In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Meet the newest recruits in California’s war on climate change: carbon farmers

By Alastair Bland

Eighty California farmers are engaged in a state-funded effort to boost carbon concentrations in the soil—a promising way to combat climate change.

With climate change, Valley fever spreads in California—and this year could be the worst yet

By David Gorn

Experts say a drier climate means more dust storms, which carry the fungus that causes the disease. New laws and money address the issue. Is that enough?

Capitol lawsuit hints at the limits of #MeToo laws

By Laurel Rosenhall

The Legislature’s response to a former employee’s lawsuit is the latest example in its history of arguing that lawmakers don’t have to follow the laws they pass.

The state passed a major housing package last year. Is it working so far?

By Matt Levin

Key provisions of the state housing package have been in effect for about nine months now. That’s far too soon for a definitive judgement, but long enough to discern some early trends. Here’s what we know so far.

CALQuiz: A senator’s threat, gas tax support, and a space-y proposition

By Trevor Eischen


Maybe there’s a U.S. Senate race after all

By Dan Walters

A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Dianne Feinstein and challenger Kevin de Leon, both Democrats, is tightening.

My turn: How the next governor can ease the housing crisis

Guest Commentary

California is 75,000 units short each year on needed new homes and yet housing projects have been delayed for years because of time-consuming permitting, mitigation and local approval processes, or litigation abuse invoking environmental regulations. All that adds to costs. If policymakers don’t take a hard look at how to lower building costs, we will never build enough housing to alleviate this crisis.

Brown OKs one good education bill, vetoes another

By Dan Walters

Gov. Jerry Brown had two opportunities to improve educational outcomes. He embraced one, a bill to extend the ability of some community colleges to award four year degrees, but vetoed another, which would have protected sleep-deprived adolescents from having to attend early classes.

Gov. Brown is deciding Hollister Ranch legislation

Guest Commentary

Hollister Ranch legislation: Pro: Jerry Brown has an opportunity to make good on that promise of ensuring equitable access to our public lands for all Californians, especially those who are least able to do so. Con: In an era where public confidence in politics and politicians is eroding, signing Assembly Bill 2534, would be short-sighted and dangerous. No policy outcome is worth undermining our democratic institutions and process of governing.

My turn: NBA Comes Home to Inglewood

Guest Commentary

We have a unique opportunity to build an arena that truly belongs to the L.A. Clippers, our players, employees, and fans. This arena is key to our future success. It’s also key to the ongoing success of a city that has seen a tremendous economic turnaround since it was abandoned by professional sports.

My turn: The Legislature confronted California’s new normal

Guest Commentary

One way or another, everyone feels the impact of wildfires: ratepayers being asked to help shoulder the costs of wildfires; people hundreds of miles away from the flames coping with worsened air quality; and others who compete for housing with those who have lost theirs. How the Legislature addresses intensifying wildfires is one of the most pressing issues.

The high cost of a zero-emission California

By Dan Walters

Reaching Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of a carbon-neutral California would require massive expenditures on the electrical grid and for zero-emission vehicles.

Proposition 5 would give homeowners who move a property tax break

Guest Commentary

Proposition 5 would give homeowners who move a property tax break. Pro: Proposition 5 would help ease the state’s shortage of housing by encouraging more turnover of single-family homes in existing neighborhoods. Con: Proposition 5 would take upward of $1 billion a year away from crucial local services like fire protection.

California an economic model? Not quite

By Dan Walters

Those who boast of California’s economic prosperity ignore the 16 million Californians who are living in poverty or near-poverty.

My turn: Paramedics need this bill to help vulnerable people

Guest Commentary

Too many vulnerable people are trapped in crowded hospital emergency rooms who didn’t need to be there. The emergency room revolving door isn’t helping them, and it’s putting other critical patients at risk.

CALmatters Blogs

Majority Report: The backlash, bucks and bad stuff edition

By Ben Christopher

In California congressional campaign news this week: getting personal about sexual assault, scooping up millions of dollars, nasty campaign ads and rethinking Nancy Pelosi.

Judge rules Huntington Beach doesn’t need to obey ‘sanctuary law’

By David Gorn

An Orange County Superior Court judge has ruled that California’s “sanctuary law” conflicts with Huntington Beach’s rights as a charter city, throwing some protections for undocumented immigrants into question in 120 cities throughout the state.

As experts predict a second “Year of the Woman,” female candidates in California set record

By Ben Christopher

Post-Trump, nearly one-third of the top two vote-receiving candidates across all statewide, federal, and legislative races in California are women—a higher percentage than any other election this century.

Wording matters: Decoding mixed messages on gas tax and rent control from new poll

By Ben Christopher

Ballot measures to repeal a recent increase in the state gas tax and expand rent control may both be in trouble, according to a new voter poll.

Different backgrounds, similar visions: Lt. Gov candidates on higher ed

By Felicia Mello

For voters who have trouble distinguishing between the positions of lieutenant governor candidates Eleni Kounalakis and Ed Hernandez—or remembering what the so-called “Lite Gov” does, anyway—their backgrounds provide a contrast.

Senator from San Diego County reprimanded for threatening to ‘bitch slap’ a lobbyist

By Laurel Rosenhall

Sen. Joel Anderson was drunk and rubbing a lobbyist’s shoulders during a political fundraiser at a steakhouse near the Capitol last month when he leaned in close and told her he wanted to “bitch slap” her.

California insiders: Trump won’t help the GOP here, but he’s not going anywhere

By Ben Christopher

California Republicans shouldn’t count on the president to hold back a blue wave, insiders say in a new survey.

Goal of holiday and college Ballot Bowl: get more people registered to vote

By Elizabeth Castillo

Today is National Voter Registration Day—a reminder to eligible Californians not yet registered that they have until Oct. 22 to do so in order to vote in the Nov. 6 midterms.

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