Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Assembly_chamber.JPGToday is the deadline to introduce bills, so expect a surge of new legislation on an otherwise sleepy Friday. Many of the measures will be spot bills, with the details left to be fleshed out in the coming weeks and months. Other ideas may still find their way into the mix later on through the gut-and-amend process.

So far this session more than 300 bills have been introduced in the Senate and more than 550 have been introduced in the Assembly. How high will that number climb by tonight?

VIDEO: California's cap-and-trade program is facing a legal challenge from the state Chamber of Commerce, Dan Walters says.

MED-IFICATION: Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, headline a policy forum on improving medication adherence from noon to 3 p.m. at the Sacramento City College Student Center. According to the Script Your Future campaign, which is sponsoring the event, one-third of people never fill their prescriptions and nearly three-quarters don't take them as directed, costing hundreds of billions of dollar each year.

ACADEMIC ADVOCATE: The Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel is in town for its advocacy day. The organization, which promotes programs that serve low-income, first-generation and disabled college students, gathers on the south steps of the Capitol at 10 a.m. for speeches and a rally before visiting lawmakers' offices.

POLITICS IS PERSONAL: One of this year's more interesting political dramas is the election in the Long Beach-centered 70th Assembly District. Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, is termed out and running for her city's mayorship. Among the candidates to succeed her is former daughter-in-law Suja Lowenthal, a Long Beach city councilwoman who abandoned her own bid for mayor last fall. Adding another wrinkle to the race, the women have endorsed each other's opponents. Suja Lowenthal has found some support in Sacramento, however, including from state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, who joins her for a fundraiser in Long Beach tomorrow.

PHOTO: Twenty-eight of the new Assembly members undergo orientation inside the Assembly Chambers on Nov. 12, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer


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