Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Vaccine bill gets first Assembly hearing

Polly Von Thaden staffs a booth to campaign against Senate Bill 277 at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
Polly Von Thaden staffs a booth to campaign against Senate Bill 277 at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Here we go again.

It has been impossible to miss the days when Senate Bill 277, which requires full vaccinations for California school children, has a hearing. Red-shirted detractors have journeyed from all over California to condemn the bill, lining up for hours in queues that stretch down hallways so they can explain why they dislike the measure. You can watch some representative moments here.

The prominent medical and educational organizations backing SB 277 haven’t yet matched the numbers or passion of the critics, who are planning another big rally ahead of the bill’s Assembly Health Committee hearing today. A handful of Republican lawmakers, led by Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, plan to attend.

Unlike with the bill’s long march through three Senate policy committees – an unusually high number – SB 277 was referred to a single Assembly panel. So if it advances out of the Health Committee today the next stop is an Assembly floor vote. The hearing kicks off at 1:30 p.m.

MET MEETS GOV: Keeping his focus on the drought, Gov. Jerry Brown will be in Los Angeles today to attend the board meeting of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the state’s most prominent importers. After that he’ll be on a panel discussing water policy at the University of Southern California, sponsored by a newspaper that shall pass unnamed.

BONDING: Also on the aquagenda today is a summit convening tribal leaders and state water officials to discuss implementing the $7.5 billion dollar water bond passed in November. Bigwigs expected to speak at the multi-agency event include California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, Department of Water Resources head Mark Cowin, State Water Resources Control Board chair Felicia Marcus and Brown’s tribal adviser Cynthia Gomez. At the Cal/EPA building.

SERRA-TED: Who knew a dead priest could still evoke so much modern-day controversy? The canonization of early California settler-priest Junipero Serra has fomented plenty of debate, as has an effort to swap Serra’s statue in the U.S. Capitol with a likeness of astronaut Sally Ride. That resolution passed over Republican objections. Today the California Catholic Conference will be offering the sympathetic view, bringing Fr. Ken Laverone to the building for an 8 a.m. talk on Serra’s works in room 125.

Jeremy B. White: (916) 326-5543, @CapitolAlert

Related stories from Sacramento Bee