I, the California Budget, Am Worried I Might Be Too Big

Before We Throw More Money at Our Problems, We Need to Redesign Our Broken Systems

Do you really think that bulking me up with your billions will solve California’s post-pandemic problems?

I, the California budget, am bigger than ever right now—more than $267 billion, according to Governor Newsom’s recent revision of me. And please don’t think I don’t appreciate being more swole than Schwarzenegger—I remember how lean and gaunt I got in the Great Recession. When the pandemic first hit, everyone, including me, thought I’d be much smaller by now.

Instead, I’m projected to have a $38 billion surplus. You might think that this would make me …

More In: Connecting California

The Next Great California Water War Is Starting Underground, in the Mojave Desert | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Next Great California Water War Is Starting Underground, in the Mojave Desert

Minerals, Nuts, and the Navy Are at the Center of a Novel Fight Over Groundwater, and Its Governance

Can California regions regulate groundwater without destroying their businesses and communities?

That’s the question being posed as regions and localities implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the historic 2014 state …

California vs. the Supreme Court | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California vs. the Supreme Court

The Time Has Come to Challenge This Dishonorable Court's Bias Against Our State

Maybe the U.S. Supreme Court should recuse itself from cases involving the Golden State.

Because the current court, with a 6-3 conservative majority reinforced by new associate justice Amy Coney Barrett, …

I Know Who Can Rescue California Democrats (and Maybe Gavin Newsom, Too) | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Know Who Can Rescue California Democrats (and Maybe Gavin Newsom, Too)

The Answer to the Democrats' Recall Predicament Is a Man Who Couldn't Save His Own Seat

The most head-scratching political puzzle in California has only one solution:

It is, of all people, Gray Davis.

Yes, perhaps paradoxically, Gray Davis, the former governor who voters recalled in 2003, may …

If Only California Were More Like Palm Springs | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

If Only California Were More Like Palm Springs

The Citadel of Modernism Shows How the Golden State Can Look Backward to Move Forward 

Palm Springs isn’t just a great place to spend a weekend. It’s one of our last and most fervent defenders of what California really is—not what it pretends to be.

That’s …

Dear Mr. President, Please Save California’s High-Speed Rail  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Dear Mr. President, Please Save California’s High-Speed Rail 

'Amtrak Joe' Is the Golden State's Last, Best Hope for Making a Rail From the Bay Area to L.A. a Reality

Dear Joe,

I know I should call you Mr. President, but there’s no time for formalities. You must move fast if you’re going to save California’s high-speed rail project.

No malarkey: It …