Capitol Alert

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Lyft.JPGAs the ride-sharing industry grows, the question of how much to regulate companies like Uber and Lyft, which match passengers with drivers through smartphone apps, has reached the Capitol.

Lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would require drivers, who usually use their own vehicles to ferry passengers, to carry higher-level commercial insurance--either whenever they are logged onto a company's app or at all times. The bills, which are backed by the insurance and taxi industries, have received serious pushback from ride-sharing companies and their allies, who argue that the regulation will "stifle innovation."

Supporters of Uber and Lyft, led by the Internet Association's Robert Callahan, will rally on the north steps of the Capitol at 9 a.m. urging the Senate to reject the measures, both of which already passed the Assembly almost unanimously. They will then testify before the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, which is hearing the bills at 9:30 a.m. in Room 3191.

VIDEO: A rare open seat on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors provides a high-stakes race in this low-key election year, Dan Walters says.

AUDRIE'S LAW: In September 2012, 15-year-old Audrie Pott committed suicide after she was sexually assaulted by several classmates while passed out at a party and pictures of the incident were shared with other students. The tragedy led to "Audrie's Law," Senate Bill 838 from state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, which would require two years in an out-of-home probation program for juveniles convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious or developmentally disabled victim, with an additional year for those who share pictures or texts of the assault.

The bill passed with no dissenting votes in the Senate, but opposition has emerged from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Public Defenders Association and Human Rights Watch, who argue that courts should retain discretion in removing teenagers from their homes because of the "high human cost, as well as a high financial cost" of placing them in detention facilities. It will next be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, 9 a.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol.

WHOSE MONEY?: In May, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that would require politically active nonprofit organizations in California to disclose their big donors. The Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's political ethics watchdog, holds a meeting at 10 a.m. at 428 J Street to get public comments on its proposed regulations for implementing the new oversights, which go into effect July 1 of this year. The commission will consider the regulations at its July 17 meeting.

TALK THAT TALK: Fresh off her first budget as Assembly Speaker, Toni Atkins is the latest guest for the "She Shares" conversation series. Atkins will discuss her personal journey with Dewey Square Group's Karen Breslau, 9:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Grand hotel on J Street.

Kish Rajan, director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, speaks at luncheon sponsored by the Northern California World Trade Center, 11:30 a.m. at the NorCalWTC building on Capitol Mall.

WOMEN IN POVERTY: One in four California women is living in poverty, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures cited by the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality. The panel was created earlier this year to examine policy opportunities to promote gender equity, and it holds its second informational hearing today, a general review of issues for women in poverty that will help determine its agenda for the rest of the year. The hearing, scheduled for 4 p.m. in Room 2040 of the Capitol, will be headlined by Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby organization NETWORK.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, who turns 57 today.

PHOTO: A Lyft car crosses Market Street in San Francisco on Jan. 17, 2013. The Associated Press/Jeff Chiu


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