Recent Articles


Not living in the dorms? Good luck figuring out what college is gonna cost

By Vanessa Rancano, KQED

Inaccurate cost of attendance estimates can throw off students’ budgeting and their financial aid packages.

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

By Trevor Eischen

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.

Gimme Shelter podcast: To fix its housing woes, should California look to Seattle?

By Matt Levin

Seattle has a lot in common with San Francisco. A thriving economy increasingly dominated by major technology companies. A deep blue electorate with a strong environmental ethos. And of course, a soaring cost of living that has made living in either city a prohibitively expensive proposition for many long-time residents.

But Seattle has responded to its housing crisis much differently than its Bay Area counterpart: Seattle has built a lot more homes.

Combatting corruption: How effective is the political watchdog Jerry Brown helped create?

By Laurel Rosenhall

Gov. Jerry Brown rose to power in the 1970s expressing a passion for cleaning up politics—but hasn’t demonstrated the same zeal in the sunset of his career.

California soon may be first state to require public universities to offer abortion pills

By Elizabeth Castillo

Advancing legislation would make California the first in the nation to require that abortion pills be available at student health centers on all California State University and University of California campuses.

California teacher pension debt swamps school budgets

By Jessica Calefati

California schools may need to use over half of all their new money to cover growing pension obligations—prompting some districts to predict deficits and many to begin cutting programs, reducing staff or drawing down reserves.

WhatMatters


PG&E wants more from legislators

By Dan Morain

PG&E says Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to ease liability for future fires is “insufficient.” The question is how much are legislators willing to give.

Who must pay for wildfires

By Dan Morain

Legislators begin to tackle the complex law surrounding fire liability, without knowledge of the cause of the most devastating fire in California history. One legislator questions whether they should act without that information.

Brown’s fire plan to help utilities

By Dan Morain

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Tuesday that the state ease the liability standards when electricity providers’ equipment sparks fires that destroy property. Utility stock rose. Insurance industry blasts the idea.

Trump’s clean air assault and an ‘irate’ Assemblyman

By Dan Morain

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau became so verbally abusive toward workers for the Secretary of State this spring that one of them pressed a “panic button.” Security officers who escorted Chau out of the building.

Teachers’ $107 billion unfunded pension liability: Who’ll pay

By Dan Morain

California schools may need to use more than half of all new tax revenue to cover growing pension obligations, leaving little extra for classrooms. The unfunded pension liability is $107 billion.

Commentary


Universal health care now California law – more or less

By Dan Walters

Universal health care is a big issue for California’s Democratic Party but thanks to a budget “trailer bill,” a decision on it can be delayed by at least three years while a new commission studies how to do it.

Pension fund earnings up, but crushing debts remain

By Dan Walters

California’s economy is booming and tax revenues are pouring into public treasuries, but schools and local governments say mandatory payments into pension funds are causing them to dip into reserves and ask taxpayers for more money.

Splitting California runs afoul of constitution

By Dan Walters

The measure to split California into three states has been removed from the November ballot by the state Supreme Court. Opponents say it would violate the state constitution because revising the constitution can only be initiated in the Legislature.

Diving into California’s shameful poverty crisis

By Dan Walters

California may be the nation’s richest state, but it also has the nation’s highest level of poverty, thanks to its high cost of living, especially housing. However the political response has been tepid tokenism.

CALmatters Blogs


Water and drought top California voters’ environmental concerns

By Dan Morain

A statewide poll shows that voters prioritize water storage projects and addressing the drought above other environmental concerns.

Candidates take heed: Environmental policy matters

By Dan Morain

A new statewide poll shows that voters are increasingly concerned about environmental policy, which could play out in the governor’s race between Newsom and Cox.

Will Proposition 5 ease housing crisis, or hurt schools?

By Dan Morain

Homeowners 55 and older could pay the lower property tax bills of their old homes when moving to more expensive homes with this November ballot measure.

Legislator’s “agitated” behavior prompts election worker to hit panic button

By Dan Morain

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau became so verbally abusive toward Secretary of State workers this spring that one of them pressed a “panic button,” drawing security officers who had to escort the legislator out of the building, according to records released to CALmatters.