Capitol Alert

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MAJ_CALIFORNIA_STATE_CAPITOL_2008.JPGWe'll get to today's agenda in a moment, but first a little shameless self-promotion: We're excited to announce the debut of Capitol Alert Insider Edition, a new app for iPhone or iPad that officially launches today. A sample of what to expect: Subscribers will get access to our Field Poll stories, including this week's series exploring health care, the evening before everyone else. You can read more about it here.

OK, now we turn our eyes to the east, where Gov. Jerry Brown will join other elected officials today for a Lake Tahoe summit. Joining the governor on the shores of Tahoe's pristine waters will be former Vice President Al Gore: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. If you're looking for context, here's a primer on the background issues.

VIDEO: Two separate reports on poorly managed state funds have a link to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Dan Walters says.

APPROPRIATIONS ASSESSMENT: A couple of high-profile bills go to the Senate Appropriations Committee today, both of them attempts to revive policy proposals that have foundered in the past. One is Assembly Bill 60 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, which would grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants; the other is the heavily promoted Assembly Bill 241 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, which would establish some labor protections for domestic workers.

GUTTED AND AMENDED: Also appearing before the Senate Business, Professions And Economic Development Committee are a pair of formerly education-related bills that have acquired completely new aims. Both are urgency bills requiring two-thirds votes.

What had been a charter school-related bill by former Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield transformed into a bill regulating immigration law providers -- in particular notarios who sometimes prey on Spanish-speaking immigrants -- in anticipation of a federal immigration bill, if it becomes law, bringing an influx of immigrants seeking services. Legislation previously aimed at Common Core block grants has become an effort to give the State Athletic Commission regulatory power over a martial art called Pankration.

DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER DATA: With officials under fire for reported negligence at California's state centers for the developmentally disabled, a newly created Task Force on the Future of the Developmental Centers meets today to discuss some remedies. From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the California Department of Rehabilitation building on Capitol Mall.

PHOTO: The California state Capitol in Sacramento, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/ Michael Allen Jones


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