Capitol Alert

AM Alert: EpiPens and higher education as lawmakers near finish line

With just two days left in the legislative session, lawmakers in both houses still have a hefty stack of bills to work through before adjourning for the year.

The August sprint to the end has seen the passage of major legislation including yesterday’s bill expanding overtime pay for farmworkers. Last week, two bills addressing climate change were sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

On Tuesday, Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, will bring up Senate Bill 412, a bill he authored with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles. The bill seeks to create the California Promise, a commitment to four-year graduations for students in the California State University system. The bill is a modified version of Glazer’s Senate Bill 1450 which died in committee earlier this year.

Responding to national outrage over the skyrocketing price of EpiPens, Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, chair of the Senate health committee will give a floor presentation about a resolution he introduced calling on Congress to investigate the drug’s maker, Mylan, Inc. and allow the FDA to approve generic versions. Hernandez will also create a series of informational hearings on the rising cost of prescription drugs, the first of which will focus on EpiPens. Hernandez will call on Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, to participate in the discussion. Mylan was among the opponents of Hernandez’ SB 1010, a drug price transparency bill the senator dropped this month after unwelcome amendments.

VIDEO: Lawmakers debate more overtime pay for farmworkers

WORTH REPEATING: “It was like being the parish priest in a village where everyone thought they were God.” – Paul Schmidt, quoting his late brother Greg describing his job as top Senate staff member

BY THE NUMBERS: As state lawmakers headed into their final three days of work, the Assembly’s Daily File listed 215 items, including 138 Assembly bills awaiting concurrence in Senate amendments. The Senate file totaled 175 items, including 32 Senate measures awaiting final consideration. The Assembly, meanwhile, still held onto 37 Senate bills and the Senate had 47 Assembly bills.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY: The state Board of Equalization is holding the first of two meetings Tuesday. On Wednesday, the board will hear an appeal from solar energy company SolarCity, which recently sealed a $2.6 billion merger deal with electric car maker Tesla. SolarCity is requesting a refund for $131,592 the company paid in back taxes. A board audit between 2007 and 2009 uncovered nearly $1.5 million in unreported solar rebates. SolarCity paid the tax but has appealed to the full board, claiming that the rebates are not taxable. Both meetings begin at 9 a.m. at the board headquarters, 450 N Street.

IN MEMORIAM: The Capitol lost an institution last week – a man who “knew where all the bodies were buried” and “probably buried himself many bodies in this building,” as Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León put it. Greg Schmidt, the Senate’s former chief administrator for nearly two decades, died at the age of 69 on Thursday following a brief battle with cancer. For those who wish to pay their respects, a funeral mass is set for 10 a.m. at the St. Francis of Assisi Church on 26th Street. Donations in Schmidt’s honor can also be made to either the Cristo Rey High School Work-Study Program or Bishop O’Dowd High School Alumni Scholarship Endowment.

Jim Miller and Alexei Koseff of the Bee’s Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

Anshu Siripurapu: 916-321-1060, @AnshuSiripurapu

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