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 […]

Read more

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, […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Legislature curbs free speech for ‘worthy’ aims—then come the lawsuits

Laurel Rosenhall

Reporter, CALmatters


Back before the internet made it so easy to find a celebrity’s age, a 29-year-old actress landed the role of a 17-year-old girl—and helped propel “Beverly Hills 90210” into a hit TV show in the 1990s. That was the story actress Gabrielle Carteris told state lawmakers last year as she lobbied for a bill to strip actors’ […]

Read more

Symbolic, superstitious or silly—legislators scramble for bill numbers

Laurel Rosenhall

Reporter, CALmatters


As the Legislature opened a new two-year session this month, staffers lined up before 9 a.m. to hand freshly-written bills to the clerk, who assigns them an all important number. Whether a bill lives or dies won’t be known for many months, but the work to nab the right bill number starts the minute the […]

Read more

Urgent appeal: California Democrats to invoke new anti-Trump weapon

Laurel Rosenhall

Reporter, CALmatters


As they suit up for battle against the Trump administration, Democrats who dominate California’s Legislature vow to unleash one of the superpowers of holding a supermajority: the ability to enact laws immediately. An underplayed consequence of the fact that they won two-thirds of the seats in both houses last month is that—if they stick together—California Democrats have […]

Read more

Aiming for Supermajority, California Democrats Play Trump Card

Laurel Rosenhall

Reporter, CALmatters


The one shred of power Republicans hold in the California statehouse—enough seats to block Democratic lawmakers from a “supermajority”—is on the brink in this election. Already California is one of only seven states in which Democrats control the legislature and the governor’s office (as compared to 23 states where the GOP holds both). Here, Republicans […]

Read more