California just revealed a $54.3 billion deficit — signaling deep cuts ahead

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

California finance officials revealed a $54.3 billion deficit today in the first economic assessment of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating blow to the fifth-largest economy in the world. That figure is higher than the deficit during the Great Recession and obliterates the state’s once-healthy reserves. Without sugar-coating how hard the prolonged shutdown of businesses and job […]

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Gov. Gavin Newsom Orders All of California to Shelter in Place

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

In a dramatic and unprecedented move, California issued a mandatory, statewide shelter-in-place order on Thursday after Gov. Gavin Newsom warned 56% of Californians — 25.5 million people — could be infected with coronavirus in the next two months. The governor’s executive order means the most populous state in the nation will effectively shut down non-essential […]

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Who’s in, who’s out of AB 5?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Doctors, real estate agents and hairdressers can keep their independent contractor status. But not truckers, commercial janitors, nail salon workers, physical therapists and — significantly — gig economy workers, who will gain the rights and benefits of employees in California under sweeping workplace legislation passed Wednesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed to signing the bill, […]

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With no carveout in hand, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash pledge $90 million to California ballot fight

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Three major gig employers vowed to commit at least $90 million to pass a California ballot measure next year unless lawmakers embrace a new model of employment for hundreds of thousands of drivers and delivery workers in the state, the companies announced Thursday. With lawmakers expected to pass a labor-backed bill to reclassify a host […]

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CalChamber-backed study says service tax would disadvantage California businesses

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Aiming to short-circuit an idea that has long captured the imagination, if not yet the votes, of legislators, a study backed by California Chamber of Commerce has found that adopting a business service tax—i.e., a tax on lawyers, accountants and consultants—would hurt the economy and put the state at a competitive disadvantage. The 56-page report […]

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5 Takeaways from Newsom’s Revised Budget Plan

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Buoyed by California’s strong economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom sent state lawmakers a revised budget on Thursday that boosts his already-hefty January proposal to $213.6 billion. Ka-ching! Public schools will reap most of the gains if the Democratic-controlled Legislature rolls with him. Newsom also upped his ante on the housing crisis with a proposed $1 billion […]

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When the next recession hits, will California be able to count on Washington?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

They don’t call it the Golden State for nothing, at least not lately. California’s fiscal health is in extraordinary shape. Income tax receipts surpassed expectations for the pivotal month of April. Projections of a $21 billion-plus surplus are not out of the question. Nearly 3 million jobs have been added since the depths of the Great Recession, yielding record […]

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California has a giant surplus—of ideas for new taxes. What’s up with that?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

California is enjoying a projected $21.4 billion surplus. Three-quarters of the state believes any new revenue increase should be for voters to decide. By population and percentage of personal income, this state already has the nation’s 10th highest tax burden. And the leader of the California Senate, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, has pointedly cautioned against any more levies that take cash […]

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Everyone is saying they just won a big court case on pensions. What does that mean for you?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

If all sides are declaring victory in the California Supreme Court’s pension ruling on Monday, it’s because the decision had a little something for all the combatants in the state’s pension wars. In a much-anticipated decision, the high court upheld a major rollback initiated during Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration—a reform that rescinded a long tradition that had […]

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The Big Problem This Bankruptcy Won’t Solve for PG&E

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

As a publicly traded corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric reported $17.1 billion a year in revenues from its electric and gas operations. After operating costs, expenses and taxes, it still made out with a profit of $1.7 billion last year. So why has California’s largest utility filed for bankruptcy?

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