Capitol Alert: AM Alert: Prison plans scrutinized as legislative clock ticks

jwhite@sacbee.comSeptember 4, 2013 

We're down to single digits: Nine calendar days now remain before the deadline to send bills to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk, with this week's abbreviated schedule speeding things along and leaving two days for legislative business this week. (Thanks to Rosh Hashanah, there's no session scheduled for tomorrow.)

And adding to the fun, Senate floor session will get started at 11 a.m. today to accommodate a 9 a.m. Senate Budget and Fiscal Review committee hearing comparing the contending prison plans floated, respectively, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and by Gov. Jerry Brown, with the support of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Republican legislative leaders.

Steinberg's plan may get a vote today. The parallel Assembly/gubernatorial plan flew through Assembly Budget last week without a single "no" vote, so it should be interesting to see how Steinberg's plan fares given the intrigue surrounding whether Senate Democrats will remain loyal to Steinberg's plan or defect to support the Assembly bill. Steinberg has flatly rejected Pérez's assertion that he would have Senate votes for the governor's plan.

VIDEO: Dan Walters says that the Legislature needs answers on why the new Bay Bridge span cost so much.

EDUCATING EDUCATORS: California's schools are undergoing some big changes, notably the incoming Common Core standards and the newly passed Local Control Funding Formula. The California State Board of Education will discuss some of the implications at a meeting today, touching on new tests, new Common Core-driven instructional guidelines for math and what schools can expect from the new formula. Starting at 8 a.m. at the California Department of Education building on N Street.

HOLY MATTRESS-MONEY: You may remember that earlier in the session, lawmakers were pushing a pair of rival mattress recycling bills. Sens. Loni Hancock and Lou Correa have since merged their measures, citing a need to establish a recycling program for used mattresses that consumers dump willy-nilly. They'll be plugging the bill, currently awaiting an Assembly floor vote, during a 10 a.m. rally on the Capitol's west steps that will feature representatives from Californians Against Waste and the International Sleep Products Association, alongside some presumably stained and smelly old mattresses.

THIS TOWN vs. DIGITAL DEMOCRACY: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's new book presents a vision of governance rendered transparent by new technology. New York Times Magazine reporter Mark Leibovich's new book offers a familiar depiction of status-obsessed, petty politics in the nation's capital. The two will share some Beltway banter tonight at the Commonwealth Club's San Francisco office, starting at 6 p.m.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, who turns 49 today.

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