Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Immigration, abortion, marijuana on deck at Capitol

Students tour the Capitol on May 15, 2007.
Students tour the Capitol on May 15, 2007. The Sacramento Bee file

It’s a busy day for advocacy groups bringing their message to the Capitol.

The California Immigrant Policy Center is in town for its 20th annual lobby day in support of immigrant rights. An interfaith ceremony and rally begins at 9 a.m. on the west steps, where speakers include Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Attendees will then visit legislators asking them to vote for bills limiting the involvement of local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities and seeking a waiver for California to sell health insurance to undocumented immigrants through its state exchange.

De León and Rendon will also speak to the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, which brings young reproductive health activists to the Capitol each year, at 12:30 p.m. on the south steps. The organization is sponsoring legislation this session that would make it a crime to distribute illegal recordings of health care providers, a direct shot at anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who released a controversial series of undercover videos last year that purported to show Planned Parenthood employees arranging the sale of aborted fetuses.

And over at the Sacramento Convention Center, medical marijuana group Americans for Safe Access gathers patients, providers and industry workers for training before sending them off to lobby against several proposed taxes and a field drug test for drivers. At 11 a.m., they will hear from Lori Ajax, the inaugural chief of California’s new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

UPHILL BATTLE: Only two weeks left until California voters decide which Democratic presidential candidate wins the biggest prize on the primary calendar. Hoping to close a persistent gap in the polls, Bernie Sanders has been crisscrossing the state in recent weeks, attracting thousands in Sacramento earlier this month and endorsing the state’s marijuana legalization initiative in San Jose last Wednesday. So frontrunner Hillary Clinton is sending in reinforcements: Former President Bill Clinton, who swung through Southern California and the Central Valley over the weekend, is headlining rallies this afternoon in Stockton and at Sacramento State, then a reception this evening at the home of Sacramento developer and former gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, where tickets start at $500.

DOWN IN THE VALLEY: Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari did not make a friend of Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin when he spent five days in her city during his 2014 campaign posing as a homeless man, but his point about the startlingly widespread poverty that has persisted in California through a healthy economic recovery could not be ignored. Swearengin will join Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and South Gate Mayor Jorge Morales for a discussion about poverty and inequality, hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California, noon at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento on J Street.

END OF THE LINE: This week marks the deadline for bills with a fiscal impact to make it out of committee, which means hundreds of items will face their fate in appropriations by Friday. Some advocates are taking steps to boost their prospects, including Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who would like to require those convicted of driving under the influence to install a device in their cars that checks whether they are sober before starting the ignition. They will be on the north side of the Capitol at 9:30 a.m., before the Senate Appropriations Committee takes up SB 1046.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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