A joint legislative hearing this morning looks at California's State Athletic Commission, the embattled regulatory body that State Auditor Elaine Howle recently flagged as a candidate for the ax.
The auditor's report faulted the commission, which is responsible for regulating sports like boxing and mixed martial arts, for mishandling its finances and doing a shoddy job of reporting and documenting inspections.
(For an excellent tale of the inherent risks of the violent sport of mixed martial arts, also called MMA, by The Bee's Melody Gutierrez, click here.)
The commission has traveled a winding road in recent years -- the Legislature briefly allowed it to sunset in 2006 before recreating it as an independent board -- and it again faces potential dissolution.
Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, cited "significant and ongoing" concerns when he announced today's hearing, a joint affair conducted by the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee; the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee; and the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in the Capitol's room 4203.
VIDEO: A plan to entice the Kings into staying in Sacramento contradicts voters' will, Dan Walters says.
ACLU: Today is the last day of the American Civil Liberties Union of California's lobby day conference in Sacramento. It will feature a noon rally for immigration reform (north steps), which Sen. Kevin de LeÃ³n, D-Los Angeles, is expected to attend, followed by afternoon meetings with lawmakers.
The focus there will be on three ACLU sponsored bills: Assembly Bill 4, an immigration bill by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco; Assembly Bill 649, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, which would give district attorneys more flexibility to charge drug offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies; Assembly Bill 154, by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, which would allow non-doctor medical professionals to perform abortions; and Assembly Bill 420 from Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, which deals with student discipline.
No smoking: Hundreds of young Californians are converging on the state Capitol today for a rally against tobacco. Assemblyman Das Williams, D- Santa Barbara, is joining them for a 1 p.m. rally on the west steps. The event is sponsored by the California Youth Advocacy Network, which is holding an annual advocacy in Sacramento today with a focus on clean air.
Student loans: Representatives of the youth vote are also going to be present on the south steps for an 11:30 a.m. rally for bills that take on mounting student debt. Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, who will be speaking, has authored a package of legislation which he's collectively referring to as the Student Bill of Rights.
He's back: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in southern California today, joining scientists and researchers on a panel about tackling climate change. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the University of Southern California's Lewis Hall.
PHOTO CREDIT: A World Extreme Cagefighting fighter works out in Sacramento on June 4, 2009. Manny Crisostomo / Sacramento Bee.