Are chiropractors being punished for bucking the California Medical Association and opposing SB 277, the controversial bill to end most exemptions for vaccinations? Maybe, according to one lawmaker. Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee:
“Both legislative versions of the state budget appropriate tens of millions of extra dollars to erase a 10 percent reduction in payments to those who provide medical care to the state’s poor under the Medi-Cal program.
“But both budgets also exclude chiropractors from the restoration of payments that would go to medical doctors, hospitals and other providers. The 2011 fee reduction was imposed to help balance the state budget.
“Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, suggested during an Assembly Budget Committee review Wednesday that the exclusion might be retribution for the California Chiropractic Association’s vociferous opposition to legislation that would eliminate parents’ right to opt out of vaccinations for children entering public schools.”
Speaking of retribution, San Fernando-area Democrats have filed several FPPC complaints about Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando), the political outsider who unseated Raul Bocanegra last year. From Jeremy White, Sacramento Bee:
“Since toppling then-Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra in November, Lopez has been the target of complaints from Bocanegra loyalists and party activists who question the political neophyte’s fitness for office and note that she has worked with Republicans. Lopez has already gone through two chiefs of staff during her brief tenure in Sacramento.
“Three San Fernando-area Democrats filed complaints alleging Lopez failed to disclose facts about her income and campaign contributions. Two of those complaints have now spurred investigations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.”
And speaking of more retribution, some of California’s Dem congressional reps say that big labor has threatened nasty payback if they side with the President – against labor - on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Edward-Isaac Dovere has the story in Politico:
“The AFL-CIO was blunt in the call that went out to Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat who represents San Diego: Vote yes on fast-track authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, people familiar with the conversation recall, and they’d spend a million dollars to knock him out in next year’s primary. If he managed to win, they’d drop another million against him in the general election.
“The real fight over the trade agenda has always been in the House, and that’s where organized labor has been focusing for months. The aggressive effort has left even members who’ll be voting labor’s way bruised, and others who’ll be supporting President Barack Obama anxious enough that many won’t discuss their experiences publicly, instead dispatching staffers to speak on their behalf.
“’They were very heavy-handed. And it was not appreciated. And it will not be forgotten,’ said one Democratic staffer for a member who will be voting no on trade, as the unions want.”
California is on track to become the first state in the nation to legalize lane-splitting, which, depending on who you talk to, may or may not be good news for motorcyclists. Charles Fleming, Los Angeles Times.
“The bill's legislative backers cite studies showing the practice is safer than trapping bikers behind cars, which leaves them vulnerable to more serious rear-end collisions. But their proposal has riled both detractors and supporters.
“’Lane-splitting is inherently dangerous,’ said Thomas Freeman, a passionate opponent of the practice who said his opposition movement, hosted online at stoplanesplitting.com, has more than 1,000 members….
“Technically neither legal nor illegal, the practice has had the tacit approval of the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Motorcycle industry veteran Bruce Steever — who commutes on the 405 Freeway and invariably lane-splits during rush hour — applauded the proposed legislation, restrictions and all.
“’Those numbers make me happy,’ he said of the speed limits. ‘There needs to be a codified law.’”
A happy day for clean air activists, a sad day for old car geeks: State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León oversaw the destruction of a gas-guzzling old farm truck on the West Lawn of the Capitol, highlighting the launch of a new program to put cleaner cars on the roads in the poorest, most polluted parts of the state. Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee:
“Before driving off in a new plug-in hybrid, Jose Mendoza watched with mixed feelings as his old pickup truck was crushed Wednesday morning on the west lawn of the Capitol.
“’You never want to get rid of those old cars that helped you through the hard times,’ he said. ‘I didn’t realize it was going to get emotional.’
“Mendoza, a father of six from Stockton, is the first participant in a new California Air Resources Board program that aims to put clean cars in the hands of families in the poorest, most polluted parts of the state. Individuals in disadvantaged census tracts who make up to four times the federal poverty level will be able to trade in their pre-1994 models and receive as much as $12,000 toward the cost of a new or used fuel-efficient vehicle.”
Ch-ch-ch-changes: The Business Journal reports that Swift Real Estate Partners is buying the Senator Hotel, the venerable home to many of Sacramento’s lobbying firms.
“’Brett Miles of Swift said his San Francisco-based firm submitted its winning bid last week as part of an online auction for the building, and hopes to close escrow by the end of June.
“’The location is unbelievable,’ said Miles of the 198,195-square-foot building at 1121 L St. ‘And there’s some work we can do to enhance the quality of the product…’
“Miles said the plan is to keep the building in office use, as it has been for the last 30 years. Among the upgrades being planned are some exterior renovations and the addition of a first-floor restaurant with outdoor space, a fitness center and some conference rooms, he said.”
Every now and then we run across a story where we say, ‘this HAS to be from The Onion.’ That was indeed the case when we stumbled on this story about India’s Adolf Hitler Ice Cream Cones, but no, sadly, no. (With photos.)
“Even for the most dedicated of ice cream lovers this sweet treat may prove a little hard to swallow.
“Unbelievably a brand of ice cream cone is readily available in India which is named after Hitler.
“It’s difficult to fathom what the Nazi leader may have in common with the crunchy snack, but Hitler’s name is splashed across boxes of the tasteless delicacy which is hawked across the country.
“Meanwhile the cold eyes of the killer stare out at ice cream customers from the side of the packaging.
“In some instances he appears in cartoon form in a Swastika-shaped top hat with a jaunty red bowtie, which is somewhat at odds with his furious expression.
“Other more sombre packages depict him in full military regalia with almost photographic realism, looking very out of place next to an ice cream that's almost as big as he is.”