Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Vigil for childcare off, but some still pray for unions

Video: Lawmakers compete for sushi bragging rights and a sword

On Wednesday, June 17, California lawmakers competed in the annual Capitol Roller Competition hosted by the California Rice Commission. Video by Madeline Lear, The Sacramento Bee
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On Wednesday, June 17, California lawmakers competed in the annual Capitol Roller Competition hosted by the California Rice Commission. Video by Madeline Lear, The Sacramento Bee

Proponents for collective bargaining in state childcare, including parents, workers and clergy, are rallying on 11th and L at noon.

They’d planned a vigil to ask Gov. Jerry Brown to sign off on provisions in the Legislature’s budget, which allowed collective bargaining and included an extensive expansion of childcare and preschool slots. That’s off the table in the budget Brown and legislative leaders agreed to Tuesday, which will not provide for collective bargaining, though it adds 7,000 new preschool slots and 6,800 childcare voucher slots, fewer than lawmakers wanted.

Now, they’re simply asking the Assembly to pass Senate Bill 548, which would approve unionization outside the budget. Brown still says he opposes the measure.

The Service Employees International Union and others argue childcare workers need unionization and because home providers have been forced out of business by erratic standards from the more than 120 agencies which provide their pay. The SEIU says some agencies are inconsistent in providing paychecks and initiate frivolous fraud investigations.

Raising California Together, which is organizing the event, along with its coalition of interest groups, saw 14 protesters arrested for civil disobedience at another event earlier this month.

THE R-WORD: The Senate Education Committee will hear from national tribal leaders and a psychologist on banning the word “Redskins” as a name for public school mascots. Assembly Bill 30, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, has already passed the lower house.

The bill bans the term after January 1, 2017. There is a grace period during which schools can use existing athletic uniforms, but during that time they’d still need to choose a new mascot and could not use the word on school newspapers or yearbooks. The American Psychological Association says the mascot creates a hostile learning environment for native students and perpetuates stereotypes about native-American culture.

According to Alejo’s office, four high schools are affected. In the Assembly, the bill faced opposition from a handful of Republicans and one Democrat whose district includes one of the four schools. The city council in Tulare, where Union High School’s mascot is the Redskins, also formally opposes the bill.

ATKINS DREAMS OF SUSHI: Five Assembly members will compete to make the best sushi roll at tomorrow’s 12th annual “Circle of Life Reception,” put on by the California Rice Commission. The event is held every year to connect rice producers with legislators and the public, though it got called off last year as the drought worsened.

Top prize is a framed golden Samurai sword, to be presented by reining sushi champ and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.The event is held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento at noon, and also features other dishes involving rice.

COMCAST: Comcast will again distribute over $200,000 in scholarships for high-school seniors on the Capitol steps as part of its “Education Salute.” Earlier this month, the Bee questioned whether that event is part of a glut of corporate plays for legislative favor held at the Capitol.

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