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  • Author: David Wells
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: The FY2019 budget saw the country’s largest movement of teachers descend on the state capital and force Governor Doug Ducey to scramble to save his re-election prospects. Gradually growing through social media, the #RedforEd movement culminated with 50,000 teachers and supporters walking out of classrooms and descending onto the Capitol grounds. Gov. Ducey deftly rose to the occasion from his initial one percent raise to a 20 percent raise by FY2021 before the walkout commenced, moving the pressure to legislators to seal the deal, which they did on May 3, 2018. Stronger revenue growth than prior years enabled the governor and Legislature to find the necessary funds.
  • Topic: Education, Fiscal Policy, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, Arizona
  • Author: Brian DiSarro, Wesley Hussey
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: California passed a 2018‒2019 budget with record budget surpluses as the state attention shifted to the upcoming 2018 election. This was Jerry Brown’s final budget after sixteen years as governor, a state record. Brown was concerned the state’s volatile income tax revenues might not hold up during a future recession and wanted to store as much of the surplus away in the state’s emergency “rainy-day” fund. Continuing the annual pattern, Democratic legislators wanted to spend some of the surplus on social services, including the increasing problems of homelessness and affordable housing. In addition, legislators began to address the long-ignored problem of sexual harassment in the capitol and was on the front line of the #MeToo movement, leading several legislators to resign. Democrats did well in the November elections, leading to an even bluer California.
  • Topic: Governance, Budget, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Colin D. Moore
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Hawaii adopted a state budget that authorizes $14.3 billion in spending for FY2019. The Aloha State’s economy continues to benefit from record-breaking tourist numbers and robust federal military spending. Although the state’s unemployment rate is among the lowest ever recorded for any state in the nation, the cost of housing has made it increasingly difficult for working families to purchase a home. Tax revenues are strong, but they remain very dependent on the tourism industry. Hawaii also faces huge liabilities for pension and health care payments that are promised to retired state employees.
  • Topic: Governance, Health Care Policy, Budget, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Kim Seckler
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: In January 2018, the New Mexico State Legislature convened for its regular session, a thirty day budget session, per its constitutional mandate. Thirty days later the legislative session ended quietly and the state of New Mexico closed the book on the great recession and a decade of financial and political strife. The 2018 legislature passed a $6.38 billion dollar budget, re-supplied dangerously low general fund reserves, and provided small raises to teachers and state employees. Oil and gas revenues are up, unemployment is slowly coming down and legislative-executive political battles have muted. The balanced budget, signed by the governor in early March, brings the state back to where it began almost 10 years before, leading one observer to refer to the time as the “lost decade in New Mexico” (Cole 2018).
  • Topic: Governance, Budget, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, New Mexico
  • Author: Mark Henkels, Brent S. Steel
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: The 2018 midterm elections strengthened the Democrats’ control of Oregon’s state government. Governor Kate Brown won re-election with 50percent of the vote defeating moderate Republican Knute Buehler with 46.6percent of the vote. Democrats also increased their seats in both the House and Senate, leading to super majorities in both houses. Governor Brown and the Democrats in Salem have taken fairly strong progressive policy stances in 2017 and 2018, particularly opposing President Trump’s immigration and marijuana policies, reinforcing the West Coast carbon-reduction pattern, and strongly supporting health care coverage expansion. With a booming economy and unemployment at record lows, the state seems to be able to deliver on its progressive agenda for the 2017-19 biennium, but funding progressive policies in the future will be a challenge for the governor for a variety of reasons. The fate of this progressive vision depends on five elements: (1) the continuation of the favorable economy and the corresponding revenue growth in the approaching budget cycle; (2) the ability to manage the ongoing taxing and spending structures that include major obligations for the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS); (3) the constraints of ongoing dependency on income taxes; (4) the vicissitudes of Trump era politics and policy with declining federal funds; and (5) continued public support for expansive public policies.
  • Topic: Governance, Domestic politics, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Oregon
  • Author: Erin Richards, Michael Artime, Francis Benjamin
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: As a state that overwhelmingly relies on sales tax revenue, Washington benefitted from a strong economy in 2018. However, that revenue was necessary as the state faced a court ordered deadline to fully fund K-12 education, and a need to address transportation, mental health, and a capital budget held over from the 2017 session. This is all in addition to creating a new Department of Children, Youth and Families. The state government was under unified government for the first time since 2012 which may have contributed to the state completing its work in a supplemental budget year on time and adjourning by the March deadline.
  • Topic: Budget, Tax Systems, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Oenone Kubie, Rebecca Orr, Mara Keire, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: On the evening of 31 January 1905, six hundred of the richest and most powerful members of New York society descended on Sherry’s Hotel dressed in extravagant costumes designed to resemble the court of the French King, Louis XV. The wealth on display was astounding. Pearls, emeralds, turquoise, and diamonds abounded. Mrs Potter Palmer, the queen of Chicago society, appeared dressed in a diamond tiara, diamond choker, and diamond breastplates. Mrs Clarence Mackay, wife of the chairman of the Postal Telegraph Company and a suffragist, wore a gold and turquoise crown and the train of her dress was so long, that despite the help of her two pages, she was forced to sit out the dancing.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, France, Global Focus
  • Author: Lola Wilhelm, Oenone Kubie, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: The demand for infant formula in Australia is insatiable. Bare shelves have led supermarkets and chemists to ration sales, limiting the quantity customers can buy in a single transaction. But it’s not Australian parents fuelling the formula shortages. A high proportion, between fifty and ninety percent, of all Australian infant formula is exported to China. The situation has created tensions between the two countries. Australian shoppers complain of Chinese daigou (personal shoppers) buying formula before it is even stacked on shelves and stripping supermarkets in teams of people. In April 2019, eight people were arrested in Australia for stealing over a million dollars of infant formula in Sydney to sell in China. Two months later, Chinese military personnel were photographed loading boxes of formula onto a Chinese warship before departing Sydney Harbour.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Global Focus
  • Author: Vivid Lam, Oenone Kubie, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: Pingyao (平遥) is a remote place for a tourist attraction. Located in the centre of Shanxi province, it is some 380 miles from Beijing and further from Shanghai or Hong Kong where the tourists tend to congregate. Yet, despite the isolation, come they do to Pingyao. The nearest airport to Pingyao is in Tiayuan, over one hundred kilometres away, so most visitors arrive by coach or by train; along the poorly paved streets and past the decaying houses until they arrive in the middle of the city. Here the tourists disembark from their coaches and their trains and find themselves transported to the days of the Qing dynasty emperors, surrounded by imperial architecture. The tourists wander slowly towards West Street. This is the home of the most popular attraction: the headquarters of Ri Sheng Chang (日昇), a late Qing company which revolutionised Chinese banking, now a museum and an increasingly busy tourist attraction. This is the story of how it came to be and how the little city in a small province in China rose to prominence, became the financial centre of the world’s largest economy, fell to obscurity and, now, rises again.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Sean Valencia, Rebecca Orr, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: When Europeans began trading with Japan in the 16th century, they were amazed by Japanese craftsmanship, the country’s sophistication, and its extraordinary wealth but the Japanese elite were not equally convinced by the benefits of European trade. Wary of foreign influence, particularly the attempts by Christian missionaries to convert the Japanese, the Tokugawa Shogunate enforced a policy of strict isolation in Japan. Tokugawa Iemitsu, the shogun of Japan from 1623 to 1651, issued a series of edicts placing severe restrictions on trade and the movement of people and goods after 1638. These prohibitions remained in place for more than two hundred years until 8 July 1853 when, under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry, four United States Naval Ships sailed into Tokyo Bay. In the decades leading up to this confrontation, the presence of foreign ships in Japanese waters had become an increasingly common sight as western powers competed ever more fiercely to establish trade relations in the region. The arrival of Perry’s “black ships”, however, marked a stark shift in Japan’s foreign relations. American President Millard Fillmore had tasked Perry with forcing open Japanese ports to US vessels and, unlike in previous naval expeditions, granted him full and discretionary powers to achieve this end. On arriving into Tokyo Bay, Perry staged a week-long campaign of intimidation that began fiercely with the firing of blank shots and culminated in ominous threats to destroy the nation. The Tokugawa Shogunate, stymied by indecision, finally conceded that Perry would be allowed ashore to deliver a letter demanding that Japan abandoned its protectionist policies
  • Topic: Capitalism, Ethics, Business , Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia