Schwarzenegger OKs, Nixes Health Care Bills at End of Session
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) took action on hundreds of bills over the weekend, before the Sunday deadline to sign or veto measures approved by the Legislature in the regular session, the Sacramento Bee reports (Smith, Sacramento Bee, 10/15).
Overall, the governor signed 750 bills and vetoed 214 (Myers, "Capitol Notes," KQED, 10/14).
Highlights of signings and vetoes appear below.
Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 474 by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles), creating the South Los Angeles Medical Services Preservation Fund to help cover the cost of treating uninsured patients at hospitals and clinics after Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital closed earlier this year (McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 10/13).
The law will direct about $100 million annually to the fund for three years. The county can use the money to fund its own programs and health care facilities or to support other area hospitals treating an influx of uninsured patients after the closure of King-Harbor Hospital (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 10/12).
Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill (AB 1429) by Assembly member Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) that would have required insurers to cover vaccinations for human papillomavirus for women. HPV has been linked to cervical cancer.
The governor signed a bill (AB 110) by Assembly member John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) that will permit state and local governments to use public funds to buy clean needles for HIV patients (Young, AP/Contra Costa Times, 10/15) (News low in story).
Schwarzenegger vetoed a measure (AB 1334) by Assembly member Sandré Swanson (D-Alameda) that would have permitted condoms to be distributed in California prisons as part of an effort to curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 10/15) (News low in story). The governor said he was ordering the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop a pilot program at one state prison facility to see what effect condom distribution has on HIV rates (AP/Contra Costa Times, 10/15) (News low in story).
The governor signed SB 490 by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara). Beginning in 2009, the law will ban trans fats from foods sold in public school cafeterias or vending machines (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 10/14) (News low in story).
Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 120 by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). The measure would have required restaurant chains with at least 14 locations in California to post nutritional information on menus or menu boards (Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/15) (News low in story).
Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 1108 by Assembly member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), which will ban the use of phthalates in children's products because of concerns about the products causing liver or hormone damage. Phthalates are chemical additives that are used to make plastics more pliable (Sacramento Bee, 10/15).
California is the first state in the nation to enact such a ban (Geissinger, MediaNews/Los Angeles Daily News, 10/14).
Schwarzenegger is calling for a wider review of how chemicals can affect people's health (Sacramento Bee, 10/15).