After legalizing weed, California’s black market could remain huge

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Legalizing marijuana, California voters were told last year, would create a “safe, legal and comprehensive system” allowing adults to consume the drug while keeping it out of the hands of children. Marijuana would be sold in highly regulated stores, the Proposition 64 campaign promised, and California would gain new tax revenue by bringing the cannabis […]

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Republicans Voting for Cap-n-Trade Say it’s Good for Business

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Minutes after a bipartisan coalition of California lawmakers voted to extend the state’s landmark climate change policy for another decade, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown stood in front of a bank of television cameras and compared the plan to one championed 30 years ago by GOP icon Ronald Reagan. Back then, the Republican president helped negotiate […]

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Trailer Bills Let California Lawmakers Slip New Policies into Budget

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

California senators were deep in heated debate about a small but politically explosive attachment to the state budget last week when a Riverside Democrat could be heard to suddenly channel Forrest Gump. “Trailer bills,” said Sen. Richard Roth—referring to pieces of legislation tied to the budget but sometimes bearing little connection to it—“are a box […]

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Foam Fight: As California Balks at State Ban, Activists Target Local Level

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Foam burger boxes and ice cream cups could eventually go the way of the flimsy plastic shopping bag—banned throughout California. It’s not likely to happen this year. Environmentalists who push for the bans lost a big fight last month when the Legislature voted down a bill that would have banned foam takeout containers statewide. But growing pressure […]

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In California Battles over Product Labels, Industry Usually Wins

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Nail polish and hair dye. Cleaning products. Plants and flowers for the garden. All of these could get new labels under proposals being considered by California lawmakers, triggering an annual conflict in the state Capitol over how much to tell people about what they buy at the store or use at work. The bills reflect […]

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California’s next election will be a tug-of-war on education

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

Sandra Lowe reminisced about the good old days as she addressed a roomful of Democratic activists at the California party’s annual convention last week in Sacramento. It used to be, the teachers union leader told the crowd, that it didn’t take much to win a school board race: a short statement in the election handbook, […]

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Kevin McCarthy, Trump’s Man in Congress

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 28, the day after Trump signed his executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, congressman Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, put in a call to Kevin McCarthy, the six-term Republican from Bakersfield, California, and majority leader of the House of Representatives. Among the […]

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A Rich Reformer Lobbies California for Merciful Justice

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

A cattle-ranching billionaire headed into Gov. Jerry Brown’s office last week with redemption on his mind. Redemption for prisoners who wind up behind bars because their own tortured childhoods lead them to lives of crime. Redemption for veterans who bring home wartime scars that cause addiction and violence. And redemption, perhaps, even for himself—born into […]

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In California, it’s Democrats Struggling to Keep Party Unity

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

California Democrats are expected to face a key test of their unity this week, with Gov. Jerry Brown leaning on state lawmakers to pass a landmark tax increase to fix what he calls a massive backlog of repairs to the state’s rutted roads and weakened bridges. The $52 billion plan will only pass if two-thirds […]

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Valid voter fraud complaints in California? Dozens, not millions

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

With President Donald Trump alleging serious voter fraud in California, and the state’s top election official calling his claim untrue, how much voter fraud is actually under investigation in the Golden State? Not much—certainly not enough to sway the election, in which California voters chose Hillary Clinton over Trump by 4.3 million votes. And while the […]

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