Key Issues That Will Shape California in 2023

Welcome to 2023 — a year that will likely prove decisive in California’s attempts to address some of its most pervasive challenges, ranging from housing and homelessness to climate change.

Wednesday, state lawmakers are set to return to Sacramento (though some may be driving instead of flying Southwest as they usually would) to resume the two legislative sessions that ceremonially started in December: a regular session focused on the typical business of debating and passing bills, and a special session focused on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to levy a penalty on oil companies he accuses of price-gouging Californians at the gas pump.

If the session double-header sounds confusing, it’s because the legislative process often is — which is why CalMatters’ Sameea Kamal and Jeremia Kimelman put together a comprehensive, concise explainer that delves into how California’s state government works and how it interacts with local, regional and federal governments. They also explain what influences state lawmakers’ agendas, who represents you and how you can make your voice heard. Check it out.

On Sunday, many of the 997 bills Newsom signed into law last year — out of the nearly 1,200 state lawmakers sent to his desk — went into effect. In this explainer supplemented by audio segments, CalMatters breaks down nine of the most consequential laws. The explainer is also available in Spanish.

Now let’s dive into some of the key issues CalMatters is keeping an eye on in 2023:

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters


  1. The PERS and STRS state retirement funds have been used by both parties as a way to continue the many socialist programs that serve those who might not survive otherwise. Those two funds have little or no money in them. What is there is an IOU from state government. Who ever thinks those IOU’s will be honored when the money gets tight, as it is now, are having pipe dreams. Severe reductions in benefits are one of the possible way the state government will “solve” the problem. Will that work for YOU???

    • Unless taxes are raised further, it is as sure as the sun rising in the east that the public employee unions will haul the state and the pension funds into court and demand their money regardless of whether the funds contain sufficient assets.

      Far above public safety, education, transportation or any of the other tasks government is supposed to perform, government’s employees will be taken care of or there will be a big price to pay. Of course, if the only people effectively left in California are the working poor, illegal aliens, vagrants and a proportionately small number of the well-heeled, who will pay? The estimated deficit is at $1 trillion before any further stock market declines or new beneficiaries are added to STRS and PERS.

      One of the beauties of the STRS and PERS system for beneficiaries: liberal annual cost of living increases coupled with annual and/or quarterly bonuses. Oh, to live the life of a retired public employee and not needing to depend upon penurious Social Security distributions.

      • Greg Rodgers says

        But wait, the state has regulatory authority and can regulate market share to the companies owned by the S&P 500, forcing the smaller, non-public competition out of existence! Beating the Street, the olde fashioned way.

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