Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

January 29, 2013
AM Alert: Guns get a hearing

VIDEO: Dan Walters says California's Affordable Care Act-mandated health exchange is going to impose huge new costs for MediCal.

Guns are on the agenda today. Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who lead the public safety committees in their respective chambers, are leading a special informational hearing on gun violence and California firearms laws.

The hearing accompanies a surge in new gun control legislation introduced since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. Ammiano's office sent out a press release yesterday touting the fact that Democratic members were introducing nine new measures.

In addition to past lawmakers like former Senate presidents Pro Tem David Roberti and Don Perata, the hearing will feature law enforcement officials such as Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms; academic experts on gun violence; and advocates from both sides of the debate, including Ed Worley of the National Rifle Association and Nick and Amanda Wilcox of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence.

The hearing runs from 9 a.m. to noon in room 4203 of the State Capitol building. If you're unable to attend, you can watch a livestream of the event on the California Channel.

The Assembly's Committee on Health is also holding a hearing today, on the effectiveness of patient-centered medical homes. Last session Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill, SB 393, that would have bolstered licensing of patient-centered medical homes.

Polarizing education reformer Michelle Rhee, who has been lionized and criticized for her tenure as chancellor of Washington, D.C.'s public school system, is tonight's featured headliner in the Sacramento Speakers Series. Rhee's talk begins at 8 p.m. at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L St.

In addition to being a nationally recognizable face of the education reform movement, Rhee is married to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and heads an advocacy organization, Students First, that is headquartered in Sacramento. But as the Bee's Laurel Rosenhall reported recently, California isn't exactly fertile ground for the kinds of accountability-based reform Rhee advocates, and Students First has kept a relatively low profile in the Golden State.


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