Capitol Alert

AM Alert: CTA weighs in on state budget

About 42 percent of California’s General Fund spending, some $51.2 billion; would go to K-12 schools under Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal. The California Teachers Association ranks among Sacramento’s most formidable interest groups.

Combine those two and you get some high-stakes politics.

Local CTA leaders will be at the Capitol for a lobby day today, eschewing bills in favor of a focus on the state budget. The union’s immediate response to Brown’s budget was a renewed call to extend higher taxes on top earners, making the same schools-based argument they used to pass Proposition 30 in 2012 (Unlike with Proposition 30, Brown is declining to weigh in).

That will fall to voters. In a more Sacramento-centric area, CTA members will be talking about protecting money for schools under Proposition 98. CTA leadership opposed Brown’s proposal to broaden how districts can spend school maintenance money, warning the idea “undermines the integrity of Proposition 98.” In the past the CTA has clashed with child care advocates over where to spend Prop 98 money, a conflict that could resurface as legislators continue to focus on early childhood.

HOT DOGS: As we reported in today’s Bee, lawmakers want to allow good samaritans to bust overheated pooches out of locked cars. Assemblymen Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, will be advocating for Assembly Bill 797 along with members of the Humane Society on the north steps at 11 a.m.

ON THE TRAIL: Our contested Democratic primary continues today with Bernie Sanders rallying the faithful in Anaheim at 10 a.m., followed by events in Riverside at 2 p.m. and San Bernardino at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will be in Los Angeles, appearing with Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and will then head to an event at the University of California, Riverside. As our intrepid reporter found, the Sanders campaign has galvanized disillusioned California voters.

TRIPPING: Members of the California Transit Association will be in town for a lobby day today, talking about ambitious transportation-related climate goals like having public agencies purchase zero-emission buses. They’ll also hear about the ever-elusive transportation funding deal, with a 9:30 a.m. panel including transportation committee chairs Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley and Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, as well as a road user fee pilot study. People will be at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria throughout the day before heading to Empress Tavern for an evening reception.

MEDI-VERSARY: Wow, Medi-Cal, has it really been 50 years already? Elected officials current and former will be on hand today to note the half-century mark for the health insurance program for low-income Californians, which now covers around one-third of the state’s population (roughly 13.3 million). Expected speakers at a 4 p.m. Sacramento Convention Center event include Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

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