Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California plastic bag ban battle intensifies

And the bag fight continues.

Though the plastic bag ban slowly making its way through the Legislature this session was supposed to represent a workable compromise between the plastic industry and environmentalists, plastic bag makers are still trying to kill the bill with a late onslaught of opposition.

Last week, they launched a new television ad campaign attacking the proposal, which would require consumers to pay for heavier, reusable plastic bags at the grocery store. Now the lobbying effort comes to the Capitol.

Workers from California bag manufacturing plants and distribution companies will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. on the north steps to decry the proposed ban as a job killer and a cash grab by grocery stores. The bill, SB 270, is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Warning: There will also be clowns – a dig at the “circus” of Sacramento politics – so coulrophobics, watch out.

VIDEO: Tax loopholes are making a comeback in California, Dan Walters says.

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER: California is once again climbing the ranks of the world’s largest economies, but that doesn’t mean all is swell in the Golden State. Gov. Jerry Brown says income inequality is holding back growth, while his detractors criticize a lack of jobs amid a supposed recovery. How can we get back on the right track? Public officials and the private sector will come together at the California Economic Summit Capitol Day, sponsored by California Forward and the California Stewardship Network, to discuss proposals to “advance prosperity statewide.” Among those scheduled to participate in the event, which begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom on J Street, are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, and state Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: Assembly members Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, and Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, participate in a briefing on organic waste recycling as a tool for California’s transition to a low-carbon economy, 4:30 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol. Chesbro and Williams are currently sponsoring bills that would require businesses to divert their organic waste, such as food and grass clippings, away from landfills and require the recycling of more green material. The event, hosted by local organic waste disposal company CleanWorld, will also recognize companies and businesses that have been leaders in organic waste recycling.

ALLERGY TEST ACCESS: Alleging that laborious paperwork and reimbursement policies are interfering with Medi-Cal patients’ access to necessary allergy tests, the Assembly Health Committee will hold a hearing on the California Department of Health Care Services’ allergy testing policies, 1:30 p.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who turns 60 today, and to suspended state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, who turns 57.

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