Welcome to the AM Alert, your morning run-down on California policy and politics. To receive it regularly, please sign up for it here.
State legislators are set to weigh in on California’s new K-12 school performance measurements for the first time since the standards were approved by the state Board of Education last year.
The state’s new accountability system goes beyond standardized math and English test scores, also seeking to capture student performance by taking into account high school graduation and suspension rates, progress of English-learners, college and career readiness and other metrics. The Legislature mandated that schools and education officials measure such factors when assessing student performance.
State education officials are expected to give an overview of the new accountability system’s implementation, including development of a prototype to measure academic progress that could rank students on a color-scale with red being the lowest and blue being the highest. School districts are also required to measure campuses for other factors, including school climate, parent engagement and services for expelled students.
The joint Senate-Assembly Education Committee oversight hearing is at 9 a.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol.
HEALTH REFORM: California’s uninsured rate has dropped to 7.1 percent, according to a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s down from 18.6 percent in 2010, when the Affordable Care Act became law, according to health survey results at the time.
Nationwide, the U.S. uninsured rate is 8.8 percent, down from 16 percent in 2010, according to the new survey, released Feb. 14. The new figures show what may be motivating recent backlash at town hall and other events over Republican-led plans to repeal Obamacare.
IMMIGRATION DEBATE: Secretary of State Alex Padilla is launching a new effort to protect consumers seeking help from immigration consultants – professionals who assist immigrants with non-legal help, such as translating answers on immigration forms. Padilla said such help is needed given moves by President Donald Trump and his administration to crack down on undocumented immigrants and those seeking to come to the U.S.
Consultants are prohibited from giving legal advice, and have to meet Secretary of State requirements, including passing a background check and filing a consultant disclosure form with Padilla’s office.
Padilla is expected to give details on new protections at a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles.
RECYCLING 2.0: State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, convenes a Senate Environmental Quality Committee oversight hearing on the state’s efforts to overhaul California’s bottle recycling program, established in 1986.
The law is credited with preventing billions of beverage bottles from littering streets and highways, but major reforms are needed, state officials have said. California’s complex recycling system and financial problems have prompted a wave of recycling center closures to ripple across the state in recent years.
Scott Smithline, director of CalRecycle, will present an overview of current issues facing the recycling program and Gov. Jerry Brown’s reform proposal. The hearing is at 9:30 a.m. in Room 3191 of the Capitol.
FROM THE BELTWAY: Beyond the Bubble – new political podcast from McClatchy.
CONSUMER ALERT: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is warning those who were affected by the Oroville Dam evacuations to beware of price gouging, and he urged people who want help those who were evacuated this week to take precautions if donating. Although the crisis at the Oroville Dam is stabilized for now, another storm system is headed to the region later this week and evacuation orders could be reinstated.
People who want to give money or other donations should watch out for scams or other potential wrongdoing following natural disasters or other emergencies, Becerra said in a statement. He suggested people give to reputable organizations or those they trust, saying charities formed overnight often lack the expertise to respond during disaster relief efforts. He said people should do their research before giving and gave some tips on how to avoid theft or scams.
He also cautioned against price-gouging. State law generally prohibits businesses to hike prices more than 10 percent for things like hotel rooms, building materials, food and gas following an emergency declaration.
“California’s price gouging law protects people impacted by an emergency from illegal price gouging on gas, food, housing, and other essential supplies,” Becerra said.“I urge hotels, gas stations and other businesses operating in and around the evacuation area to understand and comply with the law, and I encourage anyone who has information regarding illegal price gouging to report it to our office.”
WORTH REPEATING: “We’re optimistic that he is going to let the experiment continue.” – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, at a California state Senate hearing about Trump’s stance on states legalizing pot – contrary to federal law.
Angela Hart: 916-326-5528, @ahartreports