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CALmatters is a Sacramento-based nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California's state Capitol works and why it matters. It works with more than 130 media partners throughout the state that have long, deep relationships with their local audiences, including Embarcadero Media (publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, Pleasanton Weekly and The Almanac in Menlo Park and their websites.)

Here are the most recent stories reported by CALmatters' team of journalists:

Good riddance to state Capitol’s ugly annex

The state Capitol's annex will soon disappear and a replacement will be built costing more than a billion dollars. No one will be sorry to see the ugly, dysfunctional building go.

California economy lags, but not Nebraska

California's economy was tied for the nation's highest unemployment rate in October while Nebraska had the lowest.

Is ‘right to housing’ a solution to California homelessness?

In the new episode of "Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast." CalMatters' Manuela Tobias and the Los Angeles Times' Liam Dillon interview Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg on his "right to housing" proposal to reduce homelessness.

Overdose epidemic plagues California: Fentanyl is driving uptick in deaths

As concern over the omicron variant mounts in California — with the state’s second case confirmed Thursday in Los Angeles County — another public health crisis is lurking in plain sight: the drug epidemic.

Thousands of farmworkers will get pay raises thanks to a lawsuit

Guest farmworkers will see pay increases in 2022 thanks to a lawsuit to stop a Trump-era wage freeze. President Trump proposed the freeze in an attempt to help farmers who lost profit and fallowed land during the pandemic shutdown in 2020.

Miles de trabajadores agrícolas obtendrán aumentos salariales gracias a una demanda

EN RESUMEN Los trabajadores agrícolas invitados tendrán aumentos salariales en 2022 gracias a una demanda para detener la congelación salarial de la era Trump.

Newsom: Es improbable que se cierren por Omicron COVID

Read this article in English.

California must change its laws and prioritize public safety

In the absence of meaningful changes in the law that prioritize public safety, more stores will face robberies and theft.

Use the budget surplus to address the issue of water

My vote goes to determining the best, large-scale desalination technology and launching projects to help with water supplies.

Newsom: Omicron COVID lockdowns unlikely

What a difference a year makes. On Wednesday, not long after the country’s first known case of the omicron COVID-19 variant was confirmed in San Francisco, Gov.