Capitol Alert

AM Alert: How to fix homelessness in California

A homeless encampment along the Sacramento River.
A homeless encampment along the Sacramento River.

As the protests roiling Sacramento illustrate, California has a homelessness problem.

Senators from both parties have gotten behind a $2 billion bond to build more housing, reflecting the broad belief that a dearth of affordable housing has reached a crisis level. New Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, has talked about making housing a key piece of his caucus’s agenda.

Housing will be a key topic at a multi-committee hearing on combating homeless this afternoon, with other subjects including the particular problems of youth homeless and the state’s role in finding people a place to stay. Things get started at 1:30 p.m. in room 444.

YOSEMITEEING OFF: The outcry over Yosemite National Park landmarks like the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village changing names amid a trademark fight has produced a bill trying to protect how we refer to treasured places by saying companies that trademark “iconic names” can’t hold concessions contracts in public parks. Assembly members Ken Cooley, D-Elk Grove, and Adam Gray, D-Merced, will be talking about their bill at 10:45 a.m. on the north steps.

INJECTION REJECTION: The gas-spewing Aliso Canyon well has finally been plugged, but the political fallout continues. An urgency bill that would slap a moratorium on injecting gas into the storage facility is up in its first Assembly committee today. Senate Bill 380 has vaulted through so far, passing the Senate on a 40-0 vote in January. It goes before the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee at 3 p.m. in room 437.

TREE STORY: Droughts are bad news for trees, with the current dry spell endangering tens of millions in California. A joint hearing of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and a budget subcommittee today will step back to see the thinning forest, calling on a range of forestry experts, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection chief Ken Pimlott. Starting at 1:30 p.m. in room 447.

CLEARING THE AIR: With climate change leading the agenda for Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, the California Air Resources Board has garnered plenty of attention lately, most recently as a former lawmaker snagged a legislative appointment. A joint hearing of the two house’s transportation committees will question ARB officials on how the regulator is working to reduce emissions via the transportation sector. Starting at 1:30 p.m. in room 4202.

YOUTH SERVED: It’s California Youth Connection’s legislative advocacy day, which means members of the foster-youth focused organization will be rallying on the west steps at noon and making office visits. They’ll be emphasizing Senate Bill 1060, which pushes courts overseeing adoptions to set up a system for siblings to stay in touch.

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