Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Mandatory vaccine supporters rally before crucial vote

The iron lung on display at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society’s Museum of Medical History.
The iron lung on display at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society’s Museum of Medical History. The Sacramento Bee file

California’s controversial mandatory vaccine legislation could be on its last legs. After stalling in the Senate Education Committee last week, the bill faces an uncertain vote tomorrow, driven by concerns that it would deny unvaccinated children their constitutional right to an education.

So how do proponents plan to rally potentially flagging support? By re-emphasizing their original argument that the legislation is crucial for public health.

State Sen. Richard Pan, a Sacramento Democrat who authored SB 277, will gather with local polio survivors, doctors and health advocates, 8:45 a.m. at the Sierra Sacramento County Medical Society on Elvas Ave., to urge the vaccine bill’s approval. The medical society’s on-site museum houses an iron lung, the ventilator that was used to treat polio before a vaccine developed in the 1950s mostly eradicated the disease.

BILLS OF INTEREST: AB 525, a follow on last year’s unsuccessful attempt to give franchise operators more power in their relationship with corporate chains, gets its first hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, 9 a.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol. The brewing battle over regulating home-sharing businesses like Airbnb launches when SB 593 appears before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 4203. The Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee will review AB 30, which prohibits the use of “Redskins” as a school mascot, and AB 202, which would classify NFL cheerleaders as employees, 9 a.m. in Room 437. Several proposals introduced after the University of California announced it would limit resident student admissions this year are up in the Assembly Higher Education Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 437, while the university’s enrollment policy is the subject of an Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 hearing, 9 a.m. in Room 444.

WELCOME TO SAC: The California Federation of Teachers is at the Capitol for its annual lobby day, advocating for bills that would overhaul the community college accreditation process and create new rules for enrollment, suspensions and expulsions at charter schools, among others. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León will meet with the union to discuss his higher education funding proposal, 9:30 a.m. in Room 112.

The California Trucking Association is also in town to push for more funding to fix the state’s roads and highways. Their day kicks off at 10 a.m. at Elks Tower on 11th Street with a visit from Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen R-Riverbank, Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, and Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, and Sens. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and Anthony Cannella, R-Modesto, and ends with a reception at Mayahuel at 4:30 p.m.

LIGHTING UP DEBATE: Among the growing number of Californians who support legalizing marijuana is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has become the political face of the effort. As chair of the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, he is leading preemptive discussions on challenges that may arise once recreational pot is legal, which Newsom expects will happen with a ballot initiative in 2016. The commission will hold its first public forum, addressing issues such as taxation, public safety and preventing children’s access to marijuana, 10:30 a.m. at the UCLA James West Alumni Center in Los Angeles.

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

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