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Representative Round-Up: Your Voice in the Capitols

A brief glimpse at what your representatives have been doing in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. during the month of February.

Here are some highlights of the past month's legislative activity by your representatives in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. 

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward)

  • Physical Therapists Oppose PT BillSignificant controversy has followed  legislation introduced by Hayashi that she says is necessary to protect the jobs of thousands of physical therapists across the state. The law would allow medical corporations, such as hospitals, doctor's offices and rehabilitation centers, to employee physical therapists. According to Hayashi, some 80 percent of physical therapists work in this setting. However, the Legislative Counsel of California ruled in September 2010 that such employment was illegal, and the Physical Therapy Board of California has said it will discipline PTs who continue to work as employees of medical corporations. The California Physical Therapy Association, the third largest physical therapy association in the world, according to the association's website, opposes the bill. The association says the bill would essentially allow medical corporations, via their physician employees, to refer patients to themselves, via their physical therapist employees. The California Medical Association supports the bill

State Senator Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro)

  • LGBT in the JudiciaryCorbett introduced legislation that would include gender identity as a parameter to be researched when the state does its annual demographic report of judges in California. These reports are done to help facilitate diversity in the courts.
  • Privacy of MinorsCorbett introduced legislation that would bar social networking websites from publishing a minor's contact information or address on his or her profile. 
  • Gas Pipeline Emergencies: Corbett introduced legislation that would require the Public Utilities Commission to develop emergency response plans in conjunction with local safety officials in order to respond faster to events like the San Bruno pipeline explosion last year.

Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA13)

  • Currency Tax: Stark introduced legislation that would impose a 0.005 percent tax on all currency transactions over $10,000. According to the bill's findings, $4 trillion worth of currency transactions occurred in 2008, 80 percent of them carried out by a few banks, without taxation. The proceeds of the proposed tax would go towards reducing the deficit, funding child care and global health programs, and establishing a Global Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Trust Fund. 
  • Darwin Day: Stark introduced legislation that would support making Feb. 12 "Darwin Day" in appreciation of scientific pursuits and achievements. Feb. 12 was the day on which Charles Darwin, who formulated the Theory of Evolution, was born.
  • Medicare Anti-Fraud: Stark co-sponsored legislation that would ban corporate executives and parent corporations of shell companies convicted of fraud from participating in Medicare. 

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

  • Protecting Lake Tahoe: Feinstein announced she would be introducing legislation aimed at strengthening environmental protection in Lake Tahoe, and to assist in restoration efforts. The law would combat invasive species, improve the lake's water clarity and help prevent destructive wildfires. 
  • Send Over Those Rail Funds: Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer asked the Department of Transportation to give California $2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail development after Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected the funds. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he would evaluate options for reassigning the rail money.
  • Chair of Energy and Water: Feinstein was appointed chairman of the Energy and Water Development Sub-Committee of the Appropriations Committee. The sub-committee has oversight of non-military nuclear facilities, energy and water projects, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • Patriot Act ExtentionFeinstein voted to extend provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire. The provisions, extended until May 27 of this year, allow the government to continue conducting roving wiretaps and to investigate non-U.S. citizens suspected of being "lone-wolf" terrorists not tied to specific terrorist groups. 

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

  • Patriot Act Extention: Boxer also voted to extend provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire.  
  • No Work, No Pay: Boxer co-sponsored legislation to bar legislators from being paid retroactively in the event of a government shutdown. The move came after House Republicans threatened to stonewall funding to maintain the government unless Democrats approved $61 billion in proposed spending cuts. The shutdown has been temporarily averted by a two-week budget measure.
  • Big Oil Money: Boxer co-sponsored legislation that would levy a severance tax for oil and gas extracted from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. It would also eliminate certain tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, particularly as it relates to foreign companies.


The Omordha March 07, 2011 at 03:23 PM
There is no mention of the position of Assemblyperson Hayashi and Senator Corbett on their support for the state absorption of the Redevelopment Agency. There is no mention of Delta Water Diversion support by Senator Feinstein for the Central Valley and SoCal. Her position does not bode well for the delta. Inclusion of the Darwin Day bill and the absence of mention by Senator Stark that February 12 is also the birthday for President Abraham Lincoln.
Jill Replogle March 07, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Thanks for those additions, Omordha.

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