Monday, October 14, 2013

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS INTERPRETER BILL (AB 1376)


AB 1376 got the support from Governor Brown it deserved when he signed it into law on the last day available to him -- we did not feel the bill needed to have been the cliffhanger that it turned out to be but, in the words of the bard, "all's well that ends well." Kudos go to many supporters who worked on the bill and to the sponsors of this legislation, particularly Jesse Ceniceros, Board Chair, Voters Injured at Work (VIAW). VIAW was the chief sponsor of this legislation that will enable injured workers to have access to interpreters during medical visits. The bill was one of equity, allowing the deadline for certification of interpreters to be extended to 1 March 2014. Why a bill that passed the last legislative step without opposition in the legislature and clearly had bipartisan support had to wait until the last day of the session for the Governor to sign it intrigues political pundits -- was it just political theater or was there serious backroom efforts to get a veto? It intrigues us. We'll be getting back to SB 863 soon, too -- that's the bill that enables Independent Medical Review to be done by doctors who aren't licensed in California, just like Utilization Review doctors. That's the bill that promised injured workers more than it delivered and embarrassed the California Labor Federation. That's the bill that Senator Beall sought to revise this year via SB 626 which got pulled midway through the session. We'll be poised to pounce if SB 626 comes back in January for the 2014 legislative session. Our editorial from this past summer remains available (see references below).

References

SB 626 (Beall) Tackles SB 863 (Deleon), www.politicsofhealthcare.com, 4/15/13

SB 626 (Beall) Restores Equity and Balance, ibid,  2/24/13

SB 626 Alert, ibid, 2/23/13

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