In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Jerry Brown signed $1 billion in wildfire prevention—and none of it applies to the fires this year

By Laurel Rosenhall

The $1 billion wildfire prevention bill passed in the last legislative session was supposed to “prevent catastrophic wildfires and protect Californians.” Months later, the state faces another epic disaster. Why?

As California areas record ‘worst air’ on earth, state needs to protect public after wildfires

By Elizabeth Aguilera

Spots in California are registering, by one measurement, the most polluted air around the globe. If this is the “new abnormal” of wildfires, health advocates say the state will need to step up efforts to educate and protect the public.

School closures from California wildfires this week have kept more than a million kids home

By Ricardo Cano

Due to school closures from wildfires, more than one in six students in the state are staying home as California continues to burn.

A landslide, supermajorities and now a fat budget surplus: It’s good to be Gavin right now

By Dan Morain

The good news just keeps coming for California—which is great for incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom.

A new survey reveals who owns guns in California—and how many got them without background checks

By Dan Morain

One of four California gun owners bought their firearms without undergoing background checks, researchers at UC Davis’ Violence Prevention Research Program reported. State laws dating back decades require background checks for all gun buyers.

Voters give another multi-billion-dollar thumbs up to school bonds

By Ricardo Cano

California school bond measures totaling some $12 billion are on track for approval by voters across the state.

Explore the fate of local housing measures across California with our interactive map

By Matt Levin

California’s housing crisis dominated ballots up and down the state. Here’s a roundup of some of the most important local housing initiatives on the ballot, from an Airbnb ban in Lake Tahoe to efforts to rebuild the Wine Country after last year’s fires.

Poll: California should guarantee minimum funding level for UC, CSU

By Felicia Mello

Sixty-three percent of adult Californians, including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans, say the state should establish a minimum spending level for the two systems, according to the Public Policy Institute of California survey on attitudes about higher education.

Big city mayors to California lawmakers on homelessness: Go bold

By Matt Levin

The mayors of Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and Sacramento called for bold state action to remedy homelessness, including reviving an affordable housing funding source and making it easier to build shelters.

With Supreme Court pick, Brown and Dems eye another kind of majority

By Dan Morain

Joshua Groban’s appointment will complete a circle for Gov. Jerry Brown, who will have appointed a majority of the justices to the California Supreme Court, as he did when he was governor the first time.

What the election means for California’s housing crisis

By Matt Levin

All of the important housing-related results from the election, including the future of rent control and the priorities of the incoming Newsom administration.

CALQuiz: Eulogizing the California GOP, counting up the budget surplus, and a burning movie set

By Trevor Eischen

On this week’s CALQuiz: Jerry takes a very long time to appoint his final California Supreme Court justice, a Republican leader laments her state party’s downfall, and the set to a popular TV series burns.

Resistance State

Trump fans flames by blaming wildfires on California, threatening to withhold federal funds

By Julie Cart

President Trump’s tweet today blaming California, not climate change, for the state’s catastrophic wildfires and threatening to withhold federal funding provoked a bitter reaction from many Californians, including Gov.-Elect Newsom

CALmatters Elections blog

Lara wins for state insurance commissioner—another loss for California right-of-center candidates

By Ben Christopher

Adding insult to the debilitating injury California’s Republican Party sustained on Election Day, Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara has beaten Republican-turned-political independent Steve Poizner to become the the state’s next insurance commissioner.


My turn: Confessions of a volunteer in Congressional District 10

Guest Commentary

You learn a little bit about people when you politick them at their door. Mostly, you learn that they’re busy. They know the tax bill was wrong. They just don’t have time to yak about it. They have Little League games to get to.

Election boosts advocates of higher taxes

By Dan Walters

This month’s election was good news for those who believe that Californians should pay more taxes. One indication is that about three-quarters of local tax and bond issues were approved by voters.

My turn: California must focus on ending poverty. Here’s a path

Guest Commentary

The fundamental challenge that clouds the future of the Golden State is the widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots. The issue of income inequality is holding California back, and we need to act.

The politics of California’s killer wildfires

By Dan Walters

There’s no escaping political finger-pointing as two killer wildfires strike in California.

My turn: GOP is dead in California. A new way must rise

Guest Commentary

The California Republican Party isn’t salvageable at this time. The Grand Old Party is dead – partly because it has failed to separate itself from today’s toxic, national brand of Republican politics.

My turn: We’d be better off with T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Guest Commentary

California Public Utility Commission members have many factors to consider whenever they evaluate a merger. But in my view, it comes down to a single question: Will California consumers benefit from this? For the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, the answer is yes.

Newsom will find stack of Brown’s leftovers

By Dan Walters

While Gavin Newsom won’t face a budget crisis when he is inaugurated in January, he will find a stack of leftover issues on his desk from outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown.

My turn: Voters made clear that climate change matters

Guest Commentary

Pundits and political consultants once thought climate change was a distant concern and not an issue that would energize voters. But as fires rage from Chico to Malibu, people can plainly see, feel, and smell the impact of climate change. And they made their feelings clear at the ballot box.

Newsom won’t have budget crisis, but can it last?

By Dan Walters

Gavin Newsom will be only the second governor in the last half-century to begin his first term without a major budget crisis to be solved. But keeping the state in the black may be difficult, particularly as he pursues an expansionist agenda.

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