Capitol Alert

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Gov. Jerry Brown is still in Southern California hanging out with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, while legislators are gearing up in Sacramento for the long weekend by attending per diem sessions.

Brown continues his diplomatic role with China's likely next leader, speaking this morning at the China/U.S. economic trade forum being held at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, then meeting privately with Xi at noon.

The governor will also deliver welcoming remarks at a luncheon honoring Xi that Vice President Joe Biden and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are also expected to attend. This afternoon, Brown hosts a round-table for other governors and Chinese officials. Xi leaves LAX tonight, and Brown and Villaraigosa will see him off.

"China has trillions of dollars in reserves, and they're going to be investing that increasingly throughout the world," Brown told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I would like to see some of that money come into California for productive investment."

Xi's visit to Los Angeles has not been protest-free, with pro-Tibet supporters and others demonstrating outside China Mart's offices Thursday.

While Brown meets with Xi, Assemblyman Jerry Hill will be meeting with the guy who burglarized his garage back in 2001. The San Mateo Democrat, then a county supervisor, heard banging and found Mark Harvin, then 18, high on meth and alcohol, according to Hill's office.

Hill, a black belt in karate, "held on to him until police could come and take him away. ... In fact, he even sat the guy down and held him in place until the police arrived a few minutes later," the San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time.

Harvin now works at San Mateo's Project Ninety, a substance abuse program he says saved his life. Harvin recently wrote Hill to request a meeting as part of his rehabilitation. They'll sit down today at 10 a.m. for the first time since they met in Hill's garage.

As for the Legislature's per diem sessions, those are the floor sessions scheduled to make sure legislators' per diem checks keep flowing over long weekends, since the rules are such that they don't get paid unless there's at least one session every three days. Both the Senate and the Assembly convene at 9 a.m. The next sessions are set for Tuesday after the Presidents Day holiday.

Next Friday is another red-letter day: It's the last day for legislators to introduce bills this year. Expect many trees to die.

LINCOLN DAY: Board of Equalization member George Runner will be speaking next Monday at the Sutter County Republican Central Committee's annual Lincoln Dinner starting at 6 p.m. He's titled his topic, "Will California ever be business-friendly again?" Listed guests include GOP Rep. Wally Herger; Sen. Doug LaMalfa, who's running for Herger's seat with Herger's endorsement; and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, who has said he'll run for LaMalfa's Senate seat if LaMalfa winds up in Congress. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. at Ruthy's Bar & Oven Starlight Room, 229 Clark Ave., in Yuba City.

CAKE AND CANDLES: It's a big weekend for birthdays. Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, turns 42 today. On Saturday, Assemblymen Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, will celebrate, with Wieckowski turning 57 and Huffman turning 48. Then on Sunday, it's Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal's day. The Long Beach Democrat can put 72 candles on her cake.


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