CALMatters | |

CALmatters is a Sacramento-based nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California's state Capitol works and why it matters. It works with more than 130 media partners throughout the state that have long, deep relationships with their local audiences, including Embarcadero Media (publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, Mountain View Voice, Pleasanton Weekly and The Almanac in Menlo Park and their websites.)

Here are the most recent stories reported by CALmatters' team of journalists:

Battle over gas-tax hike intensifies

The California Republican Party is sponsoring a ballot measure to repeal a $5 billion package of taxes and fees on motorists to improve transportation systems. Gov. Jerry Brown is leading the campaign to preserve an important part of his legacy.

Mon, May 28, 2018 12:01 am
Commentary: Hasty rooftop solar decree could backfire

The California Energy Commission has decreed that new homes must have rooftop solar power installations beginning in 2020. However, energy experts warn that the new rules were hastily drafted and could have adverse effects.

Sun, May 27, 2018 12:01 am
A scaled-back bid to care for undocumented Californians

A Democratic bid to extend government health coverage to all undocumented, low-income adults in California has been put on hold. Lawmakers now hope to cover at least the seniors and the disabled.

Fri, May 25, 2018 12:05 pm
Jerry Brown has a promise to keep

Good Friday morning, California “And we have a very inexpensive dinner at the Mansion” — Gov. Jerry Brown, telling business leaders Thursday that he sometimes gets one $7.75 Chipotle burrito bowl and bottle of wine to share with First Lady Anne Gust Brown. Chipotle’s Mexican Grill announced this week it’s moving its headquarters to Newport […]

Fri, May 25, 2018 4:30 am
Gimme Shelter podcast: Evictions and tenants’ rights

Please subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast. Matt and Liam discuss a handful of tenants’ rights bills with uncertain futures currently making their way through the Legislature. First, an Avocado of the Fortnight asks what historians will make of a Los Angeles-area gas station decades from now (2:30). The Number of the Fortnight introduces […]

Thu, May 24, 2018 3:41 pm
Trump helps John Cox, for now

Donald Trump's endorsement of Republican John Cox will help in the June primary but not in the fall general election campaign. Don't count Antonio Villaraigosa out quite yet.

Thu, May 24, 2018 4:30 am
CalPERS’ new investment plan – wise or risky?

The huge pension fund that covers pensions for California's state and local government employees is unveiling a new investment strategy. However, the California Public Employees Retirement System has a spotty track record, so there's reason to be skeptical.

Thu, May 24, 2018 12:01 am
Unpacking the latest polls: Top takeaways for the California primary

With the California primary less than two weeks away, two new polls provide some clues to what voters are thinking. And while the state overall still looks true blue, the surveys do give Democrats a few reasons to worry. Here are key takeaways: Second spot in the top-two contest for governor is still uncertain In a […]

Wed, May 23, 2018 8:26 pm
Billionaires’ money helps a most unlikely candidate

Good morning, California. “Illegal cannabis plantations have an extraordinarily destructive impact on the redwood forest ecosystem” — Save the Redwoods League supporting a bill seeking more prosecutions for destruction of forests. Meet Robert Newman, Republican running for governorA mailer sent to conservative households, funded by the independent campaign committee, Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa.The […]

Wed, May 23, 2018 4:30 am
Campaigns try to fool California voters

California political campaigns often try to fool voters into supporting candidates and causes they might otherwise not favor. This year's campaigns include misleading attacks with hidden motives and "slate mailers" that candidates pay for recommendations.

Wed, May 23, 2018 12:01 am
California’s answer to Texas school shooting

Good morning, California. “I feel awful about this” — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writing about her failure as state attorney general to seek new DNA testing for a California man who is on San Quentin’s Death Row for a quadruple murder in Chino Hills in 1983 California Democrats’ […]

Tue, May 22, 2018 4:30 am
Have you seen a campaign ad on social media?

Is your social media feed filling up with political campaign ads? Our reporter Laurel Rosenhall wants to see them. After you submit an ad, Laurel may contact you for a story about how campaigns use social media to communicate with voters. There are multiple ways to submit the ads you see on your social media […]

Mon, May 21, 2018 4:55 pm
Why is Cole Harris spending $2.2 million?

Good Monday morning, California. By tweet, President Trump endorsed Republican John Cox for governor on Friday. Cox tweeted his delight. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy might have been happiest of all. The theory: If Cox is the GOP nominee in the fall, Republicans will have more reason to go to the polls. And they’d vote for […]

Mon, May 21, 2018 4:30 am
California’s primary vote could be decisive

California's June 5 primary election could be more than decisive than usual. Voters could effectively make Democrat Gavin Newsom the next governor by giving Republican John Cox a second-place finish and could spoil Democratic hopes of making big congressional gains in the state.

Mon, May 21, 2018 12:01 am
Prison inmates are down, but costs still going up

Under pressure from federal courts, California has sharply reduced numbers of inmates in state prisons. However, "corrections" costs are still rising and California is now spending $75,000 per year per inmate.

Sun, May 20, 2018 12:01 am
President Trump endorses John Cox for governor—hoping to keep Congress in Republican hands

President Trump threw the California's governor's race into a tizzy today with his surprise endorsement of Republican San Diego businessman John Cox—despite the fact that Cox acknowledges he didn't vote for Trump. The announcement undercut Trump-boosting GOP candidate Travis Allen—and complicated Democratic contender Antonio Villaraigosa's hopes to emerge a victory in California's top-two primary.

Fri, May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
Chilly reception awaits Cristina Garcia

Good morning, California. CALmatters’ editor Dave Lesher and I spent a great Thursday evening as guests of CALmatters’ supporter Lenny Mendonca at his Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., talking politics with a crowd of engaged Californians at his regular Brews & Views. Cristina Garcia’s imminent returnAssemblywoman Cristina Garcia and Speaker Anthony Rendon last year.Assemblywoman Cristina […]

Fri, May 18, 2018 4:30 am
Tesla is on guard for unfriendly legislators

“@realDonaldTrump is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA. Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed.” — Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted, with a Pinocchio emoji, referring to […]

Thu, May 17, 2018 4:30 am
Lots of candidates, lots of uncertainty

With dozens of candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor this year, handicapping the June 5 primary election is difficult. The biggest unknown is whether Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will have the luxury of a Republican opponent in November, or will face fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa.

Thu, May 17, 2018 12:01 am
What a $500,000 home looks like around California–and how it shapes where we move

The median price of a California single family home is now well over half a million dollars. That’s more than double what the average house costs in the rest of the U.S. Put a more nauseating way, you could buy two “average” non-California houses for the price of one California house. Can’t decide between the […]

Thu, May 17, 2018 12:01 am
What’s next for aid-in-dying law?

Good morning, California. “It has simply become too difficult and too costly to run a manufacturing business in Sonoma Valley,” Price Pump President Bob Piazza said, explaining why he’s moving his company founded in 1932 in Emeryville to Boise, Idaho — North Bay Business Journal. Death-with-dignity law in jeopardyBrittany Maynard, who spent her final days […]

Wed, May 16, 2018 4:30 am
Jerry Brown once again shuns tax reform

Gov. Jerry Brown once again is warning about the heavy impact of recession on the state budget. However, he continues to shun reforming the state's tax system to reduce revenue volatility and therefore lessen the impact.

Wed, May 16, 2018 12:01 am
Don’t bet on sports wagering yet

Good morning, California. “I had this very nice new wool pantsuit. Put it on. Went to the floor of the Senate Monday afternoon.” – former Sen. Rebecca Morgan. Speaking to the Public Policy Institute of California in Sacramento Monday, Morgan recalled that cold day in 1989 when she became the first woman to wear pants […]

Tue, May 15, 2018 4:30 am
Seeking to help people in need

Good Monday morning, California. “Just 63 nutria have been killed so far. The largest was a pregnant female weighing 24 pounds.” — San Francisco Chronicle, detailing California Department of Fish & Wildlife efforts to eradicate the giant rodents native to South America before they occupy and damage the Delta. Can California finally house mentally ill?  […]

Mon, May 14, 2018 4:30 am
Jerry Brown holds the line in last budget

Despite a surge of revenues, Gov. Jerry Brown holds the line on spending in his final budget. He says state overdue for recession and needs to build reserves to cushion impacts.

Mon, May 14, 2018 12:01 am
Sometimes nice guys do finish first

California’s Republican elite – yes, Virginia, there was once such a thing – gathered in the Capitol on Dec. 15, 1980, to cast the state’s 45 presidential electoral votes for Ronald Reagan. After the formalities, attendees lingered in the state Senate chambers, savoring the moment and believing that Reagan’s election was a harbinger of their […]

Sun, May 13, 2018 12:01 am
How to spend $9 billion-plus

Good Friday morning, California. “We have been in a very long drought. It is my hope that it starts to rain soon,” Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, told me, praying money will rain on his underfunded campaign against Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Don’t forget your mother. Mother’s Day is Sunday. What to do […]

Fri, May 11, 2018 4:30 am
Gimme Shelter podcast: Housing in the governor’s race

Housing has become a major issue in California’s race for governor. With the June primary less than a month away, Matt and Liam dive into each of the candidate’s plans to solve our affordability crisis. First, the Avocado of the Fortnight takes Matt to an extremely hot property in San Jose (2:50). Then a discussion […]

Thu, May 10, 2018 4:36 pm
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