Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

CaliforniaPrisonsHungerStrike.jpgWhen Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his plan earlier this year to expand California's prison capacity, a bid to satisfy federal orders to slim the state's inmate population, he spurred skepticism from critics who said enlarging the state's network of inmate facilities represented a step backwards.

The budget deal allocating $315 million towards more inmate housing also helped birth the Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment, which will consider charges that California's corrections system has become unwieldy and inefficient.

Co-chairs Tom Ammiano and Reggie Jones-Sawyer will preside over the hearing, which will feature Jude Litzenberger of San Diego's Veteran's Court; Judge Stephen V. Manley of Santa Clara County Superior Court; Lee Seale, chief probation officer for Sacramento County, Contra Costa Public Defender Robin Lipetzky; Lisa Rodriguez of the San Diego DA's office; and a representative of the San Francisco DA's office. From 10:30 a.m. in room 444.

VIDEO: While Sen. Ron Calderon faced some actions Tuesday connected with his FBI investigation, Dan Walters points out that other lawmakers have no trouble packing their bags for Hawaii.

FAST TIMES: You may remember some mass walkouts pushing fast food worker wages into the spotlight earlier this year. Today a joint hearing of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee will examine labor conditions for fast food workers. Witnesses will include labor policy experts, fast food workers and Jot Condie, head of the California Restaurant Association. From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in room 447 of the state Capitol.

MEGAPROJECTS: With a judge reviewing the validity of the funding plan for high-speed rail, it seems like a good time to consider the smoothest way to pay for massive infrastructure projects. That's what a Senate Transportation and Housing Committee hearing will do today, drawing on a trio of academics and Louis Thompson, chair of the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group. Starting at 10 a.m. in room 4203.

TYPHOON: The Philippines are still reeling from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, and today lawmakers will hold a news conference detailing how Californians can help. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, will detail how to get involved during a 3 p.m. presser in room 317.

GOV WATCH: Gov. Jerry Brown will once again attend a meeting of the University of California Board of Regents, which convenes this morning at the UC San Francisco's Mission Bay conference center starting at 8:30 a.m.

CLEARING THE AIR: A Berkeley National Lab report recently concluded that California remains on track to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, per the requirements set out in 2006's Assembly Bill 32. The Air Resources Board is at work on its latest installment of a plan for reaching that goal. Today, industry representatives will be briefing staffers on where they see things. Representatives of the California Building Industry Association, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association and San Diego Gas & Electric will be breaking things down starting at 10 a.m. in room 113.

$11 MILLION QUESTIONS: Now that the Fair Political Practices Commission has finally pulled back the veil on the $11 million that secretively circulated through the 2012 elections, the experts can sift through the implications. Chip Nielsen and Lance Olson will be discussing the matter during a noon talk at the Sutter Club today.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, who turns 48 today.

PHOTO: A correctional officer is seen in one of the housing units at Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City on Aug. 17, 2011. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli.


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