Recent Articles


CALQuiz: Obama endorses, 3D-printed guns and firefighting help from abroad

By Trevor Eischen

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

Hoping to save limbs and toes, California moves to curtail diabetes

By David Gorn

Diabetes afflicts millions of Californians, and thousands suffer amputations as a result. The state is launching a program to rein in the disease.

How Trump’s new rules for cars would hit California—if they survive in court

By Julie Cart

The administration wants to roll back strict Obama-era standards for auto emissions and gas mileage. It also challenges California’s right to set its own rules.

Once again, California lawmakers won’t crack down on payday lenders

By Antoinette Siu

California now has more payday lenders than it does McDonald’s. While some states have restricted their operations, California’s Legislature keeps burying bills that aim to crack down on predatory lending.

Where do people get money to buy California homes these days? Often, from mom and dad

By David Wagner and Aaron Mendelson, KPCC

Federal data shows first-time buyers in California increasingly rely on family for help.

Are housing costs to blame for California’s plummeting fertility rate?

By Amita Sharma, KPBS

California’s birth rate has dipped below the national average—and experts say the state’s soaring housing costs are crimping its fertility.

WhatMatters by Dan Morain


Air pollution, amputation & ferrets

The Trump administration proposed to revamp—and loosen—fuel mileage standards, challenging California’s authority to regulate air pollution within its borders, and enraging California officials.

Green energy, utilities at risk

Gov. Jerry Brown warned that the high cost of liability for wildfires could be the end of private utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric.

CA to Trump: Help state’s farmers

Ten California Congress members sent a letter to the Trump administration warning that the escalating trade war is damaging farm exports. Some could pay a price if they can’t persuade Trump to come to farmers’ aid.

How to prevent ‘megafires’

After touring the Carr fire devastation in Redding, Assembly Republican leader Brian Dahle added urgency to his call to thin forests to prevent fires. He has an ally in Assemblyman Jim Wood, a Democrat whose district was devastated by fire last year.

Schools, illiteracy and poverty

A suit can proceed challenging California schools over a failure to teach African-American and Latino kids to read. Eleven of the 26 lowest performing school districts in America are in California, the suit says.

Commentary


Brown talks CEQA reform, but hasn’t done it

By Dan Walters

Gov. Jerry Brown talks about reforming the California Environmental Quality Act, calling it “the Lord’s work.” But he and the Legislature have failed to do it, while granting narrow exemptions from its provisions to particular projects, especially sports venues.

Two events frame California educational crisis

By Dan Walters

A new lawsuit alleges that state officials have failed to intervene in low-performing schools, leaving children unable to read. Meanwhile, new high school graduation data tell us that while graduation rates are low in big city districts, rural districts with large numbers of Latino kids are showing high rates.

Big changes coming to vital community colleges

By Dan Walters

California’s 114 community colleges play a vital role in post-high school education but often don’t get the respect they deserve. Now big changes are coming, some fostered by outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, others by the colleges themselves.

Big water moves mark Brown’s final months

By Dan Walters

Big moves are being made on water policy in the final months of Jerry Brown’s second governorship, including twin tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a new water allocation policy and money for new water storage reservoirs.

Resistance State


Trump can’t withhold federal money from ‘sanctuary’ cities, court rules

By Elizabeth Castillo

A panel of federal judges in California says Congress—not President Trump—controls the federal purse.

California considers cutting ties to firms carrying out Trump’s immigration policies

By Elizabeth Castillo

Although California can’t do much to block the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies, opponents in the “Resistance State” keep finding ways to chip away at their foundations. The latest: pushing the state and its Democratic leaders to cancel business deals with, investments in, and campaign donations from private companies with immigration contracts.

CALmatters Blogs


Yes, a political action committee exists to legalize ferrets

By Dan Morain

A political action committee wants ferrets legalized as pets in California. Ferret PAC’s Patrick Wright hopes Gavin Newsom notices his group’s $125 donation.

Where charter schools’ campaign money went in the gubernatorial primary

By Dan Morain

Charter school advocates financed Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for governor with more than $22 million.

Newsom taps small donors. Cox wins retirees

By Dan Morain

Gavin Newsom ended June with $11.1 million in his campaign account, compared with John Cox’s $1.46 million, a total puffed up by $500,000 of Cox’s own wealth delivered on the last day of June.

Why Obama endorsed in a California Assembly race

By Dan Morain

Buffy Wicks was an early employee of Barack Obama’s first presidential run and an integral part of the White House effort to generate support for Obamacare.

Obama wades into California midterm—with a few surprises

By Ben Christopher

Barack Obama endorsed 81 Democrats across the country today—ten in California. Some were obvious choices. Others—both of omission and commission—not so much.

Kentucky’s governor stumps for John Cox

By Dan Morain

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin exhorted conservative donors at a Koch Network gathering earlier this week to donate to Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, and called Democrat Gavin Newsom a “dirtbag,” a “joke” and an “embarrassment to public service.”