Democrats Plan To ‘Rush’ Health Care Bills to Davis Before Recall Vote, Los Angeles Times Reports
Several Democratic lawmakers plan to "rush favorite bills" through the Legislature to allow Gov. Gray Davis (D) to sign them before the recall election scheduled for Oct. 7, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Times, legislation discussed for "early action" includes a bill that would require employers to cover the cost of health insurance for low-income employees, a bill that would provide registered domestic partners with health and other benefits that married couples receive and a bill that would establish a state-administered health care system. Davis has until Oct. 12 to sign or veto bills sent to him by the Legislature, which adjourns for the first half of a two-year session Sept. 12. Most bills require a simple majority vote to pass in the Legislature, and because Democrats hold a majority in both the Assembly and the Senate, "it's possible they could get the bills to Davis over the next two months," the Times reports.
"There is a new reality," Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado), said, adding that Democrats "spent a lot of time in denial about this. No one thought the recall would qualify for the ballot. Gray Davis might not be governor after Oct. 7. We have no clue who might be chosen as governor." However, Assembly member Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said that Democrats must "focus on our jobs and not just rush to pass 1,000 bills." He said that Democrats should focus on legislation related to workers' compensation reform and universal health coverage, as well as revenue and taxation structure reform. Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco) said that the Senate would pass bills that would require employers to cover the cost of health insurance for low-income employees and would reform the state workers' compensation system before Sept. 12, but not as "part of any big push spurred by the recall," the Times reports. Steve Maviglio, a spokesperson for Davis, did not comment on whether the governor would support efforts to "fast-track" bills, and "it remains unclear whether Davis would want to focus on partisan legislation during a heated campaign to keep his job," the Times reports (Ingram, Los Angeles Times, 8/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.