Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters, in today's video report, asks whether California Forward will keep pushing its ballot proposal to change the state's budget and governance, "or will it succumb to politics as usual?"

Welcome to the brave new world of campaigning in the digital age: No fewer than 15 of the 23 candidates challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the June 5 primary have said "yes" to participating in The Bee's live chat today about the election.

The 15 are all over the political map. They include three fellow Democrats, nine Republicans and one member each from the American Independent, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties.

It's a given that Feinstein will make it into the top-two runoff in November. Which of her rivals will join her? Torey Van Oot moderates. Catch the chat from noon to 1 p.m. at sacbee.com/live.

Gov. Jerry Brown, meanwhile, continues his appearances during memorial week as Caltrans honors fallen highway workers. Brown's talk during the agency's 22nd annual ceremony is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol's west steps.

Under the dome, the Senate Rules Committee considers gubernatorial appointments, with Pamela Harris, director of the Department of Employment Development required to appear. After that committee adjourns, a Senate subcommittee will take up Sens. Joe Simitian and Noreen Evans' proposal on state parks, which Torey Van Oot outlined yesterday in this post.

On the Assembly side, the Appropriations Committee has its work cut out for it, with about 12 dozen bills on its agenda. Several budget panels also convene, considering proposals on higher education, corrections and other matters. And another hearing will look at how to regulate diploma mills in the state. Click here for the Assembly's full schedule, and click here for the Senate's.

EDUCATION: The State Board of Education is reviewing how California's public schools are assessed, including the Academic Performance Index and the School Accountability Report Cards. Thursday, members will discuss whether to apply for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law. Today's meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at 1430 N St. Click here for the agenda.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, turns 46 today.



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