Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Women’s Equality Day rally highlights equal pay, family leave

Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D- Santa Barbara, has an equal pay bill pending in the Assembly.
Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D- Santa Barbara, has an equal pay bill pending in the Assembly. AP

A group of activists and legislators will hold a rally Wednesday at the Capitol to celebrate Women’s Equality Day and push for several bills they say will improve the lives of Californian women and families.

The advocacy groups are led by the Stronger California Advocates Network and include members of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a Latina immigrant workers’ group. Women “who encounter daily barriers to their economic security” will speak about their experiences with unfair wages and lack of access to childcare, among other issues, according to the organizers.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Sen.Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego and U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, are also scheduled to attend.

The advocates will show support for Jackson’s equal pay bill, Senate Bill 358, and Mitchell’s Senate Bill 23, which would repeal the “maximum Family Grant” law that prohibits families on welfare from receiving benefits for an additional child. They’ll also support Senate Bill 406, which would allow more people to take leave from work to care for family members.

TOBACCO PACKAGE: The Save Lives California coalition, a health advocacy group, and Assemblymen Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, and Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, will speak to the press Wednesday in favor of a package of tobacco regulation bills.

The bills include those to regulate electronic cigarettes as regular tobacco products and increase the tobacco purchase age to 21. Both are headed to Senate votes.

The advocates say they plan to put a proposed $2-per-pack cigarette tax on the 2016 ballot if lawmakers do not support it.

UC ADMISSIONS: Two Assembly committees will hold a hearing Wednesday on admissions and enrollment at the University of California’s undergraduate campuses.

Admissions of non-California residents across UC have increased 27 percent in the past two years, while admissions of state residents have decreased 2 percent.

The hearing of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance will explore how the trend affects the socio-economic and racial diversity at the UCs.

University of California admissions official Stephen Handel is scheduled to testify.

Jeanne Kuang: 916-321-1188, @jeannekuang