Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Dalai Lama addresses California Legislature

The Dalai Lama during a luncheon at Emory University on Oct. 9, 2013.
The Dalai Lama during a luncheon at Emory University on Oct. 9, 2013. The New York Times

Though a planned 2009 trip never came to fruition, the Dalai Lama finally makes his long-awaited visit to Sacramento today.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who is on a public tour of the United States this month, will address a joint session of the Legislature at 1 p.m. to discuss “compassion, the environment, and ethical leadership.” (Whether he has seen the movie Caddyshack is not expected to be a part of the speech.)

The event is closed to the public, but it will stream live on the California Channel. His arrival via the west steps of the Capitol at approximately 12:40 p.m. can also be viewed from the surrounding sidewalks.

The Dalai Lama was in Washington, D.C., last week, where he met with President Barack Obama for the fourth time and called for religious harmony in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Where do the candidates for California’s open U.S. Senate seat and local congressional and legislative races stand on gun control and fighting terror?

WHAT’S UP AT THE PUC?: A year-and-a-half after former President Michael Peevey retired amid scandal and criticisms that his agency had become too cozy with the industries it was supposed to be regulating, anger and frustration with the California Public Utilities Commission still simmers. A constitutional amendment to overhaul the agency and remove some of its regulatory authority recently passed the Assembly with overwhelming support. So how is current President Michael Picker, one of The Bee’s 2016 California politicos to watch, doing in his efforts to modernize and open access to the commission? You can ask him at the monthly Sacramento Press Club luncheon, 11:45 a.m. at the State Building & Construction Trades Council building on I Street.

GOV. MOVIE STAR: Documentaries have become a popular advocacy tool around the Capitol, and some are even playing a significant role in getting new laws passed. The latest to screen at that favorite hotspot, the Crest Theatre on K Street, is Time to Choose, a film about climate change that includes interviews with Gov. Jerry Brown and California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols. Hosted by the California Environmental Legislative Caucus, the free screening begins at 6 p.m., following a reception.

FOOD FIGHT: Rising costs have hit college students beyond tuition and textbooks. California State University estimates that 9 percent of its students live in unstable housing situations, and more than 20 percent are food insecure, which has led to a growing number of campus food pantries for hungry students. After conducting a study last year on the extent of the problem and the response at its 23 campuses, CSU is hosting its first systemwide conference on food and housing insecurity to discuss strategies for helping those students succeed to graduation. It takes place over the next two days at the chancellor’s office in Long Beach

PAROLE OF A LIFETIME: Hollywood celebrities are not an uncommon sight at the Capitol, but it’s rare for an industry type to be this intimately involved with state policy. The Hangover producer Scott Budnick, who is also a member of the California Community Colleges’ governing board, will present on how storytelling affects public safety during the Board of Parole Hearings meeting, 1 p.m. at its headquarters on K Street. Budnick is the founder and president of the nonprofit Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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