Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

BUDGET: Floor sessions are scheduled in both houses of the Legislature today. No budget vote Is expected..

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said Monday that the earliest a vote could occur would be Wednesday, "but it may even be a day or two later."

Senate Democrats huddled in an after-hours caucus on Monday night to discuss the latest budget developments.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the four legislative legislative leaders are scheduled to continue their closed-door negotiations today.

EVENTS: The California State PTA will rally in Glendale against budget cuts to education. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell is slated to attend.

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will hear legislation by Sen. Joe Simitian to increase the requirement on utilities to provide power from renewable energy.

The current standard is 20 percent of power from renewables by 2010. The Simitian bill would up that to 33 percent by 2020.

PRESSER: The state Assembly will announce plans for the first of its savings by cutting operating costs. Today, the lower house will commit at least $2 million of its own funds to the Employment Development Department.

That's the state unemployment agency swamped with calls as the unemployment rate has jumped to 9.3 percent.

The money is part of the Assembly's pledge to cut 10 percent, or $15.1 milion, from its budget. A whole host of Democrats (Assembly members Juan Arambula, Joe Coto, Noreen Evans, Ted Lieu and Sandré Swanson) will hold a press conferrence to announce the giving.

GOVERNOR 2010: Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will be in Tulare today, pressing for his plan for an accelerated medical school at the UC Merced.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will be in San Jose for a town-hall style event.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can't commit to serving a full second term.

And, if you missed all the Meg Whitman coverage Monday, here's a roundup of the Capitol Alert headlines:

Whitman boots up campaign for governor
Ex-Gov. Wilson tops list of early Whitman backers
Poizner's response: 'Welcome' to the campaign
Whitman settles cybersquatter case -- out of court
Hudson files FPPC complaint against Whitman...gets Poizner's support



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