Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown signs historic groundwater management legislation

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.

Driven by concerns over an increasing reliance on groundwater sources during the state’s severe drought, which has resulted in depleted aquifers, sinking land and damaged infrastructure, a package of bills establishing historic management of groundwater extraction flew through the Legislature.

Despite strong objections from Central Valley lawmakers and agricultural groups, who argued that it would create burdensome and costly requirements, Gov. Jerry Brown is now poised to sign the legislation during a ceremony in his office at the Capitol at 10 a.m.

Matt Weiser has an in-depth look at what’s to come.

VIDEO: Though it failed to qualify for the ballot, the Six Californias initiative still did some good, Dan Walters says.

AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT: California could soon become the first state to adopt a standard of affirmative consent for sexual activity on college campuses. Last month, the Legislature passed a bill that would require schools to establish a “yes means yes” policy for defining consent and investigating cases of sexual violence. The proposal, which makes a student who wants to engage in sexual activity responsible for ensuring that he or she has explicit consent from a partner, now sits on the governor’s desk. Sexual assault survivors from the University of California and California State University systems will gather on the south steps of the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. before marching to Brown’s office to deliver petitions urging him to sign the bill.

CALPERS ELECTION: While much less visible than November’s statewide election, the ongoing race for two slots on the 13-member CalPERS board, which controls California’s $300 billion public pension fund, has high stakes and political intrigue of its own. CalPERS and the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County will host a forum for the five candidates running for the board’s state member and public agency member positions, 5 p.m. at the CalPERS Headquarters Auditorium on Q Street.

HEARINGS GALORE: Several lawmakers are taking a break from the campaign season today to hold informational hearings. The Senate Committee on Environmental Quality is scheduled to review an audit of cost recovery by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, 10 a.m. in Room 3191 of the Capitol. The Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-term Care will discuss men becoming caregivers, 2 p.m. in Room 126. The Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology is looking at how to improve the workforce pipeline in California’s biotechnology industry, 10:30 a.m. at San Francisco State University.

ROCK THE VOTE: Trying to figure out who to vote for this November? Find the Sacramento-area legislative and congressional candidates who best reflect your views with The Bee’s new candidate match tool.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who turns 43 today.

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