Capitol Alert

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RCB_20130311_MEDBOARD_0098.JPGThere has already been a fair amount of attention in Sacramento to prescription drug abuse -- earlier this year, grieving parents testified that the California Medical Board hasn't done enough to crack down on unscrupulous doctors who overprescribe. Today the Legislature is taking up bills to deal with the issue.

First comes an 11 a.m. press conference trumpeting Senate Bill 809, by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, which would bolster a Department of Justice program that allows pharmacists and prescribers to better track prescription data and identify patterns of abuse. Attorney General Kamala Harris is sponsoring the bill and will be at the press conference, in room 3191 of the State Capitol, after which the bill will go before the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development.

The committee will also take up Senate Bill 62, by Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, which would require coroners to file a report with the state Medical Board if they uncover information linking a death to prescription drugs.

VIDEO: What do Gov. Jerry Brown and George Wallace, the segregation-era governor of Alabama, have in common? Dan Walters will tell you.

FOOTBALL INJURIES: DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association, and a special team of retired and active professional athletes are in town to lobby against Assembly Bill 1309, a bill that would exempt athletes who play for non-California teams from being covered by California's workers' compensation laws. They will be holding a press conference on the north steps at 1 p.m.

AMMO TAX: Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, is holding a press conference for a bill that would impose a 5-cents-a-bullet tax on ammunition sold in California and use the proceeds to fund school-based mental health programs. Dickinson will be urging passage of Assembly Bill 760 at an 11 a.m. event at the William Land Elementary School library.

FIRE FEE: Republicans are taking another shot at repealing a fire fee on rural residents after a bill by Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, died in committee last week. This time measures by Assemblyman Mike Morrell (Assembly Bill 124) and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (Assembly Bill 23) are scheduled to go before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee at 2 p.m. during its hearing this afternoon. Also on tap is Assembly Bill 468 by the committee's chairman, Democrat Wesley Chesbro, which would repeal the fire fee and impose a surcharge on commercial and residential insurance policies.

D.C. DELEGATION: Elected officials and business types from the Sacramento region are holding meetings in Washington, D.C. this week for a "Capitol-to-Capitol" program hosted by the Sacramento Metro Chamber.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bereaved families who lost a loved one to prescription drug overuse rallied on the steps of the Sacramento State Capitol after asking for the California Medical Board to be disbanded on March 11, 2013. By Renée C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee.



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