Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

January 22, 2013
Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags

Assemblyman Marc Levine announced today he will revive a proposal banning all single-use plastic bags in California grocery stores.

Under the proposal, most grocery retailers could no longer provide thin plastic bags for customers starting in 2015. For 18 months, retailers could offer paper bags made of recycled materials or reusable plastic bags for customers to bag their milk, eggs and other groceries.

Starting in July 2016, grocery retailers could only provide reusable plastic bags, which many stores already offer at a fee. The new proposal, Assembly Bill 158, also leaves room for stores to provide recycled paper bags at a charge.

January 22, 2013
New bill would expand early abortion providers in California

More medical professionals, including nurses and midwives, would be permitted to perform certain early abortions under a new bill unveiled on Tuesday.

In a press conference at the Capitol that served both to introduce the bill and to mark the 40-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, lawmakers and women's health advocates said the measure is necessary for women in communities without abortion providers.

They cited a statistic that 52 percent of California counties do not contain a provider, other than hospitals, which often have only limited services.

"California will not go back. We are going to go forward," Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, said. "And we are doing that by making sure that reproductive healthcare, that abortion services are available to every woman, to make sure that we all have access, whether we live in rural areas or urban centers, whether or not we are able to afford the procedure or whether we require assistance."

Assembly Bill 154, authored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would revive last year's push to expand abortion access by allowing nurse practitioners to perform non-surgical early abortions.

January 22, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California government's tech ineptitude

The CalPERS overtime pay controversy reminds Dan of California's poor track record with launching computer projects.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 22, 2013
AM Alert: Next phase for special elections

VIDEO: Dan Walters is mystified about tech-savvy California's poor record with government-sponsored online projects.

Today California enters the next phase in setting special elections for Senate seats in the 32nd and 40th districts, which Rep. Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, respectively vacated when they ascended to Congress in November.

It's the last day for Secretary of State Debra Bowen to send county election officials a certified list of candidates. Four registered Democrats have filed their intention to run in the 32nd, among them Assemblywoman Norma Torres and San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller Larry WalkerBen Hueso, D-San Diego, looks like the candidate to beat in the 40th.

Bowen's office will be holding a lottery at 11 a.m. to randomly determine the order in which candidates for the two elections will appear on the ballot.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is staying on in Washington, D.C. post-inauguration to lobby for a national mental health plan. On his schedule today are meetings with Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, the vice president's office, the Department of Health and Human Services and some advocacy organizations.

The Little Hoover Commission will convene a hearing to examine the quality of veterans' programs in California, starting at 9 a.m. in Room 2040 of the State Capitol building.

The California Women's Health Alliance holding a rally on the capitol buildings south steps today to mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, starting at 1 p.m.

Finally, a happy belated birthday to Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, who turned 39 on Friday.


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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