Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 23, 2013
California has nation's largest Native American population

tribal.JPGThey may comprise less than 1 percent of California's 38 million residents, but the state — perhaps surprisingly to many — has the nation's largest population of Native Americans, a new Census Bureau report reveals.

The state-by-state and tribe-by-tribe reports list 352,427 American Indians and Alaskan Natives in California, and only Oklahoma's 313,305 approach California's numbers.

The reports also reveal that California's Native American population represents hundreds of specific tribes and sub-tribal groups, with tribes from Mexico, at 45,933, the largest single grouping, followed by Cherokees at 20,969. However, 126,425 Californians identified themselves as Native Americans in the 2010 census without designating a tribal affiliation.

PHOTO: Lois Edwards stands with demonstrators out front of an Enterprise Rancheria tribal meeting, Saturday, August 5, 2006 at Southside Community Center in Oroville, where the Enterprise Rancheria General Council met to vote on the citizenship of approximately 70 tribal members who were disenrolled in 2003. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

December 23, 2013
California keeps Monday deadline for health coverage Jan. 1

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California's health insurance exchange is holding firm to its enrollment deadline today for customers who want coverage beginning at the start of the year, officials said Monday.

Earlier in the day, the White House announced the federal deadline was being delayed 24 hours -- from 11:59 p.m. Monday to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said they made the move for Healthcare.gov customers as part of a good-faith effort to ensure those who needed coverage by Jan. 1 would be able to log-in and sign up.

California, which operates its own health insurance exchange, said customers must act Monday.

"They really need to be active today if they want coverage Jan. 1," Covered California spokesman Oscar Hidalgo told The Bee.

However, if a customer begins their application late Monday and is not able to finish it until into Tuesday they still will be honored, Hidalgo said.

Those who want their coverage for doctors' appointments and prescription drugs to start next month must pay their first premium by Jan. 6. The next enrollment deadline is Jan. 15 for coverage to begin Feb. 1. For those customers, a payment is due Jan. 28.

Enrollment has picked up in recent weeks as the deadline approached. Executive Director Peter V. Lee estimated the number of enrollees at roughly 400,000.

Open enrollment extends through March 31.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. to incorporate projected enrollment figures.

PHOTO: The executive director of Covered California, Peter V. Lee, speaks to members of the media during the launch of Covered California in Rancho Cordova on Oct. 1, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.

December 23, 2013
AM Alert: Capitol Alert's biggest stories of 2013

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The Capitol is quiet this week as everyone heads home for the holidays, so what better time to look back on the year that was? Even with Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, there was plenty of political drama to keep us captivated: corruption charges, the health care roll-out, and controversial battles over issues like gun control and minimum wage. In the spirit of December (which may as well be renamed National Year-End Lists Month), here is a review of the biggest stories of 2013 on the Capitol Alert blog, as determined by page views.

The year's top post: Updated homeless 'bill of rights' passes CA legislative committee (April 23, 2013)

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's "homeless bill of rights" caused an immediate firestorm when it was introduced last December. The San Francisco Democrat's proposal to create a statewide baseline of civil rights for the homeless — including protection of "life sustaining activities" such as sleeping on sidewalks and urinating — drew intense pushback from cities across California, many of which had already passed laws prohibiting those same behaviors. The California Chamber of Commerce even named the legislation one of its annual "job killers."

So when an amended version of Ammiano's bill made it out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee last April, there was a lot of public interest. The story drew by far the biggest traffic of the year on the Capitol Alert blog, especially as the news went viral across the country.

The bill later stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee over the cost of proposed new public hygiene facilities and it likely won't be going anywhere in 2014. But Ammiano's office said he hopes to introduce more legislation on homelessness in the new year.

The rest of the top ten:

2.State auditor: California's net worth at negative $127.2 billion (March 28, 2013)

3. Big California corporations parking $262 billion offshore (July 31, 2013)

4. More gun-control legislation approved by California Senate (May 29, 2013)

5. Gov. Jerry Brown: California's budget deficit is gone (Jan. 10, 2013)

6. New battle coming over California's minimum wage (December 17, 2012)

7. FBI raids offices of California Sen. Ron Calderon, Latino Caucus (June 4, 2013)

8. Jerry Brown, lawmakers reach budget deal (June 10, 2013)

9. California health exchange reveals premium costs (May 23, 2013)

10. State Sen. Michael Rubio resigns, will take job with Chevron (February 22, 2013)

PHOTO: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli



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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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