In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Heavy hitters on climate change will converge on San Francisco next week, with Gov. Jerry Brown as host

By Julie Cart

The governor holds a summit of regional leaders from around the world who’ve pledged to reduce greenhouse gases. Businesses are coming, too.

A blind spot in Gov. Jerry Brown’s green worldview? Critics say yes—it’s oil

By Julie Cart

Some environmental activists say Brown should ban fracking, end new oil drilling and wean the state off fossil fuels.

California just forced equal pay for female surfers. Could that change other games?

By Laurel Rosenhall

The state is requiring equal prize money for men and women to hold the Mavericks surf contest on a public beach. Will it set a precedent for other sports?

With thousands of Californians living in vehicles, lawsuit aims to stop cities from towing their homes

By David Gorn

A half-million vehicles a year in California are impounded and sold, many belonging to poor people living in them. A new suit aims to stop cities from towing cars with several overdue parking tickets—saying that puts people on the streets.

Californians still really like Prop. 13—except for the big parts they don’t like

By Matt Levin

Voters will soon have a chance to touch the third rail of California politics. Here’s a breakdown of how broadly and deeply Californians love their cheap property taxes.

As school year begins, California ends practice that uprooted migrant students

By Elizabeth Castillo

The state gives migrant farmworker families a new exemption from the 50-mile rule, which had required them to move during the school year in order to keep their housing.

Could this tax on vacant properties help end homelessness?

By Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED

Oakland voters could approve the state’s first tax on privately owned vacant properties in November.

Thousands of Californians are working while homeless, and many don’t want their bosses to know

By David Wagner, KPCC

California doesn’t define homelessness as a protected class in the workplace.

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

By CALmatters

We’re updating the fate of the most consequential/interesting California bills that landed on the governor’s desk in the final days of the 2018 legislative session.

CALQuiz: Senatorial misconduct, equal pay in sports, and an oily problem for Brown

By Trevor Eischen

In this week’s CALQuiz, the state government seeks equal pay in a famous sporting event, Californians express their opinions on Prop. 13, and activists bash Jerry Brown’s climate legacy over oil.


Only the powerful get relief from environmental law

By Dan Walters

The Legislature eagerly grants special treatment under the California Environmental Quality Act for sports arenas and other high-profile projects but refuses to undertake broader CEQA reform, even for vital transportation and housing projects.

My turn: Here’s how to grow jobs: Fight climate change

Guest Commentary

California has the toughest clean air standards and some of the world’s most ambitious climate policies. It also has more clean energy jobs, attracts more clean energy investments, and drives more innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency than any other state.

Proposition 3: An $8.87 billion water and habitat bond

Guest Commentary

Proposition 3 is an $8.87 billion water and habitat bond on the November ballot. Jerry Meral, the main proponent of Proposition 3, tells why voters should support it. Eric Parfrey of the Sierra Club explains why people should vote no.

State’s most interesting contest is over education

By Dan Walters

The most interesting statewide political contest this year is for state superintendent of schools, and it’s a proxy war for the years-long conflict between the education establishment and reformers over how to close the “achievement gap” among California’s six million K-12 students.

My turn: Extend community colleges’ 4-year degree program

Guest Commentary

Gov. Jerry Brown has on his desk Senate Bill 1406 by Sen. Jerry Hill, a San Mateo Democrat, that would allow students to begin their bachelor’s degree programs as late as the 2022-23 academic year and graduate by July 2026. He should sign it.

Unions enjoy big clout, but membership declining

By Dan Walters

Labor unions enjoy huge clout in the California Legislature, but in the real world, union membership has been slipping in California and could decline even more with a new U.S. Supreme Court decision on union dues.

My turn: Jerry Brown’s judges

Guest Commentary

Amid speculation as to why Jerry Brown has waited so long to make his fourth appointment to the California Supreme Court, the governor has said he does not want to rush. The decision will shape how future historians evaluate the Brown era.

Required vote for local tax increases in legal limbo

By Dan Walters

As dozens of local governments ask their voters for tax increases this year, the laws governing tax elections are in a state of legal flux. A test case on the vote requirements for local taxes involves a tax for children’s services approved by San Francisco voters in June.

CALmatters Blogs

New K-12 Education Reporter To Join CALmatters

By Marcia Parker

We’re very pleased that Ricardo Cano is joining our CALmatters team next month to cover K-12 Education in California.

Senator from Orange County reprimanded for giving noogies

By Laurel Rosenhall

State Sen. John Moorlach put a woman in a headlock and gave her a “noogie” while they were posing for a photo at a reception—making him the latest lawmaker to run afoul of the Legislature’s crackdown on misconduct. He vowed to stop this “innocent and gregarious behavior.”

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: