Even amid ch-ch-ch-changes in the state’s financial picture, some things remain the same. Among them: the annual appearance of the governor’s top budget official before the California Chamber of Commerce. It’s happened each of the five years Gov. Jerry Brown has been in office this decade.
Director of Finance Director Michael Cohen will talk to the leading business group this morning, days after the chamber offered a glowing review of Brown’s budget for pledging restraint, threading the needle on a new tax on health plans and committing to a transportation deal.
Not that they always see eye to eye with the Democratic governor – they opposed his landmark climate bill, for instance – but the chamber tends to find more common ground with the fiscally cautious Brown than with legislative Democrats who are more willing to spend the state’s money. Brown has vetoed several of the measures in the chamber’s “job killer” crosshairs while signing others.
Advocacy groups, meanwhile, will be rallying outside the California Department of Education building for more child care slots and better pay for providers – both issues pushed in recent years by organized labor and their heroes in the Legislature.
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PRICE YOUR PROTEIN PILLS: Navigating the labyrinth of drug prices: it ain’t easy. A contested bill requiring drug companies to disclose more information on development and pricing gets a key vote in the Assembly Health Committee today. Assembly Bill 463 has the support of health plans but is drawing heavy resistance from the pharmaceutical industry. It’s also under a tight two-year-bill deadline, so today is a make-or-break moment.
LET ME SLEEP BESIDE YOU: Unsure what to do with your old mattress? Well, love, you’re not alone. Legislation from 2013 set up a mattress recycling program that takes effect today, and Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, will be marking the launch with a 10 a.m. press conference in room 113.
SPOKE OF WAS AND WHEN: After 22 years immersed in California politics from the consummate insider's perch of the Legislative Analyst's Office, Elizabeth Hill is talking. She'll submit to the State Archives an oral history reflecting on years of political observation and analysis during an event at the California Museum this evening, with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla scheduled to speak.
THE MAN WHO DRILLED THE EARTH: Revelations last year that improper wastewater disposal could have contaminated aquifers has regulators under pressure to safeguard water from oil and gas production. A 10 a.m. Central Valley Water Board meeting in Rancho Cordova today will examine the health repercussions of using produced water to irrigate crops, drawing on experts from a range of state agencies and water districts.
OH! YOU PRETTY THINGS: Find out who lawmakers employ, what bills they carry and where they get their money using our Track the Legislature feature.