Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The California High-Speed Rail Authority rolls into the Capitol today as a joint Senate hearing considers its draft business plan.

Board members will provide an overview, and representatives of the Legislative Analyst's Office and the State Treasurer's Office will examine issues such as the plan's public debt financing strategy.

The public hearing, co-chaired by Democratic Sens. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord and Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, starts at 10 a.m. in the Capitol's Room 112.

High-speed rail is far from the only issue legislators will consider. A Senate select committee meets at 1 p.m. in Room 3191 to look at the state's underground economy's impact on small businesses and on the state itself.

Then there's the question of what will happen to prison inmate fire crews under realignment, which is the focus of the Rural Fire Protection Working Group's meeting from 9:30 am to noon in Room 444. Expected to attend: Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, the group's chairman, as well as Sens. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, and Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale; Assembly members Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, Beth Gaines, R-Roseville; and Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata.

Meanwhile, an Assembly committee looks at the role that California's housing market may play in an economic recovery. Members will hear from representatives of UCLA Anderson School of Management, the California Building Industry Association and state agencies. The hearing, chaired by Democratic Assemblywoman Norma J. Torres of Pomona, runs from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 126.

Farther afield, the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, chaired by Democratic Assemblyman Henry T. Perea of Fresno, meets at San Jose State University from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to look at tax policy and job creation in the high-tech sector.

Meanwhile, California voters continue to give Gov. Jerry Brown relatively high marks, but their views of the Legislature remain dismal.

David Siders has more details about the latest Field Poll in today's Bee. Want even more? Click here to read the statistical tabulations prepared exclusively for Capitol Alert, and click here to read the publicly released poll.

DAY OF INCLUSION: Democratic Assemblyman Mike Eng of Monterey Park joins the Organization of Chinese Americans' Greater Sacramento Chapter and others to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of immigrants to the United States. This year, the honorees are the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Tolerance and community leader Steve Yee. The celebration will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Capitol's basement rotunda. For more information, click here.



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