Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Water bond, cap-and-trade loom large as Legislature returns

Let the games begin!

The Legislature returns from its summer recess today and, with a month remaining in the session, there are still a number of contentious issues to sort out.

Chief among them is the water bond. While most lawmakers feel the $11.1 billion proposal on the November ballot is doomed to fail, Democrats and Republicans haven’t been able to agree on a replacement. Voter information guides are already on display, however, so time is running out to pass a new version of the measure.

Concern over California’s cap-and-trade program has also been growing as the state prepares to bring transportation fuels under regulation next year. Facing potential price hikes at the pump, a group of lawmakers is pushing to delay the rule, over the objections of environmentalists and utilities that are already regulated.

Other controversial legislation to watch out for this month: a ban on single-use plastic bags, guaranteed paid sick leave for workers, a requirement for porn performers to wear condoms, and a school construction bond that everyone except Gov. Jerry Brown seems to want.

Jeremy B. White has an extended preview of the looming legislative battles in today’s paper.

VIDEO: Water is for fighting in California, Dan Walters says.

HIGHER EDUCATION: Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access is in Sacramento for its lobby day, starting at 9 a.m. at the Citizen Hotel on J Street with a legislative briefing on bills that would create a regulatory bureau for dispensaries and cultivation sites and require police to return seized marijuana if it was lawfully posessed by the defendant. State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, is also scheduled to speak.

READ MORE: California water bond: The burning questions