Throughout my term in the legislature I have advocated for those most vulnerable. I authored a bill to safeguard children who witness domestic violence incidents, and to allow counties to provide court approved mental health treatments for persons who have completed their sentences if they are a danger to themselves or others. I have introduced legislation to increase penalties for those convicted of child pornography-related offenses when those crimes take place on government owned computers Other co-authored legislation requires background checks for adults in youth sports, increased liability insurance for senior care facilities, and a requirement to post citation notices at child-care facilities, all of which are now law.
My affordable quality health care is critical. For example, I co-authored a bill that provides Medication-Assisted substance use Treatment for eligible parolees to reduce crime and recidivism. Other co-authored bills create peer support specialists to help persons going through mental health challenges, and another bill that supports regional and local efforts to address suicide prevention. These bills have also been signed into law. Unfortunately, legislation I introduced to require health plans and insurers to cover screening, genetic counseling and testing for (BRCA) breast cancer susceptibility gene mutations was vetoed.
Access to care is another huge concern. Millions were added to the state’s Medi-Cal program over the past few years, even though funding for Medi-Cal providers was significantly cut. Some of those cuts were restored in a piecemeal fashion, but funding for providers is still inadequate and access to care in California’s rural and underserved areas remains problematic. Obviously, access to care is critical now that we’re in a pandemic.
Much more needs to be done, and I’m looking forward to tackling these important issues next year.