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The AM Alert

A judge ruled late on Tuesday to allow a trial to go forward accusing Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-Livermore, of helping his father defraud senior citizens out of $340,000.

This morning, Houston's lawyers will have a chance to contest the ruling in the case at a hearing in Alameda County Superior Court. The case, which has been pending for several years, is a hanging cloud over Houston's potential 2008 bid for Congress, in which he would potentially challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney.

As of late Wednesday, the state Senate was scheduled to take up AB 845, legislation which appropriates $10.5 million for transitional housing for young adults leaving foster care homes in the state.

The bill requires a two-thirds vote because of an urgency clause, and Senate Republicans appear poised to torpedo the legislation, though both Senate Democrats and the Schwarzenegger administration have been lobbying for the measure.

The Assembly also has floor session on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the same week U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer voted to restart the stalled immigration bill in Washington, D.C., the United Farm Workers is celebrating the senator in a pair of California events.

Now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in California, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi resumes his regular duties. That means he'll be chairing a meeting of the State Lands Commission.

Garamendi also will make an appearance at a Capitol health-care rally, along with Assemblyman Hector De La Torre.