Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Would "Medicare for all" in California cut medical costs and insurance premiums and also improve access to health care?

The Senate Appropriations Committee is taking up a bill today that would set up a state agency to run a single-payer health care system.

Senate Bill 810, by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, is running into opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, as Jon Ortiz reports in today's Bee. The hearing is set to begin at noon in the Capitol's Room 4203.

Also on the committee's agenda is Sen. Ted Lieu's "gut-and-amend" Senate Bill 661 to make it a crime, except on private property, to set up a picket at a funeral.

It's the Torrance Democrat's second try at the issue in recent months. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Lieu's similar measure in September, saying in his veto message that he was "very tempted to sign it" but that it went against the recent U.S. Supreme Court's decision that the First Amendment protects such protests and that they "can be circumscribed in only extremely limited ways."

The new version would set up a 500-foot protest-free zone, half the length proposed in the vetoed measure. The new version is also missing the original bill's reference to targeting the dead person or the mourners because of marital status, sexual orientation or other factors.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, will announce his campaign for Congress at an aviation museum in Camarillo at 10 a.m.

It's also T minus one day to the governor's State of the State address, which he's set to give at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"You're going to hear so much that I wouldn't miss it if I were you," Brown said last week.

ELECTION NIGHT: Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, will be in Torrance tonight watching the returns in his runoff with Los Angeles police officer Joe Buscaino, a political newcomer, for the Los Angeles City Council seat vacated by Janice Hahn.


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