Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Will California Assembly continue blocking assisted death bill?

A portrait of Brittany Maynard, the California woman who moved to Oregon last year to take advantage of the state’s assisted death law, sits on the dais of the Senate Health Committee on March 25, 2015.
A portrait of Brittany Maynard, the California woman who moved to Oregon last year to take advantage of the state’s assisted death law, sits on the dais of the Senate Health Committee on March 25, 2015. The Associated Press

For months, supporters of prescribing lethal drugs to the dying have been contending with a group of Assembly Democrats firmly opposed to the idea. Today we’ll likely see whether those with concerns have the numbers to halt the bill.

After a previous version of the proposal faltered in an Assembly committee stacked with resistant members, the authors submitted a new measure in a special session on health care, allowing it to avoid the troublesome Assembly Health Committee and instead clear a newly formed panel with the help of some Republican ayes. Now a vote in the full 80-member chamber looms.

Things have a way of changing abruptly this time of year, but backers are planning to bring Assembly Bill X2-15 to the floor today. The first version of the bill cleared the Senate in June, suggesting this one would too should it advance, so all eyes are on the lower house.

WHAT WOULD JANET DO?: It’s been a big year for University of California President Janet Napolitano, who dropped a bomb last November when she announced extensive tuition hikes and then engaged in a hard-fought battle with Gov. Jerry Brown over a funding increase for the university. (The deal ultimately netted four years of budget gains for UC in exchange for a tuition freeze and pension overhaul.) Is Napolitano feeling reflective on the last ten months, which included emotional student protests and threats to cap California enrollment? She’ll have an opportunity to share her thoughts as the latest guest for the She Shares conversation series, 11:30 a.m. at the Sutter Club on 9th Street.

ANOTHER YEAR OLDER: Today marks 165 years of California statehood. Want to see where it all began? The original 1849 state constitution will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the main rotunda of the Secretary of State building on 11th Street. At 3:30 p.m., Secretary of State Alex Padilla and California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will host a public reception, featuring a birthday cake for the Golden State and a performance of the state song by the Sheldon High School Choir.

RAISE ‘EM UP: Two months after extending a 2 percent raise to thirty of the system’s top executives, California State University is considering eliminating several limitations on compensation for campus presidents, including provisions that a new president’s publicly-funded salary cannot exceed their predecessor’s pay and that any foundation-funded supplement cannot exceed 10 percent of their base salary. Those policies were put into place in 2012, amid recession-era budget cuts, but the university says they are now unnecessary and will restrict the hiring pool as they search for replacements for four presidents that recently stepped down or retired. The proposal, which is up for discussion at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach this morning, also comes amid tense negotiations with the California Faculty Association, which represents CSU professors. The faculty union is pushing for a 5 percent raise, arguing that it has been repeatedly passed over in favor of generous executive pay hikes.

2, 4, 6, 8...: Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez successfully pushed to extend full employment rights, such as minimum wage, to cheerleaders of California professional sports teams. Now the San Diego Democrat is taking her effort national: Gonzalez, joined by lawmakers from New York and six other states, will send a letter this morning to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling on the football league to reclassify cheerleaders as employees, not independent contractors.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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