It's been a month of firsts. A majority-vote budget gets passed by a Legislature whose members won't get paid because Controller John Chiang pronounced the budget unbalanced after Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it.
But here's something that hasn't changed -- fundraisers are stacking up like hotcakes at a benefit breakfast. No fewer than 18 lawmakers have been passing the hat for past or future campaigns so far this week alone.
Monday, Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson was looking to bulk up his campaign chest for re-election next year.
Tuesday saw nine legislators making the restaurant rounds from Spataro to Chops to Esquire Grill and beyond: Democratic Assemblymen Marty Block, Das Williams and V. Manuel Pérez, and Sen. Curren Price; plus Republican Assembly members Dan Logue, Katcho Achadjian, Chris Norby and Diane Harkey, and Sen. Sam Blakeslee.
Today, these lawmakers continue the quest: Democratic Assemblymen Ben Hueso, Sandré Swanson and Henry T. Perea and Sen. Noreen Evans; plus Republican Assemblymen Brian Jones and Don Wagner, and Sens. Doug LaMalfa and Mark Wyland.
Meanwhile, the four Senate Republicans targeted by Brown for a budget vote appear to have ample resources to survive a pay drought, according to statements of economic interest they filed for calendar year 2010. Kevin Yamamura has the details in today's Bee.
In non-budget-related news, the latest Field Poll finds that the majority of Californians oppose expanding both oil drilling and nuclear power. Residents want the state to pursue more alternative energy sources, according to the poll's director, Mark DiCamillo.
STEM CELL AGENCY: The board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will be considering its pick for a new chairman during today's meeting, although the members' decision could be delayed until Thursday, according to a spokesman. Click here for the meeting agenda, which contains links to nominating letters.
CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, turns 51 today.