Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Legislation bills lawmakers who resign early

Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, right, talks with Senator Lou Correa D-Santa Ana, left, on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, right, talks with Senator Lou Correa D-Santa Ana, left, on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.

It’s common for California lawmakers to go to work for the industries that lobby them after they leave office.

But former Assemblyman Henry Perea’s decision to jump through the revolving door a year before his term ended left Fresno County taxpayers with a $500,000 tab.

Perea stepped down in December to become a political advocate for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Fresno County estimated that a special election to replace Perea in the 31st Assembly District last week cost more than a half-million dollars. Democrat Joaquin Arambula of Kingsburg won the seat.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a Republican whose district also encompasses Fresno County, isn’t happy that taxpayers got stuck with the bill. So, he introduced Assembly Bill 2284 to require legislators who resign early to use their own campaign funds to pay for an election to fill the vacant seat. Perea currently has more than $800,000 in his Assembly campaign account.

The bill will go before Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee today at 9 a.m. in room 444.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Nancy McFadden encourages women to speak up

ABORTION PROTEST: Anti-abortion activists are moving their protests from the sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood locations to Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office for the day.

David Daleiden, the founder of a group called the Center for Medical Progress in Irvine, claimed on social media earlier this month that the AG’s office searched his apartment and seized videos he shot undercover at Planned Parenthood. The AG’s office wouldn’t comment on the allegations. Last year Harris said she planned to review the videos to determine if the center violated state law by posing as workers for a biotech company to surreptitiously record doctors.

An “anti-corruption” protest is planned for 11 a.m. outside the AG’s office on I Street.

SMOKE-FREE SPORTS: As legislators continue to hold a package of tobacco bills to avert the wrath of cigarette companies, another bill targeting the influential industry is headed for its first policy hearing today. Senate Bill 977, introduced by Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would ban tobacco products within 250 feet of any youth sports activity. The bill will be heard in the Senate Health Committee, which means at 1:30 p.m. in room 4203.

NEW POLL: Californians are becoming more disenchanted with the direction of the country, according to the latest Field Poll. A pollster blames the state’s political melancholy on the negative views of Republican presidential candidates. Read the poll and statistical tabulations prepared for The Bee.