After the months of committee hearings and floor sessions, the endless votes and amendments and meetings with lobbyists, it has all come down to this: deadline day. Lawmakers have until the end of today – which realistically means some time early tomorrow – to finish the legislative business of 2015.
We’ve already seen major defeats for climate change legislation that was a priority of the governor and Democratic leaders. Deals on spending cap-and-trade money and on funding transportation, not to mention affordable housing (remember that?) look to be unattainable. The Great Vaccine Battle of 2015 has been put to rest.
Where does that leave us? Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown closed a long-elusive medical cannabis regulation deal last night and will vote today. That bill allowing kangaroo leather imports could still hop onto the Senate floor. Health and labor groups still want to raise the tax on tobacco, impose a new tax on managed care organizations and to regulate e-cigarettes and raise the smoking age. It’s passed the Senate once, but the assisted death bill isn’t to Gov. Jerry Brown just yet. Death and taxes will be welcoming last-minute gut and amends to the list of life’s inevitables.
So grab some snacks and look forward to the weekend. The end is almost here.
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BAD TIMING: They could have picked a better day for a parade honoring the Sacramento train heroes. The Capitol Mall procession, which begins at noon, honors Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone, local men who gained international acclaim when they foiled a gunman’s attack on a French train last month. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; area senators Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber; and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, are all slated to participate. Following the parade, the three men will be feted on both the Senate and Assembly floors. Here are the details.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, who turns 73 tomorrow. And belated well wishes to Sen. Bob Huff, D-San Dimas, who turned 62 this week.