Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown gives Hollywood a happy ending on film tax credit

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.

The effort to reverse declining film and television production in California faced doubts over its effectiveness in luring industry jobs back from other states. But after an intense lobbying effort by Hollywood – including a visit from stew aficionado Carl Weathers – Brown reached a deal with lawmakers more than tripling the five-year-old tax credit.

Brown will sign the legislation, which also replaces the program’s lottery system with a competitive application, at 10 a.m. at the legendary TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. No word on whether he’ll leave his handprints and signature alongside those of fellow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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

CAN I GET A WITNESS?: After being arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence, state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, will be arraigned in Sacramento this afternoon, although he is not expected to appear in court.

WE REGULATE: Opponents of Proposition 45, the November ballot measure that would give the state insurance commissioner authority over health insurance rate changes, have taken to the airwaves to criticize the proposal for interfering with implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. It’s an argument that echoes concerns raised by the Covered California board, which last month considered the possibility of formally opposing Prop. 45. The board will hear a report on potential “operational implications” if the measure passes during its meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. at the Covered California Tahoe Auditorium on Exposition Blvd.

TO DIVEST OR NOT TO DIVEST: As the University of California Board of Regents weighs options for creating a more sustainable investment portfolio, students continue to push the university to divest from fossil fuels. The board is expected to vote on recommendations, including allocating $1 billion over the next five years to invest in solutions to climate change, at its meeting today at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. Student protesters from Fossil Free UC, which clashed with the board at its May meeting in Sacramento, will be there once again to advocate for divestment as part of the university’s strategy.

CLASH OF THE CANDIDATES: Plans are now set for a debate between Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and Republican challenger Doug Ose on Oct. 8. Find out more at www.flc.losrios.edu/debate. We’re asking readers to help us develop the questions that the candidates will be asked. To submit a question, email debate@sacbee.com.

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