Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

RP CAPITOL PAINT DOME.JPGGood news for our friends at the Capitol: After years of infighting and political gridlock that led to record-low approval ratings, California voters are increasingly satisfied with the performance of their legislative branch.

As subscribers to the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app learned last night, a new Field Poll shows approval of the state Legislature is now at 40 percent, the highest it has been since 2007 and a level it has not consistently reached in more than a decade. A slightly greater number of Californians still disapprove of the job the Legislature is doing, but that number has fallen to 44 percent--the first time in six years it has been less than half.

Clearly, we've come a long way since the darkest days of September 2010, when a budget crisis fueled 80 percent disapproval of the Legislature. Is the Democrats' supermajority in both houses behind the growing contentment of deep-blue California? Reporter Jeremy B. White has more on that question and whether voters feel the state is moving in the right direction.

Here are the statistical tabulations provided exclusively for Capitol Alert.

VIDEO: Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' election to the Assembly this week proves that family connections are the surest path to success in politics, Dan Walters says.

OBAMACARE OPINIONS: A new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California examines Californians' attitudes toward federal health care reform and awareness of implementation efforts in the state. The results will be presented by research associate Dean Bonner at the CSAC Conference Center on 11th Street at noon.

POLITICAL POINTS: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's nascent campaign for state controller got a boost yesterday with an endorsement from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. He will attempt to build on that momentum tonight with a fundraiser at the Sacramento Kings game against the Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m. at the Sleep Train Arena. Tickets are $2,500.

PENSION CHAT: Sacramento Bee reporters Dale Kasler and Jon Ortiz will host a live online chat to discuss how recent rulings on pensions may affect Californians. Join at www.sacbee.com/live at 11:30 a.m. today to share your questions and comments.

PHOTO: Construction workers erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome Wednesday, May 1, 2002 in preparation for painting. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench



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