Editorial - Your Legislators In Inaction
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Read Making a Killing

home / healthcare / in the media

The San Francisco Chronicle
Jun 27, 2002

by Editors

Editorial - Your Legislators In Inaction

The "walks" continue.

Two significant bills were killed on reconsideration in Assembly committees Tuesday, with pivotal blocs of legislators failing to vote. This "courtesy nonvoting" scheme is becoming common in Sacramento, as detailed in our Tuesday editorial, "Do-nothing politics."

We know from letters our readers are sending to lawmakers -- with copies to us -- that many voters believe strongly that their elected representatives have a duty to vote "yes" or "no" on important legislation. Some legislators are not listening.

A bill to give patients the right to take treatment-denial claims to court, instead of mandatory arbitration, fell three votes short in the Assembly Health Committee. The final vote for SB458 was 7 yes, 8 no, 4 nonvoters. We were heartened that two Assembly Democrats who abstained on the previous roll call, Wilma Chan of Alameda and Rebecca Cohn of Saratoga, voted "yes" on Tuesday. The nonvoters were Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, Paul Coretz, D-West Hollywood, Ed Chavez, D-La Puente and Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino.

Meanwhile, a bill to give businesses and homeowners the ability to stop unwanted solicitations on their fax machines (SB1358) was killed in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee -- 4 yes, 2 no, 5 nonvoters. Six votes were required for passage. The abstainers were Russ Bogh, R-Yucaipa, Tony Cardenas, D-Sylmar, Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, Dave Kelly, R-Hemet, and Lynne Leach, R-Walnut Creek. Witnesses say Leach was at the hearing, but silent when her name was called. Her fax number, for constituents who might want to solicit her participation in the legislative process, is (916) 319-2115.
E-mail: assemblymember.leach@assembly.ca.gov.
Leach did not return our telephone call seeking her explanation.

Express your views: Let Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson know what you think about this pattern of nonvoting.
E-mail: assemblymember.wesson@assembly.ca.gov.

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