Capitol Alert

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Thumbnail image for MC_CALDERON_05.JPGThe Legislature was in recess when revelations from the FBI's corruption investigation of state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, hit in late October. With the new legislative year beginning Monday, lawmakers may be ready to deal with the fallout.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, announced yesterday that he plans to introduce a bill prohibiting certain types of political spending, including contributions of campaign funds by elected officials to business entities and non-profits owned or operated by members of their same elected body or their family.

Among the eye-catching items in the FBI's Calderon affidavit: Last January, a political fundraising committee associated with the Latino Legislative Caucus made a $25,000 donation to a group run by Calderon's brother. At the time, Calderon had just finished serving two years as the Latino Caucus' vice chairman.

Hill's legislation would amend the Political Reform Act, which governs disclosure of political money, and would require a 2/3's vote to pass.

VIDEO: With groups advocating from inside and outside the Capitol, will 2014 be the year California raises taxes?, Dan Walters wonders.

SN-OH NO! The Department of Water Resources will conduct its first manual snow survey of the season today at 11 a.m. on Echo Summit. The state had near-record dry weather last year and remote electronic readings currently show snowpack at 20 percent of normal.

Water officials are bracing for a third consecutive dry year. According to the agency, snowmelt accounts for about one-third of the water that California uses each year. The low snowfall has pushed the state toward drought and could worsen the risk of wildfire.

CELEBRATIONS: An early happy birthday to California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who turns 52 tomorrow, and to state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, who turns 50.

Editor's Note: This AM Alert was updated at 10:32 a.m. Jan. 3 to correct that Dave Jones will turn 52 and Cathleen Galgiani will turn 50 on Saturday.

PHOTO: Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, at right with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, on the Senate floor June 10, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo



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