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Trump v. California

Trump v. California: Scoring the Bout

California's blue cheering squad (clockwise): Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Trump's red cheering squad (clockwise): Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Illustration by Dan Hubig. Animation by John Osborn D'Agostino
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Don’t expect a clean fight.

On a wide array of issues, the Trump administration and California’s Democratic leaders are prepping for protracted battle. Some of these conflicts will end up in court. Some will result in new state law. A few may play out exclusively on Twitter. All will affect how Californians live their lives.

As a state with a Democratic governor and a Democratic super-majority in its Legislature, California operates under lots of state policies that are at odds with the Trump administration. As for the people? More than 4.5 million Californians voted for Trump—but that’s only half of the votes they gave to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Regardless of whom you’re rooting for, this Golden State Gloves match is going to be a bear-knuckle brawl.

We know there’s lots of hype and confusion out there. We’re betting you’ve been asking yourself, “Can President Trump really do that? Can Congress really do that? Can California really do that?” And that’s why here at CALmatters, a nonprofit and nonpartisan news operation, we’ve developed a tool to simplify things. Issue by issue, it lays out President Trump’s throwdown to the status quo and California’s impact—and we’ll be updating it from time to time when there’s a new punch or counter-punch. (Click the buttons on and off below to sort by topic, or by the status of the fight.) See exactly what issues are in conflict and read the latest updates. These updates link to blogs devoted to each topic, where you’ll find background and context to help you understand how it’s going down.

The next four years look to be a slugfest. We’ll help you keep score.

 

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Economy
Education
Environment
Health
Immigration
Justice
status
All talk, no action—yet
It's on!
Punch
Counter-punch
On the ropes
Draw!
California wins!
Trump wins!

Immigration

Sanctuary status

Punch

Trump Throwdown


Five days into his term, President Trump signed an executive order aiming to remove federal grants from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to work with federal immigration agents.

California Impact


By some definitions, California itself already is a sanctuary state—and legislative leaders are backing a push to go even further.

update: The Trump Administration sent letters to several more California jurisdictions it says are running afoul of regulations to receive funding because of their policies on sanctuary. Among the targets: the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Read More

updated Nov 15, 2017

Health

Family planning

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


Trump has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions.

California Impact


Democratic state leaders aim to keep and protect health care services, including those provided by Planned Parenthood.

update: The state of California hopes to pause Trump administrations rules that allow employers to opt out of birth control coverage through company health insurance plans. Read More

updated Nov 10, 2017

Economy

Taxes

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


"I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them," Trump tweeted in October. "I will cut taxes—BIG LEAGUE."

California Impact


Everyone loves a good tax cut and President Trump's fiscal plan is full of them—especially for businesses and high earners. But if the President and his allies in Congress take a band saw to the tax code, Californians may lose some of their favorite budgetary goodies.

update: Democrats are taking their concerns about the GOP tax plan to congressional delegates, highlighting the pain it would inflict on homeowners, college students and even victims of the Northern California wildfires. Read More

updated Nov 9, 2017

Environment

Water

Punch

Trump Throwdown


Candidate Trump mocked California water policy at a May 2016 rally in Fresno, telling farmers it was "insane" for the state to pump water into the Pacific Ocean to save a three-inch fish.

California Impact


State officials’ plan to replumb the state will include protections for wildlife and habitat, sacrifices from farmers, and require federal permits and massive government funding.

update: The Trump administration announced today that it won't support a tunnel project to transport water from the California Delta to thirstier parts of the state, only to pedal back from that statement hours later. Read More

updated Oct 25, 2017

Justice

Guns

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


Trump opposes state assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans, and has supported a “national right” to concealed carry.

California Impact


California recently tightened its already strict gun control measures by outlawing the possession of high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for ammunition, and banning the sale of certain types of assault rifles.

update: In yet another challenge to a Trump administration priority, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling on Congress to nix legislation that would allow out-of-state gun owners to pack concealed firearms in public places throughout California. Read More

updated Oct 23, 2017

Health

Obamacare/Trumpcare

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


A year before his inauguration, Trump tweeted: “There is nobody more against ObamaCare than me, will repeal & replace.”

California Impact


California continues encouraging people to sign up for insurance through the state exchange, while state leaders are quietly working on figuring out how the state might fill the void if the program goes away.

update: California seeks a temporary restraining order against the Trump administration to force it to keep paying health care subsidies it slashed last week. Read More

updated Oct 18, 2017

Education

School Vouchers

Draw!

Trump Throwdown


Pledging to restore the American dream for inner-city students trapped in failing schools, candidate Trump in September pitched a $20 billion voucher program and called school choice “the civil rights issue of our time.”

California Impact


Voters here have twice rejected private school voucher initiatives, so the state is unlikely to embrace Trump’s plan. But Title I funding for low-income California kids could be on the line if Trump tries to use that federal money to finance his voucher program.

update: California voters have twice rejected private school voucher initiatives, but a new poll shows a majority favor the concept, which has been touted by the Trump administration as a way to lift struggling students’ achievement. Read More

updated Oct 5, 2017

Environment

Oil and gas

California wins!

Trump Throwdown


Trump favors aggressive domestic oil and gas production and has said he would support offshore drilling if done responsibly.

California Impact


The massive oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast in 1969 taught state officials that even the most responsible offshore oil rigs can fail.

update: A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that the Trump administration must immediately begin enforcing rules restricting methane emissions, a legal win for California, which had filed suit in July. Read More

updated Oct 5, 2017

Immigration

Deportation

Punch

Trump Throwdown


In June Trump tweeted, “I have never liked the media term 'mass deportation'—but we must enforce the laws of the land!”

California Impact


The state Senate and Assembly passed identical resolutions urging Trump not to begin mass deportation. Lawmakers have also introduced several bills in an effort to protect undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

update: Federal authorities arrested nearly 500 people in California and across the country this week in "sanctuary cities" that have opted to break ties with federal immigration enforcers. Read More

updated Sep 29, 2017

Environment

Climate change

California wins!

Trump Throwdown


Trump famously tweeted: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

California Impact


California sees itself as a global leader on combatting "devastating climate change"—which Gov. Brown calls "the existential threat of our time."

update: The Trump administration today reinstated federal greenhouse gas rules on cars and trucks, backing down from its suspension of climate standards on the transportation industry. Read More

updated Sep 28, 2017

Immigration

Border enforcement

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


Trump signed an executive order calling for construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

California Impact


California’s Democratic legislative leaders accuse Trump of demonizing immigrants, and say there is no need for a new wall.

update: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra suing the Trump administration for alleged violations of state and federal environmental law and the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Read More

updated Sep 20, 2017

Justice

Civil rights

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


While on the campaign trail and in office, Trump has proposed a range of policies that have drawn criticism from civil rights groups—from declaring his openness to a “Muslim registry” to defending North Carolina’s controversial transgender bathroom bill.

California Impact


Democratic legislative leaders say they'll bar California agencies from sharing data for a Muslim registry, and have passed legislation mandating that single-stall toilets be marked gender-neutral.

update: As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider President Trump’s controversial travel ban, California is officially weighing in with a friend of the court brief. Read More

updated Sep 19, 2017

Environment

Protection

On the ropes

Trump Throwdown


“What they do is a disgrace," candidate Trump told Fox News about the Environmental Protection Agency. "Every week they come out with new regulations. They're making it impossible.”

California Impact


California relies on federal rules to protect endangered species, waterways, forests, deserts and other environmentally sensitive areas.

update: A bill explicitly designed to protect California’s environment against rollbacks of federal laws failed to come up for a vote in the last days of the legislative session. Read More

updated Sep 19, 2017

Justice

Marijuana

All talk, no action—yet

Trump Throwdown


While candidate Trump offered mixed views on whether states should be able to decriminalize pot, his conservative attorney general has called legalization a “tragic mistake.”

California Impact


Last fall, Californians voted to allow adults to use marijuana recreationally without having to sheepishly complain about back pain to an uninterested physician.

update: A controversial bill that would have barred state and local law enforcement from helping the federal government prosecute marijuana offenses stalled in the California Legislature. Read More

updated Sep 18, 2017

Environment

Clean Energy

Punch

Trump Throwdown


The president has been noticeably mute, although he does strongly oppose an ‘awful’ offshore wind energy project visible from his Scottish golf resort.

California Impact


The state has the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation, aiming for 50 percent clean energy by 2030.

update: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the Trump Administration, joining four other states in trying to force the U.S. Department of Transportation to encourage fuel-efficient cars. Read More

updated Sep 11, 2017

Education

DREAMers

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


As a candidate, Trump vowed to repeal DACA, a 2012 executive action that shields children from deportation who had been brought to the U.S. illegally—calling the program “illegal amnesty.”

California Impact


UC, CSU and school districts up and down the state have declared themselves "sanctuaries," vowing to protect more than 2 million undocumented immigrant students from deportation while they're at school.

update: As DACA faces a threat of extinction and its participants scramble to determine what to do if those protections disappear, Janet Napolitano and UC are suing the Trump administration to try to save it. Read More

updated Sep 8, 2017

Economy

Dollars from Feds

Counter-punch

Trump Throwdown


"We are going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days," candidate Trump announced at the Republican National Convention.

California Impact


California—its citizens, its cities, and state government—receive roughly $368 billion from the federal government every year.

update: The state’s top prosecutor, Xavier Becerra, and San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, announced this morning that they are filing side-by-side lawsuits against the Trump administration—the goal is to protect federal funding for designated “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Read More

updated Aug 14, 2017

Economy

Infrastructure

California wins!

Trump Throwdown


"The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me—roads, airports, bridges," Trump tweeted in May. "I know how to build. Pols only know how to talk!"

California Impact


The state faces a backlog of transportation and other infrastructure projects. And Gov. Brown tweeted to the new President to tout his high-speed rail plan, noting "California's ready."

update: After months of hemming and hawing, the Department of Transportation announced it will approve a $647 million grant to fund the electrification of the Caltrain rail corridor that connects San Francisco and San Jose. Read More

updated May 22, 2017

Economy

Trade

All talk, no action—yet

Trump Throwdown


President Trump campaigned on protecting American workers by pulling out or renegotiating trade deals that he blamed for losing U.S. jobs. He also floated the idea of imposing tariffs on foreign imports.

California Impact


California’s $2.4 trillion economic engine, the sixth-largest economy in the world, relies on free trade to sell everything from laptops to almonds. Economists have warned that Trump’s approach could disrupt supply chains, hurt domestic jobs and drive up consumer prices.

update: Two economic forecasts released in recent days warn of dire consequences for California should President Trump’s policies steer the country into a trade war. Read More

updated Mar 9, 2017

Immigration

Databases

It's on!

Trump Throwdown


An opponent of illegal immigration, Trump now possesses a database of personal information about hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, whom the Obama administration granted a temporary reprieve from deportation and work permits.

California Impact


State Democratic legislators aren’t waiting to find out if Trump will come after the data California has collected from undocumented immigrants. The Legislature aims to lock down data collected from driver licenses, scholarships, etc.

update: Fears about deportation had initially depressed interest in a state-funded scholarship program for undocumented California students, but a campaign to reassure applicants seems to have worked. Applications this year are up slightly compared to last year thanks to a late surge. Read More

updated Mar 3, 2017

Health

Medi-Cal

All talk, no action—yet

Trump Throwdown


Trump’s plan calls for changing how the feds fund health care for the poor (Medicaid, known in California as Medi-Cal) by giving less money to the states in set-amount "block grants," which the states would then decide how to use.

California Impact


If Medicaid's funding changes to block grants, California—which receives billions—is expected to receive less. State Democratic leaders hope to be able to fill the gap as much as possible, perhaps by cutting some services to keep as many people covered as possible.

update: For some 164,000 poor undocumented California children, the ability to see a doctor for regular medical care hangs in the balance. Several experts predict they could be among the first to lose health coverage if the Trump administration carries out its promise to end much of Obamacare, leaving California to try to make up the difference. Read More

updated Jan 25, 2017

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