Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

March 7, 2013
Medi-Cal expansion bills sail through CA Legislature

medi-cal.JPGThe Legislature approved two bills today to expand Medi-Cal coverage to more than 1 million low-income California residents under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Assembly Bill 1x 1 now heads to the Senate, after passing the Assembly 53-22. Shortly after the Assembly vote, the Senate sent the Assembly a similar Medi-Cal expansion bill 24-7. Senate Bill 1x 1 is authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.

"Expanding health coverage to low-income adults will ensure Californians have access to care, which will help ensure a more healthy workforce and implementing the expansion will bring billions of federal dollars to the California economy," Hernandez said.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, authored AB 1x 1 and said it is an important step to ensuring people living significantly below the poverty line have access to quality care. In addition to expanding eligibility, Pérez's bill aims to streamline enrollment to reduce the time it takes to receive coverage.

Under the health care law pushed by President Barack Obama, most Americans will be required to buy health insurance by January 2014 or pay a penalty. The tab for the California Medi-Cal expansion will be picked up by the federal government for the first three years. In subsequent years, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost.

March 7, 2013
CA Senate approves $24 million for enforcement of no-gun list

RB Gunshops 5.JPGThe California Senate Thursday approved sending the state Department of Justice $24 million to beef up a program designed to get guns out of the hands of people who are legally prohibited from having them.

"This is a serious and immediate threat to our public safety," said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, one of several authors of the legislation appropriating the funds.

Senate Bill 140 is part of a sweeping package of gun control proposals California Democrats introduced in the wake of December's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. It won broad bipartisan support despite opposition from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun interests, passing the Senate on a 31-0 vote. It now goes to the Assembly.

March 7, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Los Angeles election doldrums

Dan says the dismal turnout in Tuesday's Los Angeles primary reflects the city's woeful circumstances.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

March 7, 2013
AM Alert: California Senate breaks down the budget

VIDEO: Tuesday's Los Angeles elections had minuscule turnout, but Dan Walters says he wonders why anyone wants to be mayor.

Senators are back from their two-day education retreat and diving into budgetary business. The Budget and Fiscal Review subcommittee on Education is taking a look at Proposition 98 and K-12 funding in this year's proposed budget (room 3191 at 9:30 a.m. or after session); the Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy And Transportation subcommittee is convening in room 2040 at the same time; and the subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary is meeting in room 113, where they'll be taking on topics that include a double-dipping practices reported on by The State Worker earlier this year.

Gov. Jerry Brown will be attending a funeral service for two Santa Cruz police officers, Sergeant Loran "Butch" Baker and Officer Elizabeth Butler, who were slain while investigating an alleged sexual assault last week. The service begins at noon at HP Pavilion in San Jose, and police officials have said they are expecting potentially thousands of people to attend.


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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