Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Happy birthday, California!

Flags fly over the Capitol dome on Aug., 10, 2016.
Flags fly over the Capitol dome on Aug., 10, 2016.

This day in 1850, California was admitted as the 31st state of the Union. (Thanks, President Millard Fillmore! At least you were good for something.)

Just two-and-a-half-years earlier, the United States had taken possession of the territory at the end of the Mexican-American War. But the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill a week before that sent California’s population – and the need for a more established political structure – exploding.

Its accession was ultimately negotiated as part of the Compromise of 1850, a deal to settle the issue of slavery in the new territories gained under the Mexican-American War. While California became a free state, Utah and New Mexico were left to decide for themselves.

To celebrate 166 years of statehood, the California State Capitol Museum Volunteer Association will host a celebration with cake, ice cream and patriotic banjo music, 11 a.m. on the west steps of the Capitol.

Now where can I get the number for California’s plastic surgeon? The Golden State doesn’t look a day over 130.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Gov. Jerry Brown wants to see “interaction and happiness” between coal and sun lovers.

WORTH REPEATING: “Twelve years and $17 billion later the state still can’t handily show the impacts of this funding, how it is spent or who is helped.” – Little Hoover Commission report, blasting the opaqueness of Proposition 63’s mental health spending.

MONEY CRUNCH: With a rare endorsement from Brown for Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, this week, the odds in the 3rd Senate District race may have just gotten even longer for his opponent, former Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada. But the Davis Democrat is still plugging away, with another fundraiser set for tonight in Rohnert Park and canvassing planned for tomorrow in Vacaville. Can the small donors that form Yamada’s core support – her campaign said she has raised $30,000 from them since July 1, in addition to about $12,000 from contributors of at least $1,000 – close the gap with Dodd, who has raised more than $110,000 over the past two months? Every dollar will count.

BY THE NUMBERS: With no restriction on fundraising for the first time in three years, state senators raised at least $345,900 from lobbyist employers and their political action committees at the end of session. Leading the way was Sen. Ricardo Lara, the Bell Gardens Democrat and chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, who reported raising $65,900 from lobbyist employers in the last few weeks of August. Read our story to find out who else raked in the big bucks during their last month at the Capitol.

STATE WORKER 2.0: The Bee Capitol Bureau is happy to welcome reporter Adam Ashton, who will take over the popular State Worker blog. A native of Livermore, Ashton has worked throughout the Central Valley, but most recently covered the military for The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash. Learn more about him here, then drop a line to say hello or with a tip about California state government.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, who turns 63 today.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff