And now, back to real news: the highly anticipated 39th annual Capitol Frog Jump comes to Sacramento today, where ambitious amphibians will compete for the honors of shortest hop, longest hop and media winner (a designation that of course applies to frogs specifically, since the title for the media's overall favorite California animal is pretty well locked up).
Sponsored by Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Oakdale, the event starts at 11 a.m. on the east lawn and will feature entrants such as Notorious H.O.P., Term Ribbits II and The Frog Formally known as Prince. To read the Mark Twain tale "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" that was the inspiration for the event (Berryhill's district includes Calaveras County), click here.
VIDEO: Proposals that would require bills to be in print three days before a vote test the Democratic supermajority's commitment to an open process, Dan Walters says.
MUSLIM ADVOCACY: Today is also Muslim Day at the State Capitol, organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR informs Capitol Alert that they'll be focusing on three specific priorities: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's immigration bill AB 4, Ammiano's domestic workers rights bill AB 241, and a CAIR-authored resolution, currently without a carrier, that would underscore the need to protect free speech on college campuses.
DELTA PLAN: Gov. Jerry Brown's complex and contentious plan to overhaul water delivery and environmental preservation in the Delta gets a hearing today before the Senate's Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Starting at 9:30 a.m. in room 112.
IMMIGRANT WORKERS: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is holding a press conference this morning to promote bills that would enshrine new labor protections for immigrants. SB 666 would prohibit suppressing workplace claims by threatening to report the status of immigrants who speak up; SB 516 would tighten regulations of foreign contractors. The presser is at 11.30 a.m. in room 211.
IMMIGRATION STARS ALIGN: There's an impressive roster of current and former elected officials on tap for a talk about immigration reform today at the University of Southern California. Expected to attend are Sen. John McCain, R-AZ and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, members of the bipartisan "gang of 8" that recently produced an immigration overhaul bill; former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and former president of Mexico Vicente Fox, whose once worked with President George W. Bush on an immigration overhaul. From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at USC's Town and Gown ballroom.
ANOTHER FRACKING HEARING: Part of the Legislature's stated reason for pursuing new rules on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been that the draft regulations proposed by a Department of Conservation agency aren't strong or clear enough. The last in a statewide series of public hearings on the proposed fracking rules is today, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Monterey, starting at noon.
PHOTO CREDIT: Calaveras County champion frog handler Brent Bloom shows a youngster how to hold a frog at last year's Capitol Frog Jump. On May 2, 2012 by Manny Crisostomo/The Sacramento Bee.