Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Tampons, condoms and jockstraps

Assembly members go before the Board of Equalization seeking support for bill to eliminate taxes on tampons.
Assembly members go before the Board of Equalization seeking support for bill to eliminate taxes on tampons. The Sacramento Bee file

Fun fact: The average American woman will use 11,000 tampons or pads in her lifetime.

That statistic is courtesy of Assemblywomen Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, and Ling-Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, co-authors of a bill to eliminate taxes on feminine hygiene products in California. The lawmakers, who argue that tampons and pads are necessities and the tax code unfairly targets women, will make their case today to the Board of Equalization, which meets at 10:15 a.m. at its headquarters on N Street. Chang and Garcia say five other states exempt feminine products and, of all things, California currently doesn’t tax Viagra, which is considered a tax-exempt medication.

Meanwhile, the National Coalition for Men has offered to support of AB 1561, so long as neckties, jockstraps and condoms are added to the list. A Garcia spokeswoman says that’s not happening.

DOOMSDAY: Let the countdown begin. Gov. Jerry Brown will join the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at Stanford University for a discussion and grand unveiling of the “Doomsday Clock,” a metaphorical timekeeper to mankind’s impending annihilation.

The group says tensions between the United States and Russia, the ongoing climate change threat and North Korea’s recent nuclear tests will determine how much time we have left until catastrophe this year. A year ago the clock was set at three minutes to midnight, the closest it has been to calamity since “the early days of above-ground hydrogen bomb testing,” according to the bulletin.

PLANT CLOSURE: To avoid criminal prosecution for the illegal storage and transportation of hazardous waste, Exide Technologies agreed last year to shutter, demolish and clean the site of its 15-acre battery recycling plant near downtown Los Angeles. That incident will take focus today at an Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee hearing on the state's role in overseeing the closure of toxic waste facilities, 1:30 p.m. in Room 444 of the Capitol. Among those scheduled to testify are Department of Toxic Substances Control Director Barbara Lee and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who will also give an update on the local cleanup effort at 11 a.m. in Room 3191.

THE EVIL TWIN: Ocean acidification, a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions and temperature increases in the sea, will be the subject of a Senate hearing at 9 a.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol. The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee hopes to raise awareness about the marine impacts of global warming and consider policies that could address ocean acidification.

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CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, who turns 51 today and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, who is 66.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna. Alexei Koseff of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.