Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

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The state Legislature's work has paused until January, but California's cities keep churning away. Today, representatives from municipalities across the state will begin arriving in Sacramento for a three-day meeting of the League of California Cities.

Attendees will hear from artist and motivational speaker Erik Wahl and Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka and attend talks covering hot government topics, from the California Environmental Quality Act to federal health care reform to municipal bankruptcy.

VIDEO: Think legislative recess in an odd-numbered year means a pause in politicking? Not so fast, Dan Walters says.

PARSING PARKS: It has not been a good year for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, with a recent unflattering audit compounding the fallout from the revelations of a secret cash stash. Today comes the cleanup effort: the Parks Forward Commission, announced back in June, holds its first meeting today at the Grand Capitol Ballrooms, starting at 9:30 a.m.

PARCELING OUT POLICY: Should the Legislature make it easier to lower the current 2/3 vote threshhold for school districts to raise parcel taxes? The on-hold supermajority, assuming Dems reclaim it, could enact the change via a constitutional amendment; today Margaret Weston of the Public Policy Institute of California will examine the potential implications during a lunchtime talk. From noon to 1:30 p.m. at the CSAC Conference Center.

PLANE POLLUTION: This week has already featured ample talk of emissions-lowering alternatives, including an announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown that he would sign some bills to that end. Today Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, shifts the conversation to cleaning up aviation fuel with a Select Committee On Air Quality hearing. Expected attendees at the hearing, to be held at the Westchester Municipal Building in Los Angeles, include Phil Fine of the South Coast Air Quality Management District; John Froines of UCLA; Susan Cline, Santa Monica's assistant director for public works; and Martin Rubin of Citizens Against Airport Pollution. Starting at 1:30 p.m.

BIOFUELS: Speaking of new fuel technology, the California Bioresources Alliance Symposium will be in town for the next couple of days. Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, is expected to talk legislation with participants and Carla Peterman, commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission, will deliver the keynote. At the CalEPA building on I street.

PHOTO: Executive director of the League of California Cities, Chris McKenzie, discusses the scandal in the city of Bell alongside Ken Pulskamp, then president of the League's City Managers' department, on July 28, 2010. The Sacramento Bee/Autumn Cruz.



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