ACTION ALERT ON SB 81 (SENATE BUDGET & FISCAL REVIEW COMMITTEE) – RESTORATION OF THE CURRENT YEAR TRANSPORTATION TRIGGER CUT

January 27, 2012

CSEA has been working with Legislators and the Governor to develop a solution to restore the mid-year transportation cut. Senate Bill 81 would restore $248 million to fund school transportation by allocating those reductions to revenue limits instead.

Background

Because state revenues came in lower than expected in December, current law imposes an automatic trigger to reduce the funding for school transportation, resulting in a mid-year cut of $248 million. This cut will have a devastating impact on our schools across this state, and will put the safety and lives of public school children at risk. Students may have to walk further to school or may be unable to get to school at all!

So far, many districts are having difficulty in implementing such a reduction because the special education and home-to-school transportation services provided cannot be reduced or eliminated without having an impact on student attendance. In some districts, the cut has prompted layoffs of bus drivers, maintenance workers, and others classified workers to avoid major reduction to student services.

Take Action!

SB 81 is scheduled to be heard in committee on January 31st. We need you to call the members of the Assembly Budget Committee to express your support of SB 81, and to ask for a “YES” vote on this bill. The committee members are listed as follows:

 Member  Capitol Office  District Office
 Bob Blumenfield,  Chair  (916) 319-2040  (818) 904-3840
 Jim Nielsen,  Vice Chair  (916) 319-2002  (530) 223-6300
 Luis Alejo  (916) 319-2028  (831) 759-8676
 Michael Allen  (916) 319-2007  (707) 546-4500
 Bill Berryhill  (916) 319-2026  (209) 473-6972
 Susan Bonilla  (916) 319-2011  (925) 521-1511
 Julia Brownley  (916) 319-2041  (818) 596-4141
 Joan Buchanan  (916) 319-2015  (925) 325-1515
 Betsy Butler  (916) 319-2053  (310) 615-3515
 Gilbert Cedillo  (916) 319-2045  (323) 225-4545
 Wesley Chesbro  (916) 319-2001  (707) 445-7014
 Roger Dickinson  (916) 319-2009  (916) 324-4676
 Mike Feuer  (916) 319-2042  (310) 285-5490
 Richard Gordon  (916) 319-2021  (650) 691-2121
 Diane Harkey  (916) 319-2073  (949) 347-7301
 Jared Huffman  (916) 319-2006  (415) 479-4920
 Kevin Jeffries  (916) 319-2066  (951) 894-1232
 Brian Jones  (916) 319-2077  (619) 441-2322
 Dan Logue  (916) 319-2003  (530) 895-4217
 Allan Mansoor  (916) 319-2068  (714) 668-2100
 Holly Mitchell  (916) 319-2047  (310) 342-1070
 William Monning  (916) 319-2027  (831) 649-2832
 Mike Morrell  (916) 319-2063  (909) 466-9096
 Brian Nestande  (916) 319-2064  (760) 647-0164
 Sandre Swanson  (916) 319-2016  (510) 286-1670
 David G. Valadao  (916) 319-2030  (559) 585-7170
 Donald P. Wagner  (916) 319-2070  (949) 863-7070

Please make the following points when you contact the Assembly Committee members. If the trigger cut is not restored it would:

  • Put small school children in harm’s way, when they need to cross busy roads, or go through dangerous areas.
  • Force some parents to make unthinkable choices between their job and safely getting their children to and from school.
  • Dramatically reduce funding for some schools because of a drop in school attendance.
  • Increasing traffic congestion on our roads and especially at our schools.
  • Stressing our already fragile economy and high unemployment rate by putting thousands of school bus drivers out of work.
  • Unfairly punishing low-income families and rural school districts, who depend the most on school buses to get students to class.

If you are a constituent, please let the person who answers the phone know that.

Thank you for making these important calls in support of SB 81.


SB 810 Is On Your Senate Floor

January 23, 2012

UPDATE:

Lawmakers have until Tuesday to act on the legislation.

The Senate voted 19-15 on the single-payer bill. The measure needed 21 to pass. Four Democrats abstained from the vote, and one voted against it (Van Oot/Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 1/27).

 

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide. The legislation passed with a 6-2 vote.

SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All,” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.

“SB 810 is the only proposed solution to the continuing patient care crisis that guarantees healthcare for all Californians and controls costs while eliminating the denials of care and restrictions of provider choice imposed by private insurance companies,” said DeAnn McEwen, a registered nurse at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and co-president of the California Nurses Association. CNA is one of the co-sponsors of SB 810.

SB 810 is sponsored and supported by a broad coalition of: Click to view

California currently spends about $200 billion annually on a fragmented, inefficient health care system that wastes 30% of every dollar on administration. Under Senate Bill 810, that wasteful spending is eliminated. The bill redirects the funds Californians already spend on health care to allow comprehensive coverage. In fact, studies show that the state would save $8 billion in the first year under this single-payer plan.

“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy. Consequently, fewer employers are providing health benefits to their employees, and those workers who are fortunate enough to receive coverage are paying higher premiums for diminishing services. By guaranteeing universal access for all Californians, our single-payer plan will reduce the health care burdens that are hurting families and our state’s economy.”

Next Steps& What you can do!

Call or write by the middle of this week. Check here to see who you are represented by: http://senate.ca.gov/senatedistricts

THE ASK: Ask how they voted in the past. If they have voted for the bill in the past. THANK THEM for previously voting yes, and ask that they vote yes again on the Senate Floor. Juan Vargas should be asked to co-author SB 810 again, like he has in the past.

Senator Ed Hernandez (Los Angles area)
State Capitol, Room 4085
Sacramento, CA 95814

Email: Senator.Hernandez@sen.ca.gov
Phone:(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 445-0485

Senator Michael Rubio (Fresno/Bakersfield area)
State Capitol, Room 2066
Sacramento,  CA  95814

Email: Michael.Rubio@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916)651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989

Senator Juan Vargas (San Diego area)
State Capitol, Room 3092
Sacramento, CA 95814

Email: Juan.Vargas@sen.ca.gov
Phone:(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 327-3522

Senator Lou Correa (Orange County/Santa Ana area)
State Capitol, Room 5052
Sacramento,  CA  95814

Email: Senator.Correa@senate.ca.gov
Phone:(916) 651-4034
Fax:714-558-4111

Senator Ron Calderon (Los Angeles/Montebello area)
State Capitol, Room 5066
Sacramento, CA  95814

Email: Senator.Calderon@sen.ca.gov
Phone:  (916) 651-4030
Fax:  (916) 327-8755

Important points for Calls to Senators:

·       Phone calls are brief and to the point

·       Tell them your name and if you live in their district, and you are calling as a supporter of SB 810, thank them for their support in the past (unless it’s Rubio) and ask that they support the bill again for the Senate vote. If Vargas, ask that he co-author the bill again.

·       They may ask if you live in the district. It is OK to call other Senators, as the State Senate exists and should act in the interest of all Californians.

Talking points:

·       If writing a letter (mail or fax), tell your personal healthcare struggles if you have a story to share, and supplement with points below. (Stories related to increases in healthcare costs, limited access, denied care, unaffordable, bankruptcy, children who cannot get insurance, etc. are important for educating legislators on the impact to Californians and very compelling.)
·       California must meet the challenge presented by President Obama – for states to do better than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is why he allowed states to request waivers to implement healthcare programs that can do better like SB 810.

·       The$200 billion price tag for SB 810 is incorrect – this is money already spent on healthcare – not a new expenditure, so there is no change. There is a trigger that is only initiated once funding is secured to pay for the program.

·       Mention Single Payer as part of  the solution to the State’s current fiscal crisis by saving $9billion in the first year and billions annually going forward. Currently one third of the state budget is related to healthcare which could be cut by one third to one half with a Single Payer system, saving billions of taxpayer dollars.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” 
―     Martin Luther King Jr.


We’ve moved SB 810 to the full Senate for a vote!

January 20, 2012

Congratulations on a great victory! This time last month, the possibility of getting SB 810 out of Appropriations was bleak. But thanks to hard work in your districts, Sacramento and LA; and your calls and letters to Senators– we’ve moved SB 810 to the full Senate for a vote.

Next Steps& What you can do!
This will be a heavy lift and we certainly have our work cut out for us. Call or write your Senator by the middle of next week. All Senators(EXCEPT Rubio) have voted for the bill in the past. THANK THEM for previously voting yes, and ask that they vote yes again on the Senate Floor. Juan Vargas should be asked to co-author SB 810 again, like he has in the past.

Specifics will be posted shortly, so please check back.

Something to think about over the weekend:

Uploaded by CSEAvideo on Oct 5, 2009:

Medical students recognize the need for single payer healthcare. They know the future of a healthy population is on their shoulders. Every year medical students go to Sacramento to develop tools to lobby legislators for healthcare reform. Senate Bill 810 is the answer to the disastrous healthcare situation in California. Learn about SB 810 and what you can do to encourage legislators to pass this vital bill. Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice vetoed SB 810 even though legislators passed it. 

“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy. Consequently, fewer employers are providing health benefits to their employees, and those workers who are fortunate enough to receive coverage are paying higher premiums for diminishing services. By guaranteeing universal access for all Californians, our single-payer plan will reduce the health care burdens that are hurting families and our state’s economy.”

 

 


Update: SB 810 Appropriations Hearing

January 18, 2012

The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing adjourned without a vote on Senate Bill 810.  It has been moved to suspense and will be voted on in Appropriations on Thursday, January 19th.  Senators Price, Pavley, Lieu and Alquist spoke in favor of Senate Bill 810. And thanks to all of your had work with letters, calls and meetings with Senator Price – he has signed on as a co-author for the bill! In addition Senator Alquist asked to step up her support to the next level as principal co-authors.

Steinberg was not present and Kehoe was noncommittal. 

It was a great Senate Appropriations hearing on SB 810 with a stellar panel of speakers and more than 150 supporters from a good representation of unions, community, single payer groups, faith, small business owners, schools and municipalities. Panelists included:

  • Jim Kahn, MD, MPH, UCSF Professor and Physician who focusing on Single Payer financing and the fiscal benefits the state would realize through a single payer system.
  • Mona Field, Board of Trustees for Los Angeles Community College District who spoke on the savings Community colleges, higher educations and K-12 would realize through a single payer system – focusing funding back towards the classroom.
  • Roger Hicks, Small Business Clinic owner and Physician who told his compelling story of the struggles of his small business to cover their employees when costs continue to rise, while as a provider reimbursements stay stagnant year after year – all while his employees, is patients and his business suffer.
  • DeAnn McEwen, Co-President California Nurses. A Registered Nurse of more than 37 years spoke of the nurses support and the moral imperative to move to a single payer system. 

And our very own:

  • Dolores Duran-Flores, Legislative Advocate for the California School Employees Association shared members stories, some of whom actually sign over their check (or even write a check) at the end of the month to cover healthcare.

Therefore, today is the day (Wed.) to lobby Steinberg and Kehoe for their strong support of Senate Bill 810. Call or email Senators Kehoe and Steinberg and encourage them to support SB 810 and ask them to move the bill to the Senate floor so the full Senate can have a chance to decide if they will move Single Payer in California forward and help save our state’s budget.

Senator Christine Kehoe, San Diego Area (Appropriations Committee Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Fax:     (916) 327-2188
Email:  senator.kehoe@sen.ca.gov

Senator Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Area (Senate Pro Tem, Appropriations Committee Member)
Phone:  (916) 651-4006
Fax:  (916) 323-2263
Email: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov

Your Senator needs to here from you as well. If you do not know who your Senator is click here to find out.

Here are some important points for contacting your Senator:

  • Phone calls are brief and to the point
  • Tell them your, name and that you live in their district, and you are calling as a supporter of SB 810 and you are asking that they support it as well

Talking points for calls and letters:

  • If you are writing, tell a personal healthcare story if you have one
  • Stories related to increases in healthcare costs, limited access, denied care, unaffordable, bankruptcy, children who cannot get insurance, etc. are important for educating legislators on the impact to Californians and very compelling.
  • 1,000 Californians die every month due to lack of access to healthcare.
  • Single Payer as a solution to the State’s current fiscal crisis by saving $9 billion in the first year and billions annually going forward. Currently $28 billion dollars annually, or one third of the state budget, is related to healthcare, and while family premiums have gone up 150% – the time for Single Payer is now.
  • The $200 billion price tag for SB 810 is misleading – this is money already spent on healthcare – not a new expenditure, so there is no effect.

These are ideas for you to use to contact your Senator and Senators Kehoe and Steinberg. Please remember, SB 810 is a CSEA sponsored bill that would create a single payer universal health care system in California.


ACTION ALERT- SB 810 (Leno) Single Payer Universal Health Care

January 14, 2012

Your help is needed on SB 810.

While the battle for health care reform continues at the Federal level, Californian’s have the opportunity to secure true Health Care Reform here at home. California’s health care bill SB 810 (Leno) (formerly SB 840) will provide health care to all Californians.

California’s landmark single payer bill, SB 810, authored  by Senator Mark Leno, is now scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations committee on January 17th in Sacramento. The bill must pass this committee and pass a Senate floor vote before the end of January in order to then be considered in the Assembly. You’re help is urgently needed to CALL, EMAIL, and/ or FAX your State Senator and urge him/her to vote for SB 810.

SB 810 is a CSEA sponsored bill that would create a single payer universal health care system in California.

PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:

Call and send a fax (if you can) to your State Senator’s Sacramento office, urging his/her  support of SB 810. If you do not know who your Senator is, find your district here. click to find out

When you call, you should personalize your message. Try this:

“Hello, My name is:__________I am a member of California School Employees Association and I am counting on your vote in favor of SB 810 (Leno). This is a very important vote for all Californians and we will be tracking the votes very closely on this issue. Thank you.”

Otherwise, you can use the following points:

  • I am calling to urge the Senator to support SB 810 when it comes to be heard in the Senate Appropriations committee on January 17th
  • I am a classified school employee. With the state budget cuts and furloughs we are experiencing, many of us are paying a larger percentage of our take home pay in health care costs. Some of us work just for the health care and sign over our paychecks at the end of the month to cover our families.
  • SB 810 will finally control health care costs and make it more affordable for everyone. Also, everyone is covered under this bill and nobody is left out.

It is also very important that we keep this bill alive by contacting California State Senator Lou Correa and letting him know this is a very important issue to Classified employees.

Please take a minute to help secure health care for all by sending an email or making a call to Senator Correa.

Lou Correa (Santa Ana) – Phone: 916-651-4034/714-558-4400,
Email: senator.correa@sen.ca.gov

It is especially important to call and write your Senator if he or she is a member of the Senate Appropriations committee:

District 6   Darrell Steinberg (916) 651-4006 Fax: (916) 323-2263
District 13   Elaine Alquist (916) 651-4013 Fax: (916) 324-0283
District 17   Sharon Runner (916) 651-4017  Fax: (916) 445-4662
District 23   Fran Pavley (916) 651-4023  Fax: (916) 324-4823
District 26   Curren Price (916) 651-4026  Fax: (916) 445-8899
District 28   Ted Lieu (916) 651-4028  Fax: (916) 323-6056
District 33   Mimi Walters (916) 651-4033  Fax: (916) 445-9754
District 37   Bill Emmerson (916) 651-4037  Fax: (916) 327-2187
District 39   Christine Kehoe (916) 651-4039  Fax: (916) 327-2188

Please tell your friends and family about the campaign and ask them to join you in this important call for a yes vote. These calls , emails and faxes are very important in securing a better future for us all.

Thank you.


buried in the fine print was the permanent elimination of…

January 13, 2012

Governor Brown’s new budget cuts school bus funding again:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Gov. Jerry Brown released his new budget last week, buried in the fine print was the permanent elimination of all state funding for school transportation. What began as a “temporary” mid-year cut that wiped out school bus funding for January through June of this year, could now become a permanent, ongoing cut continued into next year’s budget.

In other words, California is getting out of the school bus business — unless we take action to stop these cuts!

Temporary cut becomes permanent

Gov. Brown’s budget proposal confirms that the current-year reduction of $248 million for home-to-school transportation is now a permanent loss for school districts. They will never get that funding back if the governor’s budget is approved.

The governor also proposes a complete elimination of funding ($619 million) for the program in 2012-13. In addition, the bus replacement program that helps small school districts buy new school buses will be totally eliminated.

Take action now to fight these cuts!

However, the state Legislature has to approve the governor’s proposed budget, so we still have time to stop these devastating cuts. Call your legislators today and tell them you oppose these cuts, which will put the safety of public schoolchildren at risk.

Many legislators are not comfortable with the idea of ending school transportation in California, but they need to hear from us that we support their efforts to find an alternative solution. There is tremendous pressure on them to close California’s budget gap no matter what the cost. We must counter that pressure and ask them to stand up for California’s kids!

Call your legislators today! click here for link

Help parents speak up for their children

Parents are concerned about the loss of school transportation for their children, but most don’t know how to connect with their legislators. Help us reach out to these parents and give them a voice. CSEA has created a public website where parents can tell their stories about how the loss of the big, yellow school bus would affect their family. Please encourage parents you know to visit the website, where they can explain the impact on their family and also enter their Zip Code to get the contact information for their state legislators. We have also created a Facebook page that you can share with parents and others in your school community.

Web Site: SaveMySchoolBus
Facebook: SaveMySchoolBus

Together, we can send a loud and clear message to Sacramento that this is a cut California can’t afford!

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