Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

August 13, 2013
Jerry Brown vetoes bill to let women sell eggs for research

brownmics.jpgWriting "not everything in life is for sale nor should it be," Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation seeking to repeal a California law prohibiting women from selling their eggs for medical research.

"The questions raised here are not simple; they touch matters that are both personal and philosophical," the Democratic governor said in a veto message released late in the day. "In medical procedures of this kind, genuinely informed consent is difficult because the long-term risks are not adequately known. Putting thousands of dollars on the table only compounds the problem."

Proponents of the legislation said the current restriction on compensating women for their eggs has stymied fertility research in California, while opponents said eggs should not be treated as a commodity.

The bill, Assembly Bill 926 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would have replaced an existing law that prohibits paying women for eggs for medical research beyond reimbursing them for direct expenses. The current law does not prohibit compensation to women who donate eggs for fertility purposes.

Brown wrote in his veto message, "After careful review of the materials which both supporters and opponents submitted, I do not find sufficient reason to change course."

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown talks to members of the press on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

August 13, 2013
California nurse practitioner bill moves on with major changes

nurse.JPGA watered-down bill allowing nurse practitioners to operate independently of physicians passed during reconsideration in an Assembly committee Tuesday after failing to earn enough votes last week.

Senate Bill 491 by Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, increases the scope of practice of nurse practitioners by allowing them to practice independently of physicians in certain medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and skilled nursing facilities. Amid fierce lobbying in opposition, including by the California Medical Association, which represents doctors, Hernandez removed language in the bill that would have allowed nurse practitioners to operate completely independent of physician oversight after 6,240 hours of supervised practice.

"We heard thoughtful testimony last week and it was clear that members wanted to find common ground to help California bridge the provider gap and ensure that we all have access to quality healthcare," Hernandez said in a statement.

August 13, 2013
Hollywood drama plays out in California legislative hearing

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It was an interesting day in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. The panel that normally deals with issues like civil law and tort liability was instead the venue for a whole lot of Hollywood baby mama drama.

Three celebrities who testified on two unrelated bills all told emotional stories of their small children.

Actresses Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry described a stalking episode and a custody battle as they spoke in support of a bill that would restrict the ability for paparazzi to photograph kids.

Jason Patric, who starred in the 1980s film "Lost Boys," talked about his troubled relationship with former girlfriend Danielle Schreiber as he testified for a bill that would allow sperm donors, in some situations, to gain rights as parents. Schreiber, with whom he is locked in a custody battle, did not testify but sat in a stairwell outside the hearing room.

In the end, the star power may have helped Sen. Kevin de Leon's anti-paparazzi bill pass unanimously out of committee. But it didn't persuade enough lawmakers to support Sen. Jerry Hill's bill to define parenting rights. That bill, SB 115, is done for now, but could get further debate next year.

"I have become a voice of an issue that I never wanted to be a voice for," Patric said to the committee.

"But I'm also here mainly because I have to be Gus's voice. My son. A voice I have not heard in 25 weeks. A voice that is not allowed to mention my name in his mother's home. a voice that has sent me here to speak to you all."

August 13, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Salary-severed Senate strikes back

Two years after State Controller John Chiang deprived lawmakers of their salaries, the state Senate has gotten its revenge, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

August 13, 2013
AM Alert: California lawmakers continue focus on LGBT youth

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Originally, this is where we were going to tell you that today is Decision Day for Gov. Jerry Brown on a bill allowing students to use the facilities and try out for the teams the reflect their gender identities. But Brown signed the bill ahead of schedule, so today we turn to a different piece of legislation aimed squarely at LGBT kids.

Incensed that organizations like the Boy Scouts of America can retain their tax-exempt status despite what he calls discriminatory policies, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has a bill that would revoke tax breaks for youth groups that discriminate based on gender. Before the bill goes to the Assembly Judiciary Committee today, Lara will host a 10:30 a.m. rally on the north steps along with John O'Connor from Equality California, Assembly members Susan Eggman and Phil Ting, and the father of a former boy scout expelled from the organization.

VIDEO: State Controller John Chiang has learned that you can't cut off a lawmaker's paycheck and not expect consequences, Dan Walters says.

DOMESTICITY: Today witnesses the latest big push for the domestic workers rights bill carried by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. Domestic workers and their allies have been traversing the well-trod San Diego-to-Sacramento route in support of the bill (which goes before Senate Appropriations next Tuesday), and today they arrive in Sacramento for a 2:30 p.m. rally also expected to feature Angie Wei of the California Labor Federation, Alice Huffman of the California NAACP, and nearly a dozen lawmakers.

BILL ROUNDUP: Some legislation of note today: coming a few days after a State Auditor's report faulted the state's management of funds for updating voting systems, the Assembly Elections And Redistricting Committee considers a pair of bills of to streamline the process; a barrage of gun control bills goes before the Assembly Public Safety Committee, along with legislation to regulate drone surveillance; and a medical marijuana bill that has become the remaining priority this session for cannabis advocates awaits the judgment of the Assembly Health Committee.

STERILIZATION SCRUTINIZED: You may remember this particularly gruesome story detailing how California prisons sterilized some female inmates. Today, the Senate Public Safety Committee convenes a 10:30 a.m. hearing to investigate.

SANS SAN ONOFRE: With the San Onofre nuclear power station offline, officials are looking at how to decommission the plant and compensate for the lost energy. Witnesses at today's Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee hearing on the matter include Michael Weber of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Edward Randolph, energy division director for the California Public Utilities Commission; and Stephen Pickett of Southern California Edison.

DELTA DOLLARS: The proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan's price tag comes under the magnifying glass again today with a 9:30 a.m. joint hearing of the Senate committees on Natural Resources and Water and Governance and Finance. Witnesses will include Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton "Chuck" Bonham.

PHOTO: Members of California's LGBT Legislative Caucus -- from left to right Senators Ricardo Lara and Mark Leno, Assembly members Richard Gordon and Susan Eggman-Talamantes, and Senator Toni Atkins, D-San Diego -- huddle in before a press conference after the Supreme Court announced its decision on California's same-sex marriage ban and DOMA on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the State Capitol. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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Capitol Alert Staff


Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. achance@sacbee.com. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. ccadelago@sacbee.com. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. lrosenhall@sacbee.com. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. dwalters@sacbee.com. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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