Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 20th
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

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?