or unorganized militia, as he or she deems necessary, to serve for a term and under the command of any officer as he or she directs.

As you can see, we are not currently in a state of rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riots and as such, the Governor of the State does not have the power to declare martial law. However, that being said, the Governor does have broad powers under the California Emergency Services Act. The California Emergency Services Act can be found starting in California Government Code section 8550.

There are three main types of emergencies that enable a governor to declare a state of emergency.

  1. State of War emergency.
  2. State of Emergency
  3. Local Emergency

I think we all agree that we do not currently have a state of war emergency since neither California or the United State are not under an attack or threat of attack by an enemy of the United States.

As such, that leads us to state of emergency or local emergency. A local emergency deals with disasters that are contained within the limits of a county. Since the Corona virus effects the entire state of California, we are currently dealing with the second option, a State of Emergency.

Under California Government code section 8558, a governor can call a state of emergency when there is an “existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused by conditions such as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, drought, cyberterrorism, sudden and severe energy shortage, plant or animal infestation or disease, …earthquake, or other conditions, other than conditions resulting from a labor controversy or conditions causing a state of war emergency ….”

California Government Code section 8567 states that all orders under the California Emergency Services Act must be in writing and they take effect immediately. When the governor calls a state of emergency, he may suspend any state statute, rule or regulation. (Cal. Gov. § 8571). Please notice that the governor does not have the authority to suspend the California Constitution. As such, any rights contained in the Constitution are still in force. In fact, to make sure the government understands that there are limits to their authority, Cal. Gov. § 8571.5 expressly states that nothing in the California Emergency Services Act gives the government the right to seize or confiscate any firearm or ammunition unless an officer is arresting someone pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime.

When a governor calls a state of emergency, this gives him the authority to commandeer or utilize any private property or personnel deemed by him necessary in carrying out the responsibilities. However, the state is liable for the reasonable value of what it uses. (Gov. Code § 8572).

Gov. Newsom’s Executive Orders

Now that we have discussed the law, let’s now talk about what the Governor of California has actually done.

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom Declared a State of Emergency.

On March 11, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office published the fact that it was California Department of Public Health’s policy of preventing gatherings of groups larger than 250 people “should be postponed.” This was not an executive order by the governor, instead it was a California Department of Public Health policy. This policy does not cite a single law that gives the California Department of Public Health authority to shut down events of 250 people or require social distancing of more than 6 feet. While these may be good guidelines to follow, they are simply policies, they are not the law.

To emphasize that this was just a policy and not a law, on March 12, 2020, Newsom issues his next executive order (N-25-20). This executive order states that “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance of state and local public health officials, including but not limited to the imposition of social distancing measures, to control the spread of COVID-19.”

Notice the language of this order. “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance …”. If you look up the word heed in the dictionary, you will discover that it means “to give consideration attention to.” It does not say you must obey. Gavin Newsom in his executive order utilizing his powers granted him after declaring a state of emergency told the citizens of California that Californians should takes the advice given by the California Department of Public Health into consideration when making decisions.

Thus, contrary what you may have been led to believe, Gov. Newsom did not actually issue an executive order requiring Californians to practice social distancing, nor did he actually order gatherings of over 250 people to shut down. All he did was order people to pay attention to what these organizations were saying. These were merely recommendations.

Understand, a policy is different from a regulation. While I was able to find authority that allowed the California Department of Health Services to issue emergency regulations after they jumped through a few hoops, I have been unable to find where their policies would have the full force of law. Laws are passed by the legislature, or under the state of emergency, via executive order by the governor.

Before I move on to what the counties have done with their shelter in place laws, I want to quickly let you know that Gov. Newsom has issued five other executive orders in the last several days regarding the Corona virus.

Newsom has signed an executive order on March 13 ensuring funding for schools even if the schools are closed. He has issued an executive order on March 16th on how the state must focus on protecting the health and safety of the most vulnerable. And on March 16th, his executive order dealt with suspending the laws allowing landlords and banks from removing individuals who have not been able to pay their bills until May 31st. On the 17th he signed an executive order to ensure that key commodities can be delivered to California retailers. Finally, on the 18th he issued an executive order to protect ongoing safety net services for the most vulnerable Californians.

Shelter in Place Laws

So now let’s move to the issue of shelter in place laws being issued by the counties. I have not looked at every county’s shelter in place law, but I have looked at several and they are very similar.

California law allows counties to declare a health emergency when the local health officer determines that there is a threat of the introduction of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease. (California Health and Safety Code § 101080). It appears that this power was not given to the California Department of Health Services but instead, this power was left in the hands of local Health Officers.

Cal. Health & Safety § 101040 permits local health officers to take any preventive measures that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any state of emergency declared by the governor. After a local health emergency has been declared, “The sheriff of each county .. may enforce within the county … all orders of the local health officer issued for the purpose of preventing the spread of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease.” (Cal. Health and Safety Code 101029). Cal. Health & Safety § 101030 specifically gives the county health officer the authority to order quarantines.

However, the question arises, does a county health officer have the authority to order a quarantine of healthy people, or just those who are sick? What laws are in place in the state of California regarding the stopping of disease through quarantine?

The statutes are very broad in their wording. Cal. Health & Safety § 120175 says that the health officers “shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases. Cal. Health & Safety § 120200 indicates that a health officer shall establish and maintain places of quarantine. But this still does not answer the question, can a health officer issue a quarantine of everyone in the county?

In 1921, Laura Culver petitioned the courts to be released from a quarantine. The Court’s held that the law permitted public health officials to quarantine individuals who have come in contact with cases and carriers of contagious diseases.

As one studies California law, it is clear that the law used to be very explicit that a quarantine was only applicable to those who had a contagious disease or those who had come in contact with someone who had a contagious disease.

While most of the laws regarding quarantine are very broad, Cal. Health & Safety § 120215 appears to have limiting language. This statute reads: Upon receiving information of the existence of contagious, infectious, or communicable disease for which the department may from time to time declare the need for strict isolation or quarantine, each health officer shall: (a) Ensure the adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts and premises. (b) Follow the local rules and regulations, and all general and special rules, regulations, and orders of the department, in carrying out the quarantine or isolation.

Let’s look at this for a minute. I think we can all agree that the health officers have sufficient information that there is a communicable disease. However, where we disagree is that the Health Officers are ordering a county wide shelter in place law where the law only allows “adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts.” This is where the local health official appears to have overstepped their authority. The counties are not looking at this on a case by case bases. Instead, they are issuing broad orders that affect both the healthy and the sick. They are not ordering a quarantine of those who have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

Cal. Health & Safety § 120225 also has some instructive language. This statute says that “A person subject to quarantine …”. The quarantine laws where designed to quarantine an individual or a location, not an entire community or organization.

Finally, Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 makes clear that the quarantine powers of the local health officer were never intended to be a community lock down. Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 clearly states that “no quarantine shall be raised until every exposed room, together with all personal property in the room, has been adequately treated, or, if necessary, destroyed, under the direction of the health officer, and until all persons having been under strict isolation are considered noninfectious.”

The quarantine laws are clearly intended to be applied to individuals not to the entire county. The quarantine laws are designed to stop those who might have been infected from passing the disease onto others. Absent the local health officers finding that an individual has the disease or is likely to have the disease, California law does not give them broad authority to quarantine the entire county.

As such, it appears counties such as San Francisco that have issued broad shelter in place laws may be violating California law.

If you feel like the state of emergency called by the governor or these shelter in place laws have adversely effected your business and/or violated your constitutional rights, I would encourage you to seek competent legal counsel to examine your individual case.

In conclusion, we are living in very interesting times. There are those who feel like government officials are in a contest to see who can be the most aggressive in upending the lives of its citizens over the Corona virus. The great debate of today seems to be, is the government doing too much or is the government not doing enough. Regardless of the answer to that question, there are going to be some serious financial ramifications as a result of this virus.

Regardless of whether the government has over reacted or under reacted, the threat of this virus will end. When it does, our generation will have the opportunity to show how we are able to bounce back, just like we did after the Great Depression or 9/11.

PG&E Signed its Own Death Warrant

Under terms of agreement with the Governor, PG&E  can be sold, automatically, to the State on July 1, 2020.  From msn.com, “PG&E agreed to overhaul its board and operations and to a process that would put the company up for sale — essentially allowing the state to take over — if it doesn’t get out of bankruptcy by June 30.

“This is the end of business as usual for PG&E,” Newsom said in a statement.”

So, if lawsuits and other stalling tactics work, California will be officially the first Socialist State in America—it will own, pennies on the dollar a utility.  Imagine the prices it can charge then!  Imagine the rationing of energy in the State by a government that with AB 32 wants to close down businesses, end cars and our lifestyle.  We are about 100 days till the4 end of the free market in California.

Photo courtesy of lydiashiningbrightly, flickr

Opponents of Wildfire ‘Bailout’ Must Show Process Was Unfair

NICHOLAS IOVINO, Courthousenews,  3/12/20   

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Opponents of a $13.5 billion “bailout” for California power companies must show the process used to approve a utility bill surcharge for a wildfire insurance fund was unfair to advance their lawsuit against the state, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Overruling objections from Governor Gavin Newsom and multiple California state agencies, U.S. District Judge James Donato directed opponents of the wildfire fund to file a 15-page brief explaining why a state regulatory proceeding that resulted in a $2.50 monthly surcharge on utility bills was unreasonable.

“This is the first time we’ve been given an opportunity to make the case there was corruption in the process that makes utility customers pay $13.5 billion until 2036,” attorney Michael Aguirre said after a court hearing Thursday.

Aguirre represents Alex Cannara and Gene Nelson, two PG&E customers who claim they were denied due process when the California Public Utilities Commission approved a surcharge to cushion private utilities from the risk of future wildfires in a condensed proceeding between July 26 and Oct. 24, 2019.

The plaintiffs say the CPUC did not hold a single evidentiary hearing to hear testimony from witnesses or cross examination. They claim the abbreviated hearing process violated their right to due process under the 14th Amendment and constituted an unlawful taking of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Hearing arguments on motions to dismiss the lawsuit Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Donato spent much of the time questioning why the plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in federal, rather than state court.

“I’m having trouble seeing why you’re not in state court,” Donato said.

Attorneys for the state of California say federal courts lack jurisdiction to hear cases involving state-approved utility rates under the Johnson Act.

Aguirre countered that an exception applies to that rule when ratepayers are denied a fair hearing.

“If there’s not a reasonable hearing, the Johnson Act doesn’t apply,” Aguire said. “It’s clear there wasn’t a reasonable hearing.”

Representing the state, California Deputy Attorney General Gabrielle Boutin strongly disputed claims of an unfair process. She said the plaintiffs in this case chose not to participate in the process, which included a prehearing conference and opportunities to submit written arguments before and after a proposed decision approving the surcharge was issued on Sept. 23, 2019.

“There was ample opportunity to be heard and the CPUC procedures were followed,” Boutin said.

Donato declined to grant the plaintiffs’ request for discovery on the fairness of the process, but he directed both sides to submit 15-page briefs based on existing evidence and declarations explaining why the CPUC process was or was not fair and reasonable.

Boutin strongly objected to the judge’s decision, arguing that “no dispute of fact” exists as to whether the process was fair. The judge disagreed.

“Go through the CPUC records and tell me why this was okay or not okay,” Donato said.

The $21 billion pool of insurance money, equally funded by ratepayers and private utilities, was authorized in Assembly Bill 1054. That legislation was passed in July last year as investor-owned utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric, faced unprecedented risk from wildfires sparked by power lines and electric equipment.

Kaiser Permanente drops plans for new headquarters in Oakland

Looks like another major project is lost to California.

Kaiser Permanente is pulling out of its planned $900 million Oakland headquarters project, the nonprofit health care giant said Tuesday, in a huge hit to a city and region already reeling from the coronavirus crisis.

The decision to cancel the project is not related to COVID-19, a Kaiser spokesperson said in a statement, but that “delays and increasing costs related to this project” caused the organization to “re-examine the feasibility and focus on renovating our current buildings.”

California regulations, rules, permits, studies, taxes, unions and more made this important health care project too expensive.  In California you never know the final price until the project is done.  Kaiser is no longer accepting those conditions.

Kaiser Permanente drops plans for new headquarters in Oakland

 

By Laura Waxmann, San Francisco Business Times, 3/24/20  

Kaiser Permanente is pulling out of its planned $900 million Oakland headquarters project, the nonprofit health care giant said Tuesday, in a huge hit to a city and region already reeling from the coronavirus crisis.

The decision to cancel the project is not related to COVID-19, a Kaiser spokesperson said in a statement, but that “delays and increasing costs related to this project” caused the organization to “re-examine the feasibility and focus on renovating our current buildings.”

“Kaiser Permanente appreciates the hard work by the developer and its team on the 2100 Telegraph Ave. project,” the statement said. “We wish them well with the project and look forward to welcoming new neighbors to downtown Oakland when it’s completed.”

Lane Partners, which is developing the Eastline site with Strategic Urban Development Alliance, declined to comment.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf disclosed the change in plans earlier Tuesday before the statement from Kaiser, the city’s biggest emplouyer.

“It’s a pivot for Kaiser, and one that makes sense for their organization and members at this time,” Schaaf said a statement on Tuesday. “They are reinvesting and improving their existing sites across the city, so the most important fact is that they’re staying rooted right here in Oakland. In the meantime, this is an incredible project that will attract an incredible new tenant.”

The pivot comes amid the coronavirus crisis, which has shut down much of the Bay Area and requires Kaiser’s full attention. Like operators of other hospitals, Kaiser is bracing for an influx of thousands of patients as new infection cases continue to increase exponentially.

The deal, part sale and part lease, was announced with great fanfare last June, with Kaiser detailing plans to consolidate more than 7,000 employees from its national and regional headquarters in the 1.6 million-square-foot building. The nonprofit, which integrates doctors, hospitals and health plans under one umbrella, has long been Oakland’s most prominent corporate citizen. Kaiser has more than 12 million members nationwide, more than half of them in California. Last year it posted revenue of $84.5 billion.

The headquarters project, dubbed Thrive Center, was the brainchild of Bernard Tyson, Kaiser’s charismatic chairman and CEO, who died in November at age 60. He was succeeded by Gregory Adams.

Lane Partners has been among the most active developers in Oakland’s renaissance over the last decade. Its roster of projects in the city is headlined by Uptown Station, which it developed and sold to Uber for its use. Uber eventually abandoned plans for a major presence in Oakland. The 350,000-square-foot project has since passed through several hands and is now set to be occupied by payments company Square.

Lane’s agreement with Kaiser included deals to buy three existing buildings Kaiser now occupies after it relocated to the Thrive Center.

Six Benefits of States with No Income Tax

No income taxes builds a State—as California has proven, high taxes kills jobs and forces productive people to leave the State.

. Career Growth

Many of the states that offer no income tax also offer some of the best up-and-coming job opportunities for recent graduates. States such as Washington and Texas — both of which have no income tax — are on the list for best opportunities for recent graduates. Young employees have a lot of expenses when first graduating.

When considering these expenses, young employees should feel comfortable about when landing a job out of college. They will have more money for student loan payments or mortgage payments, for example, when there is no income tax. Which allows them to feel more secure in their financial futures.”

Of course, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee and Florida, States without an income tax are the fastest growing States in the nation.  They act rationally.  California, Connecticut, New York and Illinois, high tax States are losing productive families and businesses.

Six Benefits of States with No Income Tax

Written by Dana Ronald of the Tax Crisis Institute, San Diego News Desk,  3/2/20   

There are currently nine states that do not require income tax. Some of these states, such as Florida, have combated the lack of income tax with higher taxes in other areas such as sales. Overall, however, there have been benefits to these states as well. Below is a list of six benefits of states without an income tax.

1. Helps in Saving Money

The higher your income is, the more income taxes you have to pay. This is the same in any state that has income taxes, leaving little room for many individuals to save money for retirement or goals that they have set out for themselves.

A lack of savings can hurt your family’s future financial prospects. The money that is not used towards income taxes can be put into a savings account or utilized for large purchases instead. This can make you feel much more confident about considering your future expenses and goals.

2. Inexpensive Tax Filing

Income tax season is great for some individuals while quite harsh for others. Tax filers, whether online or in-person, charge individuals for assistance in tax filing. Some individuals even have to pay back income taxes if not enough was taken out over the course of the year.

Tax season is a stressful time for all. Having a lack of income tax will save you significant money during tax filing season. There are fewer tax forms that have to be filled out, which means less work for your tax filer to have to perform. You also will not have to pay any unpaid income taxes back, saving you money and stress.

3. Career Growth

Many of the states that offer no income tax also offer some of the best up-and-coming job opportunities for recent graduates. States such as Washington and Texas — both of which have no income tax — are on the list for best opportunities for recent graduates. Young employees have a lot of expenses when first graduating.

When considering these expenses, young employees should feel comfortable about when landing a job out of college. They will have more money for student loan payments or mortgage payments, for example, when there is no income tax. Which allows them to feel more secure in their financial futures.

4. Retirees do not have to Worry about Added Expenses

Retirees have to pay for public service systems through tax-paying contributions in most states. This is confusing as most retirees do not have school-aged children or do not utilize the public sectors as they did when they were young. When there is no income tax, there is no need to pay for these services as it is often taken out of the state income tax revenue. This can save retirees money in the long run.

5. Retirees are More Financially Stable

When a retiree does not have to pay income tax, he or she will feel more financially stable. You will have savings or retirement funding built up from not having to pay income tax when working. You will also not have to pay tax on retirement checks that come through.

Retirement creates a huge loss of income. For this reason, many retirees feel financially unstable. But without an income tax there is more money to go towards bills and costs of living.

6. Business Owners can Thrive

Business owners can truly thrive in a state that does not have income tax. There will be less money deducted from the capital that is already put forth by business owners. You will have more money to put towards your business and your employees.

Business owners will also feel more confident in their businesses as individuals in the state as a whole will have more money to spend as consumers, driving sales for your business. It is important to understand sales tax laws in your state, however, as these may be higher in states without income tax.

Living in a state without income tax can have major benefits. It is crucial to consider your family’s financial needs before moving anywhere, but zero income tax states offer some significant benefits that should be factored in.

Internet Sites to Help With Internet E-Learning for Kids—GREAT Resource

We know that in California, government schools as education facilities are failures.  We also know the goals of these schools is to teach diversity—some races are better than others.  To teach sex ed—using pornographic lessons and claiming alternative lifestyles are “normal” and a “normal” lifestyle is wrong.  Schools do not allow teachers or administrators to protect children from terrorists and crazies.  Want to learn American history?  Not in a California classroom—instead you learn America is and was racist, hates women and did nothing good.

“The key to success, he says, is for parents not to just plug their kids into a program and let them go, as they will tend to get bored quickly. Instead, he suggests parents spend as much time as they have available — he understands that may not be a lot for parents balancing work responsibilities at the same time — to help get their kids started and celebrate their progress. “Online learning software,” he says, “can be much more meaningful and more educationally relevant” with that support.

Cindi Williams, co-founder of the Learning Heroes nonprofit and former senior official at the U.S. Department of Education, the White House and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says sorting the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. She suggests finding trusted resources that come free and can be sorted by grade level and topic.

Here are eleven resources for homeschooling.  If you know of others, please add them to the comment section of the article.

Need help sorting through the avalanche of online resources for kids who are now learning at home? 11 sites for parents to look at

Tim Newcomb, Los Angeles School Report,  3/20/20 

With schools shuttered and kids at home — some even asked to stay indoors — parents must now balance their work responsibilities with the educational needs of their children. But finding a place to start can prove downright daunting. Sifting through the online options may prove more overwhelming than useful, so we turned to experts to offer a simplified list.

“I actually think the questions start on what are your aims and what are your goals as a parent,” says Thomas Arnett, senior research fellow in education for the Clayton Christensen Institute. “When you dive into resources, first it is easy to get caught in the trap of thinking of resources as a babysitter. That may be the reality some parents face just trying to get by, but it is important at the front end to know what you want to accomplish with online learning or learning activities.”

Arnett suggests thinking in terms of what you want your child to create or accomplish. Finding something your child is passionate about certainly helps. Maybe it is an art project, a short story or an engineering project. Maybe it involves online research but isn’t necessarily an online activity.

The key to success, he says, is for parents not to just plug their kids into a program and let them go, as they will tend to get bored quickly. Instead, he suggests parents spend as much time as they have available — he understands that may not be a lot for parents balancing work responsibilities at the same time — to help get their kids started and celebrate their progress. “Online learning software,” he says, “can be much more meaningful and more educationally relevant” with that support.

Cindi Williams, co-founder of the Learning Heroes nonprofit and former senior official at the U.S. Department of Education, the White House and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says sorting the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. She suggests finding trusted resources that come free and can be sorted by grade level and topic.

Here’s a list of suggestions, meant to encourage and not overwhelm:

Kahn Academy and Kahn Daily

Start with Kahn and what it has created. Arnett says Kahn Academy has developed a wide variety of videos on topics it covers and includes practice activities and student pathways so kids can show real progress. While people know Kahn primarily for teaching math, the site also has plenty on other subjects. Arnett points out the Pixar in a Box option, that teaches students the math, art and storytelling that goes into making Pixar movies.

Williams says Kahn Daily is a specific resource that creates a “block” schedule, if that structure is needed. Students can navigate the site independently, click on links within a subject and learn through videos and practice questions, unable to move on to the next skill until they’ve advanced through the current one.

Scholastic

Williams says these K-12 reading lessons, videos and activities cover a wide range of topics, including plant life and animals, while the nonfiction topics divided into five-day courses for grades three through six really bring the magazine-style articles to life.

Prodigy

In his own home, Arnett says, Prodigy has proven a popular way for his kids to practice math in a fantasy-world setting. “They like it for the game aspect of it, and it does have math concepts in there,” he says. “It is great for having kids practice and become familiar with match concepts.”

Zearn

Both Arnett and Williams suggest parents explore Zearn, an engaging math site with classroom lessons gamified and adaptive to the user. Tutorial webinars are provided on how to navigate the site.

National Geographic

This curriculum, normally reserved for teachers and behind a paywall, are now free for parents, giving access to videos, interactive maps and activities that encourage students to explore everything from ecology to geography.

Brainpop

Williams says this K-8 site provides students with informational videos that explain everything from science and social studies to art, music and health in great detail, all while introducing subject-specific vocabulary.

Learning Hero Roadmap

Providing an interactive guide for parents on what grade-level math and reading skills look like, along with other subjects, such as social and emotional learning, Williams says her Learning Hero group’s Roadmap gives parents activities and tools designed to help a parent uncover a child’s strengths, interests and needs for support.

Curriculum Associations

The i-Ready curriculum from Curriculum Associates has created printable at-home activity packs that Arnett recommends, helping students focus on math learning.

College Board

Offers a wide range of practice tests in math, English and writing. The site “not only helps prepare for college entrance exams, but also to practice college-level work,” Williams says.

ReadWriteThink

Users from K-12 can choose a grade level and then gain access to activities and projects, games and tools, tips and how-to’s, printouts and more to focus on reading and writing.

Reading Rockets Packets

Williams says this site puts a focus on young learners, pre-K to third grade, and offers sheets with instructions for engaging with two books — one fiction and one nonfiction — and follow-up activities.