Capitol Alert

AM Alert: New smoke, old smoke

A sales associate at The Vapor Spot on J Street in midtown Sacramento exhales smoke from his e-cigarette on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2015.
A sales associate at The Vapor Spot on J Street in midtown Sacramento exhales smoke from his e-cigarette on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

Inhale, exhale: today’s Capitol influencing spans the future of combustible products.

The electronic cigarette industry will hold its lobby day, touting for legislators the value of products that are under intense political scrutiny. Amid a state-supported public health campaign warning that vaping will addict a new generation to nicotine, Gov. Jerry Brown will soon decide whether to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products. Later this year, he might decide whether to ban them from college campuses. The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association will be carrying its message that e-cigarettes are distinct from tobacco and can help folks quit, holding an 11:30 a.m. press conference on the south steps urging Brown to veto the e-cigarette bill. No doubt Vaping Jezus would approve.

Over at the Sheraton Grand, the California Cannabis Industry Association will hold a policy conference. The confab comes amid the industry’s push toward legitimacy given a sweeping medical marijuana framework and potential looming legalization, from a fortified lobbying presence to efforts to treat cannabis as an agricultural product and its cultivators as farmers.

SWEETENER: Taking a break from weighing in on the range of bills and policies that affect California’s many grocery stores, the California Grocers Association will offer free treats to staffers and legislators during an ice cream social from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m in the Eureka room today. It fits into a long tradition of interest groups hosting events at the Capitol and giving away swag.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Sacramento State students support CSU faculty raise fight.

RIGHT TO REST: Homeless Californians and their advocates will be busing in from around the state for the first hearing of a bill that would allow the homeless to sleep in public spaces without penalties. Senate Bill 876 echoes protests that have roiled Sacramento, and it goes up in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee at 1:30 p.m. in room 4203.

CRIMINOLOGY: Almost as soon as voters passed Proposition 47, transforming some felonies and wobblers into misdemeanors, law enforcement decried the consequences. Cop-backed legislation that would allow prosecutors to charge felonies to repeat offenders goes up in the Assembly Public Safety Committee at 9 a.m. today in room 126. If Assembly Bill 2369 passes the Legislature it would still need to go before voters.

Also scheduled to get their first votes are human trafficking bills that would take the major step of shielding victims from criminal penalties.

HEAVY HITTERS: With decades of California political leadership between them, the governor and former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown make for a formidable pair. Both will be at a Maddy Institute event along with the entire current legislative leadership supporting the Fresno State-based institute’s internship program. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the California Museum.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who turns 63 today, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who marks his 47th.

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

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