Capitol Alert

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STATUECOINS.JPGIt's a busy day for interest groups at the California Capitol today, with a few heavy hitters marshaling their allies and meeting with lawmakers. Here's a quick rundown:

LABOR GETS SAUCY: It's the second day of the California Labor Federation's "joint legislative conference." Today's planned events include an 11 a.m. rally on the north steps of the State Capitol, featuring giant vats of gravy symbolizing corporate tax breaks. Addressing the crowd will be Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation, Yvonne Walker of SEIU Local 1000 and Willie L. Pelote Sr. of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Participants will fan out after to meet lawmakers and hand them jars of gravy.

DOCTORS DIAGNOSE SHORTAGE: The California Medical Association is hosting its "legislative leadership conference" at the Sheraton Grand, which will feature addresses from executive director of Covered California Peter Lee, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Republican Party chair Jim Brulte and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, whose Mercury Public Affairs has been retained by the California Medical Association.

The approaching implementation of the Affordable Care Act has prompted a flurry of bills that proponents say are necessary to help deal with an expected influx of new patients. Some CMA-sponsored bills to address the doctor dearth will be spotlighted at a 10 a.m. news conference on the east steps that is expected to feature Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento; Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles; Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside; Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield; and Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella.

PHARMACISTS PRESCRIBE MORE FUNCTIONS: The California Pharmacists Association and the California Society of Health System Pharmacists will be in town for their legislative day. In addition to offering health screenings on the west steps, they'll be urging passage of a bill they sponsored: SB 493 would expand the services pharmacists can offer, one front in a scope-of-practice clash that is accompanying Obamacare's rollout.

LATINOS LOBBY ON IMMIGRATION: Today is also the National Council of La Raza's California Latino Advocacy Day, and members of the organization are rallying in Sacramento in support of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress -- Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, who has a resolution laying out some immigration overhaul principles, is expected to be there. After the demonstration, which runs from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on the east lawn, supporters will be pressing lawmakers on some other bills of interest.

VIDEO: It was rather convenient that Gov. Jerry Brown was out of town while California Democratic Party delegates challenged his agenda, Dan Walters muses.

DEMS' NEXT STEPS: Soon-to-be-former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in town today for a lunch hosted by the Sacramento Press Club, where he will be speaking about the next steps for Democrats. The event runs from noon to 1 p.m. at 1201 K Street.

JOB MOVE: Bettina Inclán has been hired by the National Republican Congressional Committee, where she will serve as coalitions director.

PHOTO CREDIT: A statue of Queen Isabella stands in the rotunda of the California Capitol, into whose crown lobbyists have traditionally tried to toss pennies at the end of session. Brian Baer / Sacramento Bee file, 2007



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