Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 4, 2013
Jerry Brown signs California bill allowing more than two parents

ha_Mark_LENO_2011.JPGGov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation allowing children to have more than two parents.

The announcement Friday comes a year after the Democratic governor vetoed a similar proposal, citing the potential for unintended consequences.

Senate Bill 274 authorizes a court to recognize more than two parents if endorsing fewer would be "detrimental" to the child. The bill that Brown vetoed last year would have provided judges the authority to identify multiple parents if doing so was "required in the best interest of the child."

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, stressed that his measure applies only to families with more than two people who meet the state's definition of a parent. It does not apply to stepparents, grandparents, girlfriends or caretakers. In an interview, Leno said he expected the law to be used sparingly, such as when a child could be at risk of unnecessarily entering the foster care system.

October 4, 2013
Rick Perry blames Barack Obama for shutdown, says his 'job is to negotiate'

California v Texas Rick Perry.JPGANAHEIM - Texas Gov. Rick Perry blamed President Barack Obama on Friday for the federal government shutdown, saying it is Obama's job to negotiate but that he is "hell-bent" on protecting implementation of the federal healthcare overhaul, his signature legislative achievement.

"The president of the United States' job is to negotiate," the Republican governor told reporters at the fall convention of the California Republican Party. "I have never seen a president stand up and just blatantly say, 'I'm not going to negotiate with you in any form or fashion."

Obama and House Republicans are at an impasse on a federal spending bill, with Republicans demanding changes to the three-year-old health care law.

Perry said, "The president seems to be willing to stop the government from functioning in all areas ... to make a political point."

Perry is at the convention to criticize the state's business climate and promote conditions in Texas, a reprise of a February visit in which he sparred over the airwaves with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Critics have said the trips have little value other than to keep Perry in the public eye ahead of a potential second run for president in 2016. Asked about a recent Bloomberg report in which Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was quoted suggesting as much, Perry noted that Newsom has taken trips to Texas seeking ideas that could be applied in California's to improve the business climate.

PHOTO: Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the 83rd Texas Legislature in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2013. Associated Press/Eric Gay

October 4, 2013
Sacramento sheriff, game wardens, come out against lead ban

Jones.JPG

When a measure banning lead ammunition for hunters cleared the California Legislature, detractors included the Alliance for Dogmen, the Mule Deer Foundation and Gun Owners of California.

With Gov. Jerry Brown set to weigh in soon, a handful of others have come out in opposition to Assembly Bill 711. Among them is a group of unions and labor leaders, the California Fish and Game Wardens' Association (The Department of Fish and Wildlife is a supporter) and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.

In a letter to Brown on Thursday, Jones wrote that he was concerned because the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that most non-lead ammunition meets the criteria for "armor piercing" and thus has banned the manufacturing and sale of such ammunition without special permission.

As a result, Jones argues that non-lead bullets have become scarce in most hunting calibers.

"I believe that this bill, if signed, would enact an undue burden on the entire hunting community, which includes many members of law enforcement," Jones wrote.

In their letter to Brown on Wednesday, the game wardens' association, arguing they are on the front line of enforcing the current ban on lead ammunition for hunting near condors, wrote that "there is insufficient data to justify such a drastic action across the entire state."

Supporters of AB 711 by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, say lead-based bullets are one of the major sources of harmful lead discharge into the environment. Brown has until Oct. 13 to decide the fate of the measure.

PHOTO: Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

October 4, 2013
AM Alert: Rick Perry to address California Republicans

ProsperitySummit.jpgWhen last we checked in with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the former presidential candidate was busy prodding California Gov. Jerry Brown over the airwaves and trading jabs about whose state is better for what. Ever the thoughtful one, Brown eloquently dismissed the importance of the little flare-up.

But Perry has a receptive audience for his warnings about California's stagnating business climate: Golden State Republicans, who convene in Anaheim this weekend for their state party's fall convention featuring the Texas governor as a keynote speaker at Saturday's dinner.

Also addressing the delegates will be Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden. The weekend's theme is "Rebuilding from the Ground Up," reprising the back-to-basics theme that new state party chair Jim Brulte emphasized during his successful campaign at the spring convention.

VIDEO: Can California find the money to pay for badly needed road upgrades? Dan Walters says to not count on it.

BUSINESS BETS: Also on the topic of California business, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association will hold its 25th annual conference on the status of commerce in California today, neatly timed to coincide with the Republican convention. Business representatives and advocates will assemble at the Burbank Airport Marriott, where they will hear from panelists that include former U.S. senator and current Motion Picture Association of America chair Chris Dodd.

FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL: On a more solemn note, a ceremony in Capitol Park on Saturday will mark the addition of 22 fallen firefighters to the names recorded on the California Firefighters Memorial. Speakers will include California Attorney General Kamala Harris, director Mark Ghilarducci of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, Lou Paulson of the California Fire Foundation and President Demetrious Schaffer of the California Fire Chiefs Association.

SUPREME SCHOLARS: California Supreme Court watchers can bask in legal analysis during a conference at Berkeley Law School today, co-hosted by the California Constitution Center. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar will be speaking.

NATIVE AMERICAN NEWS: It's the second day of a California Indian Conference at Sacramento State University, and today Judge Cynthia Gomez, tribal adviser to Brown, will be speaking.

LAWMAKERS LAUDED: We also get a paean to legislative integrity. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and former Republican leaders David Cogdill and Michael Villines will have a permanent exhibit dedicated in their honor, marking a Profile in Courage Award they won for putting together a deficit reduction deal back in 2009. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. inside the state Capitol's east annex entrance.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, who turns 61 today.

PHOTO: Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses attendees of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation's Defending the American Dream Summit in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. The Associated Press/Phelan M. Ebenhack.

October 4, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: I-80 repair highlights California road woes

Dan is relieved that California finally got around to repairing a badly deteriorating stretch of highway across the Sierra Nevada, but says the state's roads as a whole remain in poor shape.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.



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Capitol Alert Staff


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

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

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

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

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

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

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

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

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