Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 11, 2012
Bill pushes to expand rights of some undocumented immigrants

Legislation introduced Tuesday would give about 400,000 undocumented immigrants in California the same rights as citizens to unemployment benefits and various other government services.

Assembly Bill 35 targets a select group of undocumented immigrants, participants in President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, who came to the United States as youth and have lived generally productive lives for numerous years.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, effective Jan. 1, that enables participants in the federal program to obtain California driver's licenses. AB 35 would provide them with rights to a state ID card, unemployment benefits and state-administered medical services, among other things.

AB 35 was proposed by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, a West Covina Democrat who was named chairman of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee this month.

"California embodies the greatest diversity in the world," Hernandez said in a written statement. "We recognize we will need the collective skills and talents of these young immigrants to aid our state in reaching our true potential."

As labor committee chairman, Hernandez said, "I am ready to carry my part in making sure their integration into our workforce, economy and society becomes a reality."

December 11, 2012
New Census Bureau tool makes finding detailed data easy, fast

Let's say you'd like to know how many Asian residents of Sacramento County moved in the last year, either to a new address within the county or somewhere else.

A new Census Bureau online tool, dubbed Easy Stats, makes finding that information not only easy but instantaneous.

Results from the 2010 Census and other Census Bureau research into demographics, economics, living arrangements and just about everything else are available for every state, every county and every community.

By the way, Easy Stats tells us that about 31,000 Asians living in Sacramento County a year ago have since moved, nearly 24,000 of them to other homes in the county, more than 5,000 to somewhere else in California and more than 2,000 to another state.

December 11, 2012
Newspaper says defeated Macks may get own TV show

The November election was not kind to the Mack family - Florida Rep. Connie Mack and his wife, California Rep. Mary Bono Mack. Both Republicans lost to Democratic challengers.

However, the Tampa Bay Times notes that the couple has been making very frequent appearances of late on CNN's political shows and speculates that they may be auditioning, in effect, for their own TV show.

Both will remain in office until the new Congress is seated in January and thus may get a chance to vote on any deal between Republican leaders and the White House to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff."

December 11, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Will the face of the electorate change in 2014?

Dan ponders whether the thousands of new voters at last month's election will become regular voters.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 11, 2012
AM Alert: Former Assemblywoman joins law and lobbying firm

VIDEO: Dan Walters wonders whether all those lawmakers elected by slim margins will survive in 2012 when the electorate shrinks.

REVOLVING DOOR: Former Assemblywoman Alyson Huber may have left the Legislature but she's staying close to the Capitol. She'll be just a block away at the K Street office of law and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig, where she's been hired on as a lawyer in the government affairs and litigation practices.

Huber was a business litigator for nine years before being elected to the Assembly in 2008. She decided not to run for re-election last year after redistricting left the Democrat in a district dominated by Republicans and the news came out that she was going through a contentious divorce that involved defaulting on the million-dollar mortgage of her El Dorado Hills home.

RETIREMENT: One of Gov. Jerry Brown's key education advisers has announced she'll be retiring at the end of the year. Sue Burr, executive director of the state Board of Education, served many local and state education agencies during her 40 year career. She was assistant superintendent of Elk Grove Unified, undersecretary of education under Gov. Gray Davis, and a consultant to the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. In her retirement letter to Brown, Burr thanked him for "providing a wonderful coda to my career."

EDITORIALIZING: The editor of The Bee's editorial page holds a public discussion today about how the editorial board works. Stuart Leavenworth will talk about how the editorial board selects topics, makes decisions, divides beats, chooses op-eds to publish and makes political endorsements. It's at 11 a.m. at KP Public Affairs, 1201 K Street, Suite 800. RSVP to Chelsea Minor at or 916-448-2162.

ELECTION DE-BRIEF: The Public Policy Institute of California hosts a discussion at 4 p.m. exploring the outcome of the November election and its implications for the state's future. Panelists include San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, and Warren Olney, KCRW public radio host and producer. The event is in San Francisco but will be broadcast live online. Register for the webcast here.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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