Capitol Alert: AM Alert: Kamala Harris, lawmakers take aim at truancy

akoseff@sacbee.comMarch 10, 2014 

California Democrats

California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

JAE C. HONG — The Associated Press

Determined to keep kids attending school, Attorney General Kamala Harris will stand alongside a half-dozen lawmakers today to promote anti-truancy legislation.

Skipping school carries more consequences than missed tests: a report released last year by Harris' office estimated the annual fallout in the billions of dollars and linked chronic absences to unemployment and crime.

It's not a new issue for Harris, who made a push to police truancy while serving as San Francisco's district attorney and touched on the issue in her first speech as California's top law enforcement official. Slated to join her at today's announcement of a truancy-focused bill package are State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Sen. Bill Monning and Assembly members Raul Bocanegra, Rob Bonta, Joan Buchanan, Isadore Hall and Chris Holden. It starts at 10:45 a.m. in room 1190 of the State Capitol.

VIDEO: Add another item to the list of worrisome public-employee obligations, Dan Walters says.

HAPPY ENDINGS: We brought you news earlier this year of how cities and cops want California to work out the kinks in soon-to-sunset massage parlor regulations. A sunset oversight hearing, conducted jointly by business and professions committees in both houses, will offer a preview of the looming debate about the California Massage Therapy Council. Also coming under the microscope will be the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the California Tax Education Council. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. in room 4203.

LGBT-ERRIFIC: Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be among the honorees at an Equality California event tonight, with Brown receiving accolades for his support of a bill for transgender students that recently survived a referendum challenge. Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, both have roles in the ceremonies.

WARMING PLANNING: Several years after California passed its landmark cap-and-trade law, lawmakers are poised to debate some major changes. Today we'll get an update on how California is doing on Assembly Bill 32's other key component, the requirement that the state cut down on emissions. Mary Nichols of the Air Resources Board, Tiffany Roberts of the Legislative Analyst's Office and a slate of experts will discuss the current plan during an afternoon hearing of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

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