Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters counsels caution for legislators planning to introduce legislation piggybacking on recent events.

California corrections officials are unveiling their latest blueprint for prison realignment on Tuesday morning. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation faced a court-ordered deadline of midnight on Monday to submit a new plan for relieving the state's overcrowded prisons.

If you've spent the weeks since Nov. 6 lamenting the lack of electoral activity, today is your lucky day: California's 4th district is holding a special election for the state Senate seat vacated by Doug LaMalfa. None of the contestants broke the 50-percent-plus-one-vote threshhold on Nov. 6, so today's contest features the top two finishers. Republican Assemblyman (and former state senator) Jim Nielsen, who garnered 49.8 percent of the vote, will go up against Magalia Democrat Michael "Mickey" Harrington, who finished with 27.7 percent.

The future of education will be the focus of a UCLA conference today entitled "Rebooting California Higher Education." Participants at the event, which will explore ways to deliver cheaper and more effective higher education via online instruction, include Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Mark your calendars: Gov. Jerry Brown's office has announced the governor will deliver his State of the State address on Thursday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m. before a joint legislative session.

The more pressing date on the gubernatorial calendar, of course, is the much-anticipated release of this year's budget, slated for this Thursday (January 10) at 10:00 a.m. So far, Gov. Brown's plans to streamline education spending have dominated the early discussion of what the budget could contain.

As the California Public Utilities Commission convenes its first hearing on the embattled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, activists will gather to demand that the commission cut off funding to the plant. San Onofre has been partially offline since January, a reaction to a small leak of radioactive gas.

A report on combating youth homelessness, commissioned by state Senator Carol Liu's office, will be released today in a 10:00 a.m. meeting at the State Capitol, Room 2040. Capitol Alert obtained an early copy of the report, whose recommendations largely focus on more robust education, health care and family counseling services. Homelessness has been back on the agenda in Sacramento, most recently with a proposal by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) for a "Homeless Bill of Rights."

Giants pride comes to Sacramento today, with a members-and-staff only viewing of the San Francisco squad's 2012 World Series trophy at the statehouse. The team's 2010 trophy will also be on display.



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