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California-Greenhouse Gases(2).jpgReform Rabbis and other Jewish leaders from across California convene at the Capitol today to lobby in support of state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's proposal for cap-and-trade funds.

The Steinberg plan would allocate revenues from the state's carbon tax to affordable housing and communities built around mass transit options, as well as high-speed rail. Reform CA, a joint initiative of several religious groups, calls those efforts to reduce greenhouse gases a "moral imperative."

Among the rabbis making legislative office visits is Rabbi Mona Alfi, who has served as the Senate Chaplain under Steinberg.

VIDEO: Expect lots more wheeling and dealing before a final budget deal is reached in two weeks, Dan Walters says.

CLOSING THE GAP: The Conference Committee on the Budget is expected to begin meeting today to reconcile the differences in the Senate and Assembly budget proposals ahead of final negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown. The Senate has proposed $109.985 billion in general fund spending for the 2014-15 fiscal year, compared to $110.824 billion in the Assembly. Both are significantly higher than the $107.766 billion budget proposed by Brown. The conference committee meets upon the call of the chair, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, in Room 4202 of the Capitol.

FAREWELLS: Cindy Burrell, a senior legislative aide to Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, is retiring after 32 years. She'll be honored at a reception in Room 211 of the Capitol at 11 a.m. and on the Senate floor at noon.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, who turns 63 today.

PHOTO: A tanker truck passes the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond on March 9, 2010. The Associated Press/Paul Sakuma.


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