Will speak to an American Bar Assn. meeting in San Francisco on Friday.
Assembly Floor Action: Doctor's Fees: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 69-6 vote a bill (AB 675) by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-South San Francisco) to make the charging of excessive fees grounds for state disciplinary action against physicians. Infertility: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 41-27 vote a bill (AB 900) by Assemblywoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) to require group health insurance plans to offer coverage for treatment of infertility. Ailing Elderly Parents: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 41-31 vote a bill (AB 1977) to make it unlawful for any employer of 25 or more workers to refuse to grant an employee an unpaid leave of up to four months to care for ailing elderly parents. Prejudice: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 43-10 vote a bill (AB 920) by the late Assemblyman Bill Bradley (R-San Marcos) to require the state Department of Education to develop a pilot program to teach human relations and reduce prejudice in grades 8-10. Committee Action: Health Insurance: The Ways and Means Committee approved a bill (AB 328) by Assemblyman Burt Margolin (D-Los Angeles) to provide health insurance to an estimated 5.2 million Californians who do not have it now. The financing would come from a combination of payroll taxes, revenue from the voter-approved cigarette tax increase and premiums to be paid by plan beneficiaries. A 13-8 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor. Health Care: The Ways and Means Committee also approved a bill (AB 60) by Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg (D-Sacramento) to subsidize a catastrophic health care plan for people whose medical histories make it difficult or impossible for them to obtain coverage. These include people with AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Funding would come from employer contributions to the unemployment insurance fund, employee contributions to the disability insurance funds and tobacco tax revenue. A 20-1 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor. More Health Care: The Health Committee approved a bill (AB 99) by Assemblyman Bruce Bronzan (D-Fresno) to set up a formula for spending $624 million from increased tobacco tax revenue on a variety of health care services. A 13-4 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee. Senate Committee Action: Law Enforcement: The Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill (SB 533) by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) to allow counties to form special districts and place a 1-cent sales tax increase on the election ballot to finance more law enforcement services. A 7-2 vote sent the bill to the Senate floor.