Capitol Alert

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RB_DMV_Line.JPGFor more than a decade, California lawmakers worked to pass legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses in the state.

After numerous failed efforts and one close call -- in 2003, then-Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that was repealed by Arnold Schwarzenegger before it became law -- Gov. Jerry Brown finally signed AB 60 last October. The Department of Motor Vehicles is expected to begin issuing special licenses by 2015.

Now comes the hard part.

One of the biggest battles over granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants was whether those identification cards would be somehow visually distinct from licenses for legal residents. When AB 60 finally passed, it was with an amendment requiring a distinguishing mark on the front and back of the immigrant license. Those details, however, still must be worked out.

At 10 a.m., the California DMV conducts it first public hearing to assist in the development of regulations for the implementation of AB 60, including what documents will provide sufficient proof of identity and state residency to apply for a license. The meeting takes place in the auditorium of the Secretary of State building at 11th and O streets. A live webcast will also be available.

VIDEO: The bond fund that finances school construction and repairs has run out, but Gov. Jerry Brown is unlikely to support placing a new one on the November ballot, Dan Walters says.

DON'T DEPORT: In more immigration news, state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, hosts a press conference at 9 a.m. in Room 3191 of the Capitol calling upon President Barack Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants who are eligible to become legal citizens. Calderon introduced a similar resolution to the Senate last week, the first bill his office has promoted since he made headlines last fall in an FBI corruption investigation. The event is part of part of a national day of action organized by the Protect Our Families Campaign.

METHODS REVIEW: The recently declared drought has only fanned the flames of controversy surrounding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which proposes constructing two enormous tunnels to bring water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to southern California. Over the next two days, an independent science panel meets to discuss the scientific soundness of the plan's "effects analysis" section, which assesses the likely impact of the tunnels on species of concern and the ecological process of the Bay-Delta system. The meeting begins today at 8:30 a.m. at the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center.

INSURANCE EVALUATION: The California Office of the Patient Advocate releases its annual California Health Care Report Cards at 9:30 a.m., rating the commercial insurance offered by the state's ten largest health maintenance organizations, six largest preferred provider organizations and over 200 medical groups.

LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY: Every lawmaker, with their staff and their committees, is available at your fingertips on the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app. Subscribe here for iPad and iPhone.

PHOTO: A customer waits in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in south Sacramento on Aug. 17, 2006. The Sacramento Bee/ Randall Benton


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