Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Chalk up another salvo in the ballot initiative wars: Civil rights lawyer Molly Munger is addressing members of the California State PTA today at their annual legislative conference.

The two-day confab, held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Sacramento, is focused on helping qualify Munger's tax plan for the November ballot -- and getting it passed.

Munger is the keynote speaker at today's luncheon, starting at noon. Her talk follows remarks from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and from Sue Burr, the State Board of Education's executive director.

Her proposal would raise $10 billion a year for California schools by hiking income taxes on all but the poorest state residents. Gov. Jerry Brown has been unsuccessful at getting Munger and her allies to back off from the tax plan, which rivals his own.

The keynote speaker at tonight's dinner is John Mockler, who gets credited for Proposition 98. Tuesday's sessions move to the Capitol and include overviews of Brown's budget proposal, transitional kindergarten and other issues. Find a conference agenda at this link.

Under the dome, the Assembly has set its floor session for noon, and the Senate is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. It's still a few weeks before the deadline for bills to be introduced -- the last day is Feb. 24, the Friday after Presidents Day. That Friday also happens to be the deadline for verifying signatures on the Republicans' ballot initiative challenging the state Senate maps. And in a three-fer deal, it's also the first day of the California Republican Party's spring convention.

In other news, it's Ronald Reagan Day. The former president and California governor, if he were still alive, would be 101 today.

MENTAL HEALTH: The Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition is conducting a legislative briefing co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Capitol's Room 447.

ROSA PARKS: Members of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists celebrate the 12th annual Rosa Parks Day as they advocate for a statue of the civil rights icon to be added at the U.S. Capitol building. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol's west steps.

STATE OF THE U: Sacramento State holds a State of the University forum starting at 4:30 p.m. in University Union Ballroom 3, 6000 J St., to discuss the effects of budget cuts on students, faculty and parents. Those listed to attend include Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento.



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