On Day One, Hints of California’s Democratic Agenda to Come

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

It’s just the beginning. California lawmakers kicked off a new two-year session Monday, a day full of pomp and ceremony and not a lot of substance. But a few eager legislators began putting bills across the desk, giving an early indication of some key policy fights that will shape 2019. Some of the early legislation […]

Read more

California Legislature is Turning Many Shades of Blue

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

The California Legislature, controlled by Democrats for decades, is likely to become even bluer when the new class is sworn in next month. Exactly how many more Democrats have been elected is still not certain; it takes a long time to count votes in California. But all signs point toward growing Democratic caucuses in both […]

Read more

Gavin Newsom’s Dilemma: Making a Change, While Following Jerry Brown’s Lead

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

After the victory music had quieted, after the introduction by his wife was done, Gavin Newsom took to the stage at a Los Angeles nightclub and began to walk the fine line that will likely define his first year as California governor. Even as he laid out his vision for renewing California, calling it “a […]

Read more

Capitol Lawsuit Hints at the Limits of #MeToo Laws

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

In one of the first legal challenges since the #MeToo movement forced the California Legislature to confront its history of dismissing sexual misconduct in its own workplace, the Senate is trying to fend off a former employee’s lawsuit with arguments that she’s not covered by new whistleblower protections and that the Capitol, as part of […]

Read more

Billionaires vs Teachers Union: Charter School Fight Amps up Race for California Governor

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

They are Democrats and Republicans. They are residents of California, New York and Arkansas. They have made fortunes in technology, real estate, retail and media. What do these billionaires have in common? They aim to shake up public education by promoting charters—schools that receive taxpayer funds but are not required to follow all the rules […]

Read more

Lead Paint Makers Balk at Huge Bill for Toxic Cleanup—Instead They Want You to Pick up the Tab

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Three companies found to have sold toxic lead paint for decades—despite knowing it posed health hazards for children—are waging a major battle to avoid paying the several hundred million dollars in liability that California courts have slapped on them. And they’re asking you, the California voter, to help them get their way. After losing an […]

Read more

So Very Jerry: Can you decode the governor’s speeches?

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Speech, someone quasi-famously said, is the mirror of the soul. Wait—you don’t recognize that observation made by the ancient Roman scribe Publilius Syrus? Bet your governor would. This week Jerry Brown delivers his 16th annual State of the State address—a record unparalleled by any governor in California history. If true to form, his speech will […]

Read more

Backlash ripples through California politics after women denounce sexual harassment

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

With sexual harassment and assault allegations ricocheting through the state Capitol, two female lobbyists say they soon faced the consequences of speaking out—a state senator who suddenly wanted to avoid meeting with them. A client of theirs relayed that the senator wanted women excluded from a meeting at a nearby watering hole. The reason: The […]

Read more

Lawmakers to Californians: Do as we say, not as we do

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

With a declaration that “public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people’s business,” lawmakers passed the California Whistleblower Protection Act in 1999. The idea was to protect workers who report misconduct, so that they can blow the whistle on bad actors without losing their […]

Read more

Top 3 Surprises at Forum of Democratic Candidates for Governor

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Four Democrats vying to become the next governor of California faced off for the first time Sunday at a forum in Anaheim hosted by a union for health care workers. The discussion focused largely on health care and labor issues—but it also gave the public the first glimpse at the intra-party dynamic that may shape […]

Read more