Orange County Register Recommends Veto of Several Health-Related Bills
An Orange County Register editorial today recommends that Gov. Gray Davis (D) veto several health-related bills passed by the Legislature in the past month (Orange County Register, 9/5). The legislation includes:
AB 1421: The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Helen Thomson (D-Davis), would allow relatives and friends of the mentally ill to petition courts to order them into outpatient treatment (California Healthline, 9/3). The editorial points out that the Legislature estimates that "this bill would create a significant new pressure on the General Fund, perhaps as large as $65 million," at a time when the state faces an estimated $23.6 billion budget deficit (Orange County Register, 9/5).
AB 2194: The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), would require accredited medical schools in the state to teach abortion procedures to OB/GYN residents, although medical schools or individual residents with moral or religious objections could opt out of the requirement (California Healthline, 8/13). According to the editorial, no other state has a similar requirement, "letting medical schools decide on their own" (Orange County Register, 9/5).
- SB 1661: The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), would provide employees with disability pay to allow them to care for a family member with an illness or to spend time with a newborn (California Healthline, 9/3). The editorial points out that federal law "already mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave" and that the legislation would cost an estimated $73 million, with the "tab paid through deductions from employees' paychecks" (Orange County Register, 9/5).