Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

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Most of the delegations that visit Sacramento to meet with lawmakers have a few bills they're advocating for, or at least a vague agenda, but it's a little hard to press your cause if you lack opposable thumbs and the capacity for abstract reasoning. Yes, a team of "animal ambassadors" from SeaWorld will be dropping in on the State Capitol today to spread some furry cheer.

The current guest list includes two penguins, two lemurs, a kangaroo, a peregrine falcon and a boa. You can come say hello on the north steps from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Assuming they're not feeling too temperamental, the penguins and the lemurs will be venturing into the building, first to meet legislators in the Senate Lounge and then to drop in on the governor's office (hopefully they don't get spooked by the bronze bear).

VIDEO: The revised budget Gov. Jerry Brown released on Tuesday balances the state's finances only if you ignore a few big prevailing costs, Dan Walters says.

CARBON AND CLIMATE COSTS: We're now a few months into California's experiment with creating a carbon market as mandated by AB 32, and today a select committee on 32 implementation and climate change is parsing the results. Witnesses expected to testify include Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, Mary Nichols of the California Air Resources Board, Alejandro Becerra of Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Dirk Forrister of the International Emissions Trading Association, Mark Fischer of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Linda Rudolph, director of public health for the city of Berkeley.

DELTA STEWARDS VOTE: Our watery week continues with a meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, an advisory agency that could vote on whether to lend its approval to the Delta conservation plan. The meeting runs all day and commences at 9 a.m., at 1250 Halyard Drive.

Meanwhile, the Department of Water Resources is holding the final of five public forums on its integrated regional water management plan. Instead of relying on a procession of speakers, the meetings are intended to be collaborative sessions where people stay for the duration. Today's workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District building.

REGENTS REMAIN: Today is the second day of the University of California Regents' meeting at the Sacramento convention center. This morning features a couple of closed-door sessions on finance and compensation, followed by a public comment period before the meeting wraps up.

DRINKING AGE DEBATE: The University of California Center Sacramento is holding a talk today on public health lessons gleaned from Canada's lower drinking age. Carlos Dobkin of the University of California at Santa Cruz will be delivering "The Mechanisms of Alcohol Control" from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K Street.

WORKERS WITH BENEFITS: The California State Employees Association is holding a fair on the south steps this morning, where vendors from around California will offer information on various member benefits.

PHOTO CREDIT: Can you imagine these little guys giving a speech on the Senate floor? We can. Image courtesy of Mike Aguilera for SeaWorld.



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