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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.

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?”

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.

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.

Twice  this week, the Democratic candidates in the 2018 California governor’s race assembled to discuss state issues—and largely agree. But there are a few issues where there’s a sliver of daylight between the candidates.

Wildfires burned across Sonoma County, Oct. 2017. Photo by Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP

California Burning

California Burning By Ben Christopher and Judy Lin | October 18, 2017 After a particularly wet rainy season fueled growth of lush vegetation, the sweltering summer of 2017 dried those plants to a...

Dear Friends, CALmatters. It’s not just our name. It’s what drives our team to produce compelling coverage on how Sacramento works and why it matters. CALmatters was launched two years ago because...

A third of young California children at risk for lead poisoning are not being tested despite state and federal laws that require it, according to a new study—a problem at least partly addressed by legislation now on the governor’s desk.

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