Capitol Alert

AM Alert: The financial future of low-income Californians

A customer leaves after using the ATM machine at the Bank of Rio Vista on June 28, 2011 in Rio Vista, California
A customer leaves after using the ATM machine at the Bank of Rio Vista on June 28, 2011 in Rio Vista, California

In their first addresses as Democratic leaders, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, both talked about lifting up Californians on the bottom of the income scale.

They were fitting introductions for members who have underlined their working class upbringings in rural Virginia (Atkins) or as the son of an immigrant mother in San Diego (de León). The implications for liberal priorities like more spending on social services will emerge over the course of this year’s legislative session and budget negotiations. For today, de León will be delivering the keynote at an event on connecting impoverished Californians to basic financial services.

Organized by the National Journal as part of that publication’s “The Next America” initiative, the event will take a look at topics like encouraging financial literacy and broadening access to basic products like bank accounts and loans. De León will be speaking at the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco.

VIDEO: The University of California has become the latest player in the state to be haunted by Sacramento’s shortsighted pension planning, Dan Walters says.

HOT ZONE: Even as the risk of being infected by the Ebola virus in the United States recedes, the disease continues to play a political role – witness its part in a grand organizing push by nurses unions. Today Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, will convene an Assembly Health Committee hearing on how prepared California is for a potential outbreak. Expected witnesses include California Department of Public Health director Ron Chapman, Cal/OSHA acting chief Juliann Sum, and representatives from groups like the California Nurses Association, the California Medical Association and the California Hospital Association. Starting at 1:30 p.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol.

RAISE IT UP: You might think, two weeks after a national election, fundraising season is over. You would be wrong. Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, the overwhelming favorite to win the open Senate seat formerly occupied by since-suspended Sen. Rod Wright, is scaring up some cash in Beverly Hills tonight (incidentally, not a city in the 35th Senate district). This comes after Gov. Jerry Brown was scheduled to entertain donors at Mulvaney’s on Monday night.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.