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Melody Gutierrez

Melody Gutierrez covers state government and politics in Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she covered politics for the San Francisco Chronicle and the state Legislature, education and sports for the Sacramento Bee. Her first reporting job was for the newspaper in her hometown of Twentynine Palms while she was in high school. She graduated from Chico State. With an emphasis on watchdog reporting, she has written award-winning stories on wasteful spending, pension spiking, rape kit backlogs and failures in the foster care system, some of which prompted state audits and legislative changes.
Treating toxic stress in kids a top priority for California’s first surgeon general

California's new surgeon general, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, has been a leading voice behind efforts to screen children for trauma and stress that can cause physical ailments later in life. Now, she has a larger stage from which to reach out to her fellow doctors.

California state workers hoarding vacation days, creating $3.5-billion debt for taxpayers

More than 450 California state employees received six-figure payouts in 2018 for paid time off banked during their careers, a 60% increase from just five years earlier.

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