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Posted on 03-16-2017

It Is Good To Have Friends

Over the course of the two plus years I’ve been with CCA we’ve expended a lot of time and energy educating legislators and staff on chiropractic’s qualifications as health care providers.  We’ve selected legislative proposals specifically to provide us a platform to promulgate the extensive education and training required to become licensed to practice chiropractic in California.

CCA Sponsored SB 746 – Status Update

SB 746 authored by Senator Anthony Portantino is a perfect example of this strategy. SB 746 will add doctors of chiropractic and other qualified providers to the Education Code in order for these providers to be allowed to perform pre-athletic sports physicals across the state. A redux of last year’s AB 1992 that was held up in Assembly Business and Professions, SB 746 is different.  For one thing, we’ve changed the strategy to provide a better opportunity for success. 

As you may recall, last year we had a wonderful author who worked very hard on our behalf, Assemblyman Brian Jones. Evidently, the biggest challenge we faced having Mr. Jones as our author was that he was from the minority party. We were told by more than few legislators that we needed a Democrat to carry our bills if we wanted them to move through the process.  In my many years in the legislature, this was not always the case. Nor is it necessarily always the case now, but when one party has a super-majority in both houses this dynamic can’t be ignored.

Last year Monica Miller and I pitched our bill proposals to both majority and minority party members.  Unfortunately, none of the majority party legislators wanted to author our bills last year.  As you’ll recall, things were still a bit hot for us from our efforts in 2015 to defeat SB 277 regarding forced vaccinations for children.

But this year is a new year and we instituted several high-profile programs last year to smooth ruffled feathers and make new friends.  Even so, it’s been rough sledding getting majority party legislators to author our proposals.  One legislator suggested we wait a couple of years “till things cool off.”  Perhaps understandable, but we have to forge ahead regardless of all challenges.

Which brings us to SB 746.  We are simply thrilled Senator Anthony Portantino (SD 25 – La Canada Flintridge) is authoring this legislation. Not only is Senator Portantino a member of the majority party, but he is also a strong, wicked smart, pro-chiropractic Senator.  On one of our many trips to the Capitol pitching our proposals weeks ago, we visited Senator Portantino.  His front office staff was in the back of the office and unaware we’d came in for a visit. Senator Portantino heard Monica and I talking, recognized our voices and came out to invite us into his office. The proposals were pitched and rest is history!

On our way out we made sure the front office person (who’d returned) knew we didn’t “bum rush” the Senator in their absence. That term refers to going around staff to get to the legislator.   I always hated folks exploiting an opportunity to “bum rush” my legislators. Understanding our long relationship with the Senator and his gregarious nature toward friends in particular, all was well with the staff.SB 746 has been double referred to the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Business and Professions Committee. First the good news: should we get out of both Committees; getting the votes on the Senate Floor should be much easier. Getting out of both committees and off the Senate Floor will make it much more difficult to kill the bill in the Assembly.

The bad news is because we have to go to two policy committees, we’re operating on a truncated schedule and the bill will be heard in Senate Education March 29 at 9:00 AM.  We already have meetings scheduled with Senate Education Committee staff and members of that Committee.  We’re fortunate Leg Con was such a short time ago and these members have already been lobbied once on this bill. Thank you for all that attended Leg Con and made it such a resounding success! In addition, there are only seven members on the Committee, thus making it much easier to reach them all. By contrast, in the Assembly, committees often have twice the number of committee members.

The Chair of the Senate Education is Senator Ben Allen. The same Senator Allen who was the Joint Author of Senator Pan’s SB 277.  Oh, and Senator Pan is also on this Committee as well as Business and Professions.  However, both Senators were lobbied at Leg Con and both presented as being open and even supportive of our proposals.  We’ll know shortly just how open or supportive.  In the meantime, we’ll lobby like we always do, with professionalism, irrefutable data, and our effervescent personalities and stellar reputations.

Time For Action!

We have instigated an alert to our Key Doctors to lobby their respective committee members and/or staff in their local districts. Thank you Key Doctors! We have sent out an Action Alert to all CCA members and non-members as well.

If you haven’t taken action yet, do so today!

Department Of Workers’ Compensation Update

There’s a lot more going on, not the least of which is Monica, myself and Drs. Moses Jacob and Wayne Whalen will be meeting with the Administrative Director and the Medical Director of DWC next week in Oakland.  As you know, we’ve been working like there’s no tomorrow to get manipulation included in DWC’s guidelines to alternatives to opioids.  It’s been a long and challenging effort, but we seem to making progress.

Having been told DWC would adopt ACOEM’s guidelines on the matter, our Work Comp Committee hit overdrive engaging quickly with the ACOEM team to provide input.  It appears ACOEM’s soon to be released guidelines will support our cause.  Hence the meeting with the AD and Medical Director.

I’d like to say more, but right now discretion is the better part of valor and the pedal is to the metal lobbing SB 746, so…

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

Want to respond to what you just read? Just look below for the comment box. I encourage your feedback and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

2017 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.

Anne lundquist said:

Thank you for the great update and for your hard work. It is exciting to see the issues we just lobbied on getting attention.

2017-03-17 14:33:05

R Brophy said:

You do realize that a city in Wa. state ( I believe Everett ) is suing the mfg of opoids due to the "opoid epicemic "

2017-03-17 14:50:02

Bobbie Hall said:

Thanks for the update Chris! Working on it from this end.

2017-03-17 15:48:57

R. Jones said:

Thank you for all of your hard work. We must never take council of our fears, nor stop to rest on a comfortable perch, but rather push on for what is just and right.

2017-03-18 06:34:01

Rodney Cummings,D.C. said:

Thanks Cris for a real informative update.It is nice to understand the politics of legislation.

2017-03-22 15:16:39

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