In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

California poised to go further than any state to insure the undocumented—too pricey, or about time?

By Elizabeth Aguilera

A clock is ticking: The state is required to adopt a budget this month, and the Democrats who control Sacramento are divided between two options. Both inch the state closer to universal health care, although neither proposes to offer health care to all low-income immigrants. They’ve all agreed to extend coverage to young adults through age 25, and the Senate would include undocumented seniors, too.

Another hidden cost of college? How student parking fees are subsidizing faculty, staff

By Adria Watson

When California college students asked why they pay more for parking than staff, they found that labor contracts require employees to pay less.

Poll: To tackle housing crisis, most Californians would limit local control

By Ben Christopher

By a significant margin, a majority of Californians want the state Legislature to force local governments to build more housing. They’re in for a disappointment.

Developers and unions “not close” on deal to spur housing construction

By Matt Levin

The head of the chief developers’ group is increasingly pessimistic that they can cut a deal with unions to kickstart home building in California—although both sides are still talking.

Trump administration says no new talks with California on car rules

By Rachel Becker

Automakers backed Obama-era rules on car emissions and gas mileage, then asked President Trump to change them. Now the companies fear a long Washington-California court fight.

No longer the loneliest? Why Oregon’s all-in climate push matters to California

By Rachel Becker

After efforts to unite the West under a carbon-trading program stalled for nearly a decade, Oregon will decide this month whether it wants to follow in California’s footsteps. This bill would make Oregon the second state to rely on the market for emissions reductions throughout the entire economy. Supporters say that expanding the cap-and-trade market to Oregon could increase competition, lower compliance costs and speed decarbonization of the West. Others worry a failure in Oregon could hurt carbon trading’s chances in other states.

California Democrats loudly lean left—but quietly make a safe choice

By Ben Christopher

California’s Democratic convention delegates cheered presidential contenders who said there was no middle ground on climate change, single-payer health care and other progressive goals, and jeered at two moderates who disagreed—booing one for saying “socialism is not the answer.” But as the party elected a new chairman and turned its attention to the 2020 election, they made what many considered a safe choice.

Cal Dems pick labor leader as chairman—plus convention highs and lows

By Ben Christopher and Elizabeth Castillo

For the second time in a row, the California Democratic Party favored a labor-backed candidate from Los Angeles to be its chairman—although the win for Rusty Hicks was by a stronger margin than many expected.

Crib sheet: How 14 presidential wannabes are crafting their pitch to California Dems

By Ben Christopher and Elizabeth Castillo

As more than a dozen presidential contenders spent the weekend selling themselves at the state Democratic Party’s annual confab in San Francisco, most of their speeches were stump classics—with little mention of California or its uniquely influential role in the primary election. But for Golden State voters seeking some California-specific attention, here’s a short list of what they did say.

Charter school task force echoes calls for tighter charter school regs, more local control

By Ricardo Cano

A closely watched report commissioned by Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for more local discretion and tighter regulation of charter schools.


Politicians missing in action on housing

By Dan Walters

Midway through the legislative session, there’s no discernible progress on solving California’s housing crisis.

California lawmakers seem to think our housing crisis can wait. It can’t

By Jared Martin

In this legislative session, our state’s leaders have spoken with great passion about solving the housing crisis. They say this is the most critical issue facing California. They ask how our state’s future will look if we don’t act now. Yet lawmakers haven’t been willing to take the tough votes to move forward meaningful policy that advances the solution: supply.

Vaccination, abortion debates intertwined

By Dan Walters

California’s vaccination controversy has a symbiotic relationship with the nation’s abortion debate.

Russia’s historians aren’t the only ones who distort D-Day history. Our textbooks do, too

By Glenn Sacks

Glenn Sacks: During the Cold War, Americans were rightly dismayed by 1970s Soviet history textbook’s portrayal of D-Day and America’s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Current Russian textbooks and statements by some Russian leaders are similarly problematic. But they’re not the only ones distorting the truth. I know because I am a high school history teacher in the largest public school district in California.

President Trump, Please don’t go to Normandy

By Thomas J. Umberg and Robin Umberg

President Donald Trump’s presence at D-Day ceremonies in Normandy will remind the world that he disdains NATO and insults our coalition partners, while at the same time extolling the virtues of the dictators who lead our enemies.

New budget omits an important piece of California’s disaster preparedness

By Christian Giller

Christian Giller: Inexplicably, the state budget process has left out support for air ambulance. The emergency services provided by air ambulances could disappear if a funding stream that expires at the end of this year is not replaced in the pending state budget.

‘Moving the rain,’ creating California

By Mark Arax

We Californians grabbed nothing less than the edge of a continent, 1,000 miles in length. Highest mountain, lowest desert, longest coast, most epic valley, riparian forest, redwood forest, wetland, grassland and inland sea. The rain fell 125 inches a year in one place and seven inches a year in the other place. A land this crazy makes people crazy.

How nurses and investment can help people rise from poverty

By Lois Capps

Over 40 years of evidence shows that Nurse-Family Partnership reduces preterm birth, improves child health and school readiness and reduces child abuse and juvenile crime. In addition, there are savings on medical care, child welfare, special education and criminal justice.

Interest-rate limit doesn’t fix poverty

By Dan Walters

Limiting interest rates on loans to the poor is a sincere effort, but it does nothing about the state’s high poverty level.

A political deal comes full circle

By Dan Walters

It was late one night 40 years ago and Gov.  Jerry Brown’s most important piece of legislation was in trouble.

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