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VIDEO: Secretary of State Debra Bowen has not delivered on her promise of using technology to streamline business operations, Dan Walters says.

We've already had Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's State of the City speech; today the judiciary branch gets its shot at recapitulation. California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is delivering her State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers today, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can also watch on CalChannel (livestream here).

While Brown's budget has generally drawn praise for restoring some fiscal balance and potentially averting a bruising legislative battle, Cantil-Sakauye has emerged as one of the more vociferous critics. She has said Brown must go further in restoring funding the court system has lost through years of budget cuts. It will be interesting to see how much of the chief justice's speech is devoted to budgetary casualties like slimmer judiciary staffing, longer waits and shuttered courthouses.

Life on Mars? David Bowie wasn't the first or the last to wonder. Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, is honoring some of the most recent people to ask with a noon ceremony on the Assembly floor recognizing five Mars Science Laboratory team members who were involved in the Curiosity rover's successful landing on Mars in August. Perhaps freshman Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, a former NASA employee and the owner of a PhD in astrophysics, will have some good questions for them.

(By the way, it's Aerospace Week in California. But you knew that already, right?).

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will call for action on prescription drug abuse during a 12:30 press conference on the steps of the State Capitol today. The press conference will follow a rally and a 9:30 a.m. joint Business and Professions committees hearing deciding whether to reauthorize the California Medical Board. People who say their loved ones were hurt by physicians irresponsibly prescribing drugs are expected to testify. The hearing is in room 4203.

The Assembly Committee on Utilities & Commerce is holding an oversight hearing today on expanding information and communications services, like broadband Internet access, to underserved areas of California. Witnesses will include representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Emerging Technology Fund, the California Technology Agency, AT&T, Verizon, and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m in room 437.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue is accompanied by her mother Mary Gorre Cantil, left and husband Mark Sakauye after she was sworn in for the California Supreme Court on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 in Sacramento. Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee.


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