Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California senators introduce fewest bills in more than 25 years

A view of the California State Capitol building from the Tower Bridge.
A view of the California State Capitol building from the Tower Bridge. The Sacramento Bee file

Last Friday was the deadline for bills to be introduced this legislative year – which doesn’t mean, of course, that we won’t see any more new proposals before lawmakers recess Sept. 11, but it does give us a sense of what they’ll have on their plate before then.

The Senate introduced 793 bills, down from 813 in 2013 and the lowest number in a session’s first year since at least 1989, according to the Office of the Secretary of the Senate. The Assembly introduced 1,504 bills, which is up from 1,376 in 2013. The last time there were so many lower house bills in the first year of session was 2009, when members introduced 1,539, according to the Office of the Chief Clerk.

Among the most noteworthy legislation to keep an eye on: required vaccinations for school children, legalization of aid in dying for terminally ill people, a road user fee to pay for transportation maintenance, new prohibitions on e-cigarettes, and more higher education funding to avert a proposed University of California tuition hike.

Other measures will surely gut-and-amend their way onto our radar in the months to come.

VIDEO: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, is the master of media buzz, Dan Walters says.

I LOVE COLLEGE: With 2.1 million students, California’s community colleges make up the largest higher education system in the United States. The Student Senate for California Community Colleges will bring together some of that enormous population for its annual lobby day at the Capitol, with a rally on the west steps at 11 a.m., followed by legislative visits to advocate for continued access and affordability.

The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges is also holding its annual advocacy and policy conference. The association will honor Assemblymen Adam Gray, D-Merced, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, and Jose Medina, D-Riverside, as its legislators of the year during a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn on J Street.

CHIRLA CHARLA: In the first two months since AB 60 went into effect, more than 110,000 undocumented immigrants have been issued a California drivers license. But that is only a fraction of the estimated 1.4 million immigrants who could benefit from the law; about half of applicants are failing the initial written exam, and many more are still afraid to come forth and present themselves to a state agency. Immigrant advocates are working to encourage and better prepare applicants. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles is hosting a panel of undocumented immigrants who successfully obtained licenses to share tips and discuss how it has impacted their lives, 10 a.m. at the CHIRLA office.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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