In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

‘The federal government really jacked us’: How Trump’s tax cuts are working out for Californians

By Judy Lin

As the first Tax Day without unlimited state and local tax deduction approaches, an estimated 1 million California families will pay $12 billion more to Uncle Sam. In a state with high taxes, many are discovering the bite that the $10,000 SALT cap is taking out of their wallets.

Newsom team calls for less utility liability on wildfire—and ignites ‘a hornet’s nest’

By Judy Lin

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strike team offered a provocative–and politically challenging–idea for easing utility wildfire liability that has already prompted PG&E to file for bankruptcy.

How a tiny California school district sparked calls for a charter crackdown

By Ricardo Cano

The win-win partnership between a struggling charter school network and a rural school district in Los Angeles County touched off a call for reform.

Charter-mageddon: Lawmakers advance a raft of union-backed charter school curbs

By Ricardo Cano

As charter school advocates rallied en masse and California’s teachers’ unions flexed their political muscle, a cluster of bills that would dramatically curb the growth of charters in the state cleared the Assembly Education Committee.

Factions take shape as California advances nationally watched police shooting bill

By Laurel Rosenhall

First-in-the-nation standards for deadly force in policing is advancing in California, but fault lines have emerged in the state Assembly, where past efforts have stalled.

Fewer schools, more accountability: How for-profit college bills could affect California

By Felicia Mello

Jeanny Morris had a 1-year-old baby and a resume of dead-end retail jobs when she enrolled in the Marinello Schools of Beauty cosmetology program in 2012.

Activists want California to ban fracking. What does Gov. Newsom want?

By Julie Cart

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he supported a bank on fracking, and he has the authority to impose a moratorium on the practice. Dozens of California counties and cities already ban it.

Welcome mat: How California has responded to influx of migrants

By Ben Christopher

Gov. Gavin Newsom goes to El Salvador to learn about the root causes of the migration crisis. Here’s what California’s already doing, or considering, as the Democrats who control the state pursue policies that are a repudiation of the current federal approach.

Los Angeles legislator who fled El Salvador as a child returns with California governor

By Elizabeth Aguilera

Whenever Wendy Carrillo returns to El Salvador, she can’t help wondering what her life would have been like if civil war had not driven her family out.

Mission accomplished? Scoring Newsom’s trip to El Salvador

By Elizabeth Aguilera and Ben Christopher

As Gov. Gavin Newsom concluded his three-day trip to the tiny Central American country, he came away with an impression different from the one he’d held: He found a nation in transition.

“Because we punch above our weight:” Gov. Newsom says California deserves bigger say in U.S. immigration policy

By Elizabeth Aguilera

California Gov.  Gavin Newsom says he intends to help steer U.S. immigration policy just as former Gov. Jerry Brown influenced climate change policy—because California’s size, robust economy, diversity and political clout allow the state to “punch above our weight.”

“The rhetoric is so toxic:” Newsom lands in El Salvador as Trump moves to end aid there

By Elizabeth Aguilera

As Gov. Gavin Newsom touched down in El Salvador for a trip designed to contrast his own approach to immigration with that of his nemesis, President Donald Trump, the contrast could hardly have been more stark.


Expanding California’s earned income tax credit is a smart investment in working families

By Laura Capps and Marlene Hoffman

As the cost of health care, housing, food, and transportation continue to rise, we must make work pay better. Expanding the California earned income tax credit will do that for those who need it most.

Yes, we need clean water. But it must remain tax-free

By Sharon Quirk-Silva

Taxing water, food and other essential needs would limit their affordability and betray our collective resolve that no one should be denied the essentials for health, sanitation and freedom from hunger and thirst.

How federal ‘opportunity zone’ tax incentive can help California build an inclusive economy

By Matt Horton

The federal opportunity zone program created by the 2017 tax overhaul enables investors to defer capital gains taxes on funds invested in designated communities. Opportunity zones offer one path forward that relies on private capital to bear the cost.

Big issue: Who’s an employee and who’s not?

By Dan Walters

A state Supreme Court decision tightening the definition of an employee has become a big legislative issue, putting Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez in the spotlight.

We must let more California students into public universities’ front door

By Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine

Unethical and even criminal tactics used to slide students into prestigious universities cannot be tolerated. But there’s something else we should not tolerate: the insufficient higher education capacity to meet student demand in California.

Why Cal Grant must be expanded: hard realities of juggling community college, work and family

By TreShawn Weatherspoon

Here’s why Cal Grant program must be expanded: I am a father to two daughters, and, like many other community college students, I juggle work, school and family responsibilities every day. I also happen to be one of the 84 percent of black students who did not receive a Cal Grant award to support my education due to California’s inadequate financial aid system.

Community colleges wracked by data dispute

By Dan Walters

California community colleges are under pressure to improve outcomes for their students, but college officials complain that the data being used to measure progress are faulty.

PG&E’s management change is a missed opportunity. It must embrace radical reform

By Dean Florez

Without a radical change to the corporate culture, a hard-to-swallow dose of transparency and an all-hands-on-deck fire prevention effort, the next PG&E-sparked wildfire will mean a Titanic ending to the company.

Managerial miscues plague the state

By Dan Walters

Managerial miscues plague state government, as three new audit reports confirm. They imply that fixing existing problems should take precedence over launching new services and programs.

From books to 3D printers, the many reasons to thank librarians

By Greg Lucas

In this National Library Week, thank a librarian. Libraries are safe, accessible, non-stigmatized places that welcome everyone, even our most disenfranchised. Libraries aren’t the cure for California’s most vexing challenges, but investing more in them makes those challenges less vexing.

‘Job killer’ bills may be more difficult to kill

By Dan Walters

The California Chamber of Commerce has been remarkably successful for two decades in defeating or neutralizing bills it places on its annual list of “job killers.” But the Capitol’s ambiance is changing, and continuing that record may be more difficult.

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