In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

California blooms again after last year’s fires—but it’s not all good

By Julie Cart

Malibu’s sprouting hills show how fresh growth can renew wildfire danger.

Concern for ‘defrauded and victimized’ students spurs calls for tighter for-profit college oversight

By Felicia Mello

New legislation would make major changes to the standards for-profit colleges must meet to operate in California, and the state bureau regulating the industry has been reorganized. The proposed fixes come after a CALmatters report exposed failings in the state’s regulation of the schools.

Trump’s under-the-radar $1 abortion bill idea: Will it undermine Obamacare in California?

By Elizabeth Aguilera

A little-noticed federal proposal aims to force California’s health exchange insurers to send all their customers a second premium bill every month, for $1 —the amount the state requires to cover unrestricted abortion benefits.

Three things to know about California’s data privacy fight

By Laurel Rosenhall

California’s landmark law won’t take effect until 2020. In the meantime, lawmakers are fine-tuning it. Here’s what to watch.

With new Latina chair, party insiders say GOP “dodged a bullet.” Now what?

By Ben Christopher

At the California Republican convention this weekend, GOP delegates nominated Jessica Patterson, a millennial Latina with a lengthy resume as a behind-the-scenes party operator, as their new chair.

New reality: More retirees find themselves caring for their very elderly parents

By Amita Sharma, California Dream Project

At a time in life when Californians in their 60s and 70s anticipate retirement, and maybe some downtime, some are becoming caregivers and guardians of their parents—a trend expected to intensify.


California’s not-for-profit electric utilities provide safe power

By Patrick Welch

California’s publicly owned, not-for-profit electric utilities are providing safe, continuous and sustainable power to about one in every four Californians, with rates about 17 percent lower on average than those of investor-owned utilities.

Why charter public schools matter, especially for my kids

By Erica Valente

All children have a right to a good education, no matter what neighborhood they live in or how much money their parents make. We must move beyond the debate about charter schools and focus on what all parents want: more great schools to help our children thrive and lead choice-filled lives.

Why California libraries are ditching fines on overdue materials

By Anne Stuhldreher

Libraries are concluding fines for overdue material do more harm than good. Overdue fines accumulate and block access for low-income residents, the people who need libraries the most. And fines don’t work that well to prod people to return books. Better ways exist that don’t block access for people who need it.

What are the limits on a ‘gig economy?’

By Dan Walters

The state Supreme Court drew a line between employees and contractors, and now the issue is a hot one for the Legislature.

Xavier Becerra is wrong to fight release of police officers’ crimes

By John Temple

Investigative Reporting Program and Investigative Studios filed records requests asking the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to identify officers who committed felonies and other crimes. The department respond by sending us spreadsheets with 12,000 names. Three weeks later, Xavier Becerra’s office sent letter demanding their return.

GOP dodges bullet, but faces tough future

By Dan Walters

Californians dodge a bullet by electing a moderate new party chairperson, but Jessica Patterson faces a daunting task to resuscitate her party.

Organic food is a rich bounty. Policymakers can help it grow

By Dwayne Cardoza

California agriculture is presented with an opportunity it has only begun to tap. Despite rapid growth in organic food production, only 4 percent of all agricultural land in the state is being farmed organically. We need policies that use organic agriculture as a practical, evidence-based approach to solving the complex challenges facing California.

What if Dianne Feinstein steps down before her term ends?

By Dan Schnur

Feinstein’s senior senator moment brought back speculation that she may decide to step down before her current term ends in 2024, when she will be 91 years old. That would allow Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint her successor. So who would he pick?

Why not try a ‘faster’ speed rail system first? It could work now

By Jim Gonzalez

Technology exists today to employ faster-speed rail service as soon as the tracks, right of way, and system controls are in place. This would be the most cost-effective approach toward making the Central Valley portion of the high speed rail project fully operational.

Political rules can change game’s outcome

By Dan Walters

Are “gerrymandering” and “ballot harvesting” unethical political practices? It often depends on who’s doing them.

California must double-down on prison rehabilitation

By Adnan Khan

Rehabilitation can work. When I arrived at San Quentin State Prison in 2014, I experienced a culture shock. Incarcerated men were passing by, in full conversation, about their college essays, victim impact statements, remorse letters, and their childhood traumas.

San Joaquin Valley: California’s poor stepchild?

By Dan Walters

The San Joaquin Valley sees itself as a poor civic stepchild in California, and Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants to be the region’s champion.

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