Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

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The gradual phase-in of the new federal health care law has spurred plenty of action at the state Capitol: legislation to expand access to Medi-Cal, as well as bills to enlarge the scope of practice for various types of medical professionals. Today the focus turns to a bill by Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, that would establish a program for medical interpreters, allowing them to join public unions and collectively bargain while drawing on newly available federal money for interpreters.

Supporters will be rallying on the north steps for Assembly Bill 1263, which currently resides on the suspense file. Attendees will include foreign-language speaking constituents who represent a wide range of ethnic groups and representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- which could get a new source of dues it if ends up representing translators -- in addition to Pérez and Assembly members Richard Pan, Phil Ting and Sharon Quirk-Silva.

VIDEO: It's that time of year again: Dan Walters is officially in gut-and-amend watch mode.

COVERED CALIFORNIA: Speaking of implementing the health care overhaul, California's new insurance health exchange meets today. The board of directors will furnish updates on what standard plans include, enrollment regulations and the 2014-2015 contracting schedule, starting at 10 a.m. at the California Department of Health Care Services building.

PUBLIC RECORDS: Remember the furor over the budget bill that would have given local governments more authority to turn down public records requests? Today an Assembly budget subcommittee will review a proposed constitutional amendment, produced in response to the public records bill fallout, clarifying that local agencies must pay for such requests. In room 444, after session.

THE WATERS AROUND YOU: From insurance premiums to public policy to environmental protection, climate change could sent ripples through California governance. A Little Hoover Commission hearing today examines some of the effects. With Charles Lester of the California Coastal Commission, Ann C. Chan of the California Natural Resources Agency, Stephen G. Bushnell of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and experts on environmental law and public policy. Starting at 9:30 a.m. in room 437.

HERE THEY STAY: High drama has trailed the process of building the Sacramento Kings a new arena, particularly last week's bombshell revelation that would-be Seattle financier Chris Hansen had funded an anti-arena drive. Today Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, who helped break that story, hosts a Sacramento Press Club talk on whether the arena is good public policy. Joshua Wood of Region Builders and Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen will represent the "pro" side, while consultant Tab Berg and Jim Cathcart, founder of Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, will speak on behalf of those who would like a public vote on the project. At The Broiler Steakhouse, starting at noon.

TRAVEL TRAVAILS: The rules for disclosure requirements around travel payments will be one of the topics the California Fair Political Practices Commission considers at its meeting today, from 10 a.m. at 428 J street.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, who turns 36 today.

Our new Capitol Alert Insider Edition app is already getting some glowing bipartisan reviews. Check it out, and check the app out here:

PHOTO: A trauma team at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, finishes an operation on a gunshot victim on June 23, 2013. Barbara Davidson/ Los Angeles Times.



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