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2011 CCB Legislative Report
as prepared by Frank Welte, CCB Director of Governmental Affairs


April 26, 2011

This is the CCB Legislative Report for April 26, 2011 Prepared by Frank Welte, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs


If youíd like to speak with me about the topics covered in this report you can call me at the CCB office at (800) 221-6359 during regular business hours, or you can call my cell phone, (650) 576-4177. My Email address is frank.welte@ccbnet.org


State Legislation


CCB-sponsored Bills

We have learned that the Department of Motor Vehicles has begun allowing holders of state ID cards to renew their cards by mail, as is all ready the case for holders of driverís licenses. DMV is now sending renewal notices to state ID card holders. State regulations donít require DMV to send out these card renewal notices, and weíre concerned that the Department could decide in the future to stop sending them. CCB is sponsoring a bill, AB 390 by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, that will place a renewal notice requirement in statute. The bill has been approved by the Assembly, and it has moved to the State Senate. Please express your support for the bill to your State Senator.

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson has re-introduced our regulations format bill this year. The bill, AB 410, will require state agencies, upon request, to provide screen reader-friendly versions of regulatory text in notices of proposed regulations. The bill was approved by the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection on April 26, and it has been sent to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
If your Assembly member is on this committee, please call his or her office, and express your support for the bill.
Committee members are Felipe Fuentes, Chair, Diane L. Harkey, Vice Chair, Bob Blumenfield, Steven Bradford, Charles M. Calderon, Nora, Campos, Mike Davis, Tim Donnelly, Mike Gatto, Isadore Hall III, Jerry Hill, Ricardo Lara, Holly J. Mitchell, Jim Nielsen, Chris Norby, Jose Solorio and Donald P. Wagner.

Other state legislation

AB 727, (Mitchell), would require food services being operated on state property to provide food that conforms to federal nutrition guidelines, and it would require the Department of General Services to encourage the purchase of this food from local growers. The bill would also require vending machines located on state property to increase their percentage of nutritious food items from 35% to 50% by 2014 and to 100% by 2016. CCB and Randolph Sheppard Vendors of California will oppose this bill unless the vending machine content requirements are adjusted so as not to harm the livelihood of licensed blind vendors.

This bill will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection on Tuesday, May 3 at 9:00 AM in room 447 of the State Capitol. Please share your concerns about this bill with your Assemblymember if he or she belongs to this committee.
The members are Mary Hayashi, Chair, Bill Berryhill, Vice Chair, Michael Allen, Betsy Butler, Mike Eng, Curt Hagman, Jerry Hill, Fiona Ma and Cameron Smyth.

Iíll provide information about the progress of these and other bills in future reports.


State budget

Governor Brown and the members of the State Legislature began their new terms of office facing a $25 billion state budget through fiscal year 2011 Ė 2012. The governorís original proposed budget contained about $12 billion in cuts to state programs including significant cuts to SSI, In-Home Supportive Services, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and the California State Library. After numerous budget hearings at which CCB representatives testified to preserve vital services for blind and visually impaired Californians, the State Legislature passed a budget that spared the worst of the proposed cuts.

Among all of these cuts, the following will have particular impact on blind and visually impaired Californians.

  • As I write this report it is not known how the remainder of the state budget deficit will be eliminated. The governor will release a revised budget proposal on May 13, and the Legislature should resume its budget deliberations in mid-May.

    Please contact your members of the State Legislature, and tell them how the proposed budget cuts will impact you. Also, it would be a good idea to contact the Assembly and Senate Budget committees at the following addresses.

  • Federal Legislation

    You will recall that CCB has relied on vehicle donations for a significant portion of its funding in recent years. In 2004 some unfavorable federal tax rules took effect, and since then revenues from car donations have been greatly diminished.
    The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill, H.R. 860, that would bring balance back to the way the IRS treats vehicle donations, so that CCB and other nonprofits will receive the amounts of donations that will allow them to greatly expand their vital services. The Senate bill is S 110. Please ask your member of the House of Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 860, and ask Senators Boxer and Feinstein to cosponsor S 110.

    2011 CCB Capitol Day

    CCB will hold our 2011 Capitol Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, May 12 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in conjunction with our spring, 2011 state convention. Please mark that date on your calendar, and plan to join us at the Capitol to learn about important legislation and to share our concerns with our legislators. Participants must register for this event no later than May 1. Contact Frank Welte in the CCB office if you plan to attend Capitol Day.

    We thank our Capitol Day sponsors, Randolph Sheppard Vendors of California, Silicon Valley Council of the Blind and Mr. Art Takahara.

    Check with the California Connection to find out when the next Legislative Report will be updated and for federal legislative information, please check with the Washington Connection 800-424-8666 or the acb.org website.


    February 24, 2011

    This is the CCB Legislative Report for February 24, 2011
    Prepared by Frank Welte, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs


    If youíd like to speak with me about the topics covered in this report you can call me at the CCB office at (800) 221-6359 during regular business hours, or you can call my cell phone, (650) 576-4177. My Email address is frank.welte@ccbnet.org

    State Legislation.

    Governor Brown and the members of the State Legislature have begun their new terms of office facing a $25 billion state budget through fiscal year 2011 Ė 2012. The governorís proposed budget contains about $12 billion in cuts to state programs. Among all of these cuts, the following will have particular impact on blind and visually impaired Californians.
  • After numerous budget hearings at which CCB representatives testified to preserve vital services for blind and visually impaired Californians, the State Assembly and the State Senate passed versions of the budget that differ in particular items but largely follow the governorís recommendations. As I write this report a budget conference committee is working to resolve the differences in the Assembly and Senate version of the budget. Please contact your members of the State Legislature, and tell them how these proposed budget cuts will impact you. Also, it would be a good idea to contact the members of the conference committee. I can provide contact information for the committee members upon request.

    You may also send comments to the two Budget Committees at the following addresses.
  • CCB-Sponsored Bills

    Assemblyman Sandre Swanson has re-introduced our regulations format bill this year. The bill, AB 410, will require state agencies, upon request, to provide screen reader-friendly versions of regulatory text in notices of proposed regulations.

    We have learned that the Department of Motor Vehicles is likely to begin allowing holders of state ID cards to renew their cards by mail, as is all ready the case for holders of driverís licenses. It appears that DMV will also begin sending renewal notices to state ID card holders. State regulations donít require DMV to send out these card renewal notices, and weíre concerned that the Department could decide in the future to stop sending them. CCB is sponsoring a bill, AB 390 by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, that will place a renewal notice requirement in statute. Iíll provide information about the progress of these bills in future reports.

    Federal Legislation

    The 2011 ACB Legislative Seminar will take place in the Washington, DC area from Sunday, February 27 through Tuesday, March 1. During the Seminar, advocates from around the United States will learn about critical issues facing blind and visually impaired Americans, and they will share this knowledge with their congressional representatives. At least eight Californians will be in attendance. We thank the chapters that are sponsoring Seminar participants as well as those who are paying their own way to attend. We will be visiting congressional offices to advocate for legislation to allow Medicare recipients to obtain low vision aids, to improve the accessibility of prescription labels, and to improve the tax benefits of donating vehicles to charities, such as CCB. Iíll say more about the Legislative Seminar in my next report.


    2011 CCB Capatol Day

    CCB will hold our 2011 Capitol Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, May 12 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in conjunction with our spring, 2011 state convention. Please mark that date on your calendar, and plan to join us at the Capitol to learn about important legislation and to share our concerns with our legislators. Contact Frank Welte in the CCB office if you plan to attend Capitol Day.


    Check with the California Connection to find out when the next Legislative Report will be updated and for federal legislative information, please check with the Washington Connection 800-424-8666 or the acb.org website.


    *** end 8:33 PM 4/27/2011

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