Capitol Alert

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wright.jpgAfter weeks of chatter over how the state Senate would handle the felony convictions of Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, and whether it was responding forcefully enough, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Tuesday that Wright will be taking an indefinite paid leave of absence until his legal problems are resolved.

That solution has not satisfied everyone.

Three Republican senators--Steve Knight of Palmdale, Joel Anderson of Alpine and Andy Vidak of Hanford--plan to introduce a resolution during floor session today to expel Wright, who was convicted last month of eight felonies related to living outside of his district.

The resolution would require a two-thirds vote to pass, but it's possible that Steinberg could simply table the motion. In a statement, he said that "Senate leadership has already moved swiftly and decisively to address" the matter.

VIDEO: California's high fuel taxes are out of proportion with its broken transportation system, Dan Walters says.

MILITARY MEMORIAL: A 250-foot replica of Washington, D.C.'s famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial comes to Sacramento for the weekend. It will be on display for four days on the west steps of the Capitol, along with a mobile museum displaying letters and memorabilia left at the wall in D.C. Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, who helped bring the display to Sacramento, will preside over an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. today and a closing candlelight ceremony at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

GOING GREEN: State Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, convenes a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Energy Efficiency in Santa Clara at 2 p.m. to examine financing barriers for property owners who want to make energy-saving upgrades. De León has a bill to promote greater private investment in energy efficient retrofitting.

PRESS YOUR LUCK: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, are among those scheduled to speak at the iGaming Legislative Symposium on the possible legalization of online gaming in California. The event, sponsored by and Spectrum Gaming Group, takes place at 8:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on J Street.

HONOR ROLL: The Academy Awards is only days away, but first Sacramento has its own star-studded ceremony to attend. The James Irvine Leadership Foundation Awards, noon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on J Street, recognizes individuals "advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant challenges in California" with a $125,000 prize. Presenters include state Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine; Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore; Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles; Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton; State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson; and California Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley. The award recipients will also be recognized during the Senate floor session at 9 a.m.

LUNCHTIME TALK: UC Riverside political science professor Karthick Ramakrishnan speaks at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street at noon about the unmet needs of California's Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, which now comprise more than 15 percent of the state population.

PHOTO: Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, walks into the California Senate floor during the first day of session on Jan. 6, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua


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