VIDEO: Dan Walters says in today's report that California lawmakers should look at whether implementing the state's greenhouse-gas emissions law will affect its economic recovery.
Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the state budget and penciled out some funding for state parks, child care and Cal Grants, the Legislature doesn't have floor sessions scheduled until Monday.
This, of course, leaves lawmakers free to flee the Capitol.
Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, is headed home to host a forum on the state's cap-and-trade program regulating greenhouse gases. Representatives of the California Air Resources Board, the Legislative Analyst's Office, the California Trucker Association and the National Resources Defense Council are among those invited to participate.
Others include local food processors, agricultural interests, energy companies and large energy users. The forum runs from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Fresno City College, 1101 E. University Ave., in the Old Administration Building, Room 251.
This weekend, Democratic Sens. Joe Simitian and Curren Price as well as Assemblywoman Betsy Butler are holding events in their districts ranging from sidewalk office hours to town halls to community coffees.
Next Friday is the last day for policy committees to pass bills. With the Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week, legislators are going to have their hands full tackling big issues that remain: pension reform, mortgage and foreclosure legislation, the high-speed rail project and the governor's government reorganization plan.
Lawmakers also need to act quickly if they want to take the water bond off the November ballot and delay it until 2014. They're set to start their summer recess at the end of next week.
NEW GIG: Democratic political strategist Sky Gallegos has joined StudentsFirst as director of national electoral initiatives. Gallegos, who helped start EdVoice, will oversee the group's "candidate and initiative electoral strategy, identifying and supporting the election of strong, reform-minded candidates to public office," says the news release announcing her hiring. StudentsFirst is the Sacramento education advocacy group headed by Sacramento's first lady, Michelle Rhee.
CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, turns 38 today, while Assemblyman Henry T. Perea celebrates his 35th birthday while hosting that cap-and-trade forum in Fresno. Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, R-Fresno, turns 44 on Saturday. Birthday wishes to all.