Dan Walters writes for CALmatters, a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.

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California loses more people to other states each year than it gains. That’s been true for at least a quarter-century and, if anything, the exodus from the state has been growing, thanks to high housing prices, taxes and other costs of living.

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Remember what happened a decade ago when the worst recession since the Great Depression clobbered the state and the budget’s perilous dependence on income taxes from a tiny number of high-income Californians struck home.

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The biggest uncertainty for the 2018 election is that we don’t know what initiative measures will also make it to the ballot, but it’s likely to be a potpourri of special interest gambits, ideological symbolism and serious governance proposals.

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Twice each year, once in January and again in May, Gov. Jerry Brown warns Californians that the economic prosperity their state has enjoyed in recent years won’t last forever. Brown attaches his admonishments to the budgets he proposes to the Legislature – the initial one in January and a revised version four months later. Brown’s […]

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It stretches credulity to believe that Napolitano’s top two staffers would have done what they did without her knowledge, but they walked the plank by resigning while the “insufficient evidence” caveat gave the Board of Regents an excuse to keep her on the job.

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It should be evident by now that the Capitol’s sexual harassment issue isn’t going to fade away.   In the past, accusations of harassment by a political figure either were covered up or attracted only momentary public and media attention. But those days are over. An open letter signed by dozens, and then hundreds, of […]

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The results of a recent poll were potentially devastating for the political, business and labor union groups that had pushed successfully for the transportation package after decades of delay. Most of California’s registered voters would opt to eliminate the gas taxes and fees, the polling found.

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California’s school battle shows no signs of abating, and will heat up more next year when the warring factions back opposing candidates for state superintendent of instruction to succeed Tom Torlakson, the very embodiment of the establishment.

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The Left Coast – geographically and ideologically – seems bent on challenging the inherent conflict between the U.S. Constitution’s federal supremacy clause and its 10th amendment protecting states’ rights. And where it leads is anyone’s guess.

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Short-term expediency, such as boosting benefits without putting aside money to pay for them or letting maintenance slide because raising gas taxes is politically difficult, just makes the eventual days of reckoning that much more difficult.