Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government


The smell of livestock wafting down L Street can mean only one thing: It's Agriculture Day at the state Capitol. Festivities get under way at 10:30 a.m., when lawmakers and their staff are invited to explore the booths (and tractors) around the Capitol grounds near the west steps. The public gets to meander through from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will also be a lunchtime presentation of something called the World's Largest School Lunch Tray, which is precisely what it sounds like. An oversized recreation of the lunch trays familiar to California schoolchildren will be used to feed hundreds of elementary school students. The massive meal is being put together with some help from the people at the PBS program "Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh," as she emcees the event.

Ag day also gives lawmakers with agricultural backgrounds a chance to display their bona fides. Freshman Assemblyman and rancher Frank Bigelow, R-O'Neals, easily identifiable around the building thanks to his trademark white rancher's hat, is going to speaking throughout the day, including at a steak and eggs breakfast for the California Cattlemen at the Sutter Club.

VIDEO: California's longstanding pattern of constant population growth could be changing, and Dan Walters says that could bring a wide array of changes.

As long as we're on the topic of the outdoors, we should mention that the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California is hosting a legislative action day today. Public health professionals will be in town to talk with lawmakers about mitigating mosquito-related public health risks.

If you're looking for something a little more technological, you'll find a Frisbee-throwing robot on the east steps from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The robot is the handiwork of an award-winning robotics team comprised of California high school students, whom Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, is hosting.

There are a few joint hearings today. A joint hearing of the committees on Housing And Community Development and Veterans Affairs is looking at housing for veterans during a 9:30 a.m. hearing in room 126; a joint hearing of the Assembly Insurance Committee and Senate Labor And Industrial Relations Committee is examining opioids and workers' compensation at 9:30 a.m. in room 2040; and the long-term fiscal stability of the California State Teachers' Retirement System will be under the magnifying glass at a joint hearing of the Assembly's Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee and the Senate Public Employment And Retirement Committee, at 10 a.m. in room 444.

Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, and Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, are hosting the nonprofit group "Guard a Heart," which will be drawing blood to screen for heart disease from 2 to 5 p.m. in room 127.

The California Hall of Fame is getting new inductees tonight. Scientist Gregory Bateson; acclaimed actor Warren Beatty; designers Charles and Ray Eames; labor icon Dolores Huerta; Ishi, a famous member of the Yana tribe; football giant Joe Montana; and Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner -- aka the Warner brothers -- are all in the newest class, which will be honored during a 7 p.m. ceremony at the California Museum.

Some of you have no doubt noticed that Jack Ohman has taken over as The Bee's resident cartoonist, skewering elected officials on his pen on an almost daily basis. We're offering a chance to meet Jack, who blogs in addition to drawing cartoons, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. tonight at our main newsroom on 2100 Q St. You can register here.

PHOTO CREDIT: A steadfast cow blocks the Sky Trail at Crockett Hills Regional Park on Wednesday March 6, 2013. By Manny Crisostomo for The Sacramento Bee.


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