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CALIFORNIA NEWS


This post is part of our Open Reporting at CALmatters, in which we share progress on stories as we’re developing them, while also inviting you to share thoughts and comments to help inform our...

A simple question, a complicated answer. Ahead of a possible 2018 ballot initiative that could dramatically expand rent control, Matt and Liam explain who benefits and who loses under economists’ least favorite housing policy.

One wants to end the death penalty. The other thinks capital punishment is just. One campaigned for tax increases that the other opposed. One tried to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. The other helped elect President George W. Bush. What both men believe, however, is that Latinos—California’s largest ethnic group—suffer disproportionate levels of poverty in part because they barely turn out to vote. That common ground helps form the basis of an unlikely political alliance that could shape the 2018 race to determine the next governor of California. Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa—a former mayor of Los Angeles and speaker of the Assembly—has hired a Republican political consultant to work on his campaign to become California governor.

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 those available credits unclaimed—a sign that most expected jobs have yet to materialize. Nor can the state say for sure how many of the administration’s 83,414 projected jobs over five years have actually been created. State offices responsible for awarding and monitoring the California Competes tax credits say they aren’t keeping count.

On a nearly two-week swing through Europe, starting at the Vatican and ending at the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, California Gov. Jerry Brown offered a bleak appraisal of the global future:  We are on a trajectory toward hell. It’s a headlong rush to a very unpleasant outcome. Mankind is on the chopping block. Yet Brown dazzled.

A few months back, we created an explainer to answer two questions: How bad is California’s housing crisis, and how did it get so bad? We tried to cover as much ground as possible—from affordable housing funding to Proposition 13 to why no one else in your apartment building cleans out the lint filter after using the communal dryer. But we knew we couldn’t get to everything. So we asked readers “What did we miss? What questions do you still have about California’s certifiably insane housing market that we didn’t answer?”

It’s an example of how the The Legislature’s exemption from the Whistleblower Protection Act has garnered attention in recent weeks, as a groundswell of women complaining of pervasive sexual harassment in the state Capitol publicly call for such protections for legislative employees. But the whistleblower act isn’t the only area of the law in which the Legislature has demonstrated a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.

In the past year, CALmatters, Capital Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times have partnered to examine the history of the state’s pension woes and how key decisions to boost public workers’ benefits without setting aside extra money to pay for them have threatened the bottom lines for universities as well as state and local governments. Now, we’re turning our attention to schools.

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