Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 2, 2014
Could it be Supreme Court Justice Darrell Steinberg?

steinbergbrown.jpg

With the end nearing this fall of Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's long career representing Sacramento in the state Legislature, a political guessing game of sorts has emerged in the capital city: What Will Darrell Do?

In earlier rounds, the Sacramento Democrat has said he'd explore running for Sacramento district attorney (he didn't), Sacramento mayor (he still could) and California attorney general (didn't happen). Steinberg has said he would not challenge incumbents Mayor Kevin Johnson, who could run again in 2016, or Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is now running for her second term.

In the latest iteration of the game, Ventura County Star Columnist Timm Herdt makes the case that Gov. Jerry Brown should appoint Steinberg to fill one of two openings on the California Supreme Court. Herdt praised Steinberg as the "most productive legislative leader" since term limits were imposed, and argued for his broad expertise in state law and his skill as a consensus-builder.

Herdt wrote that Steinberg -- who worked as an employee-rights lawyer and an administrative law judge before being elected to the Legislature -- would be a "soberly creative" choice for Brown.

As for the possibility of a Mayor Steinberg? Herdt says it's "a position for which he seems overqualified."

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, listens to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, before delivering his State of the State address on Jan. 18, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

July 2, 2014
AM Alert: Dissatisfied with wealth gap, voters disagree on solution

Good news for Android users! Capitol Alert's Insider Edition app is now available for your phone or tablet. Learn more at www.sacbee.com/insider.

Money.JPGMajorities of Californians, regardless of political affiliation, are dissatisfied with wealth and income distribution in the state, according to the latest Field Poll. But voters are politically divided over what the state should be doing to address the gap between the rich and everyone else, which they tend to agree is greater than in the past.

Eighty-one percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents believe the government should be doing a lot or some to reduce the wealth gap, compared to 46 percent of Republicans. While 45 percent of Republicans believe the government should be doing not much or nothing, only 20 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

One proposed solution that has gotten plenty of attention in the Legislature is raising the minimum wage. It increased to $9 an hour Tuesday, but a failed bill this session would have boosted it to $13 an hour by 2017.

A majority of Democrats and independents believe the state should be raising the minimum wage above its already scheduled increases, but slightly over half of Republicans think the current increases are adequate.

David Siders has more in his story from today's paper. Here are the statistical tabulations, prepared exclusively for Capitol Alert, as well as the publicly released results from the poll.

VIDEO: Though the votes have finally been counted, the drama is not over yet in the state controller's race, Dan Walters says.

ART BREAK: In memory of Hassan Alawsi, an Iraqi artist and refugee who was killed in an apparent hate crime in south Sacramento in March, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, will display Alawsi's work in his office for the month of July. The art will be unveiled during a reception at noon in Room 6005 of the Capitol.

RISING RATES: Arguing that almost 1 million Californians are charged unreasonable health insurance rates, Consumer Watchdog and the California Nurses Association will rally at 12:30 p.m. at the north entrance of the Capitol in support of Proposition 45, a November ballot measure that would allow the insurance commissioner to reject rate increases. The initiative will be the subject of an informational hearing, jointly held by the Senate and Assembly health committees, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol.

HEAR ME OUT: The Senate and Assembly public employee and retirement committees hold a joint hearing on equal employment opportunity and diversity in the state civil service, 10 a.m. in Room 113. The Senate Select Committee on Mental Health examines the impacts of California's behavioral health programs, 11 a.m. in Room 112.

FAREWELL: Congratulations to Mark Hedlund, communications director for Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, who is retiring this week. Steinberg's office hosts a sendoff for Hedlund, who also spent 34 years as a journalist, 4 p.m. at de Vere's Irish Pub on L Street.

PHOTO: What $3.2 million dollars in a stack $20 bills will look like - one of the exhibits on the first floor of the Federal Reserve Bank's San Francisco district headquarters. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

July 2, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Drama continues in state controller's race

Perez.JPGThough the votes have finally been counted, the state controller's race is probably not over yet, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assembly Speaker John A. PĂ©rez speaks about Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014 State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Jan. 22, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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Capitol Alert Staff


Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. achance@sacbee.com. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com. Twitter: @DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller Jim Miller covers California policy and politics and edits Capitol Alert. jmiller@sacbee.com. Twitter: @jimmiller2

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. ccadelago@sacbee.com. Twitter: @ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. lrosenhall@sacbee.com. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers the Legislature. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Koseff Alexei Koseff edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. akoseff@sacbee.com. Twitter: @akoseff

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. dwalters@sacbee.com. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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