Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

March 8, 2013
Legislators challenge prison realignment with new wave of bills

prison.JPGLegislators are proposing several bills that add lengthy prison terms for people who violate their parole, which could challenge the state's realignment plan to address overcrowding.

California has been under pressure for years to address chronic overcrowding inside 33 adult prisons. In 2011, federal courts required the state to make drastic reductions in its prison inmate population. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature launched a prison "realignment" that shifted responsibility for thousands of lower-level offenders and parole violators from state prisons to county jails.

Three bills challenge that arrangement.

  • Democratic Assembly members Susan Talamantes Eggman, of Stockton, and Ken Cooley, of Rancho Cordova, introduced Assembly Bill 601 to allow parole violators to be returned to state prison for up to one year.
  • AB 2, authored by Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, would return sex offenders who violate their parole back to prison "to sever any sentence ordered for that violation."
  • Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, earlier proposed Senate Bill 57, which would make removal of a GPS monitoring device an additional crime requiring a prison sentence of 16 months, two years or three years
March 8, 2013
Latino Republican group touts California election wins


California Republicans spent a big chunk of their party convention last weekend discussing how to make inroads with Latinos, and a group devoted to nurturing candidates said this week it has made progress.

GROW Elect, an organization that seeks to identify and help promising Hispanic conservatives running for public office, touted its role in three local elections: Ray Marquez, who won a seat on the Chino Hills City Council; Art Vasquez, who became Asuza's new city treasurer; and Jack Guerrero, who won a city council seat in the city of Cudahy.

Vazquez and Marquez got $1,000 apiece in addition to general campaign coaching, while GROW Elect donated $5,000 to Guerrero's effort, GROW Elect consultant Luis Alvarado said. In a press release, GROW Elect president president Ruben Barrales said the organization is particularly proud of Guerrero's victory.

March 8, 2013
Jerry Brown calls special election to fill Michael Rubio's seat

Rubio_daughter.jpgThe primary special election to fill former Sen. Michael Rubio's seat will occur on May 21, Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced on Friday.

If none of the candidates win an outright majority, the two top vote getters will face off July 23, Brown's proclamation said.

Rubio's resignation two weeks ago to work at Chevron Corp. caught Sacramento by surprise and muddied the legislative waters in the State Senate. Democrats will be delayed in acting on their recently enshrined supermajority: Rubio's resignation, coupled with vacancies from former senators Gloria Negrete McLeod and Juan Vargas winning election to Congress, leave Democrats with 26 seats, one below the two-thirds threshold.

Based on voter registration statistics, Democrats are expected to hold the seat, though it remains unclear who will run.

Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, who was widely considered a contender for Rubio's old seat, has already said he does not intend to run, leaving several other Democratic possibilities from local government, including Shafter City Councilwoman Fran Florez, mother of the senator Rubio succeeded in 2010, Dean Florez.

March 8, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California government's tech snafus continue

The news that State Controller John Chiang has jettisoned a project to computerize the state's payroll system fits a familiar pattern, Dan Walters says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

March 8, 2013
AM Alert: Sacramento, San Francisco rally against gun violence

California_Statehouse.jpgVIDEO: The demise of a project to computerize California's state payroll system is just the latest in a chain of failed technology projects, Dan Walters says.

Happy Friday, everyone. The approaching weekend means lawmakers are abandoning the state Capitol for their districts, so we start by turning to Sacramento City Hall.

Sacramento Area Congregations Together is leading a vigil there to demand solutions to gun violence in Sacramento, an issue that has gained resonance as the gun-control debate simmers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. The rally starts at 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, will be joining Bay Area elected officials for a 10:30 a.m. press conference at San Francisco's Cow Palace. Leno will be stumping for Senate Bill 475, which would close a loophole allowing people to purchase guns and ammunition at Cow Palace gun shows without typical regulations applying.

The rally comes a day after Leno's Senate Bill 140, which would give the California Justice Department an additional $24 million for a program intended to confiscate guns from people prohibited from owning them, sailed through the Senate on a unanimous vote. Leno's bill is one of many gun-control proposals that Democratic lawmakers have introduced this session.

Back in Sacramento, 22-year-old Stockton City Councilman Michael Tubbs, the youngest city councilman in California, will be speaking at the Black Youth Leadership Project's annual legislative open house. Tubbs is speaking at a noon luncheon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

Keeping it local, Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, is holding a "Congress on your Corner" event in Elk Grove on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. at the Franklin Community Library.

Happy birthday to former state senator and U.S. Rep Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, who turns 72 today.

PHOTO CREDIT: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, second from left, gestures at a pair of semi-automatic rifles as he discusses proposed gun control legislation at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento on Feb. 7, 2013. Rich Pedroncelli/ Associated Press.


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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