Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Stockton's bankruptcy case is advancing against the backdrop of serious questions about how the city paid its workers, Dan Walters says.

In case you haven't been keeping up with your demographics news, Latinos are poised to become California's single largest demographic group this year. California Latino Legislative Caucus chair Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, is addressing how Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal would affect Californians of color -- who are, in the aggregate, the state's majority. Lara will be joined by members of the Greenlining Institute at from 10-11:30 a.m. in room 447 of the State Capitol.

While that's going on, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, and Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, will be taking aim at a more specific part of Brown's budget. They're introducing a bill to restore cuts to Cal Grants for private and technical schools. Starting at 10:30 a.m. in room 437.

It's shaping up to be a busy week for crime and punishment: Monday the Assembly looked at solitary confinement, and today Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, will discuss a bill that would allow prosecutors to charge certain drug-related offenses as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Leno will be joined by the ACLU of California and the Drug Policy Alliance in a 10 a.m. conference call, which you can access by calling (800) 288-8975 and requesting "SB 649 drug sentencing reform bill."

The road to Affordable Care Act implementation continues today with an extraordinary session discussing a Senate bill to expand access to Medi-Cal. Starting at 1:30 p.m. in the room 4203 of the State Capitol.

The massive expansion of Medicaid is a key element of Obamacare's push for universal coverage. While potentially more than a million additional Californians will become eligible, those who make more than the cutoff could still be eligible for vouchers to defray the cost of buying insurance through Covered California, the state's not-yet-launched insurance exchange.

For all of you hoping to catch a glimpse of your younger, more idealistic self, stop by room 4203 this morning. Teens from the California Association of Student Councils will be presenting their proposals for the state's education system to the Senate Committee on Education.


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