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The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters is mystified about tech-savvy California's poor record with government-sponsored online projects.

Today California enters the next phase in setting special elections for Senate seats in the 32nd and 40th districts, which Rep. Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, respectively vacated when they ascended to Congress in November.

It's the last day for Secretary of State Debra Bowen to send county election officials a certified list of candidates. Four registered Democrats have filed their intention to run in the 32nd, among them Assemblywoman Norma Torres and San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller Larry WalkerBen Hueso, D-San Diego, looks like the candidate to beat in the 40th.

Bowen's office will be holding a lottery at 11 a.m. to randomly determine the order in which candidates for the two elections will appear on the ballot.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is staying on in Washington, D.C. post-inauguration to lobby for a national mental health plan. On his schedule today are meetings with Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, the vice president's office, the Department of Health and Human Services and some advocacy organizations.

The Little Hoover Commission will convene a hearing to examine the quality of veterans' programs in California, starting at 9 a.m. in Room 2040 of the State Capitol building.

The California Women's Health Alliance holding a rally on the capitol buildings south steps today to mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, starting at 1 p.m.

Finally, a happy belated birthday to Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, who turned 39 on Friday.


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