Health Care Among Issues Democratic Legislators Plan To Address in 2006
Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate are expected to adopt a "more aggressive posture" when the next legislative session begins on Tuesday, focusing on issues such as children's health care, prescription drugs and workers' compensation insurance, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) plans to meet with Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, in January to try to negotiate prescription drug discounts for low- and moderate-income state residents. Nunez said he also will "work with the governor" to expand children's health care programs to include all children in California.
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said he will focus on bipartisan issues in the 2006 session, including training and recruiting more nurses and improving hospital finances.
Labor leaders are planning to call for changes to laws implemented in 2003 and 2004 that modified the state workers' compensation insurance system. Some unions say the changes have reduced benefits to injured workers and insurers are not passing the savings to employers (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 12/26/05).