Poll Finds Majority Of California Voters Want Gas Tax Repeal

A joint poll by the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College and the Los Angeles Times has found that, if given the opportunity, just over half of registered voters in California would repeal the 2017 law that increased the gas tax and vehicle registration fee. About 38% still support the measure, with the remainder undecided. The tax and fees fund transportation infrastructure improvements. According to a press release from USC, proponents of a ballot measure to repeal the law have said that they have enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The poll also found that nearly half of voters support a proposal to create high-speed rail connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco, and that about 44% of voters are opposed.


CalChamber Board Opposes Gas Tax Repeal, Three State Initiative

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) Board of Directors has come out in opposition to two measures that may make it to the November ballot: one that would repeal the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees, and another that would break the State of California into three new states. CalChamber’s board argues that repealing the increased gas tax and vehicle fees would stop work on ongoing transportation improvement projects, worsen traffic congestion, hurt the state economy and ultimately cost state residents more money. The board argues that dividing California into three states is a matter that is inappropriate for a ballot measure and should rather be considered by the state legislature or by a constitutional revision commission.


City Introduces Micro-Loan Program To Help Local Small Business Owners

The City of Long Beach has launched Kiva Long Beach, an initiative that helps local entrepreneurs access no-fee, crowd-funded loans to grow or start a business. The program serves business owners who may not be able to afford loans with high interest rates or obtain commercial loans. The Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Coalition, a nonprofit that supports community development, is matching loans dollar-for-dollar. The Kiva Trustees, made up of nine organizations, identify potential borrowers and help them launch a campaign.


CityHealth Awards Long Beach A Silver Medal For Supporting Residents’ Health

CityHealth’s annual report, an initiative of Kaiser Permanente and the de Beaumont Foundation, awarded the City of Long Beach with a silver medal for its efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and livability. The report examines how well the nation’s 40 largest cities support nine key policies to help residents lead healthier lives. CityHealth awards each city a gold, silver, bronze or no medal depending on their overall performance. Long Beach improved from a bronze medal. The city also was given a “gold” designation for four policy categories: complete streets, which accommodate all forms of transportation; healthy food availability; smoke-free indoor air; and raising the minimum age for tobacco purchase to 21.


Molina Healthcare, Inc. Appoints New Chief Financial Officer And Treasurer

Molina Healthcare announced the appointment of Thomas L. Tran to the role of chief financial officer and treasurer, effective June 4. In his new role, Tran will manage the company’s finances, accounting, budgeting and investor relations. He has more than 35 years of experience in health care, including six years as the CFO of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. He will replace current Molina Healthcare CFO John White, who is retiring from the company.


City Manager Names New Director Of The Parks, Recreation & Marine Department

Today, Long Beach City Manager Patrick West named Gerardo Mouet as the new director of the city’s parks, recreation and marine department. His appointment is effective June 18. For the past 14 years, Mouet has served as the executive director for the City of Santa Ana’s parks, recreation and community services agency.  He was responsible for managing the city’s 50 parks, 17 recreation centers, the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park and the public library system.