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:

What $8.9 billion water bond would buy

California voters will have a chance to vote on an $8.9 billion water bond that would pay for environmental restoration, clean drinking water and help rebuild the Friant-Kern Canal, damaged by subsidence.

Mon, Jul 16, 2018 4:30 am
California’s school war will have new political players

California's education establishment is fighting a running battle with school reformers and civil rights groups over accountability for helping "at-risk" kids, and the battle will resume after voters elect a new governor and a new state schools superintendent.

Mon, Jul 16, 2018 12:01 am
California vs. Trump over 2020 census

California has a big stake in results from the 2020 federal census and is battling with the Trump administration over the details, especially a new question about citizenship. California officials fear that the state's population will be undercounted.

Sun, Jul 15, 2018 12:01 am
Who’s going to pay for the fires

California legislators confront the question of how to pay for fire damage. Should PG&E be relieved of costs related to devastating 2017 wildfires, and should the law be changed for future fires?

Fri, Jul 13, 2018 4:30 am
Why greenhouse gas emissions fell

The Air Resources Board announced greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2016, even as fuel consumption increased. The main reasons: Greater use of solar, wind and hydropower.

Thu, Jul 12, 2018 4:30 am
Legislature may erase embarrassing boondoggle

The North Coast Railroad Authority has consumed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars but never delivered on its promise to resurrect rail service north of San Francisco Bay. Finally, the Legislature is poised to abolish it.

Thu, Jul 12, 2018 12:01 am
Latest Capitol harassment case: Sexual talk by GOP Assemblyman Devon Mathis

A Republican from the Central Valley is the latest California lawmaker found to have violated the Capitol's sexual harassment policy. An investigation found that Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Visalia made frequent sexual comments, but determined there is not enough evidence to prove more serious allegations of sexual assault.

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 1:42 pm
Altering the balance of campaign power

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, not yet 28, urges 'bold and tangible' solutions to help get people to turn out to vote, including $500 universal basic income payments to working poor.

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 4:30 am
A supermajority that hinges on one seat

Democrats are likely to regain their two-thirds "supermajority" in the state Assembly this year. Whether they also enjoy that dominance in the state Senate depends on the outcome of one contest in rural California.

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 12:01 am
Why rich people leave California. Or don’t

New research shows California's high income tax rate has not driven wealthy people to move to low-tax states, despite low-tax advocates' claim to the contrary.

Tue, Jul 10, 2018 4:30 am
Be prepared to reduce water use. Here’s why

California Water Resources Control board is on the verge of ordering significant reductions in water use to save fish in what chairwoman Felicia Marcus calls a crisis.

Mon, Jul 9, 2018 4:30 am
Unintended consequences of new privacy law?

California legislators passed a hastily drafted bill purporting to protect Californians' personal and financial data from exposure and exploitation. But it could run afoul of the law of unintended consequences.

Mon, Jul 9, 2018 12:01 am
Coy about taxes and pension costs

As local government officials ask voters for tax increases, they are reluctant to tell them that the extra revenue is needed to cover pension costs. But one city is not being coy about it.

Sun, Jul 8, 2018 12:01 am
Did Brown fix California’s budget mess? Nope

Jerry Brown has signed his 16th and final state budget, bragging that he fixed California's financial mess. But that claim, and his claim of securing the state's fiscal future, are overblown.

Thu, Jul 5, 2018 12:01 am
Genteel extortion cancels three ballot measures

Three initiatives that had qualified for the November ballot were dropped last week after their sponsors negotiated deals with the Legislature. Was it extortion? Not in the criminal sense, perhaps, but it was the adroit use of leverage.

Wed, Jul 4, 2018 12:01 am
Soda ducks one tax, but may face another

Thanks to legislation, the soda industry averted new local taxes, but it could face an initiative that would impose a new statewide tax.

Tue, Jul 3, 2018 4:30 am
Supreme Court decision could hit unions hard

The U.S. Supreme Court has declared that compelling non-members of public employee unions to pay dues is unconstitutional. California's unions are now scrambling to avoid an erosion of their memberships, their revenues and their political clout.

Mon, Jul 2, 2018 12:01 am
GOP’s long slide into irrelevance in California

California once had a strong and successful Republican Party but over the last few decades, it has shrunken to a small minority of voters and if ti loses several congressional races this year, Democrats will have achieved total domination.

Sun, Jul 1, 2018 12:01 am
Gimme Shelter podcast: The rent control war

Please subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast. One housing issue will overshadow all others this election: Rent control. Matt and Liam discuss why renewed negotiations to remove a controversial rent control initiative from the ballot went nowhere, and what the campaigns will look like this fall. First, Matt proposes a solution to the Los […]

Fri, Jun 29, 2018 10:14 am
Initiatives you won’t and will vote on this November

California legislators averted costly initiative wars on privacy, lead paint and soda taxes. But voters will decide daylight savings time and gas tax repeal in November. San Francisco Mayor-elect London Breed urged legislators to expand car for mentally ill homeless people.

Fri, Jun 29, 2018 4:30 am
Privacy deal comes together; What’s next after Janus

California labor worries about the impact of Janus v. AFSCME, but vows to battle on. Privacy initiative funder Alastair Mactaggart agrees to drop his initiative in exchange for broad privacy legislation. Business opposes the bill but sees it as the lesser of two evils.

Thu, Jun 28, 2018 4:30 am
Supreme Court voids California law, upholds free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow for free speech when it struck down a California law that requires anti-abortion clinics to tell their clients about the availability of abortion services.

Thu, Jun 28, 2018 12:01 am
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Nominations due by Sept. 17 and Pleasanton Weekly are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form
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