California’s 1.4 million-member public-sector unions are the key force that has pushed the state toward increasingly progressive policies. The Supreme Court could seriously diminish that force.
In the otherwise dark year of 2016, California doubled down on its faith in people and the future with major victories for labor, the environment and public education. Here are five ways the Golden State left the light on for the rest of the country.
Victorious Proposition 55 has extended a policy initially approved by Californians in 2012 to make up the recession-era budget cuts in the Golden State—cuts that devastated spending on education and health care. The 2012 measure, Proposition 30, established a personal income tax increase on household incomes of $250,000 and above.
Eduardo Vargas enrolled at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park during the fall of 2011 looking to help his financially troubled family, but then found he had to wrestle with a problem he had not foreseen: a crippled community college system.
On same the July day in 2009 when President Obama held a prime-time press conference on health-care reform, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted a video of himself showing off a hunting knife. The symbolism wasn’t hard to discern: Schwarzenegger was about to sign one of the most austere funding packages the state had ever seen.