Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Gun safety in Sacramento spotlight

The Corona store where San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Farook purchased guns on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015.
The Corona store where San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Farook purchased guns on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. TNS

With the massacre in San Bernardino again igniting the debate over firearms policy, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, will return to the Capitol today for a hearing on preventing more violence.

California is widely seen as having the toughest gun laws in the country – in the last two years, for instance, the state has authorized ownership-barring restraining orders and prohibited guns on college campuses – so it seems like a safe bet the hearing will focus on federal inaction. Thompson has been among those who want to lift congressional restrictions on federal gun violence research. We’ll also see if Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ballot measure requiring ammo background checks gets some time.

Speakers at the hearing will include Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, Amanda Wilcox of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Captain Rich Desmond of the California Highway Patrol and a number of gun store owners and dealers. They’ll convene in room 4202 at 9:30 a.m.

HEAR US: This will be an unusually busy hearing day for the legislative off-season. The Assembly Education Committee will examine obstacles to English-language learners in Long Beach. The Select Committee On The Digital Divide In Rural California will talk about extending Internet access to all Californians during a Capitol hearing. The Select Committee On The Status Of Boys And Men Of Color will meet in Oakland to illuminate how childhood trauma holds people back.

TAXING: Lawmakers from both parties will head to Laguna Nigel for a two-day California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates conference. Topics will include upcoming legislative tax fights, with Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove, discussing the Republican party’s role (they’ve held the line so far on issues like transportation), and what tax measures could land on the 2016 ballot, including a debate between Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association head Jon Coupal and former Board of Equalization chair Conway Collis on a property tax surcharge ballot measure.

RETIREMENT: CalPERS has fought off criticism from Gov. Jerry Brown since rolling out a new investment strategy intended to limit its risk. The $300 billion dollar fund’s investment committee will offer some more details on what it’s up to, including approving a status report to the Legislature, during a meeting today at its P street headquarters.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert