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Key issues that will shape California in 2023

California-State-Capitol-Sunset-RL-13-1.jpg
Rahul Lal
/
CalMatters
The California Capitol in Sacramento on July 6, 2022.

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:

  • Immigration and the border: Although the U.S. Supreme Court last week temporarily blocked the expiration of Title 42 — a federal pandemic policy allowing U.S. officials to turn away migrants seeking asylum — state and local officials are increasingly concerned about California’s financial inability to support an influx of immigrants once Title 42 ends, CalMatters’ Wendy Fry reports.

CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.