AB 279 Advances to the Governor’s Desk After Overwhelming Support in the CA Legislature
On September 2, 2021, the grassroots-driven lobby by the people of California succeeded in advancing AB 279 to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom
While we strongly encourage all to submit a personalized letter here are two sample letters to help you get started with your own:
Here are some points to consider in your communications with the Governor:
1. AB 279 Received Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support Along the Legislative Journey
Support for the bill along the legislative path has been overwhelmingly favorable, including a significant number of “Aye” votes from Republican elected officials. Clearly, the politicians understood that the safety of seniors is not a partisan issue. Urge Governor Newsom to act in accordance with the will of the people, not lobbyists of the for-profit healthcare industry.
Demonstrating his willingness to act in the interests of seniors can only help the Governor to withstand the efforts of the recall campaign currently underway.
Here is the chronology of votes that have led us to this point as we begin to lobby Governor Newsom…Ayes, Noes and NVR (no vote recorded):
04/13/21 Assembly Health: 11 Ayes; 2 Noes; 2 NVR
04/28/21 Assembly Appropriations: 12 Ayes; 4 Noes; 0 NVR
05/13/21 Assembly Floor: 58 Ayes; 1 Noe; 19 NVR
06/23/21 Senate Health: 10 Ayes; 0 Noes; 1 NVR
07/15/21 Senate Appropriations: 6 Ayes; 0 Noes; 1 NVR
08/23/21 Senate Floor: 32 Ayes; 3 Noes; 5 NVR
08/30/21 Assembly Floor Concurrence: 62 Ayes; 0 Noes; 17 NVR
The only opposition to the bill comes by way of the CA Department of Health (CDPH). Despite overwhelming support for AB 279 in the legislature and from the current CA Attorney General, the CDPH is now lobbying the Governor to veto the bill.
It should be recalled that the CDPH, also in the face of massive public protest, approved of Pacifica Companies’ mass eviction of the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility.
2. COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise in CA and Many Hospitals’ ICU Capacity are once again being challenged
Due to the Delta variant and FIVE new variants of the virus now circulating, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in CA and across the United States. This is NOT the time to subject already immuno-compromised seniors to the trauma of involuntary transfers and evictions. Many facilities, for good reason, continue to maintain restricted access policies due to the pandemic, making site visitations of family members in search for alternative transfer facilities problematic. AB 279 seeks to protect seniors, but also to support families who may otherwise be confronted with the daunting task of finding a proper home for their loved ones.
3. AB 279 Addresses Deficiencies in CA Law Which Have Helped Allow 200+ Improper Discharges from Senior Care Facilities During the Pandemic
Senior Nursing Facilities have already been experiencing disproportionate death rates due to COVID-19 in CA. Yet, in the midst of this, according to CDPH records, there have been 200+ cases of improper discharges from such facilities since the pandemic began. Especially during a global pandemic, CA regulations and law should NOT allow this to be happening.
Publicly, even the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF), which represents the interests of for-profit operators of CA nursing homes, does not oppose the bill. The CDPH’s opposition to AB 279 runs counter to the stated mission of what is supposed to be a governmental body in service of the health interests of Californians.
Their efforts to stop AB 279 also run counter to the stance of the Current CA Attorney General, Rob Bonta whose office has expressed support of the bill. The health interests of one of the most vulnerable sectors of the state’s population are at stake, and AB 279 will help protect them.
4. AB 279’s Cost to the State Will Be Negligible and Has Support from 33 Organizations
Committees on Appropriations in both the CA Assembly and CA Senate have determined, even in consultation with the CDPH, that AB 279 will not pose any significant financial burden on the State.
33 organizations stand in support of AB 279 to protect seniors during the pandemic. These organizations include: California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (sponsor), AARP California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Association of Long-Term Care Medicine, California Long-term Care Ombudsman Association, and California Retired Teachers Association, among many others.
TAKE ACTION before September 15. Here’s How:
A. Email a personalized letter to the Governor:
Letters of Support for AB 279 should be addressed as follows:
Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor, State of California
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA. 95814
RE: AB 279. (Muratsuchi) – Urge Your Signature
Then email your letter (in the body of the text and/or as an attachment) to: Leg.Unit@gov.ca.gov
If you send in a letter to the Governor, Save Our Seniors Network would love to share it with the public and have it for the record. If you are willing, please share it via this link:
You may also send it as an email attachment (BCC along with the email to the Governor if you like, or as a separate email) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
B. Send written correspondence to Governor Newsom via the CA Governor’s website:
In addition to entering your first and last name and email address, next to the box that says, “Please choose your subject,” make sure you choose “AB00279\Intermediate Care Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities \ COVID-19.” This will help ensure that a support plea for signing AB 279 into law is tabulated properly:
Here is another version of the above link that can be shared with friends: https://bit.ly/AB279Note2Newsom
C. Call the Governor’s Office, Identify Yourself as a California VOTER and Urge him to Sign AB 279 into Law Promptly:
Be polite and cordial and ask that your message be tallied and delivered to Governor Newsom. Thank the staffer for their time and service.
The Office of the CA Governor: (916) 445-2841
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS IMPORTANT EFFORT! Let’s win AB 279!
*** Governor Newsom: SIGN AB 279 Into Law to Protect Our Seniors! ***