Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Nurses, consumer attorneys, Latinas flood California Capitol for lobby days

Construction workers erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome on May 1, 2002, in preparation for painting.
Construction workers erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome on May 1, 2002, in preparation for painting. The Sacramento Bee file

It will be a busy day at the Capitol, as advocates from across the state crowd the halls for a host of lobby days.

The California Nurses Association is in town, on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, to support SB 483, which would limit the amount of time a patient can be held in “observation” at a hospital, and AB 305, addressing gender bias in workers’ compensation, and to oppose AB 797, which would add a legislative review when state agencies adopt new regulations. The nurses will meet at 9 a.m. at the Elks Tower to hear from state Sens. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, and Assembly members Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, before marching to the Capitol at noon.

Famed lawyer Erin Brockovich will keynote the Consumer Attorneys of California lobby day, with a lunchtime speech at the Sutter Club. The organization will meet with lawmakers in the morning and afternoon to whip up votes for AB 465, which would prevent employers from requiring their workers to settle disputes through private arbitration; SB 482, under which doctors would have to check a statewide database before prescribing drugs to a patient; and additional funding for the state court system.

The California School-Age Consortium has its annual advocacy day for after-school and summer education and enrichment programs. The group is urging lawmakers to support SB 654, a $54 million budget increase to the state grants that fund these extracurricular programs, particularly in low-income communities. Advocates will march to the Capitol, then rally on the south steps at 10:30 a.m. with Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Assembly members Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond.

Hispanas Organized for Political Equality pulled some big names for its Latina Action Day conference, which focuses this year on health care and higher education. Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones are set to welcome attendees to Sacramento during a luncheon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will ready them for legislative visits in the afternoon to advocate for SB 4, expanding health care to undocumented immigrants, and SB 15, increasing Cal Grant financial aid awards. Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, and Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, and Anna Caballero, state secretary of business, consumer services and housing, are also slated to address the conference throughout the day.

DROUGHT WATCH: After massive cutback orders for urban water agencies were approved last week, California farmers could be next in line for restrictions to help the state navigate this historic drought. The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Senate Budget Subcommittee #2 on resources and environmental protection will hold a special joint hearing to examine the Brown administration’s response to the drought, 9:30 a.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol.

END OF THE ROAD: Former students of the recently-shuttered Corinthian Colleges chain face a difficult decision: keep the credits they earned or apply for loan forgiveness. But they may have some good news coming their way if the Legislature approves a new bill to provide them with financial relief and legal aid. AB 573 faces its first hearing in the Assembly Higher Education Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, who turns 64 today, and Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who turns 69.

Alexei Koseff: (916) 321-5236, @akoseff

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