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CALQuiz: A Cal Fire official gets in trouble, a politician gets ‘irate,’ and voters pick their top enviro issue

CALQuiz: A Cal Fire official gets in trouble, a politician gets ‘irate,’ and voters pick their top enviro issue

Consider yourself an expert on California news? Let’s see if you’ve been paying attention this week to the big stories on politics and policy in the Golden State. Test your knowledge and share your score.


What did the assistant chief of Cal Fire build in the backyard of his rented state property?

A replica of Mt. Rushmore

A Burning Man statue

A launch pad for a rocket capable of reaching space

A fully plumbed and wired tiki hut and bar

If you guessed tiki room, go make yourself a Mai Tai. The California State Auditor’s office released its biannual report on worker misconduct within state government. The report highlighted an investigation into a high-ranking Cal Fire official who instructed two state employees to construct a tiki room and bar as part of an addition to a state-owned property he rented during work hours. The assistant chief was suspended for 30 days, and the tiki room was dismantled. And yes, there are pictures.


California could soon become the first state to do what when it comes to women’s health?

Require that UC and CSU campuses offer abortion pills

Mandate that employers provide a 6-month paid maternity leave

Create a special court system to handle sexual abuse cases

Free birth control for all California residents

A bill advancing in California’s Legislature would require that on-campus health facilities at all public universities offer the prescription abortion drug RU 486 by Jan. 1, 2022. Funding for at least the first year would come not from taxpayers but from a private foundation.


According to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll, state voters are most concerned with which environmental issue?

Condition of the ocean, beaches

Water storage, drought

Air pollution

Pesticide use on crops

The top environmental priority for California voters: water storage and drought, according to the PPIC poll. The poll also found that voters across party lines and regions support Proposition 3, a November ballot measure that would fund various water projects in the state.


The California Supreme Court ruled that employers must pay workers for time spent on off-the-clock tasks. What company was sued in the case?


Urban Outfitters



Starbucks employee Douglas Troester sued the coffee giant, arguing that he is entitled to the 12 hours and 50 minutes of unpaid work he accrued during a 17-month period doing tasks such as setting alarms, locking up the store and walking coworkers to their vehicles.


Even though the California Legislature is in recess, a special committee of members from both the state Senate and Assembly convened this week to discuss what major issue?


Donald Trump



A special committee on wildfires met to begin hearings on how to better prevent and contain wildfires and to engage in a controversial debate over who is liable for the billions of dollars in damages from last year’s historic blazes. PG&E faces billions in lawsuits over damages, but assigning liability on the utility company could mean higher rates for customers.


A California politician was escorted from the Secretary of State’s office after he became “rude, condescending and agitated” in front of employees, according to one of them who pressed a “panic button” to alert security. What position does this elected official hold?



State Senator

Attorney General

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau was removed from the building after becoming what Secretary of State Alex Padilla termed “alarmingly irate” with workers over a ballot designation for his Republican opponent. In documents released to CALmatters, Padilla wrote to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon about the incident, which detailed how Chau “spoke to the staff in a highly aggressive and demeaning tone, at times leaning over the counter and raising his hands at staff while berating them.” In a response letter, Rendon told Padilla he had talked to Chau and that it would not happen again. Chau told CALmatters the incident was a “miscommunication or misunderstanding.”

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WhatMatters: Your daily guide to ​California policy & politics.

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