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OPINION: Resigned to Freedom

The California Teachers Association, one of the state's most influential government employee unions, may be resigned to eventually relying on a system of voluntary dues, reports Larry Sand of City Journal. Some labor leaders are now beginning to argue voluntary dues may not harm unions, but could benefit them, citing AARP and the NRA as two examples of highly successful groups sustained by voluntary dues.

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Filed Under: News

NEWS: Ninety Percent of EPA Stimulus Funding for Diesel Reduction Program Misspent

An audit conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency found $26.3 million in grant funds designated to programs intended to reduce truck emissions and create jobs was mismanaged. The Washington Free Beacon reports the funds were intended to help stimulate the economy but suffered from problems including a lack of financial controls and incorrect calculations related to job creation.

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Filed Under: News
Tags: EPA, diesel

OPINION: Acquiescent Teachers and Their Undemocratic Unions

While labor unions present themselves as democracies, a new report from the Manhattan Institute says unions are not as representative of their members as they claim, writes Larry Sand in UnionWatch. The report cites low turnout in union elections, higher voting rates among older members and incumbent leaders who go unchallenged for long periods of time and recommends new reforms to ensure more conservative members are heard.

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NEWS: State Controller unveils new open data website on local government finances

State Controller John Chiang has launched a new website designed to empower citizens to hold their officials accountable by providing them with key financial data, reports CaliforniaCityNews.org. The data on the website includes information on local government spending, revenues, assets and liabilities.

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EDITORIAL: High cost of doing business in California

A new study by the California Foundation for Commerce and Education has found high labor costs, high taxes, widespread lawsuit abuse and overzealous regulations have driven the state's business operating costs 19 percent above the national average, writes the Orange County Register. Policymakers should act to save jobs by making reforms across the board and not only to industries with political clout, the paper argues.

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Filed Under: News
Tags: Jobs