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APTOPIX_Budget_Battle_Boehner.jpgComparing Sacramento favorably to Washington has become a popular pasttime around the California Capitol recently -- witness the self-congratulation about the Legislature's relative progress on immigration -- and the prolonged federal shutdown didn't exactly help matters.

In addition to ending the ceaseless stream of paralysis updates, a deal in Congress may offer fewer opportunities for the type of comparisons Gov. Jerry Brown used the other day when he said we Californians "can take care of ourselves" and also rejected the notion of paying to keep national parks open.

"Where we can be helpful, I'd consider it," Brown said Monday, "but I don't want to let the federal government off the hook."

That's not to say California lawmakers won't keep upholding the state's politics as a welcome contrast to the sordid state of federal affairs. It's an easy target, given an abysmal congressional approval rating that makes state lawmakers look positively beloved in comparison. But at least we may not have to hear about it for a little while.

VIDEO: Forget Gov. Jerry Brown's laments about all "these damn bills," Dan Walters says: compared to other years, Brown had it easy this year.

RAISING THE FUNDS: Moderate Dems take note: Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, benefactor of centrist, jobs-oriented Democrats, will be churning up cash with a New Democrats golf tournament today. The price tags easily eclipse the ceilings for candidate fundraisers: anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 will get you in, and give you a chance to rub elbows with Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno. In Half Moon Bay.

IMMIGRATION INITIATIVE: The shutdown saga has had the effect of obscuring anything else in Washington, but immigration reform advocates have not forgotten about a Senate overhaul that continues collecting dust in the House (neither has the president). Lawmakers and advocates will keep up the pressure today during a conference call breaking down district-by-district data on how immigration reform's collapse would motivate Latino voters. Featuring experts from Latino Decisions, and a representative of Mi Familia Vota, along with Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens.

BROWN BUSTERS: En route to getting lauded by his fans, the governor will hear from his critics. You've probably heard about Brown's increasingly wobbly relationship with environmentalists. Today, as he heads to San Francisco's Le Parc Hotel to get an award from a labor-environmental organization, protesters incensed over Brown's kind words for fracking and proposed Delta tunnel project will let him have it.

IMPOVERISHED INFANTS: Child poverty comes under the lens of UC Center Sacramento today, with a talk by UC Davis professor Ross Thompson on the developmental implications for kids raised in low-income households - a relevant topic given evidence that California's child poverty rate soared during the recession. From noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K St.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, who turns 56 today.

PHOTO: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pauses while meeting with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Associated Press/ J. Scott Applewhite.


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