Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters asks in today's video report: Will the real Jerry Brown stand up?

Can California sell more wine to China?

U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren is in Amador County moderating a forum on the possibilities of marketing wine to that large Asian market and elsewhere. Participants will hear from representatives of federal agencies, exporters, transportation specialists and industry officials at the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Schoolhouse, 21601 Shenandoah School Road, in Plymouth.

The Gold River Republican co-chairs the Congressional Wine Caucus along with Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena. Lungren counts about 100 wineries in his district, according to the caucus web site. But don't expect him at any tastings. As Torey Van Oot has reported, he doesn't drink.

Meanwhile, it's Women's Empowerment Day at the state Capitol, conducted by California Women Lead. Listed speakers at the all-day conference, aimed at helping women hone their leadership style and networking skills, include Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and Gov. Jerry Brown's appointments secretary, Mona Pasquil. Conway will also co-host a reception with Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma starting at 5 p.m. at the Park Ultra Lounge. Click here for more information.

Both the Senate and the Assembly have set floor sessions for noon, after which the Senate Appropriations Committee and other panels will work through their list of bills. Also under the dome, a Senate select committee looks at access to care for autism spectrum disorders, while the Assembly Transportation Committee considers the California High-Speed Rail Authority's latest business plan. Click here for the Senate's schedule, and click here for the Assembly's.

MARCH: Members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and others are marching starting at 9:45 a.m. from the California Bankers Association headquarters, 1303 J St., to the Capitol to meet with legislators about the banking and mortgage industries' campaign contributions and the money they spend on lobbying.

LGBT: Students gather at 11 a.m. on the Capitol's north steps to mark the seventh annual Queer Youth Advocacy Day to highlight issues affecting LGBT students.

HIGHER EDUCATION: University of California President Mark Yudof, Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, Craig McNamara of the State Board of Food and Agriculture and others highlight the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act of 1862, back when Abraham Lincoln was president. The federal legislation set up a nationwide system of land grant universities -- including UC. The event starts at 11 a.m. on the Capitol's west steps.

CUTS: Members of the Professional Beauty Federation of California head to the Capitol's south steps from 3 to 7 p.m. for its annual event offering free haircuts, massages and manicures to Capitol denizens.



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