Morning News for Friday, June 7th
A bill aimed at consolidating efforts by state agencies to recover nearly $8.5 billion in lost state taxes involving the underground economy passed the California Assembly by a vote of 75 to three. Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro voted to support his bill. The bill now moves to the California Senate for consideration.
Assembly Bill 576 will create a pilot Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement Team to promote data sharing and communications between nine state agencies to prosecute "criminals who underpay or do not pay state sales, use and income taxes."
It is estimated the state loses up to $8 billion a year in tax revenue due to the underground economy, currently valued at between $60 and $140 billion. "
In 2012, the Mendocino underground economy in 2010 was estimated at $675 million while marijuana income contributed about $415 million to the Humboldt County.
These figures are considered to understate the scope of the full underground economy.
A judge has ruled that California authorities properly considered the environmental effects of a landmark 2003 agreement over how to divide the state's share of water from the Colorado River.
Sacramento Judge Lloyd Connelly's 54-page ruling on Tuesday ends a dispute over rights to the 1,450-mile waterway that flows from the Rocky Mountains and serves as a major source of drinking water and farming in California, six other Western states and much of northwest Mexico.
A lower court had found California violated its constitution by essentially writing a blank check to restore the rapidly shrinking Salton Sea. California's Appellate Court sent the case to the Superior Court to weigh the narrower question - whether the agreement was properly reviewed under the CEQA.
Lake County seems to have gone recall happy as an effort to remove Supervisor Rob Brown got officially underway Tuesday afternoon.
Brown, who easily won a fourth consecutive term last June by 68.3 percent, indicated he planned to answer the recall proponents' notice of intent in writing.
The supervisor's response, which is due next week, would be included as part of a potential recall petition.
A successful recall petition would require signatures from 1,833 District 5 voters -- representing 25 percent of that electorate.
Also, Organizers of an effort to oust first-term Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero said they were more than two-thirds of the way to their signature goal, as of last week.
The State Assembly has approved AB 881, a bill by Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro to save California's Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the state's Oil Spill Prevention and Preparedness Program.“The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is the state-funded program that responds to oil spills to protect and save wildlife.
“The Oil Spill Prevention and Preparedness Program has several important duties, including reviewing and approving oil spill contingency plans, conducting unannounced oil spill drills, developing plans to improve vessel traffic safety, monitoring billions of gallons of fuel transfers each year and developing safety and engineering standards.”
AB 881 saves these programs by extending a small per-barrel fee on oil imported to marine oil terminals or piped in from state oil platforms.
The bill received wide support from the shipping industry, environmentalists, state agencies and zoos and aquariums.
AB 881 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
KZYX Evening News will be expanding to 5 minutes starting Monday June 10th as a full hour of The World produced by PRI & The BBC takes over Al Jazeera's 6- 7 pm slot. The weather follows at 6:19.
Al Jazeera AM continues on KZYX until August 1st when they end distribution to US stations.