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Policy Brief

Policy Brief: The Future of Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley

By Alvar Escriva-Bou, Ellen Hanak, Spencer Cole, Josué Medellín-Azuara

Agriculture is a key driver of the regional economy in the San Joaquin Valley, but water for irrigation is an ongoing—and growing—concern. Our latest research offers the most accurate, nuanced, and localized look at where fallowing may need to occur—and details the policy and management actions that could lead to better outcomes.

Statewide Survey

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

By Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

Key findings include overwhelming majorities say housing affordability and homelessness are a big problem; many Californians worry younger generations will be unable to afford a home. Majorities expect bad times ahead for the state financially. Approval of Newsom and Biden has remained steady, while approval has fallen for the US Supreme Court and Congress.

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California’s Plunging Birth Rates

By Hans Johnson

The birth rate in California is at its lowest level in more than 100 years. We examine what is driving this trend and discuss some of the implications for our state’s future.

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Californians Are Pessimistic about Economic Times Ahead

By Dean Bonner, Sarah Bohn

While the state’s economy looks strong on many measures, more than two-thirds of Californians expect bad economic times in the next year, according to PPIC’s November survey. Meanwhile, high prices and growing inequality are significant concerns, especially for low-income residents.

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New Beginnings

By Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, PPIC’s new president and CEO, previews our upcoming research and highlights PPIC’s role in providing trusted, nonpartisan insights on the most pressing challenges facing our state.

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A Regional Look at the Availability of Well-Paying Jobs after COVID

By Rachel Lawler, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Sarah Bohn

The nature of job loss and recovery during the pandemic varies across California’s regions. And these differences are reflected in residents’ views on employment opportunities in their part of the state.

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English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges

Assembly Bill 705 requires colleges to maximize the probability that English as a Second Language (ESL) students complete a transfer-level English course within three years of enrolling. PPIC researchers outline a new report on the implementation of AB 705 reforms—which began in fall 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic—and discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges

By Olga Rodriguez, Laura Hill, Daniel Payares-Montoya, Mary Severance

The community college system is implementing reforms to English as a Second Language pathways aimed at improving student outcomes. Given the link between English proficiency and access to high-wage jobs—and the large number of English Learners at community colleges—these reforms represent a unique opportunity to increase economic mobility.

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Surplus and Shortage: California’s Water Balancing Act

As climate change accelerates, it’s bringing more extreme weather to California: The dry periods are hotter and drier than ever before—and the wet periods can be torrential. The only certainty is that water managers at every level will have to plan for and respond to extremes. How can we cope with the increasing volatility of our water cycle? We bring together three panels of experts to find out.

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