Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to announce a major update and new design for the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app.

The new 2014 version:

  • Works on both your iPhone and iPad with a single subscription.
  • Offers faster access to our bills-to-watch guide and legislative directory, along with new district maps.
  • Includes a new section on legislative committees.
  • Lets Insider Edition app subscribers comment and share with one another.
  • Includes all the previous Insider features, including early access to Field Polls and Bee editorials on state topics and a curated Capitol Twitter feed. Easily email chiefs of staff, schedulers and legislative directors from within the app.

To subscribe, go to It's free this week, $19.99 a month after that.

Current subscribers can find out how to update here.

Now back to your regularly scheduled AM Alert...

BART_strike.jpgTRANSIT STRIKES: California has traditionally been regarded as very supportive of organized labor, but that climate may be changing. A Field Poll released last month showed that public opinion on unions has plunged dramatically: For the first time ever, more voters say these organizations do more harm than good.

Last year's strikes by Bay Area Rapid Transit workers were especially controversial, raising debate over whether public employees should even be allowed to strike. California voters remain divided on that question, but state Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar says the answer is clear. He introduced legislation last September that would prohibit public transit workers from striking in the future.

"If the public is going to have to rely on public transportation, we have to make sure public transportation is reliable," Huff said in a statement last week. "Police and firefighters can't strike; they provide a valuable public service. The same rationale applies here."

How far Huff's bill can go is a big question mark. It faces its first hurdle today, when it is heard by the Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement in Room 2040 of the Capitol, following the adjournment of floor session.

VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown needs less talk and more action on the state's unfunded liabilties, Dan Walters says.

GHOST GUN-BUSTER: California lawmakers tackled the issue of control last year with mixed success, a new year brings new efforts. State Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, plans to introduce legislation banning homemade and 3D-printed "ghost guns," which are untraceable and undetectable. De León will be joined by law enforcement, including Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms in the California Department of Justice, for the announcement at 11:15 a.m. in Room 1190 of the Capitol.

BURNING UP: Assemblyman Travis Allen's campaign to keep the state from dousing beach bonfires continues. The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources will consider the Huntington Beach Republican's bill to preserve the Southern California tradition at 1:30 p.m. in Room 447 of the Capitol.

LET'S GET TOGETHER: The California Community Colleges Board of Governors gathers for its two-day bimonthly meeting at noon in the Chancellor's Office on Q Street. Sure to be a hot topic is Gov. Brown's budget proposal, which boosted community college funding by 11.4 percent.

The CalPERS Board of Administration is also beginning a three-day meeting in Monterey where, among other agenda items, it will select new leadership.

BUDGET CHAT: The Sacramento Bee's state budget expert, reporter David Siders, takes reader questions about Gov. Brown's budget proposal in a live chat today at noon. Join the conversation at

CELEBRATIONS: Happy belated birthday to Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Garden, who turned 54 yesterday.

PHOTO: Supporters of Bay Area Rapid Transit workers hold up signs at a news conference outside of the BART 24th Street Mission station in San Francisco on June 25, 2013. The Associated Press/Jeff Chiu


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