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A topic close to the heart of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg- mental health - is the focus of a significant amount of public agency activity today.

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, created by voters in 2004 via Proposition 63, meets in San Francisco to discuss integrating mental health care -- in particular for substance abusers -- into a statewide health care regime. Experts expected to testify include Barbara Garcia, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health; Sandra Naylor Goodwin, president of the California Institute for Mental Health; and Deputy Chief Louise Rogers of the San Mateo County health system.

The California Health Facilities Financing Authority also meets to discuss how to disperse millions of dollars in grants to help counties bolster their mental health services. That comes courtesy of Steinberg-spearheaded budget legislation signed earlier this year that seeks to invest more money in community-based mental health services and crisis response teams.

VIDEO: Andy Vidak's victory in the 16th Senate district sets off some electoral dominoes, Dan Walters says.

FIELD POLL: The latest in a series of Field Polls is out, examining California's relationship with potential presidential contender Hillary Clinton. The analysis is up online, and you can take a look at the data here.

TALKING TAXES: Much of the discussion of California's taxes is framed in terms of the Golden State's tax rates relative to those of other states (we're looking at you, Rick Perry and Phil Mickelson). A talk today by Professor Darien Shanske of UC Davis will take a look at the fiscal issues particular to different states, including a deeper dive into local finances throughout California. From noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K Street.

STEM-CELL SCIENCE: The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which has faced scrutiny over the process by which it awards grants, meets in Burlingame from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Among other topics, they'll examine their policy around compensating stem cell donors.

PHOTO: The exterior of the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center photographed Wednesday, September 30, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Carl Costas.


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