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Fact Sheet

The CalFresh Food Assistance Program

By Caroline Danielson, Daniel Tan

Participation in CalFresh—which helps millions of low-income Californians buy groceries—has risen amid the coronavirus pandemic. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the program, including its impact on poverty and recent changes to expand access.


Expanding Enrollment Capacity at California State University

By Kevin Cook, Radhika Mehlotra

Financial constraints threaten CSU’s ability to meet the growing demand for higher education. As the governor and state policymakers contend with limited resources, prioritizing enrollment growth and capital planning at CSU will be vital to the state’s economic future.


Improving K-12 School Facilities in California

By Niu Gao, Julien Lafortune

Amid a statewide spike in coronavirus cases, most California schools will start the year remotely. When in-person classes do resume, cleanliness and safety will be paramount. But four in ten students attend schools that do not meet minimum facility standards.


Proposition 47’s Impact on Racial Disparity in Criminal Justice Outcomes

By Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin, Steven Raphael

Proposition 47, which reclassified a number of drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, has led to a marked decrease in racial disparities in arrests and bookings in California. But rates remain significantly higher for African Americans than for other groups.

Fact Sheet

Felony Arrests in California

By Magnus Lofstrom, Alexandria Gumbs, Joseph Hayes, Brandon Martin

After Prop 47, the share of California felony arrests fell. In this fact sheet we review the most common arrests, for violent offenses and property crimes, and discuss the disproportionate arrest rate of African Americans—who are more likely to be released without charges. Data also shows higher arrest rates in less populous areas and greater racial discrepancies in dense areas.


Implementing Automated Voter Registration in California

By Eric McGhee, Radhika Mehlotra, Mindy Romero

The California New Motor Voter Act (CNMV) has dramatically increased the number of voters registered through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Though it did not increase overall registration during in the 2018 election cycle, there are signs of a steady impact since then. It is not yet clear whether CNMV has improved registration among underrepresented groups.


Counting California: Challenges for the 2020 Census

By Sarah Bohn, Eric McGhee, Lynette Ubois

California has worked hard in preparing for the census and has invested deeply to meet the high-stakes challenge of counting every resident. A House seat and the allocation of billions in federal funds are on the line.


Improving Health Care Data in California

By Shannon McConville, Paulette Cha, Caroline Danielson, Daniel Tan

California policymakers are moving to create a health care payment database (HPD) for examining health care use, costs, and outcomes. A state HPD would be a crucial resource to inform state policy around homelessness and improving children’s well-being. This report highlights research that could be advanced by an HPD.


California’s Political Geography 2020

By Eric McGhee

California still leans Democratic overall, but independents are leaning Republican in many areas of the state. A closer look suggests that registering all eligible residents to vote could moderate more partisan places. Views on specific issues also follow their own geographic patterns.

Statewide Survey

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

By Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Alyssa Dykman, Rachel Lawler

Key findings from the current survey: A slight majority of likely voters (51%) support a March ballot measure for a $15 billion bond to construct and modernize public education facilities. Most Californians (63%) say housing affordability is a big problem in their area, and 70 percent approve of Governor Newsom’s plan to spend $1 billion to address homelessness. Californians give mixed reviews to Newsom’s plan to scale back high-speed rail but support plans to scale back the Delta water tunnel project. Heading into the Democratic primary, Sanders leads (32%), trailed by Biden (14%), Warren (13%), Bloomberg (12%), and Buttigieg (12%).

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