Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

STATUECOINS.JPGWe start with a bit of shameless self-promotion today: The Bee's state lobbying database has been updated to include data on the California Legislature's most recent 2011-2012 session.

While you might not be able to get details on the dollars thrown at the current session, you can still comb through the half-billion in lobbying money from last session to get a sense of where the funds are flowing.

VIDEO: If you're looking for some sunny First Amendment news, Dan Walters has a cheerful public records anecdote for you.

SD16: It's getting down to the wire in the Senate District Formerly Represented by Michael Rubio (that would be the 16th), with a runoff Tuesday between Democrat Leticia Perez and Republican Andy Vidak. In addition to attracting plenty of money, the race means weekend work for lawmakers -- including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg -- who will be in Fresno for a get-out-the-vote rally at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

WATER WORDS: It's probably a safe assumption that Jerry Meral, the deputy secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, and other officials will get a warmer reception in Los Angeles today while discussing the proposed Delta water project than they did in Northern California. Meral and other experts will be talking about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan during a 10 a.m. workshop at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

HEALTHY MINDS: A coalition of advocacy groups addressing President Barack Obama's call for greater mental health awareness is hosting an event at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday. The Creating Community Solutions-sponsored gathering runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with speakers expected to include Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who turns 64 today.

PHOTO: A statue of Queen Isabella, shown here on May 17, 2007, stands in the rotunda of the California Capitol. Lobbyists and others have traditionally tried to toss pennies into the statue's crown at the end of the legislative session. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer



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