Sen Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism: Let Us Finish What FDR and MLK Started

November 27, 2015 by Source

The following are the prepared remarks for a speech given by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at Georgetown University on Thursday, November 19th, 2015.


In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.

He saw millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

He saw millions lacking the means to buy the products they needed and by their poverty and lack of disposable income denying employment to many other millions.

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Why Aren’t Seniors Getting a Raise This Year?

November 25, 2015 by John Lawrence

CEOs Got a Pay Increase Last Year But No COLA for Social Security Recipients

Cost-of-Living-Comparison-WBy John Lawrence

The Social Security Administration announced that senior citizens would get no increase in their monthly checks because there wasn’t any inflation last year as measured by the increase in paychecks for urban and clerical workers.

Yes, those workers didn’t make any more money, but CEOs certainly did.

Why don’t they gear their index to the increase in paychecks for CEOs? That was a whopping 3.9%. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (the only Senators who stand up for We the People) are introducing legislation that would give seniors the same increase that CEOs got last year. It has a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing, but they get A for effort.

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Clinton and the New Democrats’ Tired Third Way

November 23, 2015 by Jim Miller

dem socialismBy Jim Miller

Recently I noted how movements like the Fight for $15 and the insurgent Bernie Sanders campaign have revealed a widespread thirst for an overtly left politics that makes the battle against the billionaire class a central rallying cry.

Indeed, Sanders has continued to force Hillary Clinton to tack to the left on multiple issues, and he has had a genuinely transformative impact on the national political discourse by unashamedly bringing democratic socialism to the stage.

This is why Harold Meyerson argues that the Sanders’s campaign represents “the largest specifically left mobilization—and by ‘specifically left’ I mean it demands major changes in the distribution of income and wealth and major reforms to U.S. capitalism—that the nation has seen in at least half a century.”

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San Diego’s Hidden Homeless

November 23, 2015 by Source

Homeless women and children undercounted and underserved.

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless kidsIt looks like the issue of homelessness will be getting some airtime during the 2016 election season in San Diego. That should be good news for anyone who is deeply concerned about homelessness in the region. Problem is that some candidates might use the issue to put forth solutions, without taking the time to understand the problem.

By feeding the electorate with misinformation that plays into their eagerness for a quick and easy fix to the city’s growing homeless situation, they will not only fail to solve the problem, they will exacerbate it.

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Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

November 16, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

Editor: Senator Elizabeth Warren has started a petition to get Congress to pass a Cost of Living increase for Social Security recipients. As of right now there is no annual increase coming – and this is only the 3rd time in the last 40 years that there hasn’t been a COLA increase for those who received Social Security.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren’s call:

On January 1, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost-of-living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Will you join me in calling on my fellow members of Congress to give seniors and veterans the raise they deserve?

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A Greedy Capitalist Gets His Comeuppance

November 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Price-Gouger Martin Shkreli Becomes Known as ‘Most Hated Man in America’

asshole capitalistBy John Lawrence

Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli will face new competition for Daraprim, the drug he recently hiked 5,000 percent in price, after competitor Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said it would market a similar drug for just $1 a tablet. Daraprim is used mainly to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that’s common in AIDS and HIV patients, as well as cancer sufferers.

Greedy buttwipe Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund guy that bought the drug Dariprim and then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. a pill will actually lose his ass on this venture.

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Newport News – Latest on OB’s Main Street

November 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Newport News – Latest on OB’s Main Street

Join us as we cruise up and down Newport Avenue – the main business street in Ocean Beach. This is one of our irregular columns on the very latest goings on in the commercial zone – what’s new? What’s old? Who’s in? Who’s out? Who is opening and who is closing? (Pics were taken Friday afternoon – a fine day, Nov.6th.)

OB Brewery Exterior Looks Done … But …

The latest brewery happening in OB is the OB Brewery – whose exterior looks great. But one look inside

No Progress at AppleTree Market

There’s been absolutely no progress – that we can see

Humble Hippie Is Gone

Another victim of the times, the economy, or what?

Yoga Center Is Ready for Everybody

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Farewell Fresh & Easy

November 9, 2015 by Source
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By South OB Girl

Fresh & Easy will be closing its doors. This makes the second loss of a grocery store in the Ocean Beach-Point Loma community in the past three years. We had previously mourned the loss of Appletree Market. Now we are losing Fresh & Easy.

Technically Fresh & Easy, at the corner of Catalina and Talbot St., lies within the boundaries of the Peninsula Planning Board. But many a OBcean has headed up and over the hill to the store. The self-checkout was favored by some as quick and convenient. The prepackaged meals were likewise seemingly well-liked by many. But the self-checkout and signature Fresh & Easy products were not enough to keep the company from declaring bankruptcy for the second time, and not enough to keep the doors open.

On October 30, 2015, Fresh & Easy LLC filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code 11 U.S.C. §§ 101-1532 (Case No. 15-12220).

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Fighting for More than $15

November 9, 2015 by Jim Miller

Teachers, Students, and Community Fight for $15 and More

3:00 Rally and March on Tuesday Nov. 10th at City College near Park and B

f4f strike poster nov 10By Jim Miller

For progressives it is the worst of times and the best of times. As I noted on Labor Day, the American labor movement faces an existential crisis in the form of a looming Supreme Court decision that may essentially make the whole country “right to work” as the trend toward greater income inequality continues unabated.

Our sitting Democratic President has made pushing a terrible neoliberal trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, one of his legacy items, and the news on climate change seems to get worse by the day as our leaders bicker over half measures.

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“Enough Is Enough” Bernie Sanders Support Rally and March – Sat., Nov. 7th – Balboa Park

November 6, 2015 by Staff

Bernie Sanders SD poster

A rally and march in support of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is on for Saturday, November 7th in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Billed as the “Enough is enough” rally for Southern California supporters of Sanders, organizers expect more than 2,000 people to attend. (Which means parking will be tight.)

The main gathering and rally at the fountain in front of the Science Center starts at 11 am, with speeches, and then a march begins around 12:30.

Starting at 10 am there will be booths of local activist groups and political initiatives.

Come inside for the formal announcement:

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“Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

November 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

Are you familiar with the John Lennon song where he sings “remember, remember, the 5th of November….”?

I know you’re familiar with the “Anonymous” mask during the Occupy Wall Street” protest movement.

Well, November 5th – still celebrated in film, television and literature – is Guy Fawkes Day!

Who the heck is Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes was one of the leaders in the infamous “Gunpowder Plot” – a plan to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605. He was caught, tried and then hung and in England to this day Guy Fawkes’ execution is celebrated.

Yet – you may have seen the movie “V for Vendetta“. The film tells the other side to the story ( “V for Vendetta” – differently. ) The movie points out that Fawkes was not trying to blow up Parliament, but the House of Lords – the seat of autocratic rule and symbol of religious persecution in England at the time. (Remember the Pilgrims? They came to the New World because they were being persecuted for their religion.)

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The Fall of the Haggen Grocery Chain: A 21st Century Morality Story

November 4, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The collapse of the Haggen grocery store chain just over month ago was a sad moment for neighborhoods and thousands of employees throughout California. More than two dozen stores in the San Diego region will soon be (or already are) closing, leaving some vacant properties behind and about a thousand employees wondering about paychecks as the holidays approach.

Now, thanks to reporting by the Seattle Times, we know the inside scoop on how this deal came down, and it ain’t pretty. Private equity investors flipped the real estate for cash, handed operations to an overwhelmed management team and will see their risks marginalized by the bankruptcy courts.

It’s all legal; another example of greed run amok. They win, we lose. And we’re supposed to accept this as the “natural order” of things in a market economy.

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OB Planners – Crafting a Policy on Short Term Rentals and Quigley Building Back Up for Condo Conversions

November 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planners – Crafting a Policy on Short Term Rentals and Quigley Building Back Up for Condo Conversions

OB Planners have a lot on their plate for their Wednesday, Nov. 4th meeting.

There will be an update on the OB Community Plan going before the City Council on Monday, November 9th. There’s two presentations, one on an “enhancement plan” for the San Diego River Trail, and another on residential solar presentation.

But the two big items on the Board’s tight agenda is an application to convert 4 units on Long Branch to 4 condos, and then the Board is slated to “craft a policy” for how short-term vacation rentals are dealt with in Ocean Beach.

Quigley Building Back Up for Condo Conversions

The 4-unit building that Rob Quigley built on the last block of Long Branch Avenue is back before the Board for an authorization for converting all the units to condos.

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OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

Take 1 – of several

By Frank Gormlie

The Town Council of Ocean Beach has anything but boring meetings. And the one they held the other night – Wednesday, October 28 – was no exception.

The main entree, a report and discussion about why OB Elementary School is losing students, was buttressed by lots of other reports, announcements by the Town Council itself, by the numerous politician reps that parade before the meeting, and by ordinary OBceans who attend and give shout-outs or pleas on their favorite project.

So, bear with me, dear reader, and accompany me on my journey into the cavern of the Masonic Center, and into my description of the closest thing OB has to a village town hall gathering, clinging closer to the gonzo style than that of the New York Times.

Darkness was approaching as stragglers entered the door off the parking lot that caters to the Masons and their guests and into the meeting hall, with dozens of chairs already set up on the linoleum tiled floor, with board members accumulating behind their designated chairs. The downstairs of the Masonic Center is very plain jane compared to the upstairs where the actual Masons meet occasionally, with plush carpets and thick leather chairs. I’ve even been to a community meeting there – once. If you’ve never seen the upstairs, you must.

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Poor Mayor Faulconer

October 28, 2015 by Source

red long johnsBy Norma Damashek

It’s enough to make you cringe, the way they toy with our mayor – those brawny Chargers/ Rams/ Raiders sports team owners, our insatiable hotel magnates, those downtown real estate purveyors, our Chamber of Commerce henchmen. So many entitled guys diddling with our small-time politicians just for the fun of it, passing the time until they clinch their publicly-subsidized, taxpayer-financed killer deals.

But our mayor is a good-natured sport. He wears his what-me-worry grin even when he’s left flapping in the breeze, flailing like wet underwear strung up on the clothesline to dry. One minute limp and aimless. The next minute puffed up and billowing like a hot-air facsimile of a political contender hoping to score in big-boy Republican Party politics.

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Surfing or Surf Schools in Ocean Beach

October 27, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Why do the surfing schools want to extend their hours? [Editor: see this.]

The city of San Diego is very magnanimous in its consideration of the populace, and has made sure that every child will have the opportunity to learn to surf if they so choose by offering surf camps.

This consideration coincides nicely with the holidays the schools have, generating the added benefit to working parents of a baby-sitting service for their offspring. Serving children from ages 5 to 17, presumably there is some age-appropriate organization of the process.

The general feeling at the city, who planned these programs, along with the lifeguards and the surf schools, is that the surfers who are unhappy with the 100 inexperienced surfers at Ocean Beach at the same time along with their instructors are just curmudgeonly. This is for the children, after all.

And then, there are the Surf Schools themselves.

Two are authorized. What exactly are they?

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“Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for “Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

By Alison Patton / Special to the OB Rag

I can relate to the battle going on between STVRs (short term vacation rentals) and neighborhood residents in San Diego. The same debate went on in my home.

My husband John Thickstun began work as legal counsel for Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN) many months ago (and since has become a Board member).

My first reaction was, “Why this issue, John?”

Everything I knew about STVRs was positive and I ticked off my list to him:

  • Our friend Ann rents a room in her house through VRBO. Her neighbors have never complained.
  • Our neighbor Nick rented his house last summer so he and his family could travel to Europe. It wasn’t a problem.
  • We rented that house in New York through Airbnb years ago and had a great time.
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The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

October 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

Hannah Steria showed me into the cramped back office of the only licensed medical marijuana storefront in City Council District 2, the Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative, one of the only places in the building where we could do an interview in private. The place was crowded with patients and staff – two friendly security guards were very visible.

We were about 2 miles as the seagull flies from downtown Ocean Beach – and this was OB’s closest licensed pot storefront.

Having gone through Adam Knopf, the owner of the company that runs the place, to arrange an interview with Hannah- the onsite manager of the day, I had plenty of questions, being a boomer fascinated with how this fast growing dispensary was doing. It was buried in the industrial area of the Midway District – over on Hancock Street between I-8 and the Sports Arena (I know it’s called after a casino, but it will always be “the Sports Arena”).

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Reader Rant: Believe It or Not! STVRs Are Already Illegal in San Diego

October 20, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: Believe It or Not!  STVRs Are Already Illegal in San Diego

By John E. Thickstun

There are only two possibilities here in San Diego: STVRs (short term vacation rentals) are either “Visitor Accommodations” under the Municipal Code, or they’re not a listed use in the Municipal Code.

In either case, STVRs are not permitted in residential zones.

STVRs are Visitor Accommodations –

“Uses that provide lodging, or a combination of lodging, food and entertainment, primarily to visitors and tourists”

Hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments are Visitor Accommodations. Visitor Accommodations are unlawful in all residential zones. They are a non-conforming use.

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Bad News Not Reported: The Drift Toward Global Plutocracy Continues Unabated

October 19, 2015 by Jim Miller

plutocracy1-300x162By Jim Miller

Recently Thomas B. Edsall penned an interesting column in the New York Times asking “How Did the Democrats Become the Favorites of the Rich?” where he observed that while the gulf between the two parties is still very wide on many social issues, on economic issues, Democrats have “inched closer to the policy positions of conservatives, stepping back from championing the needs of working men and women, of the unemployed and of the so-called underclass.”

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Here’s Sanders in Your Eyes

October 19, 2015 by Source

bernie-sanders-bennington-banner-9-10-1974-v2-1600x21581By Bob Dorn

Time for another look at politics 2015.

No, no, no, don’t go back to Ultimate Fighting, or The Kardashians, or wondering whatever became of Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake or that kid on Via Amnesia named Justin whose pants keep falling below his crack.

Forget the distractions for a moment and try to focus on wtf is going on.

Let’s look at the S-words, and the J-word.

One S-word is Sanders, short for Bernie Sanders. Another S-word is Socialist, that’s the elephant in the room. …

Oh yeah, there’s a J-word. What’s the J stand for? Just a minute, I gotta check a text coming in.

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The Democratic Presidential Debate’s Big Winner Was …

October 14, 2015 by Doug Porter

cnn debate setBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The consensus view as expressed in the mainstream media I read this morning was Hillary Clinton as “winner” of the October 13th Democratic Presidential debate, hosted by CNN. Not so fast… There’s more to this story…

Polling, social media, and focus groups told a different story, hailing the performance of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. We’ll take a look at some of the commentary on the events of the evening. I’m happy to report the debate was informative and not boring at all.

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Drought 2015: Rich Use Millions of Gallons of Water While Everyone Else Cuts Back

October 14, 2015 by John Lawrence

One San Diego Household Used an Astonishing 4.6 Million Gallons in One Year

By John Lawrence

water droppingHey, we’re in a drought and people are being encouraged to take shorter showers and only wash their cars sparingly. But that doesn’t apply to the rich. They are using millions of gallons of water and neither the state or local water districts are limiting them in any way.

The water bill for a 11.8 million gallon user in Bel Air for the 12 months ending April 1 was $90,000. This guy was only charged 0.76 cents a gallon! No wonder he consumed water excessively; it was so cheap! California is in the fourth year of a water crisis, but the rich are using water as if there were no tomorrow.

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Two City Meetings on Draft Ordinance for Short Term Rentals – Wed. Oct. 14th

October 13, 2015 by Staff

The City of San Diego is holding 2 meetings on the proposed draft ordinance for short-term vacation rentals, on Wednesday, October 14th.

Both meetings are open to the public, and they’re both in the same place – but there will be limited time for comments. The first meeting is the Code Monitoring Team (CMT) Meeting, which is at 10:00-11:45 a.m. and the second is the Technical Advisory Committee, which meets from 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Critics of the draft proposal being considered feel it is a poorly conceived ordinance that would legitimize mini-hotels in all residential areas in the City.

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Airbnb-Funded Study Finds Many More Short Term Rentals at the Beach Than Realized

October 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Over Half of San Diego’s Near 4800 Short Term Rentals Between OB and La Jolla

A new study out is trumpeting the contributions that the short term rental market is making to the San Diego economy. Millions in hotel and sales taxes – wow! And hundreds of jobs! Yea!

But wait! Would it surprise you that the new study was commissioned by Airbnb and two vacation rental marketing firms? It was.

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Update on Developments #1: Barnard Apartments in the Midway

October 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Update on Developments #1: Barnard Apartments in the Midway

Occasionally, the OB Rag publishes an update on local development projects – just to keep our readers and ourselves informed. Here is the first of two:

190 Barnard Apartments Being Readied

The huge project that is being built on the site of the former Barnard Elementary School in the Midway District – just outside OB – has made great gains since our last visit.

Nearly 200 units are being constructed on almost 10 acres at the old school site – sold by the School District in 2012. The Monarch Group bought the site at auction for a reported $16.5 million.

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Poll on Short Term Rentals in Apartments: Nearly Half Want Them Banned

October 8, 2015 by Staff

In the second OB Rag poll on short term vacation rentals, we asked readers what their opinion was on the current law allowing 25% of the units in an apartment complex to be short term vacation rentals.

With 145 readers taking part, nearly half – 48% – agreed with the option “There should not be any STVRs allowed in apartments,” (69 votes).

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Poll on Short Term Vacation Rentals: 85 Percent Want Restrictions

October 8, 2015 by Staff

In the first of 5 polls that ran at the OB Rag for a week, we asked readers if they thought short term vacation rentals needed restrictions.

An overwhelming 85% said they agreed with some type of restrictions – 128 votes.

68% in the poll want “tight restrictions” on the STVRs (102 votes), whereas 17% were okay with “loose restrictions” (26 votes).

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OB Elementary Parents and Students Protest Loss of Two Teachers

October 5, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Dozens of teachers, students and parents braved the rain this morning – Monday, Oct. 5th – to protest the loss of two teachers at Ocean Beach Elementary School.

Kindergarten teachers Amie Frank and Katy Amberg will be reassigned to different schools in the San Diego Unified School District.

“We’ve taken such a large, unexpected drop in enrollment,” OB Elementary Principal Marco Drapeau explained.

“After five years of growth, this caught us by surprise. The numbers don’t support the staff by the math.”

The teachers were chosen because they have the least amount of seniority at the school, per the teacher’s union contract. They will still have jobs, just not at OB Elementary. And they are not guaranteed teaching positions, wherever they may be sent.

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Fighting Traffic Tickets Just Got Fairer

October 2, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Fighting Traffic Tickets Just Got Fairer

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill on Wednesday, September 30th, that makes it a lot more fair for the average Californian fighting a traffic ticket.

Drivers who have been ticketed but who want to challenge the ticket, can now do so without having to initially pay the fees. The law goes into effect immediately.

Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who introduced the bill, said:

“The system was broken. Is it reasonable or fair to require the poor to pay a huge fine before getting a hearing? I say no, and I’m grateful the governor agreed.”

Mike Herald of the Western Center for Law and Poverty, which pushed for the measure, SB 405. stated:

“By allowing people to have their day in court without having to pay the ticket first, fewer people will get their license suspended and end up in dire straits.”

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