Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

MICRA.JPGThe doctors and lawyers are at it again. We've been keeping tabs on formidable foes clashing over the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damage awards in medical lawsuits, imposed by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, also called MICRA. Today, supporters of raising the cap take their case to legislative staff.

In the good cop/bad cop, fix-it-through-legislation vs. expensive-ballot-battle split, Consumer Attorneys of California is playing the reasonable party advocating the legislative route. (Consumer Watchdog drafted the language for the looming ballot measure.) The group is hosting a legislative briefing in the state Capitol today on the cap and, presumably, why it should be raised.

Speakers will include Jay Angoff, former Director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, lobbyist Barry Broad and Bob Pack, who lost two children to a driver with a prescription drug abuse problem and has filed the ballot measure under the auspices of Consumer Watchdog. From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 437.

VIDEO: The long delays in repairing the Bay Bridge, whose new span is finally poised to open, remind Dan Walters of California's struggles with executing big projects.

BILL CLOCK: Technically, today is the last day for Assembly policy committees to meet and pass bills. But since the Daily File is blank today, and lawmakers have already headed for their districts, the deadline has for all intents of purposes passed. We find ourselves now in the home stretch of Appropriations meetings, urgency bills, hearings and floor votes.

PHOTO: This West Sacramento billboard launched this year's fight to overturn a state law capping pain-and-suffering damages in medical negligence cases. Photo by Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit advocacy group.



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