After passing the Senate by a broad margin in late June, the federal immigration bill arrived at the House of Representatives and promptly got bogged down. But while the legislation is stalled, its supporters are moving.
Immigration advocates from across the state -- 45 cities at last count -- stream into Bakersfield today for a rally and a march to the district office of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, urging the House majority whip and his Republican colleagues to take up the immigration reform bill. Speakers at the event include Eliseo Medina, international secretary-treasurer of SEIU; Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and labor icon Dolores Huerta.
VIDEO: The end of session legislative scramble has set off the typical lobbyist feeding frenzy, Dan Walters says.
BACK FROM THE DEAD: The deadline for Assembly bills to make it out of Senate policy committees passed weeks ago, but this morning members of the upper house will consider waiving that restriction to revive four bills that, if the procedural move works, will be eligible to go before committees next week. It requires a two-thirds vote -- which the Democrats have just enough bodies to muster, if they get support from every senator -- so there's a fair chance of some Republican howling if this goes through. The bills facing revivification are AB 199, AB 401, AB 906 and AB 1008.
SHU-OUT: California inmates are still refusing food to protest the widespread use of solitary confinement as a means to isolate gang members, and today their supporters rally on the south steps at noon to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to offer some reforms. Joining them will be Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, and a life-sized replica of the Security Housing Unit, or SHU, in which starving inmates have spent years. (For a counterargument defending the use of the SHU, take a look at Dan Morain's column from the weekend). A bill restricting the use of solitary confinement for juveniles is also up in Appropriations today.
WOMEN'S WAY: A sizable chunk of the California Legislative Women's Caucus will travel to Yolo County for a fundraiser channeling money towards the Women in Power PAC, an organization that seeks to get more women elected. More than 20 female lawmakers are on the guest list for the Clarksburg shindig, for which tickets run from $1,500 to $5,000 a person.
MULLING THE MIDDLE CLASS: Several experts will discuss the meaning of the term "middle class" at a UC Center Sacramento event today. Topics include asset poverty (Jennifer Brooks of the Corporation for Enterprise Development), the federal health care law (Anthony Wright of Health Access), foreclosure, (Rob Wiener of the California Coalition for Rural Housing), citizenship (Vanessa Carter of the University of Southern California), and financial services gaps (Marisabel Torres of the National Council of La Raza, Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law & Poverty). From noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K St.
PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks to members of the local press on his way into the Sacramento Press Club in Sacramento on Friday, March 1, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.