Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters, in today's report, says the Brown administration reacted defensively to The Bee's reporting on problems with the Bay Bridge construction.

POKER FACE: Will a bill to legalize online poker make it out of the final weeks of session? Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is willing to make this bet:

"Three-to-one odds that that bill has a 50 percent chance of passage," he joked in a pow-wow with reporters yesterday. "And I would bet the under."

In a more serious moment, Steinberg said it's unlikely -- but still possible -- that the effort to create legal online gambling in California will come to fruition in the next few weeks. All he's waiting for is the state's gambling factions to get on the same page.

"I'm willing to help see it through if there's a bit little more of a consensus," Steinberg said. "We're going to probably give it one more shot in the next week or so to see if there's a way to break the logjam."

DUI TRIAL: The trial begins today in the drunk driving case against Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina. Keep an eye on Capitol Alert for updates from the Walnut Creek courthouse.

MY BALLOT MEASURE! NO, MINE! Proposition 30 has been widely described this summer as Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative. But a once-rival coalition that merged its initiative with the governor's in March wants to make clear that ownership of the tax hike is not Brown's alone. Leaders from the California Federation of Teachers, Courage Campaign and small grassroots organizations are planning to hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. today on the Capitol's west steps.

The November initiative would raise taxes on wealthy earners, as well as impose a higher sales tax of a quarter-cent on the dollar, to help the state budget. The coalition says it will be particularly helpful this fall with African American, Latino and Asian American voters in what it believes will be a close election.

INNOVATION INVOCATION: Three Assembly committees are banding together today to discuss the role of innovation in California's post-recession economy. The goal, according to a news release, is to "examine how California can retain its competitive edge and historic position as a world leader in innovation." It's happening at 9 a.m. in Room 126.

GHOST OF THE GIPPER: The Senate Rules Committee takes up Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman's bill (AB 2358) to build a memorial to Ronald Reagan inside the Capitol. Catch it at 1:30 pm in Room 113.



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