We brought you news already of the all-expenses paid trip to marvel at Scandinavian renewable energy technology. The trip we're discussing today, which features a passel of lawmakers checking out career technical education in Germany and Switzerland, is a bit of different animal: It has been organized by the Senate Office of International Relations, and members are paying their own way (with the host countries picking up some of the tab), rather than accepting a gift.
But members are still logging some serious miles to examine a career-tailored educational model similar to the kind that, earlier this year, sent dozens of senators to faraway Long Beach. The travelers include Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, along with Sens. Bob Huff, Fran Pavley and Mark Wyland.
VIDEO: It's October, which has Dan Walters thinking baseball -- and pondering whether California politics and the national pastime could overlap.
IMMIGRATION INCENTIVES: With their fall convention just concluded, members of the California Republican Party will encounter an immigration-related protest outside their headquarters on L Street. Organizers acknowledge that the rally represents a symbolic attempt to continue putting pressure on California Republicans, given that state lawmakers have no say on the federal immigration overhaul bill still awaiting a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
UNDOC-UMENTARY: On the topic of immigration, the Guild Theater in Sacramento will be screening a documentary by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who outed himself as undocumented in a widely reverberating magazine story. After the showing of the autobiographical "Documented," Vargas will be joined for an immigration panel discussion by Kevin R. Johnson, an immigration law professor and dean of UC Davis Law School, and by Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who passed the California bar exam and can now practice law here, thanks to a bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed last weekend.
ENCOURAGING INNOVATION: Gov. Jerry Brown's jobs point man will be in Riverside today to announce the launch of several new "iHubs" aimed at nurturing tech innovation. Kish Rajan, director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, will be joined during the event by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Assemblymen Jose Medina and Mike Morrell.
Editor's note: A prior version of this post incorrectly stated that Sen. Mark DeSaulnier joined other lawmakers on the trip to Europe. DeSaulnier chose to remain in California to monitor a BART labor dispute.
PHOTO: A U-2 spy airplane soars in the sky at the California Capital Airshow on September 9, 2012, at Mather Field in Rancho Cordova. The Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.