(SACRAMENTO) – The office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez reports that his prescription access bill AB 2603 passed today in Senate Public Safety Committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 6-0. It now heads to the Senate Floor.
“The intent of the bill is to protect access to prescription medicines, while recognizing that some people need assistance with picking them up and transporting them,” said Pérez.
“This is especially relevant for people who live in rural and medically underserved areas, where it is not uncommon for a person to rely on a family member or friend to pick-up his/her prescription drugs.”
The need for this bill surfaced as a result of a recent court ruling by the California Court of Appeals in the case of People V. Carboni.
It is commonly assumed that the law permits a designated representative – such as a family member or caregiver – to assist a prescription holder by picking up a valid prescription on his/her behalf.
Yet in the Carboni case, the court ruled that current law is unclear on the legality of this activity and that the Legislature must remedy the issue by clarifying state law.
Specifically, AB 2603 clarifies the California Health & Safety code to allow for the possession and transportation of a prescription medication by a person authorized by, and for the purpose of assisting, the prescription holder.
This will ensure that individuals seeking to help a family member or friend do not inadvertently break the law when they pick up a prescription for them.
The bill is sponsored by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and its supporters include Congress of California Seniors, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, and the Drug Policy Institute.
OTHER BILLS BY ASSEMBLYMAN
Workforce Training bill for formerly incarcerated by Asm. Manuel Pérez passes Senate Public Safety committee
(SACRAMENTO) – The office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez reports that Assembly Bill 2060 establishing a workforce development grant program for the formerly incarcerated passed today with strong, bipartisan support in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
The bill was approved on a unanimous vote of 6-0, and it now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Workforce training for the re-entry population is a practical strategy for improving access to a stable job,” said Pérez.
“It helps improve offender outcomes, reduces the likelihood of recidivism, and promotes community safety and stability.”
Specifically, the bill establishes a new competitive grant program for workforce training for the re-entry population.
The grant program would be administered by the California Workforce Investment Board and would be available to counties on a competitive basis, with greater consideration for those that provide matching funds, have demonstrated collaborative working relationship with local workforce investment boards, and/or have a workforce training program for the reentry population already in place.
To fund the program, Pérez secured $1 million in the 2014-15 Budget Act to be appropriated through the state’s the Recidivism Reduction Fund.
The bill is sponsored by PolicyLink, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, and the California Workforce Association and is supported by a host of organizations, including the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools and the Riverside Sherriff’s Association.
LGBT Veterans outreach grant program bill by Asm. Manuel Pérez
approved in Senate Veterans committee
(SACRAMENTO) – The office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez reports that Assembly Bill 1565 to assist older LGBT veterans in accessing their military benefits passed today on a vote of 4-2 in Senate Veterans Affairs committee.
“California is the state with the largest LGBT veteran population, yet these veterans do not access their military benefits and health care services at the same rate as their heterosexual counterparts,” said Pérez.
“There are many reasons why this happens – but fundamentally it’s the legacy of past discriminatory policies. For older veterans who served in the decades prior to and during ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, there is a lot of fear and distrust.”
AB 1565 authorizes a grant program to support culturally competent outreach to older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) veterans to help facilitate access to their earned military benefits and health services that are provided through County Veterans Service Offices.
According to a survey conducted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, out of the people they serve, 22% or 681 individuals are LGBT veterans, and out of those, only 4% were receiving their earned benefits.
The result of this gap is that LGBT veterans go without adequate care, which has serious health implications for the identification and treatment of disease, particularly as the population ages.
“When LGBT veterans go without adequate care, it can lead to serious health impacts,” continued Pérez.
“The situation worsens as the population ages, and we have people with chronic conditions, service-related injuries, and age-related diseases going untreated. Given the sacrifices veterans have made in serving and protecting our country, this is a sensible strategy to help them access adequate health care.”
Prior to the hearing, Pérez reached an agreement with veterans’ groups that had initially voiced opposition to the bill due to a misunderstanding about the nature of the services to be funded by the grant program. Amendments are in process and will be made when the bill is next heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The idea for this bill was brought to Pérez by the Coachella Valley chapter of Veterans for Peace.