When the Fair Political Practices Commission cracked down on lobbyist Kevin Sloat earlier this month for hosting lavish political fundraisers at his home, it sent a shockwave through the Capitol.
Long accepted by Sacramento insiders as part of doing business, the FPPC determined that the events exceeded strict limits placed on lobbyists and amounted to illegal campaign contributions. Sloat was hit with a $133,500 fine, the largest ever for a violation of state laws regulating lobbyists.
The commission will consider whether to finalize that deal during its meeting at 10 a.m. at the FPPC building on J Street. Though this is likely the culmination of the process, it is possible the commission could reject the fine and order its staff to negotiate a new agreement with Sloat.
VIDEO: Progress has been slow, but at least California is finally confronting its massive pension problem, Dan Walters says.
WATER CONFERENCE: Between the proposed Delta tunnels and the drought, water issues have been dominating the headlines in Sacramento for months. For those who need to brush up on this complex topic, Capitol Weekly and the UC Center Sacramento host an all-day conference on the future of California's water, starting at 9 a.m. at the Sacramento Masonic Temple on J Street. State and local water officials and politicians including state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Assemblywoman Connie Conway, R-Tulare, are slated to offer their expertise.
EARLY EDUCATION: Calling for greater access to early childhood education to close the achievement gap, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and advocates from Raising California Together rally on the north steps of the Capitol at 12:15 p.m. Joining them is 8-year-old "Kid Governor" Celeste Umaña, with corgi by her side. (Hmm, remind you of someone else around these parts?)
PRO TEM INSIGHTS: As he enters his final year in office, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has made a strong push for several new policy initiatives, including universal pre-kindergarten. Addressing the Sacramento Press Club at noon at the Capitol Plaza Ballroom on 9th Street, he outlines his remaining goals and how he believes the state should spend its budget surplus.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: Nurses and healthcare workers will appear before the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board today to ask for the adoption of comprehensive violence prevention standards in their workplaces. The groups say that they regularly face violent assaults on the job. The meeting takes place at 10 a.m. at the State Resources Building on 9th Street.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Sherman Oaks, who turns 33 today.
PHOTO: Aji Japanese Bistro in El Dorado Hills offers 17 wines and champagne by the glass on January 21, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Jose Luis Villegas