Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California has options on prisoner releases

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Unless a court intercedes, California will have to reduce its prison population by about 9,500 inmates by the end of the year.

After federal judges on Thursday ordered California to shed more than 9,000 inmates from prisons by the end of the year, Gov. Jerry Brown said the state would request an "immediate stay" of the ruling.

While the state awaits a response, it must be prepared for a denial, which would mean implementing the reduction plan corrections officials submitted in May.

The plan addresses a 2009 order the judges issued to limit the number of inmates state prisons can hold to 110,000. The court did that to relieve overcrowding it determined had caused inmates to fall ill or even die from treatable or mild diseases because they lacked access to basic medical and mental healthcare.

When the state submitted its plan, this is how Secretary of Corrections James Beard described the approach: “We provided a plan which consisted of the best of the bad options.”


Longtime City Hall staffer appointed to run Convention Center

Convention Center

Anschutz Entertainment Group

The Los Angeles City Council confirmed Robert Ovrom as the new executive director of the Convention Center Friday. Above is AEG's rendering of what a new convention space could look like.

The Los Angeles City Council confirmed Robert "Bud" Ovrom's appointment as executive director of the Convention Center Friday. 

The appointment comes at an uncertain time for the Convention Center. The L.A. City Council is considering a proposal that would allow the private Anschutz Entertainment Group to take over day-to-day management of the city asset. A rival company, SMG World, has filed a protest against that recommendation, arguing AEG lacks the experience to run a large convention center.

Hanging over all this is the question of whether the NFL will return to Los Angeles. The city has already agreed to allow AEG to tear down part of the convention center to make way for a stadium if a pro team returns to L.A. A new wing, Pico Hall, would be built to make up for the lost space. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP goes against ratepayer advocate, bridge safety questioned, Justin Bieber causes problems for Calabasas

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A solar program has caused a small riff between the Board of Water and Power Commissioners and the ratepayer advocate.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Friday, June 21, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Board of Water and Power Commissioners went against the advice of the ratepayer advocate when it decided to push ahead with the solar feed-in tariff program, reports the Daily News. "(Fred) Pickel said he now plans to take his concerns to the public and will work with the neighborhood councils to try to slow down the feed-in tariff program in which customers are compensated for the amount of energy generated from their solar roofs," according to the paper.


Governor, Legislature agree to fix public records bill (Updated)

Schwarzenegger Holds Press Conference On Passing Of California Budget

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The State Capitol was the scene of political maneuvering Thursday over the fate of the Public Records Act.

Seeking to quell a media outcry over access topublic records, the governor's administration on Thursday said it agrees with a fix-it bill moving through the Legislature that restores a mandate for local governments to comply with document requests.

The governor's spokesman, Evan Westrup, told The Associated Press that the governor's office supports the new approach taken by the Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate.

The leaders have pledged to undo language that threatened the public's access to government documents. The language is contained in a budget bill the Legislature approved last week and sent to the governor.

Earlier Thursday, the Assembly passed legislation that restores the local government mandate for complying with the state Public Records Act, and the Senate leader then said his house will take up the bill soon.


How will the Senate border security deal play on the House side?


SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Senate has worked out a border security compromise to jumpstart the immigration debate.

The U.S. Senate cleared a hurdle in the immigration debate Thursday, unveiling a compromise on border security.

The "border surge" amendment is an alternative to harsher GOP measures, including one that requires a 90 percent apprehension rate at the border before the legalization process begins.

The deal is designed to score GOP votes for a comprehensive immigration bill. But the Senate deal might not fly in the House.

The amendment by a pair of Republican senators, John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bob Corker of Tennessee, with the blessing of the "Gang of Eight," would grant permanent residency to the estimated 11 million undocumented U.S. residents after doubling the number of border patrol agents and completing 700 miles of fencing along the U.S./Mexico border.

But Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, who heads the House Judiciary Committee, says what you do on the border is important, "but it doesn't solve the problem by any means by itself." Goodlatte says a third of those "not lawfully present" in the U.S. overstayed their visas. Interior enforcement, he says, is also vital.