Capitol Alert

Should California pet stores sell only rescued animals?

Dogs descend on California Capitol to lobby for crackdown on puppy mills

Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell leads a press conference in support of Assembly Bill 485, which requires dogs, cats or rabbits sold at stores to come from rescues or shelters.
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Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell leads a press conference in support of Assembly Bill 485, which requires dogs, cats or rabbits sold at stores to come from rescues or shelters.

Welcome to the AM Alert, your morning rundown on California policy and politics. To receive it regularly, please sign up here.

Where do you get your pets – the pound or the pet store?

In California, it soon may not make a difference. Assembly Bill 485, by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, would require all dogs, cats and rabbits sold through retail stores to be obtained from animal shelters or rescue organizations.

Supporters say the change would help crack down on illegal “mills” where animals are bred to be sold. Several California cities have already adopted local versions of the law, including San Francisco, which passed its measure in February.

O’Donnell and Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Los Angeles, will gather with supporters, including the Sacramento SPCA and plenty of adoptable puppies, for a rally on the west steps of the Capitol at 11 a.m. AB 485 is set to be heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee at 9 a.m. in Room 4202.

WORTH REPEATING: “We have to stand up and have a backbone to fix problems that have plagued us for decades.” - Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, defending gas tax increase to fix roads

CARPET BURNS: The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery continues to battle with industry over a 2010 law requiring companies that manufacture and sell carpet in California to increase the amount of old carpet that is recycled, instead of sent to a landfill. After years of lackluster results, the department moved last month to impose a $3.3 million penalty on the Carpet America Recovery Effort, the industry group that oversees the recycling program. Now staff is recommending that CalRecycle, which holds its monthly meeting at 10 a.m. in the Cal/EPA building on I Street, reject CARE’s proposed 2017 stewardship plan. The department already rejected a previous version in December, arguing that it would not bring “continuous meaningful improvement” to carpet recycling rates; another disapproval would put CalRecycle in a position to impose further penalties on the industry, possibly $10,000 per day per manufacturer until a plan is approved. Consumer and environmental groups have previously raised concerns that CARE is trying to undermine the recycling program.

MISDEMEANOR CEVICHE: After a Stockton woman was arrested in November for selling homemade ceviche through Facebook, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia developed a bill that will legalize these types of home-based food sale operations. The Coachella Democrat's AB 626, which requires individuals to apply for a permit and meet health and safety standards, is due for a vote in the Assembly Health Committee next week. Garcia will join supporters for a rally in support of the measure, featuring free food and Mariza Ruelas, the Stockton woman who is now doing community service for selling her ceviche, 10 a.m. in Capitol Park near the rose garden.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: San Francisco protestors called on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to step down in 2018.

IT’S GOING DOWN: One of the major beneficiaries of the recent transportation funding deal is public transit, which will get hundreds of millions per year from a new vehicle registration fee. But the money will arrive as transit ridership in California is actually on the decline, a concern for officials as they try to get more people out of their cars to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The UC Center Sacramento hosts a forum on what’s behind the trend, noon at its office on K Street.

HOME SWEET HOME: Congress is on recess until next week, so many members are home in their districts holding town halls in the coming days. These constituent meetings generated national attention in recent months as protestors confronted their representatives over efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and other proposals of President Donald Trump. Will any California members see big crowds and rowdy demonstrations at their events? Perhaps Rep. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, a top target of Democrats in 2018 after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried his district last November, who is holding a town hall tonight in Simi Valley.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who turns 70 today.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff