The Week's Top Stories With Cal Matters 

Oct 05, 2020


The Week's Top Stories With Cal Matters 

The Week's Top Stories With Cal Matters 

The Week's Top Stories

One decision deadline down. Wednesday was the last day for Gov. Gavin Newsom to determine which 2020 bills become law. Our reporters tracked the fate of 20 of the most important ones, which you'll find below in weekly highlights from our news stories and commentary.

But another decision looms: the 2020 general election in which you, the voters, get the final say. Need help decoding the dozen ballot propositions? Want to follow key legislative and congressional races? Curious about California's unique role in the presidential match-up? Everything you need awaits you in our Election Guide. Also, we made a few changes to the format of this weekly newsletter this week. Please let us know what you think at [email protected].


The final say: Gov. Newsom has decided which of these 2020 bills will be California law

In a year when the coronavirus pandemic upended every aspect of normal life, the impact in the California Capitol was also dramatic.

California 2020 props explained in 1-minute videos

By Byrhonda Lyons

California’s ancient ‘asbestos’ forests no longer seem immune

The North Coast’s rainforests are hotter, drier and less foggy. That means more dangerous fires that can scar iconic redwoods.

Trump call for poll watchers evokes chilling memories of Orange County, 1988

By Ben Christopher

California caught in presidential cage match debate

By Ben Christopher

If voters raise taxes on corporate landlords, will small biz foot the bill?

By Ben Christopher

Mental health ‘tsunami’ looms: Can California prevent a surge in suicides?

By Jocelyn Wiener

Humboldt County, tucked into the redwoods on the state’s far North Coast, also has a much higher suicide rate than most of California. The pandemic has fueled new concerns.

‘Lower-pay, higher-risk:’ Coronavirus layoffs send middle-class workers down the economic ladder

From shattered career prospects to pay cuts and sudden shift work, the pandemic is forcing skilled labor and middle-class workers into lower wages and gig jobs.

California one of few states without top school nurse during pandemic

By Ana B. Ibarra

School nurses across California have tried to get the state to again hire a statewide nurse consultant, especially as they grapple with COVID-19.

Newsom allocates $600 million for permanent housing for homeless

By Jacqueline Garcia

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, California established Project Roomkey, an ambitious initiative to house homeless people in hotels and motels.

Governor vetoes bill extending protections to domestic workers

By Jacqueline Garcia

Socorro Diaz, who has worked cleaning houses for 17 years, was still trying to digest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto.

Newsom signs COVID-19 protections for agricultural workers

By Kate Cimini

California lawmakers are looking to protect one of the state’s most valuable workforces.


Three measures test attitudes on crime

By Dan Walters

Three ballot measures test whether California voters endorse criminal justice reforms or believe they’ve gone too far.

California needs to accelerate efforts to achieve clean energy goals

California will need to more than double renewable energy capacity in the next 10 years, and state leaders have to plan for that expansion.

This is not the time to propose more tax increases

Now is the worst possible time to raise taxes, but that hasn’t stopped lawmakers in Sacramento and local politicians from proposing 243 local tax increases.

Orange County desalination project doesn’t pencil out

Poseidon Water Co. wants to build a desalination plant in Orange County and seeks a deal that would lock utility into buying their water for decades.

Meaningful representation of Sikh Americans in ethnic studies would show progress for inclusion

The second draft of the Ethnic Studies curriculum only mentions Sikhs in the context of victimization following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Medi-Cal’s system for children’s health care is broken; Newsom can help fix it

By championing real reform, Gov. Gavin Newsom has an opportunity to reform Medi-Cal’s managed health care system for children.

All-electric building codes for new homes would protect our health – and our kids’ health

Indoor pollution from gas furnaces, heaters, dryers and gas stoves can cause asthma in children – Californians should commit to healthier homes.

It is time to reopen all museums

As some museums begin to reopen, museums in 25 counties continue to be closed, revealing inconsistencies in California’s response to COVID-19.

A call for collaboration on public safety legislation

We know that enacting legislation to restore public trust in law enforcement is an achievable goal, but it requires listening and collaboration.

Agencies that help us recover from wildfires and prepare our lands

As California battles a destructive wildfire season, the state’s Resource Conservation Districts can help communities protect themselves.

Bill to reduce probation time could help offenders successfully re-enter society

AB 1950 would reduce probation to one year for a misdemeanor and two years for a felony, time period restrictions that research shows makes sense.

‘Unaccompanied women’ experiencing homelessness in L.A. are being left behind

If the L.A. County Board of Supervisors designates unaccompanied women as an official subpopulation of the homeless, it will help change lives.

Inclusion of Jews in ethnic studies curriculum is essential

Any ethnic studies curriculum must celebrate – and not further marginalize – our state’s unique population, including its Jews, specifically Jews of color.

New housing goals stir opposition

California has many crises, including COVID-19 and recession, but its housing shortage continues and a showdown is looming.

Will politics trump gender in California this election year?

As California women try to increase their numbers in political office this election and inch toward gender parity, their path may be complicated.

Posted in Featured Articles.