Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

It looks like Californians' optimism has its limits when it comes to state government.

Last January, 58 percent of Golden State residents thought that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature would be able to work together to accomplish a lot in a year, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

Now that number is at 44 percent, with 47 percent saying it's not gonna happen, according to PPIC's latest poll.

Meanwhile, Brown's approval rating has gone up among state residents, from 41 percent to 46 percent. The bad news is that trend is reversed among likely voters, slipping from 47 percent to 44 percent. Still, the governor is doing better than legislators -- 17 percent of likely voters approve of how the solons are doing.

As for the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney leads among likely GOP voters in California, with 37 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich, 18 percent. Mind you, the survey was conducted before the South Carolina primary. Last month, Gingrich led Romney, 33 percent to 25 percent, among the likely voters PPIC surveyed in California.

The Bee's Dan Smith has details about voters' views of the state budget in this post. Find the full survey at this link.

Under the dome, a joint Senate-Assembly committee on public employee pensions looks at design options for hybrid pension plans, starting at 1 p.m. in the Capitol's Room 4202.

The Senate Rules Committee considers gubernatorial appointees, starting at 1:30 p.m. in Room 113, with Howard Schwartz, the deputy director of the Department of Personnel Administration, required to appear.

CALLING ALL QUESTIONS: Got something you'd like to ask California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro? Go to our Facebook page at, and fire away. He's coming to the Capitol Bureau this morning for an interview at 9:30 a.m.

CSU PAY: California State University trustees are considering executive pay and compensation at their meeting today in Long Beach, and its chairman plans to propose a cap in response to pending legislation, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. Democratic Sen. Elaine Alquist's Senate Bill 952 proposes codifying a 10 percent cap into law. Democratic Sen. Ted. Lieu -- whose Senate Bill 959 would limit campus presidents' salaries -- will be among those testifying. Other CSU-related measures include Democratic Sen. Leland Yee's Senate Bill 967, which would bar CSU trustees from hiking executives' pay in bad budget years or within two years of a tuition increase.

REALIGNMENT: Speaking of PPIC, its luncheon program today focuses on the fiscal relationship between state and local governments, with State President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway among the scheduled speakers. The deadline has passed, but you can read the agenda here.

WOMEN IN MEDIA: California's second lady, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, is a special guest tonight as the Crest Theater screens her documentary, "Miss Representation," about media portrayal of women. The screening starts at 6 p.m. after a 5 p.m. reception. The Legislative Women's Caucus and the California Commission on the Status of Women are sponsoring the event at 1013 K St., Sacramento.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been updated to add mention of other CSU-related measures pending before the Legislature.


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