Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, lawmakers and California business leaders are on Day Two of their mission to find out how Texas creates jobs.

On Thursday, they heard from Donna Arduin, who Alert readers may remember as the first finance director for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

They also had a 20-minute private meeting with Gov. Rick Perry and lunch with a group that included Carl's Jr. chief Andrew Puzder, who is considering moving his headquarters to Texas. No burgers were served.

Then they took a tour of the Capitol, where they were recognized as honored guests on the legislative floor.

One big finding: labor unions are more powerful in California.

"Andrew Puzder from Carl's Jr. talked about how the 8-hour work day and the meal breaks (required in California) are harmful, especially for restaurant businesses," said Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda. "Because they may get a truckload of ....teenagers at 2:00 and he's got to tell half of his staff to take a break while people line up out the door."

Said Logue: "I will travel the world to find a way to improve our economy and put the people the California back to work, if that's what it takes."

Today's agenda includes breakfast with Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and a hearing moderated by Logue on the differences between the business environments in California and Texas.

Others on the trip include Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare and Republican Assembly members Martin Garrick of Solana Beach, Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, Diane Harkey of Dana Point, Brian Jones of Santee, Steve Knight of Palmdale, Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga and Donald Wagner of Irvine.

Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani of Livingston is the lone Democratic legislator on the trip.

Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association and Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group are also along.

ELECTION 2012 Assemblyman Jim Silva is looking to get promoted to the upper house in 2012. The Huntington Beach Republican says he'll run to replace termed-out GOP Sen. Tom Harman in what is now the 35th Senate District. A first draft of the updated district lines will be released by the Citizens Redistricting Commission in June.


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