In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Last stop: On these 2018 California bills, it’s the governor’s call

By CALmatters

In the final days of California’s 2018 legislative session, hundreds of bills landed on the governor’s desk. We’re tracking the fate of the most consequential here.

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.

Climate change is going to cost California, and the bill will be staggering

By Laurel Rosenhall

As California lawmakers addressed epic wildfires this week, there was an inescapable subtext: Climate change will be staggeringly expensive, and we’ll all pay for it.

Is help on the way for Californians whose tap water is tainted?

By David Gorn

Hundreds of thousands of residents can’t drink the water that flows to their homes. Here are some of the proposed remedies.

Sexual harassment scandals shook state Capitol—but did #MeToo bills prevail? We’re keeping score

By Laurel Rosenhall

We’re keeping track here of how many #metoo bills to combat sexual harassment win approval from the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Why is it so hard to get mentally ill Californians into treatment? Three bills tell the tale

By Jocelyn Wiener

The Legislature’s struggle this year to pass even one partial solution to untreated mental illness illustrates the complex philosophical, legal and ethical questions that surround conservatorship in California.

Thinning California’s fire-prone forests: 5 things to know as lawmakers move toward a plan

By Julie Cart

Lawmakers hope to manage California’s forests better, partly by thinning the trees. Here’s why that’s not a simple task.

California is a global model for climate policy. Should it be?

By CALmatters

This CALmatters PolicyMatters panel discussion will explore the state’s ambitious and experimental policies to reduce greenhouse gases.

Californians try to avoid homelessness by short-circuiting eviction

By David Gorn

For the more than one-third of Californians living under or near the federal poverty level, eviction may be the first step toward homelessness. These projects aim to short-circuit the cycle.

Californians face an ‘uphill battle’ in challenging costly Trump tax law

By Antoinette Siu

Though two state workarounds remain in play as California’s Legislature enters the final days of the session, lawmakers have less than a week to find an alternative to new federal income tax rules that, among other things, set a cap of $10,000 on combined state and local income, property and sales tax deductions.

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.

CALQuiz: Fast-food politics, a California first, and thinning fire-prone trees

By Trevor Eischen

In this week’s CALQuiz: Partisan politics erupts with a side of fries and a milkshake, California ups its commitment to renewable energy, and the Washington Post investigates John Cox’s Chicago backstory.


My turn: Working people must have a voice in our future

Guest Commentary

Income inequality skyrockets as more of our nation’s gains go to an increasingly smaller group. Workers need a seat at the table. The future of work must not be determined by the wealthiest among us.

Proposed tax dodges could hurt California taxpayers

By Dan Walters

As Legislature nears adjournment for the year, two bills would counter federal tax reform’s limit on deducting state and local taxes by granting converting some of them into charitable contributions. However, the Internal Revenue Service is warning that such work-arounds would not be allowed.

Proposition 6: Unfair gas tax or needed revenue for road repair

Guest Commentary

Proposition 6 would repeal a 12-cent per gallon gasoline tax. Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio calls it an unfair tax on working people. Skip Carter, a former Highway Patrol official, says it will make roads safer.

Rep. Hunter indicted, but still reelection favorite

By Dan Walters

Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife have been indicted for misusing campaign funds, but his name will still be on the November ballot in the 50th Congressional District and he’s still favored to win re-election. If Duncan resigns after winning, it would set up a special election.

Bail reform bill stretches the 72-hour notice law

By Dan Walters

The fast-track handling of a controversial bail proposal tests a California law. Passed as a ballot measure in 2016, that law requires a bill to be in print and on the Internet for 72 hours before legislators vote on it.

A ‘low-profile’ revolution’ changes local governments

By Dan Walters

There’s a “low-profile revolution” is underway in California’s thousands of local governments as lawsuits force more of them to abandon “at-large” voting for members of their governing boards and elect them, instead, from districts. It’s a result of a 2002 law, the California Voting Rights Act, that makes it easier to overturn at-large systems.

Pro-con: A new tax to provide clean water?

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.

Resistance State

California poised to offer strongest net neutrality protection in the country

By Antoinette Siu

California’s push to pass the nation’s strongest net neutrality protections—and bring back Obama-era rules undone by the Trump administration—advanced today, one step in a high-stakes tech battle that’s being waged from here to Washington.

CALmatters Blogs

Investigation substantiates lobbyist’s #MeToo claim of sexual misconduct by former Assemblyman

By Laurel Rosenhall

The most explosive allegation to come out of the #MeToo movement in the California Capitol—a lobbyist’s claim that then-Assemblyman Matt Dababneh pushed her into a bathroom and made her watch him masturbate—has been substantiated by an Assembly investigation.

Candidates for state schools’ chief spar over giving teachers in tough classrooms extra pay

By Elizabeth Castillo

In their contest to become the next state schools chief, candidates Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck clash over whether to pay teachers more in low-income districts.

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