Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Lawmakers request CSU, DMV state audits

State Auditor Elaine Howle, left, presents her findings on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee at the Capitol, May 10, 2011
State Auditor Elaine Howle, left, presents her findings on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee at the Capitol, May 10, 2011

There’s reason to be afraid of Elaine Howle.

The state auditor’s recent reports ripped the State Bar of California for overpaying its leaders and blasted the University of California’s out-of-state tuition policy.

Now legislators are prodding the agency to audit the growth of management positions and executive compensation at California State University, the disabled parking program at the Department of Motor Vehicles and contracting practices at the University of California. Those are among the requests to be discussed today by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

In a statement explaining her request for an audit of the university system, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, cited data from the state controller to show that management positions at CSU grew by 24 percent between 2007 and 2015, far outpacing an increase in support staff jobs. Weber said she has “serious concerns” about whether the jobs, as well as an increase in executive pay, are justified.

The committee meets at 9:30 a.m. in room 126 at the Capitol.

SUSHI SHOWDOWN: Legislators and government officials will face off in the California Rice Commission’s annual Capitol Roller sushi making competition this afternoon. Last year’s champion, Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, will defend her hard-won Samurai Sword trophy against challengers Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird. They won’t be making just any old sushi; the contestants will, of course, whip up California rolls. The reception, which begins at 12:30 p.m., will promote California-grown rice and is invitation-only.

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE: With the California primary two weeks away, the underdog in the Democratic presidential race and Republican presumptive nominee are busy rallying local supporters. Bernie Sanders begins his day at a noon talk in Cathedral City, before heading more than 100 miles north to Lancaster to speak to voters at 7 p.m. Donald Trump is slated to appear at the Anaheim Convention Center at noon.

GO GREEN: A proposed ballot initiative to redirect the money retailers collect from sales of reusable bags to an environmental fund is up for debate in a joint hearing of the Assembly Natural Resources and Senate Environmental Quality committees today. The initiative was put forth by a collection of plastic companies in response to a new law banning single-use bags in stores, which voters will either uphold or reject through a referendum on the November ballot. Plastic bag companies believe bag sale proceeds should go to the environment, while opponents say retailers will lose money if the fee distribution initiative passes.

MATCHMAKER: Check out our candidate matching tool to find the legislative and congressional candidates who most closely share your views. Answer a few questions and voilà, the lawmaker of your dreams appears.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Track the contributions flowing into legislative races using The Money Trail.

Rachel Cohrs of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna