Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Advocates seek Jerry Brown’s ear before bill deadline

Tom Steyer will speak at a rally for the climate change bill SB 350 in Oakland today.
Tom Steyer will speak at a rally for the climate change bill SB 350 in Oakland today. The Associated Press

How does Gov. Jerry Brown decide which bills to sign? Probably not based on public rallies, though that hasn’t stopped advocates from hosting them nearly every day since the legislative session ended – including several more today across the state.

In Oakland, labor, environmental and social justice organizations will hold a “town hall” on the need for SB 588, which allows the state labor commissioner to place a lien on an employer’s property to collect unpaid wages, and SB 350, the priority climate change measure, 11 a.m. at the Beebe Memorial Cathedral. Following remarks by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, a major advocate of SB 350, they will march to McDonald’s to protest alleged wage theft violations.

Across the bay, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, campaigns for AB 1321, an expansion of food assistance programs that help recipients buy fresh fruits and vegetables, 10:30 a.m. at the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market at UN Plaza.

And back at the Capitol, a coalition of community groups led by PICO California is holding a 24-hour vigil, which began Sunday night, until Brown signs AB 953. Supporters hope the bill, which would require police to gather and report data on stops, will illuminate the extent of racial profiling. Earlier this month, they staged a raucous protest that included blockading Brown’s office.

What other legislation is Brown currently considering? Check out our gallery highlighting some of the hundreds of bills currently on his desk and how he might act.

WE WERE SOLDIERS: Four years after the military ended its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on soldiers’ sexuality, the California Department of Veterans Affairs is working to reverse the decades of exclusion that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans faced. Following up on a forum last year to identify gaps in available assistance, CalVet is launching a new outreach effort aimed at the state’s 136,000 LGBT veterans with an informational session on obtaining state and federal benefits, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol. Earlier this month, Brown also appointed an openly gay head of the department: Vito Imbasciani, a former surgeon in the U.S. Army Medical Corps who lobbied for the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

MS. JACKSON GOES TO WASHINGTON: Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, is among forty state legislators from across the country traveling to Washington, D.C., this week for a conference on state innovation, which includes a meeting today with President Barack Obama. Later in the week, she will share with attendees her experience authoring SB 358, a proposal to strengthen California’s equal pay policies that Brown has already promised to sign.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff