Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters says legislative "tithing" for plum posts is nothing new.

Last week's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school has focused national attention not only on gun control efforts but on access to mental health services.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who has long championed such access, will be joining mental health experts today to highlight how to identify mental illness and know where to get help with mental illness or a suicide crisis.

Other listed participants include Cameron Carter of UC Davis, whose clinical interests focus on early diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia and other cognitive mental disorders, as well as Eduardo Vega of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, Jessica Cruz of the National Alliance on Mental Illness California, and representatives of community programs and suicide prevention campaigns.

The press conference, which starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol's Room 1190, will be followed by a tour of The Effort, a midtown Sacramento mental health clinic on J Street that offers inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment, mental health counseling and the area's only 24-hour suicide crisis line.

Another press conference ripped from the headlines features Fair Political Practices Commission head Ann Ravel and Sacramento Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who'll be unveiling campaign finance reform that would ban what a news release calls anonymous "money bombs" before an election.

Alert readers will recall the battle this fall over an $11 million donation to the No on 30 and Yes on 32 campaigns from a mystery Arizona nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership. After the California Supreme Court told the nonprofit to submit to an FPPC audit, the known trail of the money grew to include three other out-of-state nonprofits.

The proposed legislation would require greater disclosure of funding sources and increase the FPPC's oversight of campaign contributions. The event starts at 2 p.m. at William Land Elementary School, 2120 12th St. in Sacramento. Organizers are promising a flow chart depicting the path of that $11 million donation.

Sacramento Assemblyman Richard Pan, meanwhile, is joining with representatives of Anthem Blue Cross and the Jessie Rees Foundation to distribute what's called JoyJars -- containers filled with toys and activities -- to children in the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center's pediatric infusion center. That event starts at 10 a.m.

STATE FLEET: Representatives of the Department of General Services will be unveiling two of the 10 zero-emission vehicles that have replaced vehicles in the state fleet. They'll also debut vehicle charging stations at state garages available for public use. Look for it at 10:30 a.m. at the State Parking Garage, 1517 13th St., Sacramento.

HOLIDAY MUSIC: The tunes continue under the Capitol dome with these performances in the rotunda: Folsom Lake Youth Choir at 11 a.m. and the Caltrans Choir at noon.



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