Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 3, 2013
California prisons to allow inmates to marry same-sex partners

ammianopride.JPGCalifornia inmates are eligible to marry non-incarcerated partners of the same sex, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation memo addressing questions arising from a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Proposition 8.

Inmates will not, however, be permitted "at this time" to marry another inmate, in part due to "safety concerns," according to the memo.

The office of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, distributed the memo below. Ammiano's office said in a media release that some prisons had interpreted the law in a way that barred inmates from marrying same-sex partners, prompting a legislative inquiry and the ensuing memo.

"Inmates have the same legal right to marry as those who are not inmates," said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the state corrections department. "The memo clarifies the policy we already had."

Here is the memo:

September 3, 2013
Has the Broiler steakhouse, a Capitol landmark, closed its doors?

DSBROILER.jpgThe Broiler, a downtown Sacramento steakhouse that has been a favorite of lobbyists and lawmakers for decades, apparently has closed its doors. Our sister blog at The Sacramento Bee, Appetizers, has the details.

PHOTO: The landmark sign of The Broiler Steakhouse at 1013 J Street in downtown Sacramento came down in 1999. The restaurant's most recent location, at 1201 K Street, now appears to have closed. The Sacramento Bee/Dick Schmidt

September 3, 2013
Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose to run for Sacramento's 7th District


Former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose plans to formally announce this afternoon that he will challenge freshman Democrat Ami Bera in the 7th Congressional District.

The Sacramento Republican, who lost a primary bid three years ago after stepping aside from Congress in 2005, is scheduled to talk about his candidacy in the 3 p.m. hour of the John McGinness Show, KFBK AM 1530 in Sacramento.

The 7th district is again expected to produce one of the most competitive and expensive congressional races in the nation. Democrats enjoy a roughly two-percentage point edge in registered voters in the newly-drawn district.

The Ose campaign has been quick to point out that the new district constitutes about three-quarters of the area he represented for three terms. The campaign touted Ose's strong name identification and said an internal poll found him running strongest among the most conservative voters in the district.

Fulfilling a pledge, Ose stepped down and was succeeded by Dan Lungren in 2005. He lost a primary bid to represent the old 4th District in 2008.

Bera, who bested Lungren in a bruising contest last fall, is among the most vulnerable Democrats in the House. National Republicans have been targeting the Elk Grove physician virtually from the day he was sworn into office.

Ose is not the only Republican eyeing Bera's seat.

Eizabeth Emken, a former nonprofit executive who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year, announced her candidacy earlier this summer. Igor Birman, Rep. Tom McClintock's chief of staff, will announce his entry into the race at event in Folsom later in the week.

PHOTO: Then-GOP congressional candidate Doug Ose arrives at an election night party in Loomis on June 3, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

Editor's note: This post was updated at 2:18 p.m. Tuesday to reflect Igor Birman's planned announcement.

September 3, 2013
California unions, local governments agree on compromise

MAJ_CALIFORNIA_STATE_CAPITOL_2008.JPGFor a couple of weeks, media warriors for labor unions and local governments traded daily barrages of charges and countercharges over union-sponsored legislation aimed at curbing local officials' use of auxiliary organizations' funds for political campaigns.

And then, suddenly, it was over.

Late Friday, with most of the Capitol's denizens already departed for a long Labor Day weekend, the two warring factions announced that they had reached a compromise agreement.

The accord was announced simultaneously by Kathy Fairbanks, a spokewoman for the local governments, and Carroll Wills of California Professional Firefighters at 4:49 p.m., less than five hours after Wills had fired the last email blast alleging that the League of California Cities "stonewalls source of dark money."

The issue was Senate Bill 594, carried by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, which would have prohibited local government groups such as the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties from using funds raised through nonprofit groups for ballot measure campaigns.

The unions said that the groups were indirectly using public funds for campaigns, while local government officials insisted that they were not public funds.

The compromise, which emerged from the Assembly Appropriations Committee, narrows the definition of "public funds," exempts school groups from the legislation and creates new transparency obligations.

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

September 3, 2013
AM Alert: Three-day week squeezes end of session crunch

RB_Capitol_Dome.JPGHappy Tuesday! We hope you had a relaxing three-day weekend, because the next couple of weeks could prove stress-inducing. What with yesterday being a state holiday and no session on Thursday because of Rosh Hashana, the time frame to get things done looks pretty compressed.

The latest looming cutoff is Friday's deadline to amend bills on the floor. In the meantime, the Senate will hold day-long floor sessions today, tomorrow -- ending early on Wednesday, good news for those who need to get to evening services -- and Friday.

The Assembly has more or less the same schedule this week, although things get started at noon today.

VIDEO: Despite the relatively small number of bills remaining, compared to recent years, Dan Walters says there is still some major legislation pending.

CALIFORNIA POLITICS IS SOFTBALL: Feeling weary of all the political bloodsport? How about some real sports, featuring politicians? No? Well, regardless, Republicans and Democrats lawmakers will take their competitive nature from the state Capitol to the baseball diamond today with a charity game at Raley's Field. Proceeds will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area.

Assembly Speaker John A. PĂ©rez, D-Los Angeles, will manage the Democrats, with Assembly members Ian Calderon and Adam Gray serving as captains. The Republican skipper is Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, with Assembly members Travis Allen and Curt Hagman her lieutenants.

A side note: One of the great things about baseball is the different levels of play -- college ball, minor league teams from low-A to triple-A, and major league teams, all coming with distinct regional traditions that sometimes mirror different levels of government. It's the same story with today's game: There's also an annual congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C., which federal lawmakers take very, very seriously and which has been known to help jolt young careers.

CELEBRATIONS: A couple of weekend birthdays we missed: Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, turned 63 Monday, which was also the big 44 for Sen Ben Hueso, D-San Diego.

September 3, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Big issues still before California Legislature

Dan surveys the landscape as the 2013 legislative session hurtles towards its conclusion.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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