Lots of news for the holiday season. Today, Senate President Don Perata announced the new chairs of key Senate committees. Here’s the news for health advocates:
On the policy committees:
* Senator Kuehl will chair Health Committee. A champion of universal health coverage, she has also been a smart and effective legislator getting a range of bills passed in the health field.
* Senator Machado will chair Banking, Finance, and Insurance Committee. As the previous the chair of the Revenue and Taxation Committee, he took an appropriately skeptical view of Health Savings Accounts.
On the fiscal committees:
* Senator Torlakson will chair Appropriations. Previously chair of Transportation & Housing, he has a record on health from his days as a Contra Costa county supervisor, where he was supportive.
* Senator Ducheny will chair Budget. She previously served as chair of the budget subcommittee on health, and so is well versed in the details of everything from the hospital financing waiver to Healthy Families funding formulas.
* Senator Alquist will chair the Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services. She carried key health bills and has been an active member of the Health policy committee, and so is familiar with the broad issues that she will now impact from the budget perspective.