Last time the folks from SeaWorld made the official trip from San Diego to Sacramento, it was a pretty low-intensity affair: mostly it involved some cute animals delighting staffers, who lined up for the chance to meet a penguin.
Amazing how much a documentary can change things.
The film Blackfish, which argued that SeaWorld uses unsustainable orca management techniques that led to the deaths of human trainers, has prompted a fierce SeaWorld PR counteroffensive. It has also helped convince Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, to introduce a bill that would ban captive orca breeding and end the elaborate orca shows that are a SeaWorld staple. It should be fascinating to watch the legislation's arc, particularly since the incoming Assembly speaker will be the first ever from San Diego, where SeaWorld is a major tourist draw and money-maker.
Half a dozen SeaWorld San Diego representatives, including park president John Reilly, a veterinarian and a trainer, will appear at an informational briefing in room 126 this morning, and you can probably guess what they'll be asked about. They'll then fan out for legislative visits, and you can probably guess what they'll be talking about.
LAW AND ORDER: Also on their lobby day today are representatives of a law enforcement coalition that includes the California Police Chiefs Association, the California District Attorneys Association and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Before walking the halls of the Capitol they'll get to hear from Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown will be speaking at 1 p.m. at the Sacramento Convention Center, where other speakers will include presumptive future legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.
SHOTSTOCKING: Up in committee today is a bill by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, that would require public schools to keep a supply of epinephrine auto injectors. The mother of a Sacramento teen who died of an allergic reaction to peanuts last year will testify.
ONCE MORE UNTO THE DATA BREACH: Millions of Target and Neiman Marcus customers having their data stolen has focused lawmakers on consumer data security, and today Assemblymen Roger Dickinson and Bob Wieckowski will announce their legislative response. In room 127 at 9:30 a.m.
FUELING POLICY: Lawmakers will hear about the world of low-emission fuels at a summit sponsored by biofuel, natural gas and electric industry officials. Expected attendees at the Low Carbon Fuel event include Democratic Assembly members Bill Quirk, Henry Perea, Chris Holden and Nancy Skinner.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, who turns 62 today.
PHOTO: A SeaWorld trainer performs with a killer whale during the first show after an orca killed a trainer at theme park three days earlier in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack.