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Feb 11th
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Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill_MonningAre you endorsing candidates and measures in the November election?  If so, which ones?

On the Nov. 2 ballot I am urging everyone to vote yes on Proposition 21, the state parks initiative that would establish an $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to fund state parks and wildlife programs, and to vote yes on Proposition 25, the initiative to change the legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority.

I am urging everyone to vote no on Proposition 23, the initiative to suspend the implementation of air pollution standards established in Assembly Bill 32 that requires major producers of air pollutants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to vote no on Proposition 26, the initiative requiring certain state and local fees to be approved by a two-thirds vote.  

Also, I am supporting Measure H in the City of Santa Cruz, which will improve community safety by guaranteeing funding for police, fire, and other public safety services in neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as in parks, public spaces, beaches, commercial districts, and schools.

I am supporting Jerry Brown for governor along with all of the Democrats running for statewide constitutional offices. Each of these candidates supports public education; will protect the environment; improve and expand public transit; and rebuild California’s economy through helping both small businesses and their employees.

The delay in finalizing the state budget has caused the withholding of more than $3 billion in payments to state workers so far. What other effects has it had on Californians?

The current budget impasse has serious consequences on the lives of many Californians.

A large number of those suffering are receiving Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) services, whose programs have gone without reimbursement since Aug. 20, 2010. The ADHC Centers provide disabled elders with medically supervised nutrition and exercise in safe community settings.

Because a state budget has not been enacted, these centers are beginning to close their doors. Fifty percent of local providers were unable to make their Oct. 4, 2010 payroll deadline and 33 percent—103 centers—will be out of cash at the end of October. The closing of ADHC centers is also forcing wage-earning family members of disabled elders to leave their jobs, increasing the number of unemployed Californians.

The challenges facing the ADHC Centers are the same as those being faced by other state programs, their employees and the clients they serve. In-Home Support Services (IHSS), childcare centers, CalGrants, and CalWorks all employ Californians and provide services dependent on state funding.

Progress is being made to resolve the current budget impasse, and, while there are no easy solutions, I am continuing to work with my colleagues to enact a budget that will protect jobs, education, and our state.

Parts of the national healthcare law

went into effect a few weeks ago. Who

does it impact and how will it change

their coverage?

For Californians concerned about healthcare, Sept. 23, 2010 marked an important day. That is the day key consumer protections from federal health reform went into effect.

The most important consumer protections enacted allow young adults to remain covered by a parent’s healthcare insurance until the child turns 26 years old; guarantee heath insurance coverage to all children regardless of a pre-existing condition; and prohibit co-payments or deductibles for preventive services, such as smoking cessation and immunization programs.

However, in response to these healthcare reforms, some insurers have announced their intent to eliminate child-only individual insurance policies. This move represents a bad-faith response by healthcare plans. The spirit of the national healthcare reform is to provide increased access to coverage for all children, regardless of a pre-existing condition. I supported legislation (AB  2244), currently on the governor’s desk, that would require health plans sold in California to provide coverage to minors.

I recently participated in a presentation in Santa Cruz by the Mad As Hell Doctors who are part of the Physicians for a National Health Program. The traveling doctors were joined by local physicians who made a strong case for a single payer healthcare plan. Compelling testimony was also provided by local residents who described the inadequacies of the current system. I support a single payer healthcare plan as the best system for California, but until we have a governor who will also support, I will continue to work to implement the immediate incremental benefits of the national healthcare reform. 

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

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