Carmel, CA SB 411 Bad For Seniors And Private Duty Caregivers, I Will Be Going To Sacramento To Lobby Against Itby Richard Kuehn on 08/11/12
I will be travelling to Sacramento again next week to lobby on behalf of senior rights after finding out that SB 411, the state Senate bill which I lobbied hard against and thought had died, has shown new life. After being shelved for almost a year, the bill suddenly popped up as active this week and the staff at our trade association, California Association for Health Services at Home, believes that this is the result of some sort of an agreement between the bill's sponsors and the Governor's Office. It could be voted on next week. In fact, it was a year ago that I wrote this blog, and my feelings have not changed a bit:
by Richard Kuehn on 08/18/11
I've just returned from Sacramento where I went to lobby against SB 411, a bill which I believe would raise the cost of caregiving services for seniors as well as violate the privacy of our caregivers by forcing them to have their name and company affiliation listed on a web site. As I have written before on my blog, I believe this is a thinly disguised attempt to get personal information about our caregivers so they can be unionized (the bill is backed by the Service Employee's International Union (SEIU)). Doing so would require caregivers to pay union dues even though, because of the nature of the business, they are not always working. It would also raise costs for us, which would in turn raise costs for our senior Clients. The fate of the bill, which was heard before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, won't be decided until next week (it goes into a "suspense file" because the cost of implementing it is estimated at $12 million per year). This is just the cost to the State, and does not include any of the costs that companies like Family inHome Caregiving would be required to spend. However, I remain hopeful that it will die a quick death. Senator Price, the sponsor of the bill, waived his right to present it before the Appropriations Committee and only two people showed up to lobby in favor of it. Neither of the two people speaking up in favor of it were from SEIU. The silence of Senator Price and the lack of a lobbyist from SEIU lead me to believe they have given up hope that the bill can pass given the high cost of implementation. Given the bleak budget situation our state is in, it's unlikely to make it out of the suspense file and, if it does, it might be vetoed by Governor Brown. I am happy to say that in stark contrast to the weak showing of people showing up to speak in favor of the bill, over 30 people, including myself, showed up to speak out against it. I will continue to do whatever I can to lobby for senior's rights, and in particular anything that the State is trying to push through which would raise the cost for them remaining in their own homes and independent.