Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Pelican_Bay_State_Prison.jpgThe clock is ticking: Federal judges have given Gov. Jerry Brown until midnight tonight to file a plan for reducing California's prison inmate population.

Brown said when he was in China last month that his administration would prepare to release as many as 10,000 prisoners if the state isn't released from the court order demanding the reduction.

"We're going to try to find the nicest of the nice, but I have to tell you, it's harder to get into prison now," the governor said then, as David Siders reported from Shenzhen.

The clock is also ticking for implementation of the new federal health care law, and many people don't understand what it does. In fact, four in 10 Americans surveyed recently aren't even sure the law still exists.

A University of California Center Sacramento event today tries to cut through the confusion, breaking down what exactly it will mean when the Covered California health insurance exchange is up and running.

Appearing on the discussion panel will be David Chase, director of Small Business Majority's California operations; Ken Jacob, a labor specialist at the UC Berkeley Labor Center; David Panush, director of external affairs for Covered California; and Daniel Weintraub, editor of the California Health Report (and a former member of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board). Noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K St.

VIDEO: A legislative committee made it look easy by unanimously approving a CEQA reform bill by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, but Dan Walters says there is a long slog ahead.

CONSTRUCTION PLANNING: The Assembly Budget Committee is taking up some bills today that would govern new building projects. A bill by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, would required five-year infrastructure plans offered by the governor to incorporate housing construction, and a separate bill from Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, would put money toward an Alameda County courthouse construction project.

IMMIGRATION RALLY: Organizing for Action, the nonprofit that has morphed from a cog in President Barack Obama's campaign machine to a tool for pushing Obama's second-term agenda, is organizing a rally outside the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer to encourage the California senator to keep pushing for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. From noon to 2 p.m. at 501 I St.

BOXER HONORED: Speaking of Boxer, she's the keynote speaker tonight at an event put on by the organization Emerge CA, which focuses on getting more Democratic women elected to public office. The event is at San Francisco City Hall.

PHOTO CREDIT: A guard watches from a tower at Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City. Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file, 2011



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