After months of intense discussions, California’s health insurance exchange on Thursday remained on the sidelines of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative that would allow the state’s elected insurance commissioner to regulate rates.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday to more than triple California’s film and television tax credit, a point of heavy lobbying by the state’s TV and movie industry.

It’s a happy ending for California’s film and television tax credit. Gov. Jerry Brown will sign today the bill expanding the program to $330 million in annual production incentives for the next five years.

A special election hasn’t even been called yet, but several candidates launched campaigns this week to replace resigning state Sen. Rod Wright, Dan says.

Peter Schaafsma, an analyst of governmental finances for the Legislature, the state treasurer’s office and private clients for nearly 40 years, died Monday night of esophageal cancer, his family said. He was 62.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring drivers in the burgeoning ride-sharing industry to carry more insurance, his office announced Wednesday.

With the November election drawing closer daily, Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty told reporters and editors in The Bee’s Capitol Bureau why he is running for the state Assembly. Below are some excerpts from our conversation.

The Bee Capitol Bureau’s ongoing candidate interview series continued on Wednesday with Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty, one of two city council Democrats vying to fill the open Assembly seat left open by the departure of incumbent Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento.

A campaign committee to pass a $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown received its first infusion of money late Tuesday.

It’s been a big year for the Political Reform Act. A record-setting fine for a lobbyist who hosted fundraisers in his home and two state senators indicted on bribery charges prompted the Legislature to pass a series of bills strengthening California’s landmark campaign finance law.

While lauded as an historic achievement, we won't know the impact of new groundwater regulations for decades to come, Dan says.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday enacting sweeping new regulations on groundwater pumping in California, making the state the last in the West to regulate the practice.

Sacramento City Council member Steve Cohn stopped by The Bee Capitol Bureau on Tuesday to talk about the issues underlying his campaign for an open state Assembly seat. A broader transcript of the interview will be available in Wednesday’s paper, but here you can watch Cohn touch on a few topics of interest.

California fishermen might need to swap out the content of their tackle boxes, depending on the progress of a proposed state regulation targeting what are considered chemically hazardous weights and sinkers.

As this year’s legislative session drew to a close, groundwater regulation – and whether California would become the last state in the West to implement oversight for drilling and pumping wells – emerged as one of the major policy issues.

Even in failing to qualify for the ballot, the Six Californias initiative performed a service by exposing the state's economic divides, Dan says.

Even in failing to qualify for the ballot, the Six Californias initiative performed a service by exposing the state's economic divides, Dan says.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation repealing from state law unenforceable provisions of Proposition 187, the 1994 initiative later overturned by the courts, to restrict public services to undocumented immigrants.

Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright, sentenced to jail Friday for being convicted of perjury and voting fraud, resigned from the California Senate on Monday but plans to stay on the payroll for one more week.

Fourteen law enforcement officers, including three from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department who were involved in a deadly shootout with cop killer Christopher Dorner last year, were honored by Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday.

Supporters of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative to increase medical malpractice awards blasted a Los Angeles County supervisor Monday for scheduling a board vote to oppose the measure after a group he founded accepted a $75,000 donation from opponents.

As voters across the country have for years, Californians harbor an overwhelmingly negative view of Congress. But a new Field Poll reveals that voters have also begun to sour on their own House representatives, who were largely buttressed against Congress’ dismal approval ratings until now.

While plenty of California legislators face questions over their residency, they are unlikely to be prosecuted like Sen. Rod Wright, Dan says.

John Foran, a longtime legislator and later a lobbyist, dies of bladder cancer.

Less than 24 hours after Nevada lawmakers approved a package of tax incentives to persuade Tesla Motors Inc. to build a battery factory in that state, California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has been criticized for failing to get the factory, said Friday that “Nevada’s tax breaks are California’s benefit” if they put electric cars on California roads.

A proposed ballot measure to carve California into six states failed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot Friday after election officials determined that backers did not collect enough valid signatures.

Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright is heading to jail, where he faces up to three months after being convicted of perjury and voting fraud, a Los Angeles judge ruled Friday. Judge Kathleen Kennedy upheld a jury’s verdicts from January that found Wright guilty of eight felonies for lying about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008.

Gov. Jerry Brown, addressing a crowd of eager, young AmeriCorps members on a sun-soaked lawn in San Francisco on Friday, said the world was “really screwed up” when the Civilian Conservation Corps came into being during the Great Depression – and that it still is, just in a “very different way.”

Support for the death penalty in California is the lowest it has been in almost 50 years, though a majority of voters still favor it.

California's water bond measure is the most important issue on the November ballot, Dan says. What kind of opposition will it face?

That smudge on the official portrait former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled at the Capitol on Monday? A scrubbed-out image of Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger’s estranged wife.

Republican Pete Peterson and Democrat Alex Padilla, the two candidates for California secretary of state, promised Thursday at a Sacramento forum to shake up a post that has been criticized for falling behind the times.

The Siemens plant in south Sacramento will build the locomotives and passenger cars for All Aboard Florida, a high-speed rail system that could begin operation well ahead of California’s.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday entitling most California workers to three paid sick days a year, a sweeping measure that Democrats and labor advocates have been seeking for years.

Support for two health-related ballot initiatives has dramatically eroded since the beginning of the summer, when large majorities of likely voters were inclined to vote yes on Propositions 45 and 46.

Declining gas prices in California are good for consumers – and fodder for politicians, Dan says.

Republican Neel Kashkari, seeking to capitalize on the Brown administration’s failure to persuade Tesla Motors Inc. to build a battery factory in California – and also seeking publicity – arrived at the Capitol in a Tesla on Wednesday, berating Gov. Jerry Brown for economic policies he said hurt business.

California Controller John Chiang is expected to handily win a transfer to the state treasurer’s office Nov. 4, six months after he finished 17 percentage points ahead of Republican businessman Greg Conlon, who has raised almost no money in recent weeks.

The two most recent leaders of California’s largest city have split over the contentious race for state superintendent of public instruction.

Awareness remains low for Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion bond to bolster California’s water supply, infrastructure and ecosystems, but early response is largely positive. A new Field Poll indicates that voters are likely to pass the measure, which was added to the November ballot last month in a bipartisan deal that received high political praise.

Despite efforts by the governor to clamp down on pension spiking, the practice continues, Dan says.

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, sponsored a bill Tuesday to block the federal government from paying part of the cost of building two water diversion tunnels, though Bera and other lawmakers last year said that it was unrealistic to expect any federal money to flow to the project.

As part of an effort to bolster his bipartisan bona fides, Republican Doug Ose on Tuesday announced a coalition of Democrats supporting him instead of freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.

Democrats are in a comfortable position to once again win every statewide office this November, according to a new Field Poll, the first to survey voters on their opinions in the seven down-ballot races. Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, controller, treasurer and insurance commissioner are leading their Republican opponents by an average of almost 16 percentage points in a survey of likely voters.

Dan Walters plays art critic for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newly-revealed gubernatorial portrait.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, returning to Sacramento for the first time since leaving office, unveiled his official gubernatorial portrait at the Capitol on Monday, a lifelike image of the movie-star politician standing in front of the state seal.

While the state Senate has yet to make public the results of an investigation of nepotism complaints, three Senate employees recently testified in Sacramento Superior Court that the son of the Senate’s personnel director routinely received special treatment during the years he worked there.

State Sen. Ben Hueso was charged with one count of driving under the influence and another for driving with a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Members of California’s influential congressional delegation were again well represented on an annual list of Washington’s most well-heeled members. It also showed well on a separate rundown of the poorest federal lawmakers.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been busy crushing things with his tank since he left office almost four years ago, but today he’ll return to Sacramento for the first time to debut his gubernatorial portrait.

Despite a productive legislative session, public opinion of California lawmakers took a dive this year, Dan says.

Gov. Jerry Brown squares off against Republican challenger Neel Kashkari in a debate in Sacramento on Thursday, September 4, 2014. Video used by permission from KQED News. Replay the live blog here.

One day after attacking Jerry Brown on a range of issues in a gubernatorial debate, Republican Neel Kashkari returned on Friday to lower-profile turf – talk radio – for a series of interviews goading the incumbent governor.

Republican Neel Kashkari used a debate Thursday to punch repeatedly at Gov. Jerry Brown’s priorities, while the Democratic governor parried with a defense of his record and, at one point, a dismissive wave of his hand.

Despite a bipartisan water bond deal that inspired much congratulatory back-patting among lawmakers last month, approval of the scandal-racked California Legislature continues to fall this year.

Opponents of the Six Californias initiative are gearing up for a fight that may not happen, Dan says.

Providing rare guidance on his plans for legislation awaiting his signature, Gov. Jerry Brown indicated Thursday night that he “probably will” sign the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags, one of the year’s most heavily debated bills.

Decrying state schools chief Tom Torlakson for a lack of action on the June court decision ruling California’s teacher hiring and dismissal practices unconstitutional, challenger Marshall Tuck delivered a letter to the State Board of Education on Thursday asking its members to immediately begin developing solutions to the issues raised in the lawsuit.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and GOP challenger Neel Kashkari differed on issues from immigration to high-speed rail in Thursday’s debate. Here are some excerpts:

Brown’s claim: Kashkari wants to give tax breaks to rich people.

Brown’s claim: Kashkari is a wealthy banker.

Kashkari’s claim: Brown is causing gas prices to increase to fund the state’s high-speed rail project.

Kashkari’s claim: Brown appealed a court ruling that found the state’s teacher dismissal rules unconstitutional because he is beholden to the California Teachers Association, a major donor.

Kashkari’s claim: California is No. 1 in poverty.

Kashkari’s claim: California ranks 46th in education and 44th in jobs.

Brown’s claim: California has added more than 1.4 million jobs since 2011.

Anti-fracking protesters are assembled outside the old Senator Hotel, a few dozen reporters are seated in the lobby and Neel Kashkari has had a Coke Zero and gone for his run.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Republican candidate for California controller, has revamped the ballot designation that voters will see in November, changing it from the June primary’s “Mayor, City of Fresno” to “Mayor/CEO.”

Replay the live blog from the debate between California's candidates for governor Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari at the Senator Hotel in Sacramento on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is staying put, her political consultant said Thursday, seeking to squelch fast-moving rumors that the veteran California Democrat plans to resign.

The fight against an initiative to split California into six states got a new face today, with former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez announcing he is taking the lead in an opposition campaign.

Before the debate came the question – and no small controversy – about whether California’s gubernatorial candidates would sit or stand.

Tonight is the night that Neel Kashkari has been waiting for: his first, and probably only, opportunity to debate Gov. Jerry Brown.

At this rate, state Sen. Rod Wright may die of old age before he pays the penalty for lying about where he lived, Dan says.

A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday granted a fourth delay in the sentencing hearing for suspended state Sen. Rod Wright, who was found guilty in January of eight felonies for lying about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008.

In a lengthy video released on the eve of their first – and likely only – debate, Republican Neel Kashkari attacked Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday for his ties to the California Teachers Association and appeal of a court ruling that found the state’s teacher dismissal rules unconstitutional.

After three delays, suspended state Sen. Rod Wright, who was convicted of eight felonies in January for living outside the district he represents, is finally due in court this morning for sentencing. Will the fourth time be the charm?

Teacher tenure, high-speed rail, Senate scandals ‒ California's political action is in the courts this fall, Dan says.

This much is not in doubt: Sometime Friday or Saturday, part of a finger from the marble statue depicting Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus in the Capitol rotunda broke off. A tourist discovered the detached digit Saturday afternoon. What remains a mystery is what caused the finger to fall.

Gov. Jerry Brown has weighed in on the Democrat-on-Democrat South Bay congressional feud, choosing the liberal stalwart and incumbent Rep. Mike Honda over upstart Ro Khanna.

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to a record low in California, with nearly as many voters now disapproving of the job Obama is doing as approving.

In a year marked by scandal in the state Capitol – including two senators indicted on bribery charges and dozens of politicians warned by the state’s campaign finance watchdog for raising money at the home of a prominent lobbyist – California lawmakers pledged to clean up some of their political practices.

Among the slew of bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown as the legislative session ended Saturday morning was one that was not even printed when it got its first hearing at 2:09 a.m.

In the waning hours of their session, California lawmakers passed a measure to provide workers with three paid sick days a year, capping tense negotiations that splintered supporters.

California lawmakers narrowly approved a sweeping plastic bag ban Friday, leaving Gov. Jerry Brown to decide the fate of the controversial bill in an election year.

California could soon become the last state in the West to regulate water pulled from beneath the earth, with the Legislature on Friday advancing an unprecedented groundwater-management strategy.

A popular eatery inside the state Capitol building was closed Friday after the U.S. Marshals Service effected what is known as a “till tap,” taking money from the cash register to satisfy a court order.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will appeal the June court ruling that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, he decided Friday.

With Greg Schmidt planning to retire in October, the California Senate on Friday unanimously elected longtime Capitol staff member Danny Alvarez to the top administrative position in the upper house.

Days after the families of those killed in the Isla Vista shooting pleaded for action, California lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk a measure that allows parents to obtain a restraining order barring gun use for someone displaying mental instability.

An effort to require political advertisements to display their top donors stalled in the final hours of the legislative session Friday after its supporters said it didn’t have the backing needed to earn passage.

Weeks after the tight finish in the June controller’s race highlighted major weaknesess in California’s recount law, legislation to create taxpayer-funded recounts in close contests has bogged down in partisan fighting and is dead for the year.

Proposed legislation to help woo electric car manufacturer Tesla’s $5 billion battery gigafactory to California will not emerge before lawmakers finish their work for the year, state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said Friday.

The state Senate approved legislation Friday to reduce the value of gifts lobbyists may give lawmakers and state officials, moving the bill forward at the end of a legislative session marked by scandal.

The state Senate on Friday approved legislation prohibiting private EMTs and other contractors from using logos for public agencies they serve without identifying themselves as contractors.

Friends, it seems as though we were just laughing about Coolio’s appearance at the back-to-session bash, and now it’s already the end of August.

You would think California lawmakers all love each other after Thursday's fawning farewells for the departing leaders, Dan says.

Separation of powers be damned: fond farewells allow exceptions.

An effort to help workers recover back wages by allowing them to slap liens on their employers’ property failed Thursday in the California Senate when numerous Democrats withheld their votes.

After a rally at the Capitol marked by chants of “The time has come for 51!” and a surprise appearance by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, supporters of the State of Jefferson presented their “declarations of separation” to the California Legislature on Thursday.

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Note: Capitol Alert switched blog platforms in July 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.


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