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By Peter Allen
The battle over Net Metering in California has emerged as a central flashpoint in discussions on the future of the state’s electrical grid, and California’s elected representatives are beginning to get questions about where they stand on the policy that has driven rooftop solar’s prolific success from San Diego to Sacramento.
Last week Governor Jerry Brown commended the net metering policy at an event held at a GRID Alternatives rooftop solar installation in Long Beach, CA. His support for the policy demonstrates his ongoing commitment to rooftop solar and renewable energy.
CAUSE (Californians Against Utilities Stopping solar Energy), a coalition of public health leaders and solar energy companies, applauded the Governor for his position. “Governor Brown’s praise for net metering demonstrates his commitment to the continued success of rooftop solar,” said former State Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco, a CAUSE spokesperson. “Ending net metering like utilities are trying to do would stifle the economic growth and public health benefits that rooftop solar delivers to all Californians.”
Net metering gives consumers fair credit for the power their solar panels deliver to the grid. A January study by Crossborder Energy found that net metering will provide more than $92 million in annual benefits to ratepayers of California's three investor-owned utilities. These utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison — are trying to end net energy metering (NEM) because they see rooftop solar as a threat to their monopolies.
GRID Alternatives leads teams to install rooftop solar systems exclusively for low-income homeowners and brought the Governor and other elected officials together in support of Assembly Bill 217, the Equitable Access to Solar Energy Bill. This bill would leverage the successful net metering policy to help ensure that GRID Alternatives can continue to bring rooftop solar to more low-income families throughout California.
“Net metering is critical to the success of these initiatives that promote solar in low-income communities,” added Polanco. Two-thirds of California home solar installations are now found in low- and median-income neighborhoods, according to a July 2012 California Solar Initiative report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission. Ending net metering would undermine AB 217 and limit low-income communities from using rooftop solar.
“Rooftop solar and net metering are critical policies to advance the new, sustainable economy. That means a healthier California for all of us," said CAUSE co-Chair Dr. Luis Pacheco. "Governor Brown’s comments show that he understands what’s needed to advance long-term economic development and public health in California."
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Speaker Perez's Middle Class Scholarship to Bring Relief to Middle Class Families, Slash College Fees by 40% Wins Key Vote
Advancing one of Assembly Democrats top priorities, a key Assembly committee today approved the Middle Class Scholarship Act to reduce student fees by up to 40 percent for middle class UC and CSU students.
“Taking action to lower the outrageous cost of higher education is essential for California’s middle class families, and I am very pleased the Budget Committee has approved funding for the Middle Class Scholarship Act,” said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles). “By taking this action, we are making a dramatic investment in opportunity for millions of middle class families, and that is an investment that will bring our state enormous returns in the future.”
The Assembly Budget Sub Committee on Education Finance approved funding for the Middle Class Scholarship Act using revenues from a corporate tax loophole what was closed through Proposition 39, which was passed by the voters in November 2012. The Sub Committee approved $200 Million to fund the Scholarship, which will be available to any California UC or CSU student whose parents earn less than $150,000 annually, beginning in the Spring Semester of 2014.
“This is common sense,” said Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We must invest in students to revitalize the power of our public universities and to help ensure the competitiveness of our future workforce. Creating this scholarship will validate our society’s belief that hard work should be rewarded with opportunity.”
The Subcommittee’s report will be adopted by the full budget committee in the coming days, and will be included as part of the final on-time, balanced budget the Assembly will pass by its June 15 Constitutional Deadline.
The Middle Class Scholarship Act is one component of the Assembly Blueprint for a Responsible Budget, which calls for continuing fiscal responsibility, more efficiency in government services, and strengthening California’s middle class families.
Projected Student Fees After the Implementation of the MCSA:
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By Lou Paulson, President, California Professional Firefighters
California Professional Firefighters Fire Back at Bee Over Editorial on Speaker Perez Death Benefits Bill
In an op-ed appearing in several newspapers owned by the parent company of the Sacramento Bee, the president of the California Professional Firefighters is making its case that its legislation to provide firefighters with health benefits is the right thing to do.
The bill, sponsored by California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, received strong bipartisan support in the Assembly in a vote last week.
Paulson's op-ed notes:
"Over the course of a career, firefighters are relentlessly exposed to a hellish mix of toxins. These exposures put firefighters at a substantially greater risk of getting cancer — a reality documented in more than 80 peer-reviewed medical studies.Personally, I don't need the studies. In my three decades in the fire service, I've seen many succumb to job-caused cancer, including my best friend. Often, they leave behind wives and young children who not only lose a cherished loved one but also the family breadwinner. This sacrifice, every bit as noble as that of one who dies in a fiery instant, makes it hard not to take The Bee's attack on Speaker John Pérez's survivor benefits legislation personally."
Read the full op-ed here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/05/21/2726031/is-the-bee-suggesting-firefighters.html
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By William Reilly, former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and current Board Director of the Delta Vision Foundation
After years of analysis and debate, the California Natural Resources Agency has released its draft plan to restore the Delta and improve water supply reliability for California. It is a promising beginning for the development of a comprehensive, science-based strategy to address the Delta’s many challenges. As expected in discussions about water in California, reaction has been swift and argumentative. But in spite of combatants staking out their usual positions, the Governor now has an opportunity to craft a workable Delta solution. However, the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan is only part of the fix.
The BDCP advances several important elements to address the Delta’s challenges, but upon analysis it falls short of the linked-actions approach set forth in the 2008 Delta Vision Strategic Plan, which formed the basis for subsequent planning efforts. The Delta Vision Foundation reviewed the initial chapters of BDCP and found that, in its current iteration, the plan leaves out critical components for achieving the legally adopted Two Co-Equal Goals of restoring the Delta ecosystem and ensuring a reliable water supply for California.
The Governor’s Administration continues to focus solely on conveyance and habitat restoration in BDCP without sufficient attention to the linked and integrated actions outlined in the Delta Vision Strategic Plan. These actions are supported by scientific evidence that, to ‘fix’ the Delta, fish need more water at the right time and the right temperature than conveyance alone will provide. And, unless additional facilities are provided to capture water when it is truly surplus to the environment, both fish and farms are going to continue to suffer shortages in most years.
A workable solution would incorporate a “big gulp little sip” strategy, which provides water supply reliability while leaving enough water for fish when they need it. BDCP does not include storage to capture water when it is truly surplus to the environment, or improved capacity and security to move water through the Delta.
The Delta Vision Foundation recommends development of a “BDCP Plus” plan, to establish legal commitments and assurances for these other elements of the “Delta fix” without delaying implementation of BDCP. If the State puts off embracing a “BDCP Plus” strategy, it will no doubt run the risk of further dissipating consensus among stakeholders and a return to the water wars of the past.
Last January, several environmental and business organizations proposed an alternative plan to BDCP that includes a number of components that are generally acknowledged as critical to achieving the Two Co-Equal Goals. The “Portfolio Alternative” includes important elements such as conveyance, storage, and water use efficiency among others, and is supported by a significant group of heavy-hitters. While it too is insufficient on its own to solve the Delta’s problems, the proposal underscored the wisdom of linked actions and signaled serious problems for a BDCP-only solution.
The Portfolio Alternative proposes the core concept of linked actions to identify efficient, effective means for accomplishing the Two Co-Equal Goals while protecting and enhancing the Delta as an evolving place. However, its conveyance approach is likely too small to accomplish three core objectives: minimize fish degradation; divert more water in wet years and less in dry years; and provide long-term security against seismic and flood catastrophes.
In short, neither plan on its own can get the job done. But together, BDCP and the Portfolio Alternative present an opportunity for immediate and long-term progress in the Delta. Conveyance improvements and habitat restoration are critically important, and should be implemented without further delay. However, the State cannot and should not proceed with their plan without linking other critical elements and right-sizing conveyance facilities to ensure efficient investment of public resources.
Harmonizing these plans would start with the Natural Resources Agency and Delta Stewardship Council reaching out to stakeholders to develop specific policy, legal, and financial linkages. The two agencies should describe and quantify the water supply reliability, ecosystem, risk reduction and economic benefits of the integrated, linked actions. Importantly, the Governor and Legislature should validate this approach and direct the necessary resources to assure progress this year.
These actions will reinforce the critical concept of linked, integrated actions to address Delta conflicts and achieve the Two Co-Equal Goals. The Delta Vision Foundation “BDCP Plus” concept can be the framework for a broadly supported Delta solution. After fifty years of fractious debate, stakeholders are finding common ground on major elements of a true “Delta fix.” It is important not to waste this opportunity.
Bill Reilly served as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a Board Director of the Delta Vision Foundation, which monitors, evaluates, and provides information to government officials, policymakers, and the public about implementing the Delta Vision Strategic Plan recommendations as a set of integrated and linked actions.
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Now that the state's public pension systems are reporting double-digit returns, hundreds of jurisdictions are settling pension issues at the bargaining table across the state, and courts are throwing out unlawful pension changes, it's no surprise that the attack on retirement security fueled by right-wing interests is losing steam.
CalPensions.com founder Ed Mendel reports today that there are no pending ballot measures at either the state or local level in the state and that the “pension measure wave” has "crested." He also reports that court cases haven't progressed and, most notably, the San Diego case has cost that city's pension fund more than $3.2 million with zero savings to date.
Mendel also reports a Monterey County superior court judge ruled that a measure to cut payments to CalPERS in Pacific Grove “violated the contract clause of the state constitution, reaffirming the view that pensions promised on the date of hire are a “vested right” that can’t be cut without providing a new benefit of equal value.”
Meanwhile, CalPERS investments have hit a record high, erasing every penny of the investment losses it suffered in the market crash last decade. The pension giant has wiped out nearly $97 billion worth of investment losses it suffered in the market crash, and its portfolio has climbed to a record $261.7 billion. That surpasses the pre-crash high in 2007.
Recent polls found that voters rank pensions low on their lists of priorities and have grown less likely over the last two years to view pensions as too high. Voters also strongly oppose further reducing current employees’ benefits, and have expressed strong preferences for pension policies to be set through negotiations rather than at the ballot box.
To be clear, this is not simply a matter of the public being distracted by other issues. Public employees – firefighters, safety officers, school bus drivers, garbage collectors and so many more – are a huge part of why pensions are recovering. Even after suffering years of pay cuts, concessions made by public employees have amounted to billions of dollars in savings.
The reforms approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year amount to a reduction of somewhere between $60 billion and $100 billion in the benefits promised to public employees. For example, before the law, a public employee making an average salary of $40,000 and working a 30 year career would have retired with a pension of $24,000. Now that worker will receive $15,600, a reduction of $8,400.
Even before the new pension law, state workers had saved taxpayers $600 million in pension concessions and more than 300 California cities, counties and local districts have increased employee pension contributions and lowered public costs at the bargaining table. Public employees have foregone raises, endured pink slips and dealt with increased workloads, and unequivocally supported efforts to curb pension system abuses such as spiking and creating pension reserve accounts for bad economic times.
A recent study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says that pension “reforms” made at the state and local level will restore the state’s public pension funds to pre-financial crisis levels. “Whether it has been at the bargaining table in more than 300 jurisdictions or at the state level, public employees have been part of the solution to ensure public pension systems are financially sound,” wrote the study’s authors. Researchers also found “in most cases, reforms fully offset or more than offset the impact of the financial crisis.”
Fact is, California’s public retirement systems are better off than they were during Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term in office. CalPERS was about 55 percent funded In the early 1980s, the final years of Gov. Brown’s first term and following another severe recession.
Despite being publicly bashed and smeared time and time again, public workers were at the table, part of the solution.
Read Mendel's report here: http://calpensions.com/2013/05/20/pension-measure-wave-crests-court-slog-remains/
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By LAPPL Board of Directors
The playbook is familiar now—gin up a study on public pensions and government debt to be released to media outlets with a headline-grabbing number shrieking doom for public finances. The latest exhibit is a propaganda piece tossed out to the media by the anti-public employees group California Public Policy Center (CPPC) purposely inflates pension debt.
An early entrant into the invention of “studies to grab headlines” was Joe Nation and a gaggle of graduate students at Stanford. They ginned up a “study” which purported to measure the unfunded liability of public pensions in California by lowering the assumed return rates of pension fund investments. Nation used this lower rate to recalculate current liabilities of pensions, which resulted in a wildly inflated number. As intended, he grabbed headlines in California and around the nation—with far less attention paid to the deliberate manipulation underlying the “study.”
The CPPC is a newer entrant to these propaganda efforts. Driven by hatred of public employees and public employee unions, and a belief that public employees and unions are the main cause of the “downfall” of California (and perhaps, the nation and mankind as we know it), this group endeavors to influence the media through “research” and “studies.”
These guys are not amateur propaganda peddlers. Although operating a website “UnionWatch,” whose self-described mission is to uncover the impact of public sector unions on government budgets and—yes—even the “democratic process”—they know friendly plants in the media won’t cite studies carrying the “UnionWatch” label. So, the more innocuous sounding CPPC is used as the label cover for their propaganda.
Their latest effort of April 26, 2013, claims the total of California public debt is over $1 trillion. It is a classic installment in the “make up the numbers until we get the headline number we want” game run by the anti-public employee folks. Why? Well, they acknowledge the official debt calculation is a far cry from their desired headline number of $1 trillion. So, they simply went ahead and invented numbers until they got the result they wanted. Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Firefighters may have said it best in an editorial; math should trump politics in California pension debate.
What Paulson describes in his editorial is how they increased the fixed debt cost by including as “debt” estimates of unfunded pension costs. However, the reported debt of public pensions in California calculated with their official discount rates didn’t increase the total debt to CPPC’s desired trillion-dollar headline. So, to make the pension liability larger, CPPC simply decreased the fund’s discount rate by 40 percent to 5.5 percent. Their justification: a July 2012 Moody’s statement that considered using 5.5 percent to calculate pension debt. Of course, they simply ignored Moody’s statement of April 17, 2013, that they wouldn’t be using a fixed 5.5 percent rate.
While that 5.5 percent rate increased pension liabilities by $200 billion, it still fell short of CPPC’s desired headline of “a trillion dollars of debt.” So, more sleight of hand ensued. CPPC used Joe Nation’s fabricated discount rate of 4.5 percent to again increase pension liabilities by $1,110 billion. Having now increased pension liabilities from the official number of $138 billion to the invented number of $450 billion, the trillion dollar figure was within reach. Some made up recalculations of local debt was mixed in, retiree healthcare was added as debt—and at last the “trillion dollar” threshold was crossed! That headline number was dashed out to friendly media hacks, without a care that hundreds of billions of the “trillion dollar” debt figure was the product of outright fabrication and pure manipulation.
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By Amy Trainer, West Marin Environmental Action Committee
Scientist for Controversial Oyster Company Seeks End-around Peer Reviewed Science to Commercialize Wilderness
Today, Environmental Action Committee of West Marin submitted a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell requesting that she reject the efforts by Dr. Corey Goodman, an advocate/scientist for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, to bypass peer-reviewed science in order to commercialize Drakes Estero wilderness, the ecological heart of Point Reyes National Seashore. Dr. Goodman recently filed a misconduct claim against the United States Geological Survey and National Park Service, asking that taxpayers fund an investigation based on his meritless claims.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company is currently working with ultra-conservative Republicans and law firms associated with the anti-regulatory Koch Brothers to deny the public a protected national park wilderness on property all Americans own.
"The latest trumped up charges from Dr. Goodman and the anti-science ultra-conservative lawyers at Cause of Action echo prior claims that multiple federal investigations found to be wholly without merit. Millions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on these feckless allegations in an attempt to undermine former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's public policy decision to let Drakes Estero marine wilderness area go wild. The allegations against the USGS manipulate and cherry-pick the facts to mislead the public."
The letter outlines how Dr. Goodman’s accusations are fatally flawed and lack merit, specifically noting that:
- Dr. Goodman incorrectly describes the data that informed the Final Environmental Impact Statement conclusion on adverse impacts to harbor seals from oyster operations,
- The National Academy of Sciences and peer-reviewed research confirm harbor seal disturbances from oyster operations, which directly undermines Dr. Goodman’s claims,
- Dr. Goodman unilaterally redefines the purpose of the USGS Report from a photo study to a seal study and then attacks the USGS for something it did not do,
- Dr. Goodman incorrectly describes the USGS consultant’s findings and misleads the public.
Dr. Goodman’s recent effort to infuse manufactured scientific controversy into a matter of park policy follows his past failed efforts. The investigations revealed Dr. Goodman’s obsession to advocate on behalf of Company, even when neither the evidence nor the peer-reviewed science support his regurgitated allegations.
Earlier this year, after Dr. Goodman made accusations against the National Park Service’s scientific research, the Interior Inspector General conducted an investigation and concluded: “We found no evidence, documents, DEIS revisions, or witnesses that supported the complainant’s [Dr. Goodman’s] allegations.”
Last year, after Dr. Goodman attacked the Park Service’s peer reviewed science and the Marine Mammal Commission’s report that upheld the Park Service research, the Commission reviewed his charges and concluded “Your characterization of the photographs …is, in my view, incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading…I disagree completely with your interpretation of the seal behavior documented…”
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By Amy Trainer, West Marin Environmental Action Committee
More Right-Wing Connections to Drakes Bay Oyster Company Surface as Lawsuit Against Obama Administration, National Park Service Rages On
With a hearing scheduled in the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court today the long-scheduled closure of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company has become a cause celebre of well-funded conservative groups, as they seek to overturn the Interior Department’s decision so they can open more of our protected public lands to oil and gas exploration. Right-wing national organizations have launched new efforts in the wake of moves by Washington politicians, including oil-state Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana), who inserted language in his Keystone pipeline project and coastal drilling bill to give this one company a new, exclusive permit worth millions of dollars in an ecologically sensitive marine wilderness area, and House Republican Natural Resources Committee Chairman “Doc” Hastings (R-Washington), who has launched a review after assailing the Obama Administration’s decision to protect the Point Reyes National Seashore on its 50th Anniversary.
A sample of recent national right-wing involvement:
• Several weeks ago, Cause of Action, a Beltway-based legal foundation that refuses to reveal its funders but has strong links to the right-wing Koch Brothers, stepped into the fray, driving the company’s legal fight. The respected PBS “Newshour” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/05/conflict-of-lease-and-legacy-provokes-controversy-on-the-half-shell.html exposed their involvement. Since that time, we have learned Cause of Action has been involved in 11 lawsuits, all advocating conservative causes, including a suit against the EPA and against Delaware’s governor trying to kill the development of renewable energy in that state.
• Yesterday, national Fox News http://video.foxnews.com/v/2376406357001/family-owned-business-says-govt-trying-to-shut-them-down/ joined their crusade with a biased report. In the interview, the Fox news host repeatedly misstated facts, and the Oyster company’s owner fails to mention that he bought the property in 2005 fully knowing that his permit to operate would expire 7 years later.
• We also have learned that the Pacific Legal Foundation, linked to the Koch Brothers by Sourcewatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Family_Foundations , is involved in the legal fight http://www.pacificlegal.org/pcg/PLF-to-back-Drakes-Bay-Oyster-Company-in-court, as it notes that it will be in the Court on Tuesday, live tweeting.
It’s clear that this is no longer about an oyster company with a significant record of violations with the California Coastal Commission.
It’s about out-of-state special interests working with the oyster company to set a dangerous new precedent to deregulate commercial activity on protected public lands and open them to oil and gas exploration.
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By John A. Pérez, Speaker of the California State Assembly
The strong revenue California collected in April is one more encouraging sign that after years of weathering the Great Recession we appear to have reached a point of budget stability. To help build on that stability, Assembly Democrats have crafted a Blueprint for a Responsible Budget that will keep California on sound financial footing not just this budget year, but in the future as well.
Over the past several years, Legislative Democrats have made tough but necessary budget cuts. Voters approved the majority-vote budget, which removed the game playing and gridlock that had jeopardized California’s financial picture. And voters stood with Democrats in supporting temporary tax revenues to help fund our schools and avoid even deeper cuts. The Blueprint for a Responsible Budget is based on the following three interrelated principles:
1. Continuing Fiscal Responsibility – the state must pay down debt, provide a prudent reserve, and craft a workable Rainy Day Fund that protects against future economic downturns. We must provide a balanced budget, not just for this year, but for every fiscal year in the forecast period, and we must accelerate the repayment of our budget debts. By accelerating repayment of budget debts we increase our budget stability and our ability to invest in our future. The time has come to craft a real and workable Rainy Day Fund that captures one-time spiking revenues to be set aside for economic downturns.
2. Strengthening the Middle Class – schools and higher education must give everyone a fair shot at the middle class, small businesses must be strengthened, and there must be a functional safety net that gets people back on their feet, contributing to our economy. Middle Class students must be able to afford a college education without being strapped with debt that strangles them well into the future and hurts future economic growth. Funding the Middle Class Scholarship with General Fund revenues from Proposition 39 can slash student fees at UC and CSU by 40 percent.
3. Delivering Effective, Efficient Services for Californians– wasteful red tape and bureaucratic delays must be eliminated for businesses, veterans, and others working with government. Business filings must be processed by the Secretary of State in five days or less, the Department of Public Health “exporting licenses” for perishable goods must also be approved within five days, so California exports can get to their destination and the state’s exporters can prosper. Updating Local Coastal Plans, helping Veterans access the services and benefits they’ve earned and funding courts – with accountability—to preserve access to necessary court services are other key aspects of Assembly Democrats Blueprint for a Responsible budget.
With the Governor’s May budget revision being announced this week and the Legislature working to pass a final budget by June 15, these are some of the issues Assembly Democrats will be focusing on to make sure our state takes the critical steps we need. for our schools, small businesses, safety net, higher education, courts and other key areas that have been harmed during the Great Recession.
(This post originally appeared on www.FoxandHoundsDaily.com)
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By Kassie Donoghue, DC, CCA Government Affairs Director
This week the Assembly Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider legislation by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, AB 1000, that would allow patients direct access to physical therapy treatment for 45 calendar days or 12 visits, without a doctor’s referral. After that window, a signature approving the physical therapist’s plan of care is required from a physician (or osteopathic physician) and surgeon, or a podiatrist.
While there are a number of worthy provisions in AB 1000, the bill doesn’t do enough in its current form to allow for continuity of care – and deserves to be amended.
Frequently, the patient being seen by the physical therapist has a doctor of chiropractic as their primary treating provider. Since 1922 doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in California have been educated and licensed by the State of California to serve as portal of entry/primary care providers. DCs are educated to differentially diagnose all conditions of the human body. After undergraduate study, chiropractic students earn a four-year doctorate degree with classroom and laboratory work in basic clinical sciences, physical examination, diagnosis and differential diagnosis, x-ray and interpretation of laboratory blood work and other treatment procedures. Clinical education includes a year -long internship overseen by a licensed DC on patients with various clinical presentations using manipulation as their primary clinical procedure.
Only health care providers who are trained in the complete diagnosis of all conditions that affect the human body can provide adequate patient safety. We have long been concerned that a seemingly “simple problem” for which a patient may seek treatment directly from a physical therapist might actually be masking a much more serious condition such as heart failure, diabetes, cancer or other disorder.
That is why the California Chiropractic Association (CCA) appreciates the provision in AB 1000 providing that if the physical therapist has reason to believe the patient has signs or symptoms of a condition that requires treatment beyond the scope of practice of a physical therapist, or if the patient is not progressing toward documented goals, the physical therapist shall refer the patient to an appropriately licensed health care provider.
However, we have concerns with how this requirement will be enforced. Additionally, CCA believes it would be appropriate to include language that outlines the minimum penalty for a physical therapist who violates these limitations on direct access.
AB 1000 should be amended. Specifically, doctors of chiropractic should be added to the providers who can approve a patient’s plan of care, thereby ensuring patient safety while allowing for continuity of care for the patient with the primary provider of their choice.
Kassie Donoghue, DC, is government affairs director for the California Chiropractic Association.
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The Majority Vote
The Echo Chamber