CALIFORNIA WATCH - California’s “tort wars” over the rules governing personal injury lawsuits are heating up again and dueling ballot measures may land on the 2022 ballot.
STATE OF WORK - California has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Several factors are contributing, including the state’s slow-to-rebound leisure and hospitality sectors.
REDISTRICTING CALIFORNIA - California’s independent redistricting commission is taking a lot of heat for the congressional and legislative maps it’s drawing to beat a Dec. 27 deadline.
LEARNING POLITICS - If California’s local school board members won’t accept unfair criticism, submit to questionable recall votes, or tolerate verbal abuse at meetings, then California should do away with school boards entirely.
HOUSING POLITICS - A sustained campaign against CEQA, led by polluting industries, real estate developers, and other special interests, has repeatedly and falsely claimed that – despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary – California’s preeminent environmental law is somehow fueling the state’s housing crisis.
CALIFORNIA POLITICS - During the most recent legislative session in California, at least three senators on powerful environmental and finance committees derived significant income from fossil fuel companies, according to financial disclosures obtained by Capital & Main.
Thank you, America, for always keeping California in your thoughts.
EDUCATION POLITICS - Then-Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature overhauled California’s public school financing in 2013 with the stated goal of closing the “achievement gap” separating poor and English-learner students from more privileged children.
ENVIRONMENT WATCH - Deep in the oil fields of western Kern County, a little northwest of the century-old town of McKittrick, hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil and wastewater filled with toxic chemicals have been seeping out of the ground for two years, in an area where companies operate hundreds of wells.
CALIFORNIA WATCH - When it comes to California departures, I have no problem with the number of Californians moving out.
JOB FORCE - Officially, California has 1.4 million unemployed residents, but a new study that takes into account people who can’t find jobs that pay above poverty level says the number of “functionally unemployed” is three times higher at 4.8 million.
HOUSING CRISIS - The California Apartment Association, the landlord lobbying group, is one of the most powerful organizations in California.
POLITICS - “I just took [my son] to our local Walgreens to buy him a toy. While there, a man shoved past me so firmly that he sent me into the shelving. Then he proceeded to fill a brown paper bag with Halloween candy and waltzed out of the store. This is one of five Walgreens stores in SF that will be closing in the next two months, in part because of rampant theft. And our city leaders all keep insisting crime is down.”
CALIF JOB FORECAST - Each month, federal and state officials release employment data for the preceding month, basically telling us how many Californians are employed and how many aren’t.