During his first governorship three decades ago, with crime rates and public anger on the rise, Gov. Jerry Brown signed many lock-'em-up crime bills and launched what later became a massive prison construction program.
Late last summer, two-thirds of the state Legislature approved and the governor signed legislation imposing a Lumber Products Assessment on some retail sales. The law adds a 1 percent assessment on certain lumber and engineered wood products sold in California. That might sound straightforward, but it's not.