Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

MC_GOP_BARBOUR_02.JPGFor those of you who missed Tim Donnelly's launch video this week, the tea party favorite and Second Amendment stalwart has made it official and entered the gubernatorial race.

Today we see the contrast between Donnelly's red-meat effort and the more moderate tack of his fellow Republican, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Having rolled through Central Valley towns Wednesday, the Donnelly campaign bus -- emblazoned with the phrase "Patriot not Politician" -- pulls into Sacramento today.

Maldonado, meanwhile, will be speaking at an event at San Jose State University called "California: Leading the Nation on Immigration Reform." During the spring California Republican Party convention that featured plenty of election postmortems attempting to diagnose the party's woes, Maldonado mentioned the need to make inroads with Latino voters -- something his candidacy could bolster. That outcome seems less likely for Minutemen veteran Donnelly.

VIDEO: Which government tech project are we talking about now? Dan Walters compares California's unemployment insurance program to

BART: The deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit track inspectors last month turned the talk from labor disputes to safety and led to new regulations. It is also spurring an Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment hearing on BART worker safety today, with a focus on the "simple-approval" procedure that lets workers enter restricted areas but doesn't guarantee their safety from oncoming trains. Witnesses will include plenty of labor officials in addition to Jeff Lau, BART's chief safety officer; Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations; and Juliann Sum, acting director of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING: The State Board of Education will meet to discuss implementation of the state's sweeping new education funding formula. And despite the ink drying on the budget inaugurating the new system, there are already detractors. Students and parents who believe the state is already reneging on its promise of channeling money to low-income students are expected to protest before the 8 a.m. meeting at the California Department of Education building on N Street.

HIGH-SPEED VETS: Before the 10 a.m. meeting at which officials will hear staff recommendations on a proposed high-speed rail leg between Bakersfield and Fresno, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is holding a 9 a.m. news conference at Sacramento City Hall with the California Department of Veterans Affairs announcing an effort to get veteran-owned businesses involved in the speedy train project.

FOREIGN RELATIONS: Months after Gov. Jerry Brown's jaunt to China, policymakers continue to pursue economic partnerships between California and Asia. That will be the focus today of the Select Committee on the Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion in San Francisco, with Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, presiding. It will be in the same building as the BART hearing, so Ting should have a short commute.

PHOTO: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour speaks at the California Republican Party convention at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento on March 18, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo.


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