In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

The Green Economy: Is California’s bid to lead the world on climate solutions paying off at home?

By Julie Cart

California’s landmark climate law came with promises of economic benefit. But experts say it’s virtually impossible to tell if those promises are coming true.

The shrunken California Dream: Just keeping a place to live

By Adriene Hill

The California Dream media collaboration is rolling out an exploration of why people fall into homelessness—and the innovative ways governments try to help people keep their own place.

A deeper dive into California homelessness

By Victoria Cabales

How many people in California are living on the edge of homelessness? A data dive into housing burden and housing insecurity in the state.

As gig companies beg for relief from pro-labor Supreme Court ruling, the lobbying is fast and furious

By Antoinette Siu

Lobbyists for ride-sharing companies are scrambling to delay until next year (and the next governor’s administration) a far-reaching California Supreme Court decision that would protect workers at firms such as Lyft and Uber—and, businesses fear, undermine the entire gig economy.

The Lebowski property tax break

By Matt Levin

On this week’s Gimme Shelter, CALmatters’ podcast on California’s housing crisis, data reporter Matt Levin and the Los Angeles Times’ Liam Dillon talk about Liam’s investigation into the unintended consequences of that 1986 initiative.

Why Stockton believes a Cal State could seal its comeback

By Felicia Mello

The idea of a Cal State campus has captured the imagination of the Central Valley city of Stockton. But it’s an open question whether California lawmakers and the California State University system will enable that.

Legislature has been snuffing out bills that aim to help insured homeowners in wildfire country

By Antoinette Siu

Of all the constituencies clamoring for help as firenados ravage California, homeowners worried about their fire insurance seem among the least likely this year to get legislative relief.

Betty Yee to cannabis industry: Grow up and deal with stoned drivers

By Judy Lin

California Controller Betty Yee, injured in a car crash suspected to have been caused by a driver under the influence of marijuana, says the state’s nascent cannabis industry needs to stop “grousing” about state regulations and “step up” to address pot-related traffic accidents.

CALQuiz: Hunter indicted, Newsom chats with Don Jr., and gas tax drama

By Trevor Eischen

Test your mastery of California’s news of the past week with our quiz.


My turn: Last-minute twist on the water tax won’t work

Guest Commentary

Now, in the final days of the legislative session, proponents of a water tax are trying to move a different proposal – a twist on the water tax. Here’s why it’s still not a good idea.

My turn: Biomass electricity isn’t cheap, won’t end wildfires

Guest Commentary

With California’s commitment to renewable energy and the growing concern about wildfires, biomass electrical generation is increasingly being promoted at the state Capitol as a tool. For a number of reasons, this approach has a lot to overcome.

My turn: Provide college students with abortion access on campus

Guest Commentary

Senate Bill 320 would give college students at University of California and Cal State campuses access to abortion pills at their campus health center. The Assembly should support students who need access to these health care services.

Softer crime laws will loom large in Brown’s legacy

By Dan Walters

Jerry Brown’s second stint as governor of California has been marked by multiple legislative bills and ballot measures to soften the state’s penalties for those who commit crimes. Their effects, whether positive or negative, will be a big part of his political legacy.

Pro-con: Are bio-digesters key to climate change fight?

Guest Commentary

The dairy industry is responsible for 75 percent of agriculture’s methane emissions, but it has focused on unproven bio-digester technology. California should look at less costly alternatives.

My Turn: How to make police accountable

Guest Commentary

Gov. Jerry Brown can undo a mistake from his first term by signing legislation—assuming it is approved by the Legislature—that would maintain protections that officers enjoy regarding personal information while allowing the public to evaluate the performance of officers who have previously run into trouble.

Is maturity finally taking root in Capitol?

By Dan Walters

Legislative leaders decided to postpone action on legislation dealing with liability of utilities for wildfire damages, and that may be a signal that a more rational approach to policymaking is taking root in the Capitol.

My turn: The facts about teacher pensions

Guest Commentary

CalSTRS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for 933,000 prekindergarten through community college educators and their families. Their average benefit is $4,475 per month.

Pro-con: Regulate animal testing on toiletries?

Guest Commentary

Legislation by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani would ban the sale of personal care products in California that have been tested on animals. Retailers say it would harm consumers.

My turn: Here’s how CA can lead the climate change fight

Guest Commentary

Senate Bill 100 would mandate 100 percent renewable electricity in California by 2045. That will mean better lives for the residents of California — more jobs, less pollution, more innovation and lower costs — and it will reduce state and national dependence on fossil fuel.

Legislature’s sneaky procedures on display

By Dan Walters

California legislators routinely use two processes, the “suspense file” and “trailer bills,” to bypass full discussion and consideration of legislative proposals, and one big example, affecting the state’s criminal justice system, has backfired.

Legislative leaders want to milk more campaign money

By Dan Walters

The two leaders of the California legislators, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, want to re-establish centralized power in the Capitol and are sponsoring legislation that would give them vastly more power to raise and spend campaign funds.

CALmatters Blogs

Pelosi says she deserves to be House Speaker: “Nobody wants to sit across the table from me”

By Ben Christopher

Democratic former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still wants her old job back, telling a San Francisco forum: “I say this immodestly, but I want women to be immodest in this way: I’m a master legislator. Nobody wants to sit across the table from me.”

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted—but will it matter in one of state’s Trumpiest districts?

By Ben Christopher

Conservative voters in one of California’s most Trump-loving districts face a tough choice: vote for a single-payer boosting, cap-and-trade supporting, Obama-backed 29-year-old who happens to be the grandson of a Palestinian terrorist organizer—or go with the guy who, as of today, is literally under federal indictment.

Gas tax defection: Progressive congressional candidate endorses repeal effort

By Ben Christopher

Katie Porter’s announcement in a new campaign ad marks the most prominent defection over the gas tax repeal from the Democratic ranks yet.

CALmatters Is Finalist in Online News Association 2018 OJA Awards

By Marcia Parker

CALmatters is a finalist for the Online News Association’s 2018 OJA Awards.

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