Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

January 9, 2013
CA Senate panel approves nominee amid 'fracking' concerns

The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously today to advance Gov. Jerry Brown's appointment to head the state's Department of Conservation, but not before subjecting Mark Nechodom to pointed questions about regulating the controversial oil drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking, as it is commonly known, has been a lightning rod for environmental advocates who say the method of firing a mix of chemicals, water and sand deep underground is poorly regulated and imperils public health.

Nechodom's predecessor, Derek Chernow, lost his job after pushing back on Brown's request to expedite the permitting process by easing restrictions on underground injection.

January 9, 2013
DA opts not to charge Roger Hernandez with domestic violence

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has decided not to file domestic violence charges against Assemblyman Roger Hernandez in response to a complaint months ago by a female acquaintance.

Investigators determined there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.

Today's announcement comes nearly three months after the female complainant obtained a temporary protective order after complaining that Hernandez caused "visible injury" by striking her with a belt and slamming her against the wall during a prior argument.

The woman's complaint to police and the alleged domestic violence also occurred months apart. She told officers about the incident when they were called to West Covina's Lazy Dog Restaurant in late October in response to a nonviolent argument between the woman and Hernandez.

January 9, 2013
Curious about new bills? Website tells you what's in pipeline

What will Democrats do with their newly minted supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature?

Will they pass a batch of new constitutional amendments, raise taxes higher, make it easier for local governments to raise taxes, re institute redevelopment, seek voter approval of new water and school construction bonds, protect the civil rights of the homeless, give public employees new benefits or expand health care and other government services?

Perhaps all of the above - and many other things - if the early submissions of proposed legislation are any guide. Of course, dropping a bill in the legislative hopper is just the beginning of the process and many, if not most, of the measures being proposed in the first days of the biennial session will fall by the wayside.

January 9, 2013
Former CA lawmaker Hilda Solis resigns as U.S. Labor secretary

solis.jpgU.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a former California state lawmaker and member of Congress, announced her resignation today.

Here is President Barack Obama's statement:

Over her long career in public service - as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, member of Congress and Secretary of Labor - Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families. Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers' health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the Administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

The 55-year-old Solis, a Democrat, served in the Legislature from 1992 to 1999 and in Congress from 2001-2009, representing El Monte. The Associated Press said she is expected to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

See Solis' letter after the jump.

January 9, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Dems Getting 'Wild And Crazy'

Dan says Democrats are already at risk of squandering the public support that brought them a supermajority.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 9, 2013
AM Alert: Job moves galore

VIDEO: Dan Walters says Democrats are already risking a pledge to responsibly use their supermajority.

A handful of Gov. Jerry Brown's appointments are up for Senate confirmation today. Among them are two nominees with connections to other California politics figures: Kimiko Burton, nominated to the State Personnel Board, is the daughter of California Democratic Party chairman and former Senate President Pro Tem John Burton; Mark Nechodom, who is in line to become director of the Department of Conservation, is married to Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Budget countdown: Gov. Brown is set to spell out the terms of this year's fiscal battleground tomorrow, on Thursday, Jan. 10.

New jobs: DeAnn Baker will become director of legislative affairs for the California State Association of Counties. Baker had been the organization's senior legislative representative for housing, land use & transportation.

Judy Cias will serve as the State Board of Education's acting commissioner, stepping into a vacancy created by Susan Burr's retirement in December. Cias has been serving as the board's chief counsel.



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Capitol Alert Staff


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

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

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

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

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

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

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

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

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