Capitol Alert

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In the 2013 Gut-and-Amend-Games, a bill regulating how nonprofits disclose and spend campaign cash has become a flashpoint. Organizations who would be affected, like the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities, argue the bill would handicap their ability to fight or back ballot measures and have marshaled an assault on the legislation (full disclosure: the Bee's Editorial Board has linked arms with the bill's opponents).

Today they bring the fight to the State Capitol with an 11 a.m. rally at the fish pond. Expected speakers include Matt Cate of the California State Association of Counties, Nick Warner of the California State Sheriffs Association, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, Brian Rivas of the California School Boards Association and Jose Cisneros of the League of California Cities.

VIDEO: A freshly proposed prison plan injects some fresh drama into the waning legislative session, Dan Walters says.

STEINBERG'S PRISON PLAN: Gov. Jerry Brown sought to project bipartisan backing yesterday when he announced a new prison spending plan while flanked by leaders from both parties, but one legislative bigwig was glaringly absent. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, had already faulted Brown's plan as a shortsighted attempt to provide extra capacity that would inevitably fill up, and at 10 a.m. today he'll offer his counterproposal. Check back in for updates.

CAP-AND-TRADE CHALLENGE: A lawsuit labeling California's recently inaugurated carbon auction system an unconstitutional tax appears on the Sacramento County Superior Court's docket today. An attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed the challenge on behalf of a range of business groups, will present the arguments for nullifying the landmark emission permit market.

ATMOSPHERICS: Speaking of air pollution, lawmakers are rallying today to urge California to clear the air in some of the more polluted places identified by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego will be speaking on the west steps at noon.

MLK: Gov. Jerry Brown and several lawmakers will mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech with a noon rally on the south steps.

DUELING DOCS: The Crest Theater has a crowded agenda today. It's showing "Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire," a documentary casting a skeptical eye on gun control (Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, is hosting a screening in the State Capitol at noon) and hosting the premier of the documentary "Through the Heart of Tango" after a reception that Steinberg plans to attend.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, who turns 61 today.

PHOTO: The weather was cloudy and bright at the California State Capitol Building, Sacramento, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Michael Allen Jones.


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