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2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by winter storms and flooding in Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties.

2018-12-29Dec 29, 2018

In a significant victory for government transparency and accountability, the California Supreme Court today denied a police union’s last-minute effort to undermine the effectiveness of a new, landmark police transparency law, rejecting the union’s effort to make the law (SB 1421) apply only to records created after January 1, 2019.

2018-12-18Dec 18, 2018

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the Board of Supervisors had agreed to settle with the family of a 13-year-old boy, Andy Lopez, who was shot and killed by Sheriff Deputy Erick Gelhaus in October 2013.

2018-12-04Dec 4, 2018

California's utility regulatory body will hold one of two upcoming workshops on the practice of shutting off power at high wildfire risk times in Santa Rosa on Friday, December 14.

2018-11-27Nov 27, 2018

The Supreme Court decision five years ago changed the lives of couples like Maben and Robert forever.  “Being allowed to marry and have that marriage recognized by the federal government was crucial for us,” says Maben.  “It’s all about securing the basic legal protections and rights every couple needs.”  Robert ads that while it has always been possible to create LGBT families, “it is important for people to understand it was challenging, costly and you felt inferior and less worthy. Not so now.”

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

As people begin to live longer, financial planning will become even more important. Many customers have told me that these home loans just aren’t right for them, but the reality is that they can be a major financial windfall for seniors in multiple situations.

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

Sonoma County Flood Recovery and Wellness Fund supports residents, neighborhoods, and communities in need. The purpose of the fund will be to support flood survivors to get back on their feet. All funds raised will be used to support flood relief through agency partners in the region.

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

California’s Board of Equalization has faced significant challenges and scandals in recent years, leading the California legislature and Governor Brown to strip the Board of the vast majority of its responsibility in 2017, including removing all of its non-Constitutional tax administration duties and transferring them over to the newly created Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

2019-02-12Feb 12, 2019

In 2014, I was elected to the State Board of Equalization, one of the two principal tax collection agencies in our state where cannabis dispensaries are supposed to collect and remit sales taxes. Duffel bags and sometimes suitcases of cash would arrive quarterly at some of our designated offices and some business owners had to drive 350 miles to pay their taxes. I asked how much we collected from the cannabis industry and my agency really didn’t know since tax revenues are “commingled” and deposited with other cash tax payments. 

 

2019-02-11Feb 11, 2019

Newly elected California State Treasurer Fiona Ma will speak on Capitol Hill regarding banking services and issues of access surrounding the cannabis industry on Wednesday. The hearing is the first of the new Congress to address federal cannabis banking policy. Congressional members will hear testimony from the California State Treasurer, a drug policy reform organization, a medical cannabis dispensary, as well as individuals representing financial institutions.

2019-02-02Feb 2, 2019

By no stretch of the imagination could Lynda Hopkins be called a “pot politician,” but she’s the supervisor of the Fifth District, where more marijuana is cultivated than in any other district in Sonoma County. Geography, agriculture and politics have pushed her front and center where cannabis is concerned, not just locally but nationally.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

All of us see the workers in the fields tending the vineyards throughout the year as we drive our beautiful Sonoma County roads. You may wonder: can a person working in those fields get a green card by way of their job at the winery? The answer might surprise you.

2019-01-21Jan 21, 2019

One local and valuable resource is the Sonoma County Public Law Library.  Yes, a law library dedicated to legal topics.  You probably won’t find “Estate Planning for Dummies”, but you will find over 26,000 books, CD’s and other legal resource materials available and free to the public (Note:  You must be a member of the Law Library to check out the materials or you can use the available copy machine — bring your sock of quarters.)   

2018-12-30Dec 30, 2018

As part of my annual New Year tradition, I am highlighting some of the new California state laws (most of which are in effect as of January 1, 2019 unless expressed otherwise in the law). Keep in mind that during the 2018 Legislative Session, over one thousand Assembly Bills (AB) and Senate Bills (SB) collectively passed. Governor Jerry Brown signed 1,016 of the 1,217 that landed on his desk (he vetoed the rest).  New laws limiting plastic straws, increasing renewable sources for electricity, Gun control, protecting Net Neutrality and others.

 

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