America loves its political processes elongated and chock-full of ceremonial pomp and circumstance. (See: three-year gubernatorial campaigns, the entire presidential election.)
So while he was selected by his fellow Democrats back in September and he won’t take over until March, today is when the Assembly will formally vote to name Anthony Rendon as the next speaker. At the Capitol, this is a Big Deal, and he will deliver remarks after the vote during noon floor session.
With changes to term limits allowing Rendon to stick around the Assembly through 2024, he could be in charge for a while. What will things look like under his leadership? Expanding early childhood education is a priority, as Jeremy B. White reported last week.
TICK TOCK: Five more days to get holdover bills from last session out of policy committees in their house of origin. More than 20 are up for consideration today in half a dozen committees, including legislation to extend incentives for California’s recycled plastic market in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 447 of the Capitol, and a proposal requiring auto repair dealers to notify oil change customers when their vehicle maintenance manual next recommends a change in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, 1 p.m. in Room 3191.
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IT’S A GAS: A massive natural gas leak in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch that has been venting methane since October finally caught the Capitol’s attention. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last week, ordering increased containment efforts and demanding that the well’s owner pay for emissions-reducing projects to offset the disaster, and now lawmakers are pursuing a legislative package related to the event. Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who represents the affected area, will be joined by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, and Sens. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, and Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, for the announcement at 9:15 a.m. outside the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility in Northridge.
MAJOR STAKES: Across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a case that has major implications for the state: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The teachers union is one of the most influential players in California politics, but its coffers, and potentially its clout, could be seriously undercut if the court decides that CTA can no longer require payments from teachers that it represents in contract talks. An expanded 80-minute session is scheduled to weigh the question of whether or not the fees represent compelled political speech, and a decision is expected by the end of June.
BEE BUZZ: Please welcome The Sacramento Bee’s newest Capitol reporter, Taryn Luna. A native of Dixon, she joins us from the business section of the Boston Globe and will be covering lobbying and influence. You can follow her on Twitter at @TarynLuna.
CELEBRATION: Happy birthday to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, who turned 78.