Samantha came to class like any other day. She was texting up a storm, fingers moving so fast sparks were flying off her acrylic nails. When I asked her to get off the phone, she became defiant. The most common next steps for a teacher in this scenario are to either take the phone away or se…
California schools are in for a payday, but there’s no word yet on how much of that money will actually be used to help students recover from extended school closures.
In response to the pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom took a bold step to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and save lives by ordering large sectors of California’s economy closed.
Using a singular noun “budget” no longer describes the tortuous process by which the governor and state legislators decide how to spend the state’s money.
When you think of rural America, what comes to mind? Rolling fields of farmland or peacefully grazing livestock? Maybe an old, abandoned gas station that looks like something from a 1970s horror film. Whatever your initial thought was, I’m sure it had nothing to do with the growing class div…
To understand a sharp-elbows squabble that’s developing behind the scenes in the state Capitol, one must first understand “pumped-storage hydro,” a way for electrical energy to be stored.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative Democrats had the opportunity to alleviate the state’s twin crises of drought and wildfire by including resources for ongoing funding, prescribed burning and water storage in this year’s budget. These solutions are not new, but they require political will. I…
After weeks of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate finally found a way to agree on a $579 billion increase in badly needed infrastructure spending: Stick almost exclusively to traditional road, bridge and rail projects, and find a bogus way to pay for them.
The state’s staggering budget surplus and historic unemployment rates illustrate the split between California’s haves and have-nots: A $76 billion chasm separates wealthy elites from underpaid workers. Vulnerable Californians were hit hard by the pandemic, and our colleges and universities m…
California’s housing crisis is a multi-front guerrilla war, pitting those who want to lower legal and political barriers to construction against those who see new developments as threats to the environment and/or the ambience of their neighborhoods.
As Californians endured another extreme heat wave last week, millions hoped to avoid a repeat of last year’s crisis, when power blackouts eliminated air conditioning as the final refuge from sweltering temperatures.
While California is known for its world-famous entertainment industry and ever-transforming tech sector, agriculture is the often-overlooked backbone of our diverse state and one of its earliest economic engines.
California has set a requirement that all new vehicles sold here be emissions-free by 2035, and the Legislature is updating the state’s purchasing incentive program to get drivers into cleaner cars quickly.
The internet has been a great unifier, enabling people to join others around the globe in pursuit of common interests. And now, the internet’s largest platform operators – Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google – are uniting Democrats and Republicans on the House antitrust subcommittee in pursui…
Adrian Mondragan is a second-generation small-scale organic farmer on the Central Coast, working amid some of the largest growers in the state. He grew up in a low-income Hispanic farming family, and proudly launched his Watsonville-based farm, Urban Organics, in 2009. He grows a variety of …
Securing continuous funding to invest in broadband infrastructure in poorly served communities will create jobs and provide economic opportunities.
While running for governor three years ago, Gavin Newsom foolishly promised that if elected California would solve its housing crisis by building 3.5 million units by 2025.
There is a seamless connection between what Gavin Newsom is saying and doing as governor and his campaign to survive a recall, encapsulated in the slogan “California Comeback.”
Land managers agree. Policymakers agree. The science is unequivocal. If we don’t get more beneficial fire on the ground in California, we’re going to lose it all to wildfire.
Whenever politicians spend large sums of taxpayer money on pet projects, they invariably overstate their supposed economic benefits, particularly creating oodles of “good-paying jobs.”
The massive 2,200-megawatt Diablo Canyon Power Plant is scheduled to shut down beginning in 2024, ending California’s reliance on nuclear energy.
California and national news organizations went a little berserk last week when the state Department of Finance announced that the state’s estimated population declined a bit in 2020.
Californians are looking forward to when immunity from COVID-19 is widespread. It is a goal that is closer thanks to the multiple vaccines and expanded statewide distribution.
Assembly Bill 386 sailed through the Assembly Judiciary Committee last week on a unanimous vote with virtually no discussion about its provisions.
A cosmic convergence of events in Washington and Sacramento last week demonstrated how strongly federal and state tax systems are interconnected.
The world of 2030 will be radically different from the one most of us were born into, and the global pandemic will only speed up this timeline.
Should California continue to reduce punishment for crimes large and small, or has it gone too far and implicitly allowed criminals to prey upon Californians without fear of imprisonment?
To Capitol insiders, the term “tort wars” is shorthand for decades of political wrangling over the rules governing lawsuits for personal injuries – who can sue and collect damages for which actions.
As signatures on petitions to force Gov. Gavin Newsom into a recall election are being tallied, the Legislature is considering bills that would, if enacted, make future recalls of California’s elected officials less likely.
With case numbers declining, vaccination rates rising and businesses reopening, California is slowly returning to a sense of normalcy and turning the page on a dark chapter of history.
Unless you work in the construction trades or civil engineering or perhaps in local government, you probably don’t give much thought to how clean water got to your kitchen faucet, what happens after you flush or the design of that nearby highway overpass under construction. Public infrastruc…
California’s big reservoirs are about half empty. We’re heading into another drought. But Sacramento’s vault is overflowing while Washington is pumping in more dollars.
One of California’s perpetual political conflicts may be heating up again, which requires some background to understand because it is so convoluted.
Proposition 19, The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act, was passed by voters last November, enacting significant changes to California’s property tax law. One provision of the measure – that concerning “parent-child” and…
Two years ago, CalMatters housing writer Matt Levin described a factory in Vallejo that was building housing modules that could quickly – and relatively inexpensively – be assembled into multi-story apartment houses.
While the relationships among the various levels of American government are often cooperative, always lurking in the background is what one might characterize as a political food chain.
The massive cinnamon trunks of the Sierra Nevada’s giant sequoia now tower silently over blanketing snow. But many of those trunks are newly blackened, a stark reminder of the devastating fires of last fall, and a heartbreaking foreshadowing of the tree mortality that the spring thaw will re…
There has been a real sense of hope in the daily phone calls we have received at McGeorge School of Law’s immigration clinic since President Joe Biden’s election.
While boasting about how California – and he – have handled the COVID-19 pandemic in his State of the State address this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom virtually ignored its severe economic impacts, offering only this tepid statement:
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s belated State of the State address last week was fundamentally a self-administered pat on the back for handling the COVID-19 pandemic, refuting the “nay-sayers and dooms-dayers” who want him recalled.
Governor Newsom looks certain to face a recall election. Voters – even his supporters – should be thankful that California has citizen empowerment tools to check corrupt, incompetent, unresponsive or simply unpopular government officials. If you favor accountability, look kindly upon the rec…
Are you concerned about election security, voter suppression, foreign involvement and dark money in elections, corruption in government, and reining in powerful special interest groups?
The second dose was supposed to be my reunion pass. Thanks to COVID-19, I couldn’t get back to Connecticut for my mother’s 100th birthday at Christmastime, but once we were both fully vaccinated, I’d feel safe to fly across the country. We’d hug for the first time since 2019.