Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Sep 03rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill_MonningYou recently had a consumer assistance bill dealing with healthcare signed by the governor. What did this bill do?

My Assembly Bill (AB) 922 will enable California consumers to more easily access information and assistance about their health plan eligibility.

Federal healthcare reform will expand healthcare coverage to more than four million Californians and AB 922 will streamline the confusing and burdensome number of agencies that currently exist to assist consumers by making the Office of Patient Advocate (OPA) a one-stop-shop for that assistance. The bill will also ensure that Californians get clear and understandable consumer information and assistance by strengthening current programs, and OPA will catalog and direct complaints about healthcare coverage, as well as create a clear internal chain of command for the Administration with regard to health care coverage.  

Additionally, the governor signed my AB 151 which will allow individuals affected by increases in Medicare Advantage premiums to switch back to original Medicare and purchase a Medicare Gap or Supplement policy. If you would like more information about this program, or if you have questions about Medicare, please visit seniornetworkservices.org or call 462-5510.

Can you elaborate on the bipartisan bill package you and Assemblymember Berryhill had this year addressing the issue of the underground economy?

Right after first being elected, I was made aware of the issue of the underground economy and its adverse impacts on local businesses, primarily in the construction industry. Since then, I have been working with Assemblymember Bill Berryhill (R- Ceres) to stop this industry from hurting local small businesses and our efforts culminated with Gov. Brown recently signing the package of three bills we sent to him.

The underground economy refers to individuals and businesses that pay under the table and operate outside the scope of California law. The extent of damage done by non-compliant business owners cannot be exactly known, but it is estimated that there is between $60 and $140 billion in illegal economic activity annually. More importantly, law-abiding businesses are going under because they cannot compete against non-compliant business owners whose prices are 15-20 percent lower because they do not pay the taxes and fees as required by law.

The three bills enacted were developed by meeting with various business, labor, and government agency stakeholders.  Assembly Bill (AB) 397 requires the recertification of workers compensation at the time of license renewal every two years. AB 766 permits the sharing of payroll records for public projects between specified state agencies and law enforcement entities involved in underground economy enforcement, and AB 878 requires a workers’ compensation insurance carrier to report to the state when a workers’ compensation policy is cancelled due to fraud.

The success of these measures has been rewarding to all of us who have been working to tackle the underground economy and demonstrates how bipartisan collaboration can achieve major accomplishments.

You recently spoke at an environmental forum in Felton. What were the main topics you discussed?

The San Lorenzo Valley Women’s Club, a long-time social service and environmental organization, sponsored a town hall meeting focused on the environment.

Some of the topics posed by the more than 50 people in attendance focused on recently enacted environmental legislation. One of the more significant bills is Assembly Bill 1319, authored by Assemblymember Butler, which prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any bottle or cup that contains bisphenol A (BPA), at a detectable level above 0.1 parts per billion, if the bottle or cup is intended to be filled with any liquid, food, or beverage primarily ingested by infants or children three years of age or younger.

In addition, there was great interest in AB 376, authored by Assemblymember Fong, which makes it unlawful for any person to possess, sell or trade a shark fin. This bill won broad support from Central Coast residents as well as from national and international environmental organizations.

I always appreciate the level of civic engagement at town hall meetings and want to thank the San Lorenzo Valley Women’s Club for its leadership and all who attended for their participation.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Girl Gone Wild

’70s SF recalled in raw, poignant ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs