Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Members of the state's High-Speed Rail Authority are holding their monthly board meeting this morning to talk about the new business plan that The Bee's David Siders detailed in this story earlier this week.

If approved, the rail project would start construction in the Central Valley from Bakersfield to near Chowchilla sometime next fall. The meeting starts at 10 a.m. in Sacramento City Council chambers at 915 I St. Click here to read the agenda.

Back at the Capitol, an Assembly budget subcommittee will consider whether the safety net program CalWORKs is helping families move out of poverty. The meeting, chaired by Democratic Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Capitol's Room 126.

Listed panelists include Will Lightbourne, the director of the state's Department of Social Services; Bruce Wagstaff, administrator of Sacramento County's Countywide Services Agency; plus CalWORKs recipients, academics, and representatives of the California Budget Project, the Service Employees International Union, the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations and other groups.

Outside the dome, meanwhile, you might see some workers taking out the computer kiosk at the California Veterans Memorial in Capitol Park this morning. The scoop is that they're employees of the state Department of Veterans Affairs. The kiosk, which allows visitors to access a registry of veterans, is being moved to the California Military Museum to ward off vandalism and encourage more use.

LTGOV: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom heads to the south state to give welcoming remarks to participants of the 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference. Hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance, the event takes place at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles. Newsom's speech starts at 9:30 a.m. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and California NAACP head Alice Huffman are also expected to attend the conference. For more information, visit

ADOPTION: Advocates mark National Adoption Day in a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. on the Capitol's north steps. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, will join participants reading a roll call of the names of children waiting for families. Four adoptive families will also be honored. Later, at 6 p.m., participants will hold a candlelight vigil.

DEMONSTRATION: Members of the Developmental Services Network and others demonstrate from 11 a.m. to noon at the state's Department of Healthcare Services headquarters, 1501 Capitol Ave. in Sacramento, to protest budget cuts affecting services for developmentally disabled Californians, particularly those living in community-based homes.


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