In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Lara hires ex-lobbyist for company being probed by the agency he’s set to lead

By Dan Morain

As Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara will oversee a department with 1,325 employees, a budget of $287 million and a significant law enforcement operation. His transition team includes a man who until last month lobbied for a drug company that the Department of Insurance subpoenaed recently.

California teen leads lawsuit to keep hundreds of thousands of immigrants in U.S.

By Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED

A California teenager has become the lead plaintiff in a landmark class-action lawsuit to keep hundreds of thousands of Temporary Protected Status immigrants in the U.S.

California leaps to defense of Obamacare in fight that pits blue states against red ones

By Ben Christopher

California is once again defending the Affordable Care Act, leading a coalition of Democratic states against a small army of Republican lawmakers seeking to undo the Obama administration’s signature healthcare law.

We asked around: What’s your favorite Jerry Brown story?

By CALmatters

Quintessential Jerry Brown moments—recalled by David Townsend, Kevin de León, Robert Scheer, Diana Dooley, Shirley Weber, Dan Richard, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Ace Smith and more.

Say what? Use our decoder to decipher those mysterious Brownisms and snippets of Gavinese

By Ben Christopher

California’s outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom have lexicons all their own—and for the uninitiated, it can be downright confusing. Here’s a working guide to Jerryese and Newsomian English.

What California’s budget surplus has to do with LeBron James’ move to Lakers 

By Judy Lin

Over the course of his four-year, $153.3 million contract, LeBron James could pay more than $20 million in California income taxes. That’s about $1 for everyone in the state workforce.

Plan B: Kevin de León says he’s considering bid for Democratic party chair

By Ben Christopher

State Sen. Kevin de León, who lost to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in November, now says he’s considering a run for chairman of the California Democratic Party.

Recapping 2018: A dozen political stories that left California shaken or stirred

By CALmatters

California turned even bluer in 2018, but it’s still vexed by excruciating housing costs, an unrelenting student achievement gap, a precarious tax base, looming public pension obligations, unequal justice, and evidence that climate change is happening far faster than the state can fend off its disastrous consequences. At CALmatters, we traced the trajectory of each of these stories.

CALQuiz: California enacts new laws, de León mulls a bid for party chair, and LeBron joins California’s 1 percent

By Trevor Eischen

On this week’s CALQuiz: Californians woke up on Jan. 1, 2019, to a long list of new laws, Kevin de León shops around for another political post, and LeBron James joins the state’s highest income tax bracket.


My turn: What other states can teach California about preschool for all

By Tony Thurmond and Kevin McCarty

California must institute “Pre-K for All.”  We intend to put the needs of the youngest Californians and their family’s front and center. It’s fundamental to helping California reclaim its historic tradition of leading the nation in education, especially for its most vulnerable children.

My turn: Who is dying of drug overdoses? Not who you might think

By Mike Males

Politicians and agencies recite the same old playbook blaming recurring drug scourges on people they most fear and hate, especially immigrants and teenagers. In fact, teenagers and immigrants are the only groups showing hopeful trends. Teens were the only age group to show a decline in drug deaths in recent years. Ads should be advising teens to get the pills away from the grownups.

California sees slower population growth

By Dan Walters

California’s once-soaring population growth has slowed to a crawl, which could cost it a congressional seat and will have myriad economic and social impacts.

My turn: Higher ed is a prerequisite for our future. Community colleges are key to that

By Eloy Ortiz Oakley

Higher education is the linchpin to our future. Now, as we enter a new era of leadership, we have a chance to think big and be unapologetically bold with solutions to ensure that the future is bright for Californians and the state economy alike.

Newsom may not be so lucky on the economy

By Dan Walters

Jerry Brown’s governorship was blessed by an expanding economy, but successor Gavin Newsom may not be so lucky.

My turn: As Habematolel Pomo rise, we look to California to continue embracing tribes’ sovereignty

By Sherry Treppa

Despite efforts to destroy us, we have persevered. In the past 20 years, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake have begun to reestablish our government and, with it, our dignity, culture and identity.

Finally, a crackdown on misuse of taxpayer money

By Dan Walters

Local governments have been blatantly using taxpayer money to campaign for tax and bond measures, but the Fair Political Practices Commission is beginning to crack down on the practice.

My turn: Smart land use policy can help combat climate change

By F. Noel Perry and Dick Cameron

Through strategic land management, planning, and conservation practices, we can use our natural and working forests, parks, ranch land and farms to store carbon, and help cut greenhouse gas emissions while preparing for hotter, drier conditions.

2019 shapes up as another big political year

By Dan Walters

Gavin Newsom’s new governorship and California’s bid for relevance in presidential politics are likely to dominate California’s politics in 2019.

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