In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Frayed Wires: As California enters a brave new energy world, can it keep the lights on?

By Julie Cart

California is casting off fossil fuels on its way to becoming a fully electrified state. But it’s unclear whether the aging electricity grid can deliver.

It didn’t fix the L.A. teacher strike, but Newsom’s pension idea would help schools, anyway

By Ricardo Cano

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to pay down pension liability would save California school districts an estimated $50 per students. It wasn’t enough to head off the Los Angeles teachers strike, but districts are welcoming it anyway.

Will PG&E customers pay more in bankruptcy? Not if state watchdog can stop it

By Judy Lin

PG&E customers shouldn’t have to foot the bankruptcy bill if the utility is responsible for deadly California wildfires, says a state watchdog.

California’s thriving LGBT caucus: Because sometimes, lawmaking is personal

By Elizabeth Castillo

A quarter-century after California elected Sheila Kuehl as its first openly gay or lesbian legislator, its LGBT caucus has a series of successes and a to-do list for the future.

That Newsom proposal for six-month paid family leave? It’s bold—but less so than it seems 

By Laurel Rosenhall

Californians who like the idea of getting more paid time off work to care for a new baby may find good news and bad news in the details of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget.

Progressive leader? When it comes to female lawmakers, California ties Georgia for 20th place

By Elizabeth Castillo

The 2018 election was hailed as the “Year of the Woman,” but California still lags behind its Western neighbors and many other states when it comes to female representation. Among the ideas to boost the number of elected women: Let campaigns pay for child care.

Ex-Assemblyman Ridley-Thomas sexually harassed staffers, investigation finds

By Laurel Rosenhall

An investigation commissioned by the California Assembly found that former California Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles, who resigned abruptly in 2017 citing health problems, likely harassed at least two legislative staff members while he was in office.

What Newsom wants to do with that plus-sized budget surplus

By Judy Lin

The governor put the surplus into three buckets: $3 billion for education and social services, $8.5 billion in one-time spending and $10 billion to build what he is calling “budget resiliency.”

Day 1 of LA teachers’ strike: Newsom pushes for more transparency in charter schools

By Ricardo Cano

On the first day of a massive LA teachers’ strike, Gov. Gavin Newsom pressed for legislation adding more “transparency” to the state’s 1,200-plus charter schools—a point of contention between the LA district and the union.

Lawmakers asked to consider anti-price gouging laws to slow rising rents

By Amita Sharma, California Dream Project

Talk is underway about putting a law on the books that would bar California landlords from raising rent beyond a certain percentage.

VIDEO Breakdown: Does California’s new class of legislators reflect the state?

By Byrhonda Lyons

After a political “Year of the Woman,” what percentage of California’s Legislature is made up of women? Are Latinos a plurality among state legislators as well as across the state? Who’s over-represented in state government—and under-represented?  Watch to see how lawmakers’ demographics stack up.

CALQuiz: An aging electric grid, another harassment investigation, and the first openly LGBT legislator

By Trevor Eischen

Report for America enables a unique journalism collaboration

By Neil Chase

Report for America, the national service program that places journalists in under-covered communities, is funding three reporters for an ambitious effort focused on California’s worst-in-the-nation poverty rate and the growing divide between the state’s rich and poor.


My turn: Air board’s plan to raise fees threatens our economy and climate goals

By Allan Zaremberg

CARB has adopted an aggressive regulation, baking in higher consumer and industry costs in the hope of squeezing out more emission reductions. This approach flouts the express will of the Legislature and undermines the moral authority for engaging in state-level greenhouse gas regulation.

My turn: Why I joined the picket line at Manual Arts High in L.A.

By Joshua Pechthalt

For many people outside Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District strike might seem far away, with little relevance to their daily lives. But the strike hits closer to home than you might think.

My turn: Finally, California seems determined to end homelessness

By Lisa Hershey

If our government is going to truly prioritize housing for all Californians, cities and counties must be required to put a significant portion of any incentive funding from the state toward directly supporting the production of homes at levels affordable to people most in need.

Should California revive redevelopment?

By Dan Walters

Seven years ago, Jerry Brown and the Legislature abolished redevelopment. There are efforts to bring it back, but Brown’s successor as governor, Gavin Newsom, has thrown cold water on the idea.

My turn: Sell PG&E for parts and build community energy instead

By Catherine Brinkley

State tax reforms or state tax increases?

By Dan Walters

California’s budget is dangerously dependent on taxing a relative handful of wealthy people. Newly inaugurated Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will work on tax reform.

My turn: Don’t blame environmental law for California’s housing crisis

By Ashley Werner

As legislators resume discussions regarding policy solutions, we must be clear: California’s environmental regulations did not cause the housing crisis and eviscerating the California Environmental Quality Act would harm disadvantaged communities.

My turn: The Delta is California’s heart. Gavin Newsom must save it

By Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

Modern California would not have been possible without all the ecological resources and water the Delta has supplied for so long. When we restore the Delta, we ensure that the economic and ecologic heart of California is still beating.

We pay through the nose to live in California

By Dan Walters

Gov. Gavin Newsom has recognized California’s high living costs, but government is a major driver of those costs.

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