Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Are California lawmakers ready for summer recess?

Assembly member Roger Hernandez at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, January 10, 2013.
Assembly member Roger Hernandez at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, January 10, 2013. RBenton@sacbee.com

Legislators have a lot to finish this week, and today’s schedule is particularly busy as the month-long summer recess and a key deadline loom on Friday.

The Assembly has a full schedule of committee hearings today, including Natural Resources, Revenue and Taxation, Transportation, and Utilities and Commerce. In the Senate, Appropriations, Labor and Industrial Relations, Budget and Fiscal Review, Business, Professions and Economic Development, Energy, Utilities and Communications and Public Employment and Retirement are scheduled to meet.

Not only does summer recess start on Friday, it’s the last day for bills to pass policy committees this year. Legislators aren’t scheduled to convene again until Aug. 17 for a final month of lawmaking.

This year’s recess is coming nearly a week later than it did in 2013. Could the later date be the cause of some crankiness under the dome? Last Wednesday, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina, turned off and ordered the removal of Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper’s microphone.

PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS: The Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce is examining the ex parte communication practices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Recently CPUC has been under scrutiny for its private communications concerning rate cases.

The hearing will include review of a report on the commission’s ex parte practices. Last fall, the president of CPUC Michael Peevey resigned amid controversy surrounding back-channel emails with PG&E.

Scheduled to testify are Michael Strumwasser and Beverly Grossman Palmer from Strumwasser and Woocher LLP and Edward O’Neill, Gov. Jerry Brown’s senior adviser on CPUC Modernization and Reform

The hearing is at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol, room 437.

WATER GENERATION: In April, Brown imposed the first mandatory water consumption restrictions to combat the drought. Now companies are looking to reduce their impact on water usage while creating technologies for water generation.

Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, and Ambient Water, a water generation company, will showcase a method for extracting clean water from humidity in the air.

Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, will speak at the press conference following the event.

The showcase will take place at 9 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS: This summer, Los Angeles will host the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The organizing committee is gearing up with an event today called the Summer World Games Final Leg Kickoff Ceremony.

Speakers include Gov. Jerry Brown, CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeffrey Beard, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. One hundred law enforcement officers and 10 athletes will also attend.

The opening ceremony is at 9:30 a.m. on the west side of the Capitol.

Catherine Douglas Moran: 916-321-1202

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