Tonight’s city council meeting agenda

The Agenda

To read or download tonight’s detailed council meeting agenda from the City’s website, please click here.

The public participation portion of the meeting begins at 6:30 with presentations and awards. Actual city business normally doesn’t start until 7:00 or 7:30 . . . or even later.

And you can also watch it at home on cable Channel 3 (Spectrum — formerly Time Warner Cable).

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FACT joins coalition to oppose AB 290

The Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers (FACT) has joined the Dialysis is Life Support coalition, an alliance of taxpayer groups, business groups, physicians, patients, dialysis providers and community groups opposed to AB 290 (Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg).

AB 290 sets government price caps on what insurance companies pay for dialysis care, below the cost of care. It slashes payments made by private insurers to dialysis clinics for patients who receive charitable premium assistance to help pay their insurance premiums. And it also sets these payments at the federal Medicare rate, which will not cover the cost of providing care.

Dialysis Is Life Support“No business can afford to keep its doors open if reimbursements do not cover the cost of care,” said FACT president Jack Dean, regarding the group’s participation in the coalition. “If dialysis clinics can’t cover their costs, they will be forced to cut back services or close, forcing dialysis patients to seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms at a much higher cost.”

Dialysis is the process by which a machine does the job of the kidneys to filter toxins and fluids from the body. Dialysis patients must get treatment three days a week for three to four hours at a time, to stay alive. Missing just one dialysis treatment increases the risk of death by 30 percent.

The only provider of charitable premium assistance for kidney patients, the American Kidney Fund, has said that if AB 290 passes it would not be able to operate in California. If AKF cannot help patients afford their insurance coverage, the bill will force low-income dialysis patients — those who receive charitable premium assistance — off private insurance and onto taxpayer-funded government coverage.

FACT is opposed to more government rate-setting that will simply drive up the cost of healthcare for all taxpayers.

To see the complete list of coalition members, please click here.

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A new water tax? California has a $21 billion surplus, use that instead

By Jon Coupal and Phillip Chen | California has a record $21.5 billion surplus.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we have all that money because you are being overtaxed.

A weekly column by Jon CoupalEarlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal, the largest in California history.

At a staggering $214 billion dollars, the budget is larger than that of most nations and every other state.

The budget also includes a new $140 million tax on water customers to help all Californians have access to clean water.

Clean water is important, and there are a million people in the Central Valley without access to it. But do we need a new tax to pay for it?  Maybe we don’t.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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Fullerton City Hall is closed today for another three-day weekend

City Hall Closure Dates and
Observed Holidays

2019
January –1*, 11, 25
February – 8, 18*, 22
March – 8, 22
April – 5, 19
May – 3, 17, 27*, 31
June – 14, 28
July – 4*, 12, 26
August – 9, 23
September – 2*, 6, 20
October – 4, 18
November – 1, 11*, 15, 28*, 29*
December – 13, 24*, 25*, 26^,27^, 31*

*Holiday observed
^Winter Closure

Fullerton City Hall

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LAUSD’s many taxing troubles

A weekly column by Jon CoupalBy Jon Coupal | In a situation being watched throughout California, the Los Angeles Unified School District is aggressively pushing a heavy parcel tax on all property owners within its jurisdiction. For taxpayers, this raises a fundamental question: Why does the state need more money when California is already near the top in tax collections among all states?

LAUSD is faced with many problems. Impossible promises made to its unions, failure to economize spending, abject failure to implement long-needed reforms and declining enrollment are compounding the district’s woes. However, lack of revenue is not one of them.

The district’s response to its own mistakes makes the Keystone Kops look like paragons of competence, especially considering how the parcel tax proposal was placed on the ballot.

The LAUSD board approved the tax at its Feb. 28, 2019 board meeting by passing a resolution that incorporated the “full text” of the tax.  During that meeting, board members asked district staff and the district’s legal counsel if any changes to the resolution could be made after receiving board approval. The LAUSD board was correctly informed that any change to the resolution would require further board action — in a public meeting — and all changes would have to be made by March 13, 2019.  If changes were not approved, the tax proposal would be legally defective.

Despite this, on March 11, 2019, Superintendent Austin Beutner sent a letter to Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, asking him to significantly alter the board-approved language. But as the board itself was first advised, moving forward with ballot language that was never approved by the LAUSD board violates both the Brown Act and the Elections Code.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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Watch last night’s city council meeting

To watch the nearly five-hour video (4:42), click here. Preceding the actual council meeting is a study session on the future of the Hunt Branch Library.

Fullerton City Council Meeting

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Tonight’s city council meeting agenda

The AgendaTo read or download tonight’s detailed council meeting agenda from the City’s website, please click here.

The public participation portion of the meeting begins at 6:30 with presentations and awards. Actual city business normally doesn’t start until 7:00 or 7:30 . . . or even later.

And you can also watch it at home on cable Channel 3 (Spectrum — formerly Time Warner Cable).

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Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 needs to be defeated

By Jon Coupal| Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5), is set for legislative hearing this Tuesday. It deserves a quick defeat.

Advanced by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Los Angeles, and Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, SCA 5 would lower the current two-thirds vote requirement to pass local school district parcel taxes to 55% percent.

Here are the reasons SCA 5 is horrible for California homeowners.

A weekly column by Jon CoupalFirst, SCA 5 is a direct attack on Proposition 13. Prop. 13 limits the base property tax, called the ad valorem tax, to one percent. To ensure that local governments didn’t heap additional taxes on homeowners, Prop. 13 requires a two-thirds vote for additional “special taxes” of which parcel taxes are a particularly insidious variety. SCA 5 specifically repeals that two-thirds constitutional protection currently in Article XIIIA of the California Constitution.

Second, lowering the two-thirds vote is unnecessary. With appropriate justification, the threshold can clearly be reached. According to the website California City Finance, a review of school district parcel taxes since 2012 showed that in November elections, 52 of 69, or 75% percent, were approved. Just last November, 11 out of 14 passed, an extraordinary success rate. Clearly, the two-thirds vote is not difficult to attain if a school district justifies its needs.

Third, lowering the two-thirds vote would open the door to a flood of new property tax levies.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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Fullerton City Hall is closed today for another three-day weekend

City Hall Closure Dates and
Observed Holidays

2019
January –1*, 11, 25
February – 8, 18*, 22
March – 8, 22
April – 5, 19
May3, 17, 27*,31
June – 14, 28
July – 4*, 12, 26
August – 9, 23
September – 2*, 6, 20
October – 4, 18
November – 1, 11*, 15, 28*, 29*
December – 13, 24*, 25*, 26^,27^, 31*

*Holiday observed
^Winter Closure

Fullerton City Hall

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Let’s give the FPPC the power to fight illegal spending

A weekly column by Jon CoupalBy Jon Coupal and Cristina Garcia | In recent years, taxpayers throughout California have registered numerous complaints about government entities using taxpayer dollars for political advocacy, a practice that is illegal under both state and federal law. Because progress in stopping these violations has been slow, taxpayers will be pleased to hear that the Fair Political Practices Commission sent a request to the California Legislature that it “consider legislation amending the Political Reform Act to authorize the Commission to bring administrative and civil actions against public agencies and public officials for spending public funds on campaign activity.”

Assemblywoman Cristina GarciaTaking up that challenge is Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens — co-author of this column — who has introduced Assembly Bill 1306, which is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Taxpayers hope that this commonsense, non-partisan proposal becomes law.

Here’s the background. The free speech clauses of the federal and state constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or oppose political campaigns because, as noted in Smith v. UC Regents, “Such contributions are a form of speech, and compelled speech offends the First Amendment.”

Moreover, as determined in Stanson v. Mott, “use of the public treasury to mount an election campaign which attempts to influence the resolution of issues which our Constitution leaves to the ‘free election’ of the people … presents a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.”

While taxpayer organizations have been successful in several lawsuits challenging these illegal expenditures, they haven’t fully deterred lawbreaking by the state or local governments, for two separate reasons.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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