California's teacher retirement fund is considering a number of potential moves to prevent the appearance of impropriety through increased disclosure, recusal, or prohibition of donations from those who work with the fund.
Moving to beef up ethics standards, trustees of the California State Teachers' Retirement System will consider tightening rules governing campaign contributions, including a ban on donations from money managers doing business with the giant fund.
Trustees also agreed Thursday
The reality for working Americans is that wages have been largely stagnant for
over three decades. For many workers -- especially those without a
college degree -- pay has actually gotten worse, meaning that this
generation is the first one in American history which is not doing
signficantly better than the previous one. Part of the reason for
these stagnant wages is that inflation was allowed to erode the federal
minimum wage-- its inflation-adjusted value dropping from $9.12 per hour in 1968 down to just $5.15 per hour in 2005.
In states across the country, a simple idea is building momentum.
Rather than amending the Constitution to guarantee that the winner of
the national popular vote wins the Presidency, why not simply amend state law?
In states across the country, a simple idea is building momentum. Rather than amending the Constitution to guarantee that the winner of the national popular vote wins the Presidency, why not simply amend state law?
The gist is this: states enter into an agreement.
The California Assembly is moving forward a bill to tax the windfall profits of the oil industry, as gas prices surge past $3 across the country.
The proposal, which applies a 2% tax on oil company profits over $10 million, would fund prescription drug assistance.
Hawaii is the latest state moving in that direction with a proposed Hawaii Innovations Fund which could grow to $200 million in government funds over four years to invest in Hawaii's renewable energy, life science and technology companies.
While investments in high technology get a lot of attention, a
number of these new state government investment strategies are also
looking to revive areas devastated by deindustrialization and chronic
poverty. Around the world, "emerging markets" are hotspots for
investment, so many states are treating these poor domestic areas as
"domestic emerging markets" that just need a bit of patient capital to
We've written before about the new 75-year lease of an Indiana
toll road to a Spanish-Australian partnership, and the bad deal for
taxpayers and democracy that it represents. The state's largest
consumer group filed a lawsuit yesterday saying that the deal was so bad that it violates the state constitution. The Citizens Action Coalition
argues that the state constitution requires lease proceeds to pay down
public debt, rather than diverting long-term returns from a lease to
immediate public spending. The lawsuit highlights the core problem with
this kind of privatization -- it's essentially a theft from future
taxpayers and consumers to help pay for government spending today.
Last week, the state of Marylandjoined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a consortium of states -- now eight with Maryland's
membership -- that have committed to reduce emissions on four
pollutants and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 10 percent by 2019.