Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Gov. Jerry Brown's pension reform plan gets a second look today from a two-house legislative committee on public pensions.

Brown wants to ask voters to increase the retirement age for future state and local government workers and require all employees to contribute at least half of their annual pension costs. And that's just for starters.

Panel members will hear from a long list of speakers, including representatives of the state's Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst's Office, CalPERS, CalSTRS, the University of California, the League of California Cities and other employers, plus several labor unions.

The hearing, co-chaired by Democratic Assemblyman Warren Furutani of Gardena and Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino, runs from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Capitol's Room 4203. Watch it via live webcast at

Click here to read the agenda. You'll find Brown's 12-point plan at this link.

The latest Field Poll has some good news for President Barack Obama. Even though California voters aren't champing at the bit to reelect him, "once you put him up against a real live Republican, he doesn't look so bad," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo told The Bee's Torey Van Oot.

Find her story in today's Bee. For even more details, click here to read the publicly released poll, and click here for the statistical tabulations done exclusively for Capitol Alert.

Meanwhile, it's Taxpayers' Bill of Rights day at the Franchise Tax Board -- today's its annual hearing of ideas about how to change state income tax laws.

The board will be taking suggestions at its regular meeting, which starts at 1:30 p.m. at 9646 Butterfield Way in Sacramento. Presenters need to submit a written statement beforehand. The Bee's Claudia Buck has more details here.

It's also time for holiday music -- the California State Capitol Museum has lined up performances in the rotunda starting today and running through Dec. 23. First up: the Salvation Army Brass Quintet from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by the Golden State Accordion Club from noon to 1 p.m. Click here to check out the whole lineup.


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