24 specific proposals for how to fix California

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My good friend Mike Tanner has released his report with 24 specific proposals for how to fix California.

“Too many of California’s laws, policies, and regulations are regressive, trapping people in poverty and making it harder for them to climb the economic ladder,” Tanner wrote. “These policies involve criminal justice, education, housing, the existing welfare system, and regressive regulations. We should seek to ensure not only that people are fed and housed but that they rise as far as their talents can take them.”

Here are the suggestions and my gut reaction to each:

1. End exclusionary zoning.

Obvi. To an extent already accomplished with the new fourplex law and last year’s statewide mother-in-law unit legalization but honestly all density restrictions need to go yesterday.

2. Move to an “as by right”/ministerial approval process for new construction.

Yes. This is what I’ve been calling “by right permitting.” It means if your project (new apartment plan) meets all zoning and building codes no one can deny you a permit. No more neighbors blocking development because they don’t want more neighbors.

3. Restructure the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to limit the use of lawsuits to strict environmental criteria.

Yeet CEQA.

4. Standardize and cap building fees.

Sure.

5. Reduce the power of local agency formation commissions.

Yeet local control.

6. Reverse efforts to criminalize homelessness.

No criminalizing homelessness.

7. Strengthen California’s conservatorship laws while continuing to protect civil liberties and individual autonomy.

Yes.

8. Expand and extend CEQA exemptions for homeless housing/shelter projects. Allow emergency shelters in any zone, without a conditional use or discretionary permit.

Yeet CEQA.

9. Resist any effort to roll back recent criminal justice reforms, including Propositions 47 and 57.

I think I agree.

10. Take additional steps to reduce overcriminalization, including the decriminalization of victimless crimes, further reduction in penalties for nonviolent offenses, and continued moves to the greater use of restorative justice.

Yes. Decrim sex work and all drugs.

11. Curtail the use of fines and fees as punishment, especially in cases where they pose a disproportionate hardship on low-income offenders.

Yes.

12. Establish a mechanism to automatically expunge criminal records after a designated period for those who do not reoffend.

Yes.

13. Upgrade programs within the prison system to prepare offenders who have completed their sentence for transitioning into society.

Yes.

14. Remove barriers to the growth of charter schools and other alternatives to traditional education models. Specifically, lawmakers should eliminate the Local Control Funding Formula funding gap between districts and high-need charter schools.

Eh. I think removing zoning and by-right permitting largely accomplishes school choice without the negative impacts on public schools that other forms of school choice can have.

15. Establish a tuition tax credit program to finance scholarships for low-income families to attend the school of their choice.

Same comment as above.

16. Restructure future pension obligations to shift more resources to the classroom.

Fuck a pension system.

17. Increase emphasis on vocational and technical education and make greater use of apprenticeships

Totally.

18. Abolish asset tests for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, or CalWORKs, and other programs.

Yes.

19. Expand welfare diversion programs.

Eh.

20. Prioritize cash payments within the social welfare system over in-kind benefits or indirect payments to vendors. To the degree possible, restructure existing social welfare programs and reallocate existing resources into an expanded state EITC.

YES. Give people cash.

21. Repeal occupational licensing that is not strictly necessary to protect health and safety.

Repeal it all baby.

22. Rethink occupational zoning.

Yeet occupational zoning.

23. Deregulate childcare to reduce costs and increase supply.

Absolutely.

24. Reduce barriers to entrepreneurship and job creation

Totes.