Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Gov. Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will be in Los Angeles today for a 10 a.m. ceremony to sign pension legislation.

ENDORSEMENT: The Proposition 39 campaign has secured a noteworthy endorsement. Today Assembly Speaker Pérez will endorse the November initiative that raises taxes on out-of-state businesses, according to campaign officials.

Pérez's support of Proposition 39 was far from certain, since the Los Angeles Democrat proposed a megadeal containing the same tax change that collapsed on the final night of the legislative session. Pérez wanted to devote most of the resulting $1 billion in revenue toward reducing tuition at public universities. Proposition 39, financed by billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, would initially devote about half of the tax funds toward clean energy projects, with the other half going toward the general fund that supports education, prisons, health care and social services.

Steyer is making the rounds in Sacramento today to stump for his initiative, including a lunch appearance at the Sacramento Press Club.

SILVER SCREEN: A little sliver of the national political conventions is making its way to Sacramento today in the form of a film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. StudentsFirst, the education reform group headed by Sacramento's first lady Michelle Rhee, sponsored screenings of "Won't Back Down" at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. It caused a bit of a stir at the DNC because teachers unions perceived the story - about a group of parents who try to take over their kids' school using the so-called "parent-trigger" law - as anti-union. Today Rhee is showing the movie at Sacramento's Downtown Plaza. A panel discussion will follow the 3 p.m. show, featuring Rhee, Mayor Kevin Johnson, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and others. The Bee's education reporters will be there, writing about the movie and the talk on our new education blog, The Report Card.

ON THE STAGE : GOP political consultant Wayne Johnson and his Gateway Media production company are making the leap from television ads to musical theater, producing a live show about gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. "Mahalia," sponsored by The Bee, tells the life story of the woman who performed next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. It's at the Guild Theater in Sacramento through Sept. 23.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Happy Birthday to Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada-Flintridge, who is celebrating the big 7-0.


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