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Crime and punishment is in the spotlight today. Against a backdrop of lawmakers seeking to limit the scope of prison realignment and Gov. Jerry Brown insisting California's prisons now pass constitutional muster, the relatives of crime victims are rallying in Sacramento.

The event is organized by the organization Crime Victims United, honoring National Crime Victims Rights Week. They'll be setting up booths and holding a press conference on the west steps of the State Capitol building this morning. Brown, who has challenged federal rulings holding that California's prisons still do not pass constitutional muster, is set to deliver a keynote address around 12:15 p.m.

Several realignment-related bills, governing things like parole and crimes that would carry a state prison sentence, are also going before the Senate Public Safety Committee, which convenes for a hearing at 9 a.m. in room 3191, and the Assembly Public Safety Committee in (room 126, 9 a.m.).

Topping it off will be a public hearing on the repercussions of realignment in Sacramento County featuring Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, and Sacramento County Supervisors Susan Peters and Roberta MacGlashan. At the Carmichael Clubhouse from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

OBAMACARE INCOMING: The board of Covered California, the fledgling health insurance exchange the state is setting up per the Affordable Care Act, is holding a meeting at the Secretary of State Office Auditorium on 11th street.

VETERANS SERVICES The Little Hoover Commission is conducting a hearing today on the state of veteran's services in California. 9:30 a.m. at the Employment Development Department Auditorium, 722 Capitol Mall.

A few other bills of note on the agenda at today:

TICKET TACTICS: We brought you news earlier of a ticket tussle pitting Ticketmaster against StubHub, with the two ticket titans vying over the rules that govern resale. Assembly Bill 329 goes before the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee today.

DRUGGED DRIVING: You may also recall a bill by Sen. Lou Correa that seeks to establish a zero-tolerance policy for anyone caught driving with a detectable amount of drugs in their system. Senate Bill 289 goes before the Public Safety Committee committee today.

PRESCRIPTION PROMPTS: The California Medical Association has sponsored a bill, carried by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, that would block pharmacists from recommending their patients switch drugs because of financial incentives to make the swap. Assembly Bill 670 bill goes before the Business, Professions and Consumer Protection committee today.

Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona, who is 48 today.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Chris Carroll opens a cell at a formerly closed housing unit at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, in Elk Grove, California. Sept. 27, 2011, by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo.



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