Capitol Weekly Podcast: a chat with Asm. Alex Lee

When we invited freshman Assemblymember Alex Lee (D – San Jose) to come on the podcast we planned to discuss his ambitious policy proposals, like Universal Health Care, a Wealth Tax, and a ban on corporate donations to political candidates. What we didn’t expect was that those discussions would all be in the past tense.

Lee had a rough week: his proposal for a Wealth Tax didn’t make the deadline to get out of committee, and AB20, a bill that would have banned corporate donations to candidates, not only failed to get out of Thursday’s meeting of the Elections Committee, but also earned Lee a public, on-camera dressing down from committee chair Marc Berman (D – Menlo Park), who called the bill “misleading,” and chided Lee for failing to address what he characterized as gaping loopholes in the bill’s language. And AB1400, the Universal Health Care bill, didn’t even make it to this week, having been put on the shelf the week prior (presumably to the relief of Gov. Newsom, who won’t have to take a position before the Recall.)

Asm. Lee seems to have taken his lumps in stride. He spoke with Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster about lessons learned during his first five months in office, and about his other legislative priorities, including AB1509, which would address the inequities in sentencing enhancements, and AB339, which would make permanent the COVID-era allowance for remote participation (i.e. call-in and Zoom) in public hearings.

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