Capitol Alert

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BB_FINAL_DAY_EARTH_AB_32.JPGVIDEO: The price tag on California's high-speed rail project undercuts Gov. Jerry Brown's reputation for thrift, Dan Walters says.

FIELD POLL: California voters have reversed their views on same-sex marriage since 1977, the first year that the Field Poll conducted a survey on the subject. Click here for statistical tabulations compiled exclusively for Capitol Alert and The Bee. The poll itself is at this link.

California's landmark greenhouse-gas emissions law, AB 32, and its new cap-and-trade auctions are the focus of an all-day conference sponsored by Capitol Weekly and the University of California Sacramento Center. The state started auctioning off pollution permits last year.

Sen. Fran Pavley, AB 32's author, is delivering the keynote luncheon address. Panel participants include Timothy O'Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund, Dorothy Rothrock of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, former California EPA administrator Linda Adams, Anthony Eggert of the Policy Institute for Energy, the Environment and the Economy at UC Davis and Jan Smutny-Jones of the Independent Energy Producers Association. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UC Sacramento Center at 12th and K.

Back at the Capitol building, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, is talking to the press this morning about the brief he is filing in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop. 8 case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Pérez's filing follows those of Attorney General Kamala Harris and of a group of Republicans, including former gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman, who have urged the high court to strike down the same-sex marriage ban.

Sen. Alex Padilla's quest continues for an early warning system on earthquakes. The Los Angeles Democrat, whose push has already included bringing experts to the Senate floor, is appearing at a Federal Communications Commission hearing to discuss seismological threats to communications systems. The public hearing begins at 1 p.m. at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field near Sunnyvale and Mountain View.

Assembly committees on the budget and health are holding a joint hearing today to examine Medi-Cal changes that have grown out of the budget balancing tightrope of the last few years, including how Medi-Cal will absorb the 850,000 youngsters bumped from the now-defunct Healthy Families program. The hearing starts in the Capitol's room 4202 after session adjourns.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be in the building today. The California schools chief is testifying at a Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee hearing of K-12 funding in Brown's 2013-2014 budget. Expect Torlakson to go into the governor's local funding formula, which would allocate additional money to districts with students who are low-income or not native English speakers. The hearing starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol's room 4203.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission is meeting at 10 a.m. at 428 J St., Suite 800. The winners of the DataDeathmatch hackathon will be presenting their recommendations for using open data to make government more transparent.

It's been a busy week for people with a stake in online gambling. Leslie Lohse of the California Tribal Business Alliance addressed the issue at a Las Vegas last Thursday and California Tribal Business Alliance chairman Robert Smith talked about the possibilities at a Florida gambling conference on Tuesday. Lohse will be at it again today, joining in a "Regulating the shift from bricks to clicks" discussion during a 9 a.m. event at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, part of a Gaming Laboratories International conference.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Earth on fire symbolizes global warming outside the state Capitol on Aug. 31, 2006, as supporters of AB 32 urge passage. Brian Baer / Sacramento Bee file, 2006.


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