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Meet the East Bay’s veterans of the year

Each of the East Bay’s Assembly members named a Veteran of the Year this week, to be recognized at the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee’s annual luncheon today in Sacramento.

Read all about these inspirational vets, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Under: Assembly, Bob Wieckowski, Joan Buchanan, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, Sandre Swanson, Susan Bonilla, veterans | No Comments »

Assembly rejects lighter penalty for growing pot

The Assembly this week rejected a bill that would’ve reduced marijuana cultivation from a felony – punishable by 16 months, two years or three years in state prison – to a “wobbler” that can be filed either as a felony or as a misdemeanor punishable by a year in county jail.

AB 1017, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, failed Wednesday on a 24-36 vote. Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla, D-Concord; Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley; and Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, voted for it, while Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, opposed it and Assemblywomen Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, didn’t vote.

Swanson said the communities he represents is struggling with a severe drug crisis, and the bill would’ve moved California in the wrong direction.

“If we really want comprehensive drug reform, we can’t just relax certain portions of the laws around marijuana cultivation and use. We need to address the issue comprehensively through federal law,” he said, adding he fears the bill sends the wrong message to kids, that recreational marijuana use is acceptable. “This is not appropriate, especially when federal law continues to prosecute the crime, with a disproportionate effect on communities of color. You can’t address these issues in a vacuum, particularly where our state law comes into conflict with the federal.”

He said he’ll remain open-minded on the issue, “but as long as I see marijuana use preventing many of our young people from getting employed because they can’t pass drug tests, and all of the other adverse and negative impacts by accepting this drug as recreational, it clearly isn’t the time to start lessening the restrictions on its cultivation or use. The consequences of making this a recreational drug –- or creating the perception that we are trending that way by lessening the restrictions — has long-term and significant consequences I am not prepared support.”

Reconsideration of the bill was granted Thursday, but it was ordered to the Assembly’s inactive file at the request of Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, D-Montebello.

Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, was the lone GOP vote in support of the bill, which was sponsored by Mendocino County District Attorney C. David Eyster and supported by the California Public Defenders Association and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

“The state legislature has once again demonstrated its incompetence when it comes to dealing with prison crowding,” California NORML Director Dale Gieringer said in a news release. “With California under court order to reduce its prison population, it is irresponsible to maintain present penalties for non-violent drug offenses. It makes no sense to keep marijuana growing a felony, when assault, battery, and petty theft are all misdemeanors. Legislators have once again caved in to the state’s law enforcement establishment, which has a vested professional interest in maximizing drug crime.”

The bill was opposed by the California District Attorneys Association, California Narcotics Officers’ Association, California Police Chiefs Association and California State Sheriffs’ Association.

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Under: Assembly, Bob Wieckowski, marijuana, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, Sandre Swanson, Susan Bonilla, Tom Ammiano | 6 Comments »

More from local lawmakers on Brown’s budget

I spent the day speaking with Bay Area lawmakers about Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, and as always, there was a lot more than could fit into the story filed for the print editions.

Fiona Ma“Democrats elected Jerry Brown and part of why we elected him is because of his leadership, the fact that he’s been there and done that and now has the courage to tell the voters the real deal and make those cuts, even in the face of opposition from our traditional allies and friends,” said Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, predicting that while some details might be dickered over, Brown’s overall plan won’t see much opposition from legislative Democrats.

As for legislative Republicans, she said, they’ve never presented a full budget plan of their own: “They have not been part of the solution… They’ve just been saying ‘no, no, no.’”

Voters will have to see past ideology and idealism this year, she said. “We just explain the reality: We have 33 cents in our pocket yet we want to go buy the toy that costs a dollar and we’ve maxed out all our credit cards – well, that’s not going to work anymore.”

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, said she already has been telling her constituents they can’t both expect lowered taxes and full, quality state services, and has found “people are very receptive in terms of knowing someone understands the problem and is honest with them.”

Buchanan said everyone has certain programs they’d like to protect, but the reality is that California must decide how to get the most bang for the bucks it already has. Brown’s plan acknowledges this, she said: “I can’t say it’s perfect or that I’ll necessarily agree with every single part of it … but when I look at how he’s put the whole package together, I think overall he’s done an excellent job.”

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, says specificity will be the key in convincing Californians to support extending the taxes already in effect for another five years, as Brown proposes. The message has to be that if those taxes aren’t extended, “then your school district will look like this, and your public safety system in California will look like this,” he said. “We need to show everyone, and I need to see it too – I have an understanding and a perception of how it would be, but I need to know how painful it would be – how many fewer teachers would we have?

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said she’s “pleased that our schools are at least being maintained, our K-12 schools, at the level they were this year – we can’t throw away a generation of children. The other cuts, we’re going to have start engaging in great detail.”

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, said “we just have to be realistic about what we can do, where we’re going, and focus on creating some real structural reform,” adding that while she may not agree with every element of Brown’s plan, his personal engagement with lawmakers is refreshing. “It’s great, but at the same time, this is going to be really tough.”

Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Under: Assembly, Fiona Ma, Jerry Hill, Joan Buchanan, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, state budget | 2 Comments »

Mary Hayashi, NFL push sports safety bill

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, was joined by a constellation of former National Football League stars today at a Sacramento news conference announcing her bill to prevent sports-related concussions among California’s student athletes.

Hayashi’s AB 25, sponsored by the NFL, would require a young athlete who is suspected of having a concussion or head injury in a practice or game to be removed from play for the remainder of the day, and to get written consent from a health care professional and legal guardian in order to return to play.

“Kids believe they need to be tough and play through injuries, so they often return to play too soon,” the lawmaker said. “When it comes to concussions, this kind of enthusiasm can be life-threatening. Athletes who sustain a concussion are more likely to have a second or third incident, increasing the risk of brain swelling and bleeding, which can lead to coma or even death.”

Joining Hayashi this morning were Fred Biletnikoff, an NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver who played with the Oakland Raiders from 1965 through 1978, starred in six Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls and was named MVP of Super Bowl XI; Morris Bradshaw, a former NFL wide receiver who played with the Oakland Raiders from 1974 to 1981 and the New England Patriots in 1982, and is now Senior Administrator for the Oakland Raiders; Eric Davis, a former NFL defensive back who played with the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions over 13 seasons, starring in the 1995 and 1996 Pro Bowls and helping the 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX; Leslie “Speedy” Duncan, a former NFL defensive back and four-time Pro Bowler who played for the San Diego Chargers from 1964-1970 and the Washington Redskins from 1971-1974; Jim Otto, an NFL Hall of Fame center who played with the Oakland Raiders from 1960 to 1974, starred in 12 All-Star games and Pro Bowls and Super Bowl II; and Keena Turner, a former Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers who played 11 NFL seasons from 1980 to 1990 and won four Super Bowl rings, and is now Vice President of Football Affairs for the 49ers.

It’s second down and 10 for Hayashi on the concussion issue. This past January she had introduced AB 1646, which would’ve added training on potentially catastrophic injuries, such as head and neck injuries, asthma attacks, and heatstroke, to the CPR and first aid certification required of all California high school coaches, and AB 1647, which would’ve required athletes suspected of having a concussion to get a doctor’s written permission before returning to play. The former bill petered out in the Assembly Appropriations Committee; the latter was whittled down to merely require state certification for athletic trainers, and then was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Her new bill seems to have bipartisan support: State Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, is the principal co-author.

“As someone who participated in youth sports throughout my life, I know first-hand just how important this legislation is,” he said in a news release. “Student-athletes will oftentimes put the team before their own well-being, so AB 25 is essential in ensuring their safety.”

Hayashi’s office says a recent NFL study found serious memory-related diseases and other health problems in retired athletes to be nearly twenty times the normal rate, and another study of retired professional football players found that players reporting three or more previous concussions were three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those with no history of concussion.

Because young people’s heads and necks are still developing, the impact of concussions is often more serious, Hayashi’s office says studies have shown. High school athletes who sustain a concussion are three times more likely to sustain a second concussion, and cumulative head trauma can result in health problems including sleep disorders, memory loss, and depression.

Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Under: Assembly, Mary Hayashi | 1 Comment »

Lawmakers ride out-of-district money wave

California lawmakers over the past three years raised 79 percent of campaign funds from outside their districts, according to a new study by the data-crunching wizards at Berekeley-based nonpartisan nonprofit MAPLight.org.

MAPLight.org (that’s “MAP” as in “Money In Politics”) found California legislators serving as of Aug. 31, 2009 – 79 Assembly members and 40 Senators – raised $97.9 million in campaign funds from January 2007 through March 2010, with $77.5 million coming from outside the district. About $11.9 (12 percent) came from in-district, while the remaining $8.6 million (9 percent) couldn’t be definitively located.

More than half of the lawmakers (68 out of 117 members, or 58 percent) raised 80 percent or more of their campaign funds from outside their districts; 19 lawmakers raised 90 percent or more of their funds from outside their districts.

“Not a single legislator in California raised the majority of their campaign funds from in-district, where their voters live.” MAPLight.org Executive Director Daniel Newman said in a news release. “Instead of a voter democracy, we have a donor democracy.”

“With out-of-district fundraising at a staggering 80 percent, the problem is not with a few bad apples, but with a rotten barrel,” he said. “This report shows that our campaign finance system is broken. This remote control system works well for wealthy interest groups, but not for voters.”

Here’s how the Bay Area delegation stacked up in percentage of contributions from out of district, and rank among the 119 lawmakers surveyed:

  • Assemblyman Joe Coto, D-San Jose – 94.0 percent (#5)
  • Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley – 92.7 percent (#10)
  • State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro – 89.1 percent (#21)
  • Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, San Francisco – 87.8 percent (#29)
  • Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Newark – 87.5 percent (#33)
  • State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco – 85.5 percent (#40)
  • State Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose – 85.4 percent (#43)
  • Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City – 83.2 percent (#54)
  • Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch – 82.9 percent (#56)
  • Assemblyman Jim Beall Jr., D-San Jose – 82.5 percent (#59)
  • Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda – 80.4 percent (#64)
  • Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino – 80.0 percent (#68)
  • Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo – 79.2 percent (#72)
  • Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis – 76.9 percent (#79)
  • Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa – 74.7 percent (#85)
  • State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord – 74.5 percent (#87)
  • Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael – 72.5 percent (#91)
  • Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley – 67.4 percent (#100)
  • State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto – 63.4 percent (#102)
  • Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco – 62.1 percent (#105)
  • Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo – 62.0 percent (#106)
  • State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco – 58.9 percent (#110)
  • State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berekeley – 57.9 percent (#112)
  • And, in case you’re wondering where the money comes from, the top 15 ZIP codes of contributions to legislators were:

    1 Sacramento, CA 95814 – $23,149,034 (23.66%)
    2 San Francisco, CA 94105 – $2,034,877 (2.08%)
    3 Sacramento, CA 95833 – $1,408,211 (1.44%)
    4 Los Angeles, CA 90020 – $1,395,635 (1.43%)
    5 Burlingame CA, 94010 – $1,280,137 (1.31%)
    6 Los Angeles, CA 90071 – $1,054,345 (1.08%)
    7 Newport Beach, CA 92660 –$972,717 (0.99%)
    8 Sacramento, CA 95811 – $843,928 (0.86%)
    9 Sacramento, CA 95816 – $839,730 (0.86%)
    10 Los Angeles, CA 90017 – $741,449 (0.76%)
    11 Oakland, CA 94612 – $698,200 (0.71%)
    12 Sacramento. CA 95834 – $669,150 (0.68%)
    13 Pasadena, CA 91101 – $625,373 (0.64%)
    14 Los Angeles, CA 90010 – $621,677 (0.64%)
    15 San Francisco, CA 94111 – $583,888 (0.60%)

    MAPLight.org is among supporters of Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, which would try out a system of public financing of election campaigns in the 2014 and 2018 elections for Secretary of State, funded by an increase in lobbyist registration fees.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
    Under: 2010 election, Alberto Torrico, Assembly, ballot measures, California State Senate, campaign finance, Elaine Alquist, Ellen Corbett, Fiona Ma, Jerry Hill, Joan Buchanan, Joe Coto, Joe Simitian, Leland Yee, Loni Hancock, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Leno, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, Sandre Swanson, Tom Ammiano, Tom Torlakson | 3 Comments »

    Hayashi, Yee amass piles of campaign cash

    A gander at Bay Area state lawmakers’ cash on hand at the end of 2009 reveals that two are way ahead of the pack.

    In the East Bay, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, had $367,751.57 in her campaign coffers at last year’s end, more than twice the amount of any other Bay Area Assembly member seeking re-election in 2010; the next-closest is Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, at $182,390.30.

    It looks like the bulk of Hayashi’s contributions have come from labor unions and health-care-related interest groups – not surprising, given she chairs to the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Still, that’s a lot of heft for someone who’s unlikely to face a primary election challenge, and who represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district.

    There were unsubstantiated rumors last year that Hayashi might mount a primary challenge to state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro (who had a hefty $2207,368.04 in the bank at year’s end), but she has filed no such notice of intent with the Secretary of State’s office. Then again, I don’t see that she has an Assembly re-election Web site up. Then again again, she probably doesn’t need one yet.

    But the Bay Area’s biggest pot o’ gold belongs to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who had $1,058,674.86 in the bank at 2009’s end. Beyond Chron has an interesting rundown on where a good chunk of that money is coming from, and why.

    Although Yee is seeking re-election this year, he’s also rumored to be preparing for a San Francisco mayoral run in 2011. If so, he could end up needing a lot of cash in a crowded race against Supervisor Bevan Dufty, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Assessor Phil Ting, and possibly Public Defender Jeff Adachi and District Attorney Kamala Harris, too (if Harris doesn’t prevail in this year’s state Attorney General’s race, as she’s hoping).

    The region’s barest cupboard is that of state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who had $19,296.47 in the bank at year’s end. But he’s not up for re-election until 2012, so he has plenty of time to beef up the bankroll.

    UPDATE @ 11:36 A.M. FRIDAY 2/12: Yee takes umbrage at Beyond Chron’s characterization of his votes. From a letter he sent to Beyond Chron:

    The author attacked my voting record on 7 different health care bills that came before me in the State Senate. Regrettably, the author was in such a rush to play “gotcha politics,” talk about “flip-flopping” and “blue-dog Democrats”, that he never called or contacted my office to get the facts.

    The result is all too familiar: on 5 of the 7 bills in question, the author was simply dead wrong on the facts. While accidents happen, it is hard to believe that anyone who was writing a hit piece as vitriolic as this one would just accidentally get over 70% of their facts wrong.

    Yee said four of the votes at issue were held on the same day, on which he was absent to attend his daughter’s wedding. Beyond Chron called a fifth, on a bill to create a public, single-payer health care system, a flip-flop on Yee’s part, but Yee said the bill had been gutted and amended into something entirely different in the year between his votes.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, campaign finance, Leland Yee, Mark Leno, Mary Hayashi | 1 Comment »

    Thrill of victory, agony of defeat

    As the governor wielded his pen last night, state lawmakers from Alameda County saw victories on issues such as human trafficking, medical insurance recission and traffic congestion as well as defeats on issues such as ballot measure petition reform, trade agreements and electronic cigarettes.

    Follow me after the jump for details on some of the winners and losers…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009
    Under: Alberto Torrico, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, General, Loni Hancock, Mary Hayashi, Nancy Skinner, Sandre Swanson | Comments Off

    More lawmaker reaction to Arnold’s veto threat

    (UPDATE @ 11 A.M. MONDAY 10/12: I’ve updated this post throughout to denote which bills the governor signed and which bills he vetoed.)

    Lisa and I worked up a story about East Bay lawmakers’ bills being held ransom as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatens a blanket veto this weekend unless Legislative leaders cut a deal on the state’s water problems. As print space is limited, I thought I’d post some of the lawmakers’ comments in fuller form here.

    Assembly Majority Leader and state Attorney General candidate Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, said Friday that if the governor follows through on his veto threat, he’ll unveil a bill Monday explicitly banning exactly this type of legislative and executive “extortion” in the future. Torrico had asked state Attorney General Jerry Brown to probe whether the blanket veto threat already violates the California Constitution’s and Penal Code’s ban on such quid pro quos, but Brown said Friday he’ll not do so.

    “This is a new low for the governor, but it really is in keeping with the tenor and tone in Sacramento of negotiation through ransom notes,” Torrico said.

    Torrico cited Legislative Republicans’ successful moves in recent years to exact policy wins such as tax breaks for the horse-racing industry and a ballot measure that would create an open-primary electoral system, in return for their votes on the state budget.

    He’s concerned about three bills he authored: AB 1049, (VETOED) adding the state Safely Surrendered Baby Fund to the state income tax return form’s voluntary contributions section; AB 1270, (VETOED) making it easier for victimss to receive compensation from the Victim’s Compensation and Government Claims Board in a timely manner by requiring the board to have written procedures and time frames in place as suggested by a state audit report; and AB 665, (SIGNED) to ensure that federal incentive payments given to California for increasing the number of youth adopted out of foster care will be distributed to counties to fund activities to improve legal permanency outcomes for foster youth ages nine or older.

    Staffers for state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, said she’s concerned about two bills she has waiting on the governor’s desk.

    SB 83 (SIGNED) would let county transportation planning agencies put measures on their counties’ ballots to impose fees of up to $10 per vehicle to raise money for local projects to ease traffic congestion. The Senate passed this on a 23-17 vote, the Assembly on a 46-31 vote.

    And Hancock’s SB 279 (VETOED) would let cities and counties create local financing authorities to help property owners pay up front for solar-energy systems, energy efficiency improvements and water conservation measures; initial funding would come from a bond fund to be repaid over time through an assessment on the tax bills of the participating property owners. The Senate passed this 25-8, the Assembly 58-19.

    State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, noted she has 14 bills awaiting the governor’s action – more than any other Senator – dealing with issues such as lengthening the notice given to the state and requiring public hearings before a hospital emergency room can be shut down (SB 196, VETOED); halting sales of electronic cigarettes, currently unregulated and sometimes marketed to children (SB 400, VETOED); updating the list of public school facilities that need to be seismically retrofitted (SB 305, VETOED); and reducing fraud by barring petition signature gatherers from being paid per signature (SB 34, VETOED).

    “Every member of the legislature works long and hard to craft meaningful legislation. The bills would not be on the Governor’s desk if they did not have merit,” she said. “These bills are not just pieces of paper. Each one will have an impact on Californian’s lives.”

    Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, said she believes the governor will review every bill on its own merit

    “These are vital issues to the people of California and I am sure that he will give careful consideration to each of these bills,” she said, noting she has 13 bills on the govenror’s desk. “My top priorities include AB 1386, (SIGNED) which will resolve a 40-year old dispute over a Caltrans project in my district and address local transportation and housing needs.”

    She’s also concerned about AB 73, (SIGNED) without which Alameda County will risk losing its groundbreaking violence prevention program, Hayashi said. “Lastly, AB 108 (SIGNED) is critically important, because we need to protect consumers from having their health insurance policies rescinded, especially at the very moment they need costly treatment and life-saving services”

    Posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2009
    Under: Alberto Torrico, Assembly, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, General, Loni Hancock, Mary Hayashi | Comments Off

    Two more local lawmakers named to reform panel

    Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, this afternoon announced that Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, and Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, will be among the 10 members of her chamber (eight Democrats and two Republicans) serving on the Joint Select Committee on Reform.

    Bass and state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, are forming the panel with the goals of making the Legislature more transparent and effective and making state government more efficient and customer friendly. Steinberg announced his appointments last week, including state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, as co-chairman and state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, as a member.

    Hill issued a statement saying he’s “eager to answer the call of our constituents for a more efficient and transparent government. I’m confident this group will lead the way to a more productive government with thorough analysis of potential reforms.”

    Bass said her appointees “are ready to hit the ground running on reforms. I look forward to the Committee’s recommendations as they work throughout the coming weeks to produce a roadmap to help California work better.”

    According to last week’s news release announcing the committee’s formation, the panel will be tasked with:

      - Giving Californians more value for their tax dollars by making government more efficient and accountable.
      - Prioritizing key issues, so government makes the tough decisions and only turns to the voters when absolutely necessary.
      - Cutting through the gridlock caused by outmoded rules and undue partisanship.
      - Making government more transparent and accessible from around the state.
      - Diminishing the influence of special interests.
      - Making government more customer-friendly.
      - Creating a process that encourages decisions that reflect long-term thinking, not short-term band-aids.

    The Public Policy Institute of California found in July that only 17 percent of California adults, 14 percent of registered voters and 10 percent of likely voters it had surveyed approved of the way the state Legislature is handling it’s job, and I’m willing to bet the last two months haven’t brought any significant improvement. Re-instilling faith in our state lawmakers won’t be easy or quick; here’s hoping these and other appointees are up to the task, and that the task itself isn’t inherently impossible.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Jerry Hill, Karen Bass, Mark DeSaulnier, Mary Hayashi | Comments Off

    Hayashi and Corbett bury the hatchet on ER

    Whatever beef was happening last week between state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, over efforts to preserve the San Leandro Hospital emergency room, it seems to be a thing of the past: The two lawmakers issued a Kum-Ba-Yah news release today announcing that Corbett’s SB 196 had passed the Assembly Health Committee on a 12-5 vote.

    The bill would lengthen the notice given to the state before emergency rooms could shut down and require three public hearings to allow for public input before any potential closure. Although a co-sponsor of the bill, Hayashi had refused to vote on it last week, letting it falter one vote short of passage.

    “Significant progress was made yesterday after meeting with the California Nurses Association and Senator Ellen Corbett,” Hayashi said in today’s news release. “Several of the concerns that I had expressed about the bill were addressed and I am confident with the collective efforts moving forward. We share a similar goal of saving San Leandro Hospital’s emergency room as it has served nearly 50 years as a vital health care anchor for so many families.”

    Said Corbett: “It is critically important that we do everything we can to keep San Leandro Hospital open. It is a vital resource for the community. It has been clear and obvious from all of the public gatherings that have been held that the community is relying on us to keep up the fight to keep the hospital open.”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, Mary Hayashi | Comments Off