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California may be an economic powerhouse with global impact, but it also has the nation’s highest poverty rate, as calculated by the Census Bureau using a method that takes into account the cost of living, with nearly a fifth of its residents poverty-stricken.

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Assembly Bill 5, which tightens up the legal definition of employee and codifies a state Supreme Court decision, is still highly controversial and the last word on its effects has yet to be spoken, columnist Dan Walters says.

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A new study by a UC-Berkeley research team concludes that a program to provide more money to help "high-risk" students raise their educational achievement has had little effect in Los Angeles high schools, columnist Dan Walters says.