Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California budget scrutiny begins

hamezcua@sacbee.com

Hoping to sustain the pulse-pounding excitement of Gov. Jerry Brown unveiling the first budget proposal of his fourth term? Not to worry: to paraphrase Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, the governor, lawmakers, advocates and others will be doing the budget dance for several months.

Today, the Legislative Analyst’s Office will publish its initial analysis of Brown’s proposal. The nonpartisan fiscal monitor in the past has disagreed with Brown on where things stand with the state’s finances, so the reaction from the LAO will help guide the larger debate.

Shortly after, head Brown budget guru Michael Cohen will speak to one of the most influential budget-watchers: the California Chamber of Commerce. Cohen will address a luncheon forum that presumably will offer a larger audience than the group of tenacious reporters who stuck around last week for Cohen’s post-Brown breakdown.

VIDEO: Exactly how big is Brown’s proposed budget? Depends how you count it, Dan Walters says.

SHESEARCH: Of California’s 120 state lawmakers, just 30 of them are women. Close the Gap’s mission is to end such disparities at all levels of government by cultivating and encouraging more female candidates. The organization is hosting a daylong symposium today for aspiring candidates and campaign managers, offering an all-star cast of accomplished women that includes Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, Assembly members Cristina Garcia and Susan Eggman, Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma and California Democratic Party honcho Shawnda Westly. The training will take place at the Citizen Hotel.

IMMIGRATION: Lest you believe immigration issues exclusively affect the Latino community, lawmakers will be talking today about how Asian Pacific Islanders can benefit from California offering drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, President Obama’s executive immigration order and more. Assembly members Rob Bonta (the first Filipino-American state lawmaker), Evan Low and Luis Alejo will be joined by California Department of Motor Vehicles director Jean Shiomoto, whose agency has been hard at work preparing for and now processing an influx of new applicants, and undocumented-reporter-turned-activist Jose Antonio Vargas. They’ll be speaking in room 317 starting at 10 a.m.

FLOOD PLANNING: Drought or no, the threat of flooding never recedes far from California policymakers’ minds. Today the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee will examine just how prepared the state is given that one-fifth of the state’s population and up to $600 billion in crops and property sit in potential floodplains. Experts scheduled to testify include Ellen Hanak of the Public Policy Institute of California, Leslie Gallagher of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Rick Poeppelman of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Christina Curry of the Office of Emergency Services and Randy Fiorini of the Delta Stewardship Council. Starting at 9:30 a.m. in room 437.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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