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Posted on 06-16-2016

Clearly A Budget

This week marks the passage of yet another state budget.  The bygone days of being locked up all summer in the Capitol with the A/C turned off while budget negotiations drag on are gone.

California voters tired of that summer ritual and instituted a majority vote threshold to pass the budget.  Technically, the legislature only has to send the budget bill to the Governor by the June 15 deadline.

The multitude of budget trailer bills, the individual pieces of legislation that contain hundreds of pages of details can be passed after the deadline.  We’ve been keeping a vigilant eye for actions that could impact chiropractic and thus far, nothing nefarious has reared its ugly head.

The agreement reached between Governor Jerry Brown and the majority party (Democrats) does not include higher spending than what they proposed last month, but it does include several top priorities for legislative Democrats.

The Governor and Democratic leaders agreed to spend roughly $122 billion from California’s general fund in the fiscal year that starts in July. They’ll also move an extra two billion dollars into the state’s “rainy day fund” – beyond the automatic contributions mandated by voters two years ago.

To complete former President George W. Bush’s quote from the subject line, “Clearly it’s a budget.  It’s got a lot of numbers in it.”

Department of Transportation Alert - New York Doctors Of Chiropractic Disallowed From Performing DOT Physicals

Many doctors have contacted CCA in the last few weeks regarding the New York doctors of chiropractic have been disallowed from performing DOT physicals. On June 1, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent out certified emails to chiropractors in New York on Wednesday night, informing them that they are no longer allowed to perform Department of Transportation physicals. Click here to read more.

In response to this action, a coalition has been formed. The Safe Drivers, Safe Roads Coalition is an organization composed of but not limited to Chiropractic DOT Certified Medical Examiners, other health professionals, companies, interested groups and organizations, who are committed to the defense and support of the chiropractor's legal right to perform these services in all states.

                           

So, will California doctors of chiropractic be next on this chopping block? It is very unlikely given the extensive legislation currently in place in California. In fact, CCA has been directly involved getting these wins for you since 1994. Here is a brief history of our advocacy for you on this issue:

  • In 1994, AB 3132 (Katz) was signed into law by the Governor. CCA was successful in adding an amendment to this bill, to allow Doctors of Chiropractic to perform medical exams for California drivers seeking Class A or B commercial drivers' licenses.
  • In 2001, SB 1048 (Speier) was signed into law by the Governor. CCA successfully defeated a provision within this legislation that would have prevented chiropractors from performing DMV physical examinations on truck drivers.
  • In 2004, AB 1812 (Bermudez) was introduced and overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature but ultimately vetoed by the Governor. This bill would have authorized doctors of chiropractic to perform bus driver physical exams.
  • In 2005, AB 1256 (Bermudez) would have authorized doctors of chiropractic to perform bus driver physical exams. This bill was eventually gutted by the author due to political maneuvering and strong opposition from California Medical Association and the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California. This bill would have authorized doctors of chiropractic to perform bus driver physical exams.
  • In 2013, AB 722 (Lowenthal) was signed into law by the Governor. CCA co-sponsored this important legislation with Southern California University of Health Sciences. AB 722 allowed doctors of chiropractic to perform bus driver commercial drivers' license examinations and thus, doctors of chiropractic are now able to become certified and listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

See why it is so important to be a member of CCA and to support your CCA-PAC? All the above advocacy and wins were possible with your membership dollars and donations. Know your CCA GA team is monitoring closely what is happening with DOT physicals and will continue to be on the front line informing you of any changes.

Primary Election – CCA Voter’s Guide

I know the November election seems like a long way off, and most are undoubtedly already exhausted by the non-stop campaigning.  However, I’ve already received inquiries about when the CCA General Election Voter Guide will be delivered.  As most of you know, the Guide is an election year CCA tradition that helps voters state-wide know which candidates are endorsed by CCA for their pro-chiropractic position.

If you are a key doctor and/or a district leader, the GA team will be contacting you shortly to begin your local Assembly and Senate endorsements. As you are aware, CCA GA will provide you with our candidate recommendations and candidate questions. From there, it is up to each local CCA district in conjunction with their key doctors to make each candidate endorsement. Once this process is completed, we will be providing the CCA General Election Voter Guide. This publication is extremely helpful to all doctors and chiropractic supporters to help us ensure we get the most pro-chiropractic legislators elected. We could not do this without your help!

We time the dissemination of the Guide so that our voters have time to peruse its content one week prior to the arrival of vote by mail ballots.  The following is the time line we will utilize to produce the Guide. Any questions or concerns, as always, please let us know.

  • August 1 - Governmental Affairs endorsement recommendations sent to CCA local districts along with endorsement instructions and candidate interview questions.  
  • September 5All districts must report endorsed candidates to CCA.
  • September 26CCA General Election Voter Guide sent via email and available at calchirogov.org
  • October 3 - Vote by mail ballots sent to voters.
  • November 8 - Election Day

Update on AB 1992 – Pre-Athletic Sports Physicals

On the AB 1992 front, we continue to search for a Senate bill to place the Assembly Bill 1992 language. Click here to read my previous Cris’ Corner blog post CMA and Other Expletives regarding the outcome of the April 26th AB 1992 hearing.

In addition, Monica Miller (CCA’s contract lobbyist) and I met with the Chair of Assembly Business and Professions, Rudy Salas.  We’d tried a number of times to meet with the Assembly Member Salas prior to the April 26th hearing, but the Assemblyman’s schedule didn’t allow for a chat at that time. Thank you Monica for your persistence to get a sit down with the Salas.

Our goal for the meeting was to share information about chiropractic and CCA and hopefully begin the process of building a long lasting professional relationship.  As a new Chair of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee who will likely maintain the post for many years, it is important to have a relationship that allows for honest discourse.

 As you’ll recall from the Corner shortly after the April 26 hearing previously mentioned, we were less than pleased with the Chair’s recommendation to vote NO on the bill, which resulted in its defeat.  Our author, Assemblyman Brian Jones was equally unhappy. 

The Assembly Member Salas’ staff let us know at the start of our meeting that they’d shared that issue of the Corner with Assembly Member Salas and he was shall we say, not pleased.  His displeasure centered upon that he was not portrayed in a positive light. Understood. However, what was reported on in the Corner can be attested to the accuracy of the events. Good news is people are not only reading the Corner, but they care about what’s covered in it.

I must say Assembly Member Salas comported himself like a true professional and was very gracious in spite of not appreciating that issue of the Corner.  We continued our conversation and covered a wide variety of issues relative to chiropractic.  We hope to continue having the opportunity to build our relationship with the Salas.  We already have a Key Doctor in Salas’ Assembly district reaching out to offer a visit to his practice.  An offer that Salas agreed would be a good use of his time.

Don’t Forget To POWER THE CCA-PAC!

We continue work with our Independent Expenditure committee (IE) and our focus on supporting moderate democrats this election cycle.  As I’ve mentioned in previous Corners, our IE program has already made a big difference in the primary cycle for select candidates.  Let’s keep it going to election day!  Power, Persuasion, Realization! POWER THE CCA-PAC! Donate Today.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.

©2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

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