In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Lawmakers and landlords: More than a quarter of California legislators are both

By Matt Levin and Elizabeth Castillo

A CALmatters analysis reveals that at least 30 lawmakers—more than a quarter of the California Legislature— own at least one property that generates rental income.

Will rent control and other tenant bills get through the Capitol this time?

By Matt Levin

Six months after a statewide initiative that could have expanded rent control across California was rejected at the polls, a group of lawmakers is back with a suite of pro-tenant legislation that faces its first major legislative hurdle this month. Listen to our podcast here.

Gavin Newsom reflects on the substance and splash of his first 100 days

By Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has acted on the death penalty, high-speed rail and wildfires. But he says resisting President Donald Trump has mainly influenced his first 100 days.

Overlooked mental health ‘catastrophe’: Vanishing board-and-care-homes leave residents with few options

By Jocelyn Wiener

This summer, Tom Gray will lose his home. The planned closure of yet another board-and-care home—this one nestled near Golden Gate Park—reflects a broader trend affecting thousands of low-income Californians with serious mental illness. While housing values soar and minimum-wage increases drive up staffing costs, state reimbursement rates to board-and-cares have remained stagnant. The result: More facilities are shutting their doors.

Fastest litigant in the west: California’s on verge of suing Trump more than Texas ever sued Obama

By Ben Christopher

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the Trump administration 47 times. For state versus federal litigation that’s a record—and he’s just getting started.

Later school bells, alternative testing: California lawmakers try again on quashed education bills

By Ricardo Cano

From later school start times to lower thresholds for parcel taxes, California lawmakers see a second chance with Gov. Gavin Newsom to pass education bills quashed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.


Hard truths about school shootings 20 years after Columbine. Here’s legislation that can help

By Vern Pierson

Despite crime being at historic lows, overall school shootings doubled between 2013 and 2018. Appallingly, in each of these attacks, information known to school officials, law enforcement, counselors, friends and neighbors reasonably should have been used to prevent the attack. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley’s AB 1722 would require a common-sense approach to building best practices into our regional school safety plans to avert such shootings.

Paying women less than men for substantially similar work is wage theft

By Julie Su

In California, paying women less is a form of wage theft. The law also prohibits paying someone less for substantially similar work on the basis of race or ethnicity. What makes California’s pay equity law particularly significant is that it does not require proof of discrimination or intent.

DMV crisis could make or break Newsom

By Dan Walters

While Gov. Gavin Newsom claims a global role in the immigration crisis, how he handles a more prosaic crisis in the Department of Motor Vehicles could have a greater effect on his political career.

Regulating the cannabis market is preferable to prohibition

By Paul Armentano

Because marijuana use may pose potential hazards to both the individual consumer and public safety, advocacy groups such as mine, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, believe that lawmakers should regulate it accordingly.

Mental illness implications of cannabis use must not be ignored

By Alex Berenson

Backers of cannabis legalization–and their supporters in the media–have successfully cast marijuana legalization as a racial and social justice issue, although almost no one is in prison for cannabis possession. And they have vastly oversold the potential medical benefits of the drug, while understating its risks.

To help people with mental illness, keep them in school

By Thomas Insel and Seth A. Seabury

Early diagnosis and intervention is essential to attaining better outcomes for mental illness. But in the struggle to help people with mental illness cope, a powerful long-term tool has been overlooked: school. Education has an outsized impact on the prospects for people with serious mental disorders.

Battles over local tax measures heat up

By Dan Walters

As Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators consider state tax increases, local government ballots are being loaded up with tax proposals, and the jousting over them is becoming heated.

Politics won over good policy, and now Californians face even more taxes

By Rex Hime

Raising property taxes on businesses means they will pass on the costs to every Californian by increasing prices on just about everything we buy and use, from diapers and day care to gasoline and groceries. That’s the last thing hard-working families need.

Why April 15 isn’t California’s most important tax day

By Robert Gutierrez

Death and taxes are all but certain. But the bright side is that the power to tax ultimately lies with the people, as Californians have the constitutional right to vote on local taxes and the right to elect state officials with taxing power.

Bond issue transparency still under assault

By Dan Walters

Local officials still don’t like having to tell voters how proposed bond issues will affect their property taxes, and they may seek relief from the Legislature.

How budget ‘trailer bills’ are misused

By Dan Walters

Senate Bill 861 is a prime example of how budget “trailer bills” are misused to bypass the usual legislative process.

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