Legislative Update

October 2012

Governor Brown Appoints Barbara Blake to California Apprenticeship Council

California Governor Jerry Brown has appointed UNAC/UHCP’s Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Blake, RN to the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC). The Council works with the state’s Department of Industrial Relations to oversee California’s state apprenticeship programs, traditionally used most often in the construction trades.

“California has a long standing tradition of using apprenticeship to move people into middle class jobs, where they can enjoy the full potential of the American Dream,” said Blake. “I see this as an opportunity to continue building our traditional apprenticeship programs, while also looking at new areas where we could use the concept, for instance in health care.”

“The Governor could not have made a better choice than Barbara Blake,” said Ken Deitz, RN, UNAC/UHCP President. “She brings dedication and the experience of decades to this position. Fostering apprenticeship is about preparing a work force which is well trained and ready to work on jobs with livable wages. These programs are about providing hope for a better future. We congratulate Barbara on this well-deserved appointment.”

Our Chance to Strengthen State’s Landmark Patient Safety Law

California Governor Jerry Brown has the opportunity to strengthen California’s first-in-the-nation nurse-to- patient ratios with a critical enforcement component that will ensure the law continues to improve patient care and save lives.

To address this issue, UNAC/UHCP sponsored SB 1246, which will shore up the Safe Staffing Law by giving the Department of Public Health the ability to levy fines for violating staffing ratio laws or ignoring patient classification systems.

Our members have helped push the bill along through letters to assembly members and lobbying, while our Political Affairs department has tracked it every step of the way. Thank you for the work you have done. Your efforts have driven this bill all the way to Governor Brown’s desk.

We need to stand up one last time so that this bill may become law. Please send an email of support for SB 1246 to the Governor through our online advocacy campaign: unacuhcp.org/sb1246

Nurse Midwife and Practitioner Bill Heads to Governor for Signature

The UNAC/UHCP-supported SB 1524 (Hernandez) has been passed by the Legislature and will now head to the Governor’s office. The bill deletes the requirement that a certified nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner must complete six months of physician and surgeon supervised experience in the furnishing or ordering of drugs or devices, and provides that a physician and surgeon may determine the extent of supervision necessary in the furnishing or ordering of drugs and devices.

Assembly Bill Would Allow RNs to Prescribe Birth Control

Assembly Bill 2348, which allows Registered Nurses to dispense birth control under a standardized procedure has passed all legislative hurdles and now sits on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk waiting for a signature.