Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Assembly launches consumer tech-focused committee

Uber and Lyft drivers rally against ride-sharing regulation bills at the Capitol on June 17, 2014.
Uber and Lyft drivers rally against ride-sharing regulation bills at the Capitol on June 17, 2014.

With the emergence of the “sharing economy” and other digital revolutions, debates over technology are gaining steam at the Capitol.

The Internet Association opened a lobbying office in Sacramento last year, its first outside Washington, D.C., and a bitter battle over insurance regulations for ride services like Uber and Lyft was among last session’s most high-profile. Home-sharing company Airbnb is gearing up for a similar clash in the coming months.

Amid the growing swirl of questions about consumer data, Internet privacy and tech businesses, the Assembly has created a new committee on privacy and consumer protection. Speaker Toni Atkins and Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, the committee’s chairman, will discuss its purpose and goals at 11 a.m. in Room 317 of the Capitol

VIDEO: The Legislature's undemocratic habit of sneaking bills through in the final hours of session must end, Dan Walters says.

COOL RUNNINGS: From 2013 to 2014, the California Air Resources Board and the University of California's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory collaborated on the “CoolCalifornia City Challenge,” a competition between California cities encouraging residents to reduce their household carbon footprint. At the end of the challenge, Riverside was named the “Coolest California City” and received prize money from Energy Upgrade California. UC Berkeley researchers will discuss their findings from the competition during a 1:30 p.m. seminar at the Cal/EPA Headquarters on I Street.

FLU AWAY HOME: Health insurance provider Anthem Blue Cross is offering free flu vaccines to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 125 of the Capitol.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.