HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE

June 21, 2002

HEALTH LEGISLATION:

Alas, the regular legislative cycle continues in the midst of the budget battle. Our Legislation page contains an UPDATED bill list, prepared by Beth Capell, legislative advocate for Health Access California, detailing our position on that. Please contact us with any questions about pending legislation.

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE:

As of this writing, the Conference Committee has adjourned for the weekend, and is scheduled to reconvene sometime on Monday.

It ended its business on Thursday, when Assembly Republicans blocked passage of a $1.1 billion deferral of school funding from the current year to the budget year. If this is not done in the next week, the legislature will need to find another $1.1 billion in cuts or revenues, on top of all existing budget issues. In response to this obstructionism, Conference Committee Chairman Steve Peace adjourned the committee on Thursday afternoon, feeling he could not move ahead without knowing the outcome of this issue.

Earlier this week (although often late into the night), the committee began discussion of revenue options, including the tobacco tax increase, the restoration of the vehicle license fee, and, yes, the potential restoration of the upper tax brackets. While it is unclear what the Committee will do, all these revenue increases–and others–are now on the table.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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