AM Alert: Assembly committee considers Delta tunnels funding

akoseff@sacbee.comFebruary 12, 2014 

With the recent debate over the cost of the California's proposed high-speed rail and whether the money would be better spent elsewhere, that other controversial infrastructure project touted by Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't been getting much attention lately.

But the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which would build two enormous water diversion tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, regains the spotlight today with a fiscal oversight hearing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 437 of the Capitol.

Held by the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, the series of three panels will examine uncertainties in the project's funding structure, which could affect water ratepayers, as well as the economic impact of tunnel construction on the Delta region and the effects of the drought on water delivery and revenues.

VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown got the delay he wanted on prison reductions, but with some caveats that could be politically damaging, Dan Walters says.

ELECTION EXPO-SITION: The governor's race heads to Tulare today, as both Brown and possible Republican candidate Neel Kashkari attend the 47th Annual World Ag Expo. Brown will be there in the morning, while Kashkari swings by in the afternoon.

IN THE OTHER CAPITOL: State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has been in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with members of California's congressional delegation and the Obama administration to discuss policy priorities such as mental health services, universal pre-kindergarten and the drought. He wraps up today with a keynote address at the California State Society's Golden State Roundtable, as well as meetings with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, among others.

WORKING WOMEN: The California Applicants' Attorneys Association's Women's Caucus holds a symposium on working women's on-the-job injuries and policies to reduce them starting at 8 a.m. at the Citizen Hotel on J Street. The Legislative Women's Caucus is co-hosting the event, with members slated to speak including state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens.

CALL TO ACTION: Government transparency watchdog California Common Cause holds a press conference on the west steps of the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. calling on legislators not to join or support model legislation crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Common Cause maintains that ALEC abuses its nonprofit status to promote bills that directly benefit its corporate members.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOWBIZ: Following up on a report released last week by Otis College of Art and Design, the Joint Committee on the Arts holds a hearing examining the impact of the state's "creative economy" and opportunities for growth in sectors such as the entertainment industry. The hearing takes place at 10 a.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol.

IMMIGRANT HEALTH CARE: Last month, state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, announced plans to introduce legislation that would extend health insurance to immigrants who are in California illegally. The California Immigrant Policy Center and the California Latino Legislative Caucus hold a legislative briefing on the proposals at 10:30 a.m. in Room 127 of the Capitol.

THE RE-UP: Attorney General Kamala Harris begins her campaign for re-election at San Francisco City Hall at 11 a.m., where she plans to take out papers with the San Francisco Department of Elections. In one of the most high-profile statewide races, a challenger to Harris has yet to emerge.

A NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY: Celebrating the recently-completed renovations of the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, the California State Library hosts an evening "show-and-tell" with some of its rare and priceless pieces. The program begins at 6 p.m. at the Mosk Building on Capitol Mall.

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