In summary

A collection of commentaries by Dan Walters over the past week.

Legislature may erase embarrassing boondoggle

The North Coast Railroad Authority has consumed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars but never delivered on its promise to resurrect rail service north of San Francisco Bay. Finally, the Legislature is poised to abolish it.

A supermajority that hinges on one seat

Democrats are likely to regain their two-thirds “supermajority” in the state Assembly this year. Whether they also enjoy that dominance in the state Senate depends on the outcome of one contest in rural California.

Unintended consequences of new privacy law?

California legislators passed a hastily drafted bill purporting to protect Californians’ personal and financial data from exposure and exploitation. But it could run afoul of the law of unintended consequences.

Coy about taxes and pension costs

As local government officials ask voters for tax increases, they are reluctant to tell them that the extra revenue is needed to cover pension costs. But one city is not being coy about it.

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Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times...