Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Last chance for floor votes on 2015 bills

The State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday December 11, 2006.
The State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday December 11, 2006. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Before they delve into the new business of 2016, lawmakers still have to wrap up some 2015 holdovers.

The deadline for bills still in their original house to get off the floor is on Sunday, which for all intents and purposes means it’s on Thursday. Cutoffs to get them out of committees have already come and gone, with the Appropriation Committee in both the Senate and the Assembly doing their customary pruning last week. That means this week’s action will be all about the floor votes.

Some of the more interesting measures in the Assembly include bills to remove sales taxes on diapers and have welfare cover them, expand the ways medical marijuana businesses can pay their taxes, regulate Internet fantasy sports, and let voters snap photos of their ballots (which are not technically selfies, as has been widely claimed). The Senate could see votes on legislation to bar compassionate release for cop killers and to change how the California Public Utilities Commission conducts its business.

STAY INFORMED: Follow which bills legislators are carrying and who’s giving them money using our Track the Legislature feature.

COME OUT TO PLAY-AY: Golden State Warriors fans still basking in the glow of last year’s title (and this year’s dominance) can keep the party going today as the championship trophy visits the Assembly and Senate chambers, with staff allowed to see it in upper house from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and on the green carpets from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. A members-only viewing is scheduled for the afternoon.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Using California’s farms to replenish groundwater

EARTHY: Votes on big-ticket environmental legislation have become proxies for determining who is a moderate Democrat and have stirred up electoral challenges in which some see racial undertones. Highlighting those overlaps, the California Environmental Justice Alliance is unveiling report cards today that detail how business-friendly Democrats and members of ethnic caucuses voted. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, the only member of both the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Latino Legislative Caucus (he scored well), will deliver some remarks on the topic in room 126 at 10 a.m.

FREIGHTED: As backers of a still-elusive infrastructure funding deal like to point out, freight shipping makes for a big cog in California’s economy. Today the Assembly Transportation Committee will look at the state’s plan to make the freight system more efficient and environmentally friendly. Witnesses scheduled to testify include California State Transportation Agency head Brian Kelly, California Energy Commission Executive Director Rob Oglesby, California Air Resources Board and Department of Transportation members and representatives of various industry and local government groups, Starting at 1:30 p.m. in room 4202.

ADOPTIVE: California law already encourages allowing foster kids to visit their siblings in the system. Today advocates with California Youth Connection will be rallying for legislation extending that to adoptive homes, so even if siblings don’t end up in the same house they can still maintain a relationship. Starting at noon on the west steps.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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