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Judy Lin

Economy Reporter
Judy Lin is a staff reporter for CALmatters, covering education, pensions and finance. Her piece on “The Price of Education” revealed how fragile school funding is in California, particularly as teacher retirement costs rise amid economic uncertainty. She’s interested in what’s happening in classrooms and following the flow of public funds. A veteran of the Sacramento press corps, she joined CALmatters in late 2015 from the Associated Press, where she worked for eight years covering California state policy issues, including budget and health care. Before that, she was with The Sacramento Bee and The Detroit News. Judy has been recognized for her reporting on government accountability and investigative stories. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Judy is a longtime active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's strike team offered a provocative–and politically challenging–idea for easing utility wildfire liability that has already prompted PG&E to file for bankruptcy.

As the first Tax Day without unlimited state and local tax deduction approaches, an estimated 1 million California families will pay $12 billion more to Uncle Sam. In a progressive…

In California, wildfire season is nearly year-round. CALmatters explores why, and what could help fireproof the state.

California lawmakers pressure utilities to improve fire safety as Southern California Edison is blamed for the 2017 Thomas Fire and ensuing mudslides.

Democratic leaders at the state Capitol have pointedly cautioned against broad tax increases on working families. Whether their troops and the governor have gotten the memo, though, isn't clear.

If all sides are declaring victory in the California Supreme Court’s pension ruling on Monday, it’s because the decision had a little something for all the combatants in the state’s pension wars. In...

Hoping to save California taxpayers some money after spending nearly $1 billion to fight wildfires last year, Napa Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma…

Customers will likely pay more and victims will get less should PG&E be liable for another major wildfire while the company is in bankruptcy.

As political pressure mounts with every disaster, California is scrambling to prepare for the coming fire season, from firefighting to utilities to the law.

Sen. Bill Dodd wants to establish a California wildfire warning center that would allow officials to turn off power and better position firefighting crews during extreme heat and high winds.

As a publicly traded corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric reported $17.1 billion a year in revenues from its electric and gas operations. After operating costs, expenses and taxes, it still made...

Mention Pacific Gas & Electric to Victor Porter, and the response is nothing like the bland non-opinion most Americans have of the companies that provide their electricity. “They have to pay,”...

Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed to rein in public employee pension costs, has started drawing on his $120,000-a-year pension after decades of public service. Brown officially retired Jan. 7 to...

PG&E customers shouldn't have to foot the bankruptcy bill if the utility is responsible for deadly California wildfires, says a state watchdog.

The governor put the surplus into three buckets: $3 billion for education and social services, $8.5 billion in one-time spending and $10 billion to build what he is calling “budget…

A huge surprise surplus, a big push on affordable housing, help for college students, working poor tax credits, credit cards at the DMV, kindergarten potties.

The governor proposes extra payments and offers to help school districts meet their pension obligations as retirement liabilities top $256 billion.

Before Gavin Newsom can expand preschool, California will first have to get to full-day kindergarten by building classrooms with those little toilets attached.

Over the course of his four-year $153.3 million contract, LeBron James could pay more than $20 million in California income taxes. That’s about $1 for everyone in the state workforce.

The uncertainty of a U.S. trade dispute with China, which could trigger a recession, to a lack of affordable housing are among some of the chief concerns of economists as…

The California Supreme Court is weighing a key legal precedent that could restore the generous pension formulas Jerry Brown worked so hard to tighten.

What could happen if PG&E, which provides natural gas and electricity to 16 million people in northern and central California, goes bankrupt in the aftermath of the deadliest blaze in…

The $1 billion wildfire prevention bill passed in the last legislative session was supposed to "prevent catastrophic wildfires and protect Californians." Months later, the state faces another epic disaster. Why?

California Controller Betty Yee, injured in a car crash suspected to have been caused by a driver under the influence of marijuana, says the state’s nascent cannabis industry needs to…

It turned into a lightning-round contest over who was more politically pure as five of the 11 candidates for lieutenant governor faced off today before the Sacramento Press Club.

You may have heard the state has the highest taxes in the country, or that Prop. 13 has saved or ruined California. But what’s really true, or half true? Share…

We answer your pension questions about California legislators, University of California retirees, and more.

A day after the Trump administration sued California over its new “sanctuary” laws, state officials pushed back hard, with Gov. Jerry Brown calling the move tantamount to “war.” U.S. Attorney...

The federal lawsuit over 'sanctuary' policies turns the tables on California, which has sued the Trump administration more than two dozen times on a range of issues.

The cost of retirement benefits for public employees from California's state state and local governments and schools and colleges has more than tripled since 2003—putting so much pressure on government…

California's focus: what to do with an expected surplus of at least $6.1 billion. Republicans say return it to California’s 40 million residents as a nice tax refund. The governor's priority…

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is proposing an end run for Californians to deduct the full value of their state and local taxes from their federal tax…

Would California withhold clean car rebates from Tesla customers if the electric car maker doesn't meet the state's evolving labor standards?

"Please, call your Republican representative and tell them: 'Vote no on this tax monstrosity,'" Gov. Jerry Brown tells Californians.

Some Californians are breathing a sigh of relief now that House and Senate Republicans have agreed to a partial preservation of state and local income taxes, but a lot of…

Gov. Jerry Brown's chief fiscal advisor says the Republican tax plan will raise the cost of homeownership by scaling back the mortgage interest deduction, making it harder to buy property in…

Four years after Gov. Jerry Brown launched his signature program to boost California jobs by awarding tax credits to the businesses that create them, businesses have left two thirds of…

Democrats are taking their concerns about the GOP tax plan to congressional delegates, highlighting the pain it would inflict on homeowners, college students and even victims of the Northern California…

All 14 California House delegates voted today to back a budget blueprint that could eliminate state and local tax deductions, a move that would cost one out of three taxpayers…

The Trump administration announced today that it won't support a tunnel project to transport water from the California Delta to thirstier parts of the state, only to pedal back from…

After a particularly wet rainy season fueled growth of lush vegetation, the sweltering summer of 2017 dried those plants to a crackly, combustible crunch. Several locales had racked up record…

Business groups are threatening to wage a pricey campaign to stop California’s Republican officials from trying to repeal a new state gas tax—warning them not to “create new political adversaries.”…

More than 20 times in the last 15 years, political leaders looking to control California’s fast-growing public pension costs have tried to put reform initiatives before the voters. None of…

Infrastructure may be one of the rare opportunities for the Trump administration and California to clinch each other. Trump has signaled support for spending up to $1 trillion on an…

Generous retirement benefits for public safety employees could help push the Bay Area city of Richmond into bankruptcy

On his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact that involved 12 Pacific Rim countries to lower or eliminate tariffs…

Something new is happening at a batch of California urban schools. Students are being asked if they are happy at school. Can they keep their temper in check when there’s trouble in class? Their...

One by one, dozens of blacks and Latinos lined up behind a microphone placed before the state school board appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Spanish-speaking mothers pleaded for the 10-member panel to...

Our Partners Budgeting from the Blacktop – KQED A Day With a Sixth Grader – KQED One School’s Unique Program Faces Uncertainty – KQED Is Extra Funding Helping English...

Our Partners Budgeting from the Blacktop – KQED A Day With a Sixth Grader – KQED One School’s Unique Program Faces Uncertainty – KQED Is Extra Funding Helping English...

As he eyes a run for governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is spotlighting the lagging academic performance of Latino and African-American students and saying the state should do...

Finding the right school for your child can be a daunting task. One family may want small class sizes and strong test scores while another places a high priority on arts and science programs. Others...

Having witnessed teaching “fads” since the 1950s and running charter schools as Oakland mayor, Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t expect his own key education policy — called the Local Control Funding...

This week, a state appellate court will be asked to overturn a closely watched legal decision that said poor and minority school students in California have been denied their right to a proper...

When former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell was termed out five years ago, the popular politician could only watch as a state budget deficit eroded his signature priorities...

The price of education

VALLEJO, Calif. — Vallejo High School teacher Lewis Brown starts his morning government class with a question of the day that takes advantage of newly assigned iPads. Teacher Salary Database...

Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned up and down the state in 2012 to pass a temp orary measure known as Proposition 30, which raised the sales tax for four years and income taxes on high earners for seven...

Gov. Jerry Brown will propose another healthy budget on Thursday that will be vetted and adopted by the Legislature in June. That’s good news for K-12 public education, which accounts for more than...

One of the biggest winners in Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget was public schools, which has enjoyed a rapid funding rise in recent years. The governor proposed a $71.6 billion education...

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