Capitol Alert

AM Alert: First peek inside Jerry Brown, Janet Napolitano’s committee of two

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, and University of California President Janet Napolitano listen to students speak during the UC Regents meeting in San Francisco on Nov. 20, 2014.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, and University of California President Janet Napolitano listen to students speak during the UC Regents meeting in San Francisco on Nov. 20, 2014. The Associated Press

The University of California wants more money, Gov. Jerry Brown wants a tuition freeze, and their stalemate over state funding is nearing five months. Is the “committee of two” our saving grace?

Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano formed the exclusive committee in January, amid tense budget negotiations, to consider systemwide issues – ranging from potential cost reductions around teaching load, compensation, pensions and health benefits to online classes, three-year degrees and more of Brown’s visions for the future of higher education.

The public has heard little about the private meetings so far; earlier this month, Napolitano told The Bee Editorial Board that they were going “well” and that Brown is “an interesting guy” who “asks interesting questions.” But we’ll get our first report from the duo during the UC Board of Regents meeting, which starts at 8:30 a.m. at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco.

VIDEO: It's time for a proper fix to California's $72 billion in unfunded state worker health care costs, Dan Walters says.

LIVE OR LET DIE: Controversial legislation allowing doctors to assist terminally ill patients who want to die is likely to be one of the more high-profile Capitol battles this session. After several failed attempts almost a decade ago, is California finally ready to pass an aid-in-dying bill? Ben Rich, an endowed chair of bioethics and professor of internal medicine at UC Davis, shares insights from the experiences of Oregon and Washington, where physician-assisted suicide has been legal for many years, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

SHINE ON ME: In recognition of Sunshine Week, open government advocate California Forward is hosting a “summit on data” exploring potential uses of technology to promote transparency in state and local government agencies, 10 a.m. at Sacramento Grand Ballroom on J Street. Speakers include Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, Fair Political Practices Commission Chair Jodi Remke, and Kish Rajan, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

AG YOU GONNA GO MY WAY?: California Ag Day is back at the Capitol showcasing the state’s agriculture industry, 10:30 a.m. on the west steps. This year’s theme of “breaking new ground” celebrates soil, with booths and exhibits on advances in soil health preservation, though old standby Buttercup the Electronic Cow will also be on hand for her popular robotic milking demonstrations. California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross headlines the speaking program at noon.

UNDER ONE ROOF: After tackling regulation of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft last year, lawmakers are moving on to home-sharing service such as Airbnb. A joint hearing by the Assembly Local Government Committee and the Assembly Taxation and Revenue Committee will examine how these short-term vacation rentals fit into California’s policies on transient occupancy taxes, the hotel tax that many cities and counties rely on for a significant portion of their revenue, 1:30 p.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol. A new bill would make it easier to collect taxes on homeowners who rent out rooms through home-sharing services.

GET ON THE BUS: Want to take a peek inside the world’s largest electric vehicle? BYD Motors, the Chinese automaker that opened its first American plant in California following Brown’s 2013 trade trip to China, will open its 60-foot zero-emission bus to the public, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the Sutter Club on 9th Street. The bus will later serve as transportation for attendees of Coalition for Clean Air’s reception, 5 p.m. at the Sutter Club, which includes a panel discussion featuring state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and remarks from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

HANDS OFF: Representatives of the California Emergency Nurses Association will join Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, to rally for AB 172, which raises penalties for assaulting physicians and nurses inside emergency care facilities, 11 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assembly members Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, who turns 62 today, and Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, who is 50.