Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Now the fun really begins. Lawmakers are back at the Capitol today for largely procedural floor votes to trigger the start of a two-house conference committee on Wednesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown says his target date for a budget deal is still March 10, 60 days after he released his proposed 2010-11 spending plan.

METRO CHAMBER: The Sacramento Metro Chamber will turn up the heat today by sending regional business and civic leaders to the Capitol to ask legislators to reform the state budget and provide regulatory relief for businesses.

It's the chamber's State Legislative Summit, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol and the Citizen Hotel at 926 J. St. in Sacramento. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will address the summit's luncheon at the hotel.

VIGIL: Public employee unions will be making their own show of force at a 5:30 p.m. candlelight vigil at the Capitol. Organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, vigil attendees will show solidarity with union brethren in Wisconsin, who are fighting plans to curb collective bargaining rights for state workers.

ELDER ABUSE: Meanwhile, Assembly members Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, and Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will hold a joint hearing from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 126 of the Capitol to discuss the growing number of elder and adult abuse cases in the state.

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: The celebrity of the day is Erin Brockovich, who will be at the Capitol to promote a new water quality bill.

Brockovich, who inspired a 2000 film shining a light on hexavalent chromium contamination in Hinkley, Calif., is backing a bill by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, that would require setting a standard level for the chemical compounds in state drinking water.

Campos and Brockovich will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. in Room 1190 of the Capitol.



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