Rampant speculation yesterday over who might replace I’m-not-retiring-I’m-just-not-running-again U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer momentarily threatened to overshadow all else in California politics. But the announcement that political observers have been waiting for since November is Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, which will finally drop at 10 a.m. in Room 1190 in the Capitol.
Look for much-anticipated answers on how Brown will respond to the University of California’s power play for more funding and whether he will heed growing calls to increase safety-net spending, as well as a proposal to reduce the state’s $72 billion in unfunded retiree health benefits and insight into how Brown plans to implement a budget reserve recently approved by voters.
Social services advocates are pressing their point especially hard. Organizations working on issues facing low-income Californians are planning rallies across the state following Brown’s press conference, including at the Capitol at 11 a.m. and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Fresno and San Bernardino throughout the morning.
VIDEO: California's judicial branch must reform it bloated, mismanaged administration, Dan Walters says.
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WIDE OPEN SPACES: A ban on foie gras was overturned this week, but California animal rights activists have had better luck with other recent efforts, including a 2008 proposition granting more space to hens and other farm animals that withstood multiple legal challenges and went into effect this month. Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, will be at Santa Clara University at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the implementation of the new standards.
BEGIN AGAIN: Newly-installed Secretary of State Alex Padilla has a second inauguration planned for tomorrow in Los Angeles, and it will be a much bigger party than his modest swearing-in Monday in Sacramento. Sponsored by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Padilla’s celebration at Union Station is expected to cost at least $24,000. Check out our rundown of how much was spent on the inaugural festivities for all eight California constitutional officers – and who paid for them.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, who turns 77 tomorrow.
Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.