Sacramento Bee file photo

Democratic politician John Burton, seen in 2004, turns his fundraising expertise to a charitable cause this evening.

The Buzz: John Burton's causes moving beyond politics

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

From campaign fliers to school supplies, John Burton has experience scaring up cash to cover costs.

Accustomed to raising money for the Democratic Party, the former California Senate president pro tem and current California Democratic Party chairman turns tonight to some less empowered Californians.

He'll take a break from politicking with an event aimed at helping foster kids pay for higher education.

Foster youth are already on the radar for the John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes, a San-Francisco nonprofit.

But tonight's fundraiser near the Capitol aims at purchasing textbooks and course materials for foster youth who have defied the odds and enrolled in college, only to struggle with the substantial price tag.

In addition to Burton, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, also plan to attend.

Organizers are suggesting $250-per-person donations for the fundraiser, which runs for 5 to 8 p.m. at Chicory Coffee and Tea downtown.

Safe to say that's less than admission to any of the eight political fundraisers scheduled today within a few blocks of the Capitol.

– Jeremy B. White

BILL WATCH

A heavily lobbied bill establishing a protocol for when pharmacists may substitute a "biosimilar" drug passed 58-4 in the Assembly on Monday. Senate Bill 598 is supported by drug companies and some labor groups that say regulation will protect consumers. Opponents – health plans, generic drug manufacturers and the state Board of Pharmacy – say it sets barriers to providing affordable replacements.

– Melody Gutierrez

WORTH REPEATING

"Sounds like a dream more than a bill."

SEN. HANNAH-BETH JACKSON, Santa Barbara Democrat, to Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, after he argued on the Senate floor that Assembly Bill 636 would allow actress Halle Berry to sign a fan's bottle of wine.

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