Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Bernie Sanders opens first California campaign office

Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters at a campaign rally at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 6, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters at a campaign rally at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 6, 2016. The New York Times

Will California feel the Bern on Election Day? With less than two months to go until the state’s June primary, Bernie Sanders is aiming to cut Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s shrinking lead in the Golden State.

Sanders has already hit the airwaves in major markets, and an army of nurses is planning to stump on his behalf starting next month. Now his campaign will open its first official California office today in Los Angeles, ahead of what increasingly appears could be a fierce, down-to-the-wire battle for the country’s most delegate-rich state.

Of course, it may not ultimately matter if Clinton has clinched the nomination by then. But she’s not going to want an embarrassing, albeit symbolic, loss at the final stop on the primary calendar. Clinton has also been making the rounds of California lately, including raising big money with movie stars last week, though she has yet to open her own campaign office here.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: After several tense hours, the police standoff that shut down L Street on Monday ended peacefully.

TAKE CARE: With millions more Californians covered by health insurance under the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s primary care physician shortage has only worsened, especially in rural regions. Community health centers that serve these populations will lobby for several bills to help them expand their services as part of their CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Day, starting at 10 a.m. on the west steps of the Capitol. The group, which is affiliated with the California Primary Care Association, will hear from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, during its luncheon.

NEW ECONOMICS: Whether they’re Uber drivers, TaskRabbit odd-jobbers or anything else that can be ordered with the tap of an app, so-called “gig economy” workers have been getting plenty of attention in a larger debate about the future of jobs. Today a closely-watched bill giving those workers the right to organize, AB 1727 from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, gets its first vote in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 447.

STARGAZING: From Halle Berry to Carl Weathers, it’s not unusual to catch a celebrity at the Capitol advocating for their favored cause. Today’s special guest is Oscar nominee Annette Bening, who is town to support SB 916 from Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, which would create teaching credentials for dance and theater. She will testify in the Senate Education Committee, which starts at 9 a.m. in Room 4203.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff. Jeremy B. White of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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