Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

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It's been just under three years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the gradual march toward implementation continues. Covered California, the state's ACA-mandated insurance exchange, is taking stock of California's progress with a meeting today.

Board members will cover such topics as eligibility, enrollment and proposed federal rules during a day-long meeting at the California Department of Health Care Services Building, 1500 Capitol St.

Also this morning, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is joining a 10:30 a.m. conference call to discuss a new Health Access report on how California is adjusting to the health-care overhaul.

Meanwhile, a panel of experts will be talking about what it will all mean for California, from the millions of residents who stand to gain insurance to the businesses that will see new requirements for covering employees. The discussion will be moderated by Christopher Flavelle, a health care analyst for Bloomberg Government, and will feature Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation; Dr. Dylan Roby of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; and Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Sheraton Grand.

VIDEO: Dan Walters notes that public support for high-speed rail is shrinking as the project's price tag continues to rise.

The Senate gets a fresh face today: Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, gets sworn in this morning at 9 a.m. in the Senate chambers. Hueso is claiming the 40th Senate District seat that U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, abdicated after he won election to Congress in November. Fun party conversation starter: Hueso will be the 1,145th person to serve in the California state Senate.

Yesterday, the state Capitol grounds hosted alpacas, horses and cows in honor of Agriculture Day. Today will see the barnyard denizens swapped for canine companions as advocates gather for a "bark-in" for AB 4, the Trust Act, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. Starting at 10 a.m. on the north steps.

The dog theme refers to an undocumented immigrant, Ruth Montaño, who was arrested because of a complaint that her dogs were barking too loudly. Ammiano's bill, a version of which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed last year, would compel law enforcement to release low-level immigrant offenders like Montaño before Immigration and Customs Enforcement could pick them up and initiate removal proceedings.

Should elected officials get a raise? The question is the subject of a meeting today of the California Citizens Compensation Commission, which gathers annually to weigh changing the remuneration given to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, insurance commissioner, superintendent of public instruction, Board of Equalization members, and legislators. (You can see their current pay rates here.) The meeting starts at 10 a.m. at Sacramento City Hall.

California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez will be talking about the future of California at a Public Policy Institute of California event today from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be speaking at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, part of the school's Advancing Women's Leadership series. Rice speaks at 11 a.m. at the university's Alex G. Spanos Center.

PHOTO CREDIT: Demonstrators for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act march and chant outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 27, 2012, in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press/ MCT)



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