Politics

The state Senate is set to consider a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, that would allow non-citizens to serve as poll workers during elections, which its supporters say will increase voter access for non-English speakers.

If passed by the Senate, Bonta's AB 817 would allow green card holders to work at the polls and provide language assistance services on Election Day. Current law bars nonvoters from working the polls on election days; legal permanent residents lack the right to vote.

The need for a multi-year budget plan to prepare for higher pension and other employee costs was discussed at the special meeting of the City Council on Tuesday night.

The council reviewed the spending plan for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years but took no action. Adoption of the final, two-year budget, which includes expenditures of $163 million next year, will take place next month.

An enthusiastic City Council on Tuesday night gave City Manager John Russo the go-ahead to sign the deeds for 1,379 acres of Alameda Point, paving the way for the city to begin to address what many see as the Island’s biggest issue – reuse of the former Navy base.

“You know what? Congratulations to the City of Alameda,” Mayor Marie Gilmore said to a small crowd gathered in council chambers that clapped as the unanimous roll call vote was taken.

The deal, which has been two decades in the making, is set to close on June 4. A dignitary-saturated ceremony to commemorate the deal will be held on June 24.

Contributed photo.

A bill co-authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta that would levy taxes on ammunition to help fund public safety services in violence-plagued communities and also, children’s mental health services, has cleared one Assembly committee and is headed to another.

Here’s the latest news on bills by your local legislators.

STATE SENATOR LONI HANCOCK

Passed committee

SB279, Would set rules making it easier for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to hold regional elections; approved by the governance and finance committee on April 17, 7-0, and referred to rules committee.

SB396, approved by public safety committee on April 16, 5-2, and referred to the appropriations committee.

Five years ago, city leaders adopted a plan aimed at reducing Alameda’s carbon footprint. And community members formed a group, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, to help promote the plan’s emission reduction goals and gain the public’s help in reaching them. This Wednesday, April 24, the city and CASA are teaming up once more to celebrate their achievements at a Climate Protection Forum, where they will highlight the results of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions report, and spotlight local climate heroes.

Rob Bonta wants mental health services for youths who have experienced depression and violence. Contributed photo.

In an age of increasing violence, one East Bay legislator is sponsoring a bill that would help students affected by trauma.

An evening ferry arrives at the Main Street terminal. Photo by Michele Ellson.

City leaders are expressing concerns about a state lawmaker’s proposal to restructure the board that oversees Bay Area ferry service, calling it a power grab by local officials in East Contra Costa County that could cost the Island its say over two local ferry lines and frustrate plans to move one of them to Alameda Point.

Here’s a list of bills introduced by your state representatives since January, with a brief description of each and their status.

STATE SENATOR LONI HANCOCK

Scheduled for hearing

SB379, Would make it easier for charter early college high schools to allow students to spend more time attending community and state colleges; was scheduled for a hearing before the education committee on April 3. SB730, which would grant students at middle college high schools better access to community colleges and allow community colleges to strike partnerships deals with the schools; the bill is scheduled for a hearing before the education committee on April 10.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee kicked off her new job as Alameda’s representative in the House on Monday by announcing plans to help constituents who are having issues with the federal government. Lee’s office will hold office hours at the Main Library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

“So many times, people get bogged down with federal agencies. We really try to bring government closer to people, and to be your advocate,” Lee told a small crowd heavily studded with local electeds during a stop at the library Monday afternoon.