In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

CALQuiz: Grad requirements, medical “super-users” and noisy protesters

By Trevor Eischen

Grad requirements, medical “super-users” and criminal justice are among the featured topics in this week’s CALmatters News Quiz.

California’s bill to end cash bail could make history—and splinter the left

By Laurel Rosenhall

Civil rights advocates who once led the charge for bail reform are now lobbying against it, saying it replaces one problem with another—and may perpetuate racial bias.

Require ethnic studies to graduate high school? California inches closer to the idea

By Elizabeth Castillo

California’s Legislature is downsizing a plan to require ethnic studies for high school graduation—and not for the reason you might think.

California’s poverty rate is getting better—except where it isn’t

By Matt Levin

California still has the nation’s highest poverty rate when you take into account the state’s high cost of living. But the number of people living in poverty here has dropped since the beginning of the decade.

How California hopes to halt the revolving door to the ER

By David Gorn

More than half the state’s health care budget will be spent on just 5 percent of its patients—and they’re not the sickest people. Officials are staging an intervention.

California lobbyist fights for his daughter, with Legislature’s help

By Dan Morain

California’s new budget includes $12 million for research into Jordan’s Syndrome—named after the daughter of a powerful lobbyist who persuaded lawmakers to spend state dollars seeking a cure for Jordan and others afflicted by the rare condition.

Should Baby Boomers get a property tax break to move? The pros and cons of Prop. 5.

By Matt Levin

Would it be a merciful end to the “moving penalty” or a giveaway to rich homeowners and real estate agents? Proposition 5, which California voters will decide on this November, would allow homeowners age 55 and up to receive a major break on their property taxes when they move homes.

Is the Republican story about repealing the gas tax hike too good to be true?

By Ben Christopher

California Republicans want to repeal a recent hike in the gas tax and say that drivers can have smoother roads, more reliable public transit—and lower taxes too. Should voters believe them?

How does California really spend your gas tax dollars? See for yourself.

By Ben Christopher

Where do all those gasoline taxes and car fees you pay actually go? We tried to answer that question. Believe it or not, this interactive data octopus is the simple version.


My turn: Legislature must block desert water grab

Guest Commentary

California policymakers are the last line of defense against the federal government’s attempt to facilitate a water heist from beneath our Mojave Desert.

My turn: Charitable raffles should not become gambling operations

Guest Commentary

The NFL and Major League Baseball should not be permitted to run exclusive 50/50 raffles unless and until a comprehensive review and audit are conducted. Charitable raffles should not become gambling operations and revenue sources for business.

My turn: Trump damages the First Amendment; #EnemyOfNone

Guest Commentary

There’s a long history of tension between the president and the press, but no president until now has called journalists the “enemy of people.”

California has big void in educational information

By Dan Walters

California is one of the few states that don’t require comprehensive reports on students’ academic achievement, which makes it impossible for policymakers to know what’s working in the schools and what’s not.

My turn: CA can lead on climate change and housing equity

Guest Commentary

Sen. Henry Stern’s Senate Bill 1477 offers a roadmap for California to lead on climate action and housing equity.

Long waits at DMV? Not for Capitol insiders

By Dan Walters

State legislators complain about hours-long waits at Department of Motor Vehicles offices, but refuse to audit the agency to determine causes and enjoy having a private DMV office to serve their needs. The situation fuels public disdain for state and local officials.

School chief candidates Tuck, Thurmond on pensions

Guest Commentary

Tony Thurmond: Education stakeholders must identify pension solutions. Marshall Tuck: Politicians have ignored the pension problem for too long.

My Turn: CA needs to be part of a regional electric grid

Guest Commentary

Legislators have the opportunity to end the isolation that limits California’s ability to quickly and affordably deploy renewable energy. They need to pass Assembly Bill 813.

My turn: One last drink for the road?

Guest Commentary

State Controller Betty Yee and her husband were unfortunate victims of California’s lax attitude toward pot.

DMV a hot mess, but politics block audit

By Dan Walters

The state Department of Motor Vehicles is being sharply and justifiably criticized for hours-long waits for service, but intervention by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office blocked a study of DMV operations by the state auditor’s office.

Trump pulls California’s chain over auto mileage

By Dan Walters

California and President Donald Trump are at war again, this time over the administration’s plan to freeze nationwide auto mileage standards and withdraw California’s ability to set its own auto emission rules.

CALmatters Blogs

Standing Strong for a #FreePress

By Marcia Parker

CALmatters stands with the hundreds of news organizations standing up today for a free and independent press.

McCarthy praises Trump policy over “backwards” California—and is met with protest

By Ben Christopher

At a speaking event in Sacramento this morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drew a sharp distinction between federal policy under the Trump administration and the “backwards thinking” coming out of California.

Prop. 13 could be partly undone in 2020—here’s what you should know

By Matt Levin

Advocates today submitted signatures to qualify a 2020 ballot initiative that would generate tens of billions of dollars for local and state governments by undoing part of California’s landmark Prop. 13.

Meet California’s shortest-serving state senator in more than 100 years

By Laurel Rosenhall

In probably the strangest outcome of California’s elections so far this year, a new state senator was sworn in Monday—with just three weeks left to go in the legislative session.

Introducing a New Forum for Commentary at CALmatters

By David Lesher

CALmatters launches new forum for commentaries hosting a wide-range of perspectives on major issues for the state.

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact CalMatters with any commentary questions: