Capitol Alert

CA Senate returns amid drama over ejection of Republican lawmaker

New Senator Janet Nguyen, R-Santa Ana, holds her son Tommy Bonikowski III, 4, before a swearing in ceremony on the floor of the Senate Chambers at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., in December of 2014. Nguyen was forcibly removed from the Senate floor last week.
New Senator Janet Nguyen, R-Santa Ana, holds her son Tommy Bonikowski III, 4, before a swearing in ceremony on the floor of the Senate Chambers at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., in December of 2014. Nguyen was forcibly removed from the Senate floor last week. AP

The California State Senate returns today for its first floor session since sergeants-at-arms forcibly removed Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove, from the chamber.

During the session on Thursday, the senator attempted to adjourn in memory of fallen Vietnamese immigrants while criticizing the late Democratic lawmaker Tom Hayden for his stance on the Vietnam War. Democratic floor leaders said she was out of order.

Nguyen refused to stop and Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, eventually ordered the sergeants to remove her from the floor. Senate Republicans condemned Nguyen’s ejection from the session and drew comparisons to Democrat Elizabeth Warren being silenced in the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

The incident turned Nguyen into a hero of sorts for the state Republican party, which honored her and played a video of the floor session at its annual convention in Sacramento over the weekend. Some supporters wore “I stand with Janet” stickers.

Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin De León’s chief of staff, Dan Reeves, said he had told Nguyen she would not be allowed to talk on the floor before the Thursday session . After she was removed, he said “she proceeded nonetheless” to cause a scene for her district.

Reeves said Nguyen is free to make her comments on the floor today, although it’s unclear if the senator will take up the offer.

WORTH REPEATING: “This is a glorious lifetime achievement.”

- Shawn Steele, a Republican National committeeman from California, speaking to Sen. Janet Nguyen about her ejection from the Senate floor

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jim Brulte, newly re-elected chairman of the California Republican Party, explains why he thinks Democrats are ruining California.

DOCTORS: Do patients have a right to know that their doctors are on probation? The Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development and the Assembly Business and Professions committee will hold a joint hearing on the California Medical Board and other regulatory bodies today at 9 a.m. in room 4203 at the Capitol. Led by Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, the board is expected to discuss a report it released Friday that recommends the Legislature change state law to require that patients receive timely notification if their physician is on probation. Hill pushed a bill last year to require disclosure to patients, but it failed to pass.

HANDBOOK: Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assemblyman Ken Cooley are releasing the Legislative Oversight Handbook, a guide to help state legislators monitor state agencies. The handbook includes information on laws and legislative rules related to oversight, among other resources.

RIP TREES: Senator Bob Hertzberg and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia will lead a joint informational hearing on tree mortality and forest health at 3 p.m. today in room 4202 at the Capitol. Millions of California trees have fallen victim to drought in recent years.

MUST READ: California Republican legislators preach bipartisanship as they continue to retool in the era of Trump.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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