CALMatters | Palo Alto Online |

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:


Workers are changing. California Legislature must face that reality

Allan Zaremberg, California Chamber of Commerce: The heart of the debate over the gig economy is how can we improve protections for workers, without losing the control and flexibility they value. You can’t have it both ways. Having job security means the employer will schedule your hours. Without that control, you couldn’t get morning coffee if one day all the baristas choose to sleep in.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019 12:00 pm
Why a California lawmaker wants to ban cigarette filters and disposable vapes

California Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson's bill to curb litter from cigarette butts and electronic cigarettes cleared the Senate but approaches its next hurdle in the Assembly. The bill aims to tackle hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts that litter the state's coasts and hold the tobacco and e-cigarette industry accountable for the mess that its products make.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019 1:00 am
In Gavin Newsom’s ‘California For All’ budget, undocumented immigrants are not included

Dani Carrillo, UC San Francisco: Undocumented workers comprise 9% of California labor force and contribute $3 billion in state and local taxes each year. They do some of the most arduous work, including landscaping, construction, restaurant work, and taking care of children and seniors. But if their health is compromised, they have few places to go.

Mon, Jun 24, 2019 8:00 am
Any spike in repeat crimes after California sped prisoner release? New research says no

When the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to disgorge tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prison system in 2011, Justice Antonin Scalia warned in his dissent of "the terrible things sure to happen as a consequence" including the "inevitable murders, robberies, and rapes to be committed by the released inmates." But researchers who've looked at how how often those released from the state's prisons and jails in the ruling's aftermath say such fears have not come to pass.

Mon, Jun 24, 2019 1:00 am
Congress needs to start over on nuclear waste

Geoffrey Fettus, Natural Resources Defense Council: We need a solution for the waste stuck at San Onofre and the other California reactors. But in their desperation to move the threat away from the Golden State, some California lawmakers are making two grave errors.

Sun, Jun 23, 2019 8:00 am
Does spending more on schools pay off?

California's ongoing debate over K-12 education usually centers on money, but data indicate that spending more doesn't necessarily translate into better academic achievement.

Sun, Jun 23, 2019 12:01 am
Who’s coming and who’s going: California in 5 interactive charts and maps

The California Dream is a global brand. For more than a century the state has been a magnet for migrants from around the world, and now has the largest foreign-born population of any state in the country. Here are five maps and charts illustrating the past and present of who's moving in and, lately, moving out.

Thu, Jun 20, 2019 8:23 pm
California wildfires threaten water supply. Here’s how

Marc Marcantonio: Public drinking water suppliers’ financial stability is threatened if they are saddled with the cost of damage caused by fires they don’t start. And that could put the safety of our drinking water at risk.

Thu, Jun 20, 2019 8:00 am
Democratic voters more centrist than their party

The recent state Democratic Party convention was dominated by the party's left-wing activists, but the broader array of Democratic voters doesn't lean as far to the port.

Thu, Jun 20, 2019 12:01 am
Wall Street salivates at the housing ‘solution’ offered by Senate Bill 50

John Mirisch: Scores of housing bills circulate in Sacramento, one worse than the next. Collectively, they threaten to destroy our unique and dynamic communities to various degrees, many in the service of Wall Street and other special interest groups. Wall Street is notorious for not caring about the path of destruction it leaves in its wake in search of ever-greater profits.

Wed, Jun 19, 2019 8:00 am
Bill reduces ballot measure transparency

A new bill would water down the requirement that local governments be upfront on the taxation effects of their tax and bond ballot measures.

Wed, Jun 19, 2019 12:01 am
George Tyndall’s ‘patients’ turn to the Legislature for justice

Nicole Haynes and Mai Mizuno: AB 1510 would give Dr. George Tyndall's 'patients' a choice: Join the federal class action, or fight it out alone in state civil court, a venue that could more fully hold Tyndall and USC accountable. We are fighting to put the past and our shared secret behind us and move forward with our lives. We hope California legislators will understand, and not suppress our individual voices and rights.

Tue, Jun 18, 2019 11:00 am
California Legislature must act to protect environment from Trump’s assaults

Terry Tamminen: Federal agencies plan to ignore new state requirements in order to deliver more San Francisco Bay-Delta water to powerful San Joaquin Valley farmers in the Westlands Water District.  This would do more than harm salmon fishermen and the West Coast’s largest estuary. An elegant solution lies in Senate Bill 1 by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins.

Tue, Jun 18, 2019 8:00 am
Cities pledge to find solutions to California’s homeless crisis

Carolyn Coleman: There is no single or easy solution to address homelessness, but building more affordable housing is a major part of the answer. That is why the League of California Cities strongly supports Gov. Newsom’s budget proposals which provide more resources, and Senate Bill 5 to help support the construction of more housing for low- and very-low income Californians.

Mon, Jun 17, 2019 8:00 am
Lessons from the Old Courthouse in El Centro

Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar: My responsibility goes beyond deciding cases. We must help the public understand what we do and share our collective knowledge. Nowhere is that mission more urgent than when it comes to improving the lives of our state’s children.

Sun, Jun 16, 2019 8:20 am
Big caveats in new state budget

While politicians tout the state's new budget, there are some very large caveats attached to it.

Sun, Jun 16, 2019 12:01 am
Episode Three: The Deciders

For more than a year, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber has been working on a bill meant to curb police shootings by limiting when police can use deadly force. She persevered through political setbacks and failed attempts at compromise before landing on a version that now appears likely to become law.

Fri, Jun 14, 2019 9:34 am
Helping to define what it means to be ‘Made in California’

Lenny Mendonca: Government officials don't do a good job of engaging the public as we grapple with big, complex challenges. Today, my team at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is launching a new podcast called Made in California to change that dynamic.  

Fri, Jun 14, 2019 7:37 am
How Trump administration undermines reproductive and LGBTQ rights in California

Lori Freedman and Rebecca Griffin: We’re facing an unprecedented sweep of abortion bans across the country, a frontal attack that we must fight back. A new Trump administration regulation puts the full force of the government behind individuals and institutions that refuse to provide care in the name of religious beliefs. This unnecessary overreach emboldens people to discriminate and has dangerous implications for people’s health. California is not immune.

Thu, Jun 13, 2019 8:00 am

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