The Legislature finally went into Interim Recess for the 2009-2010 Legislative Session on September 11. To say this first half of the two-year legislative session was the most difficult, heart wrenching, and brutal Sessions of all time would be a huge understatement. The on-going State fiscal crisis remains the dominate issue that is driving all policy and fiscal decisions. Few bills reached the Governor’s desk this year, and fewer will be signed by the Governor. The Governor has until midnight on October 11 to act on the remaining bills that came his way in the last days leading up to the end of the Session. Among them is a bill that would transfer California’s brain injury program from the Department of Mental Health to the Department of Rehabilitation. AB 398 is now pending before the Governor.
Our efforts at the Capitol this year have resulted in a lessening of the impact in reductions to services to those with brain injury. We were successful in not being singled out for deeper reductions in the final Budget as approved by the Legislature and Governor. Starting in January we will be back on the front lines fighting the budget battles once again. The State has yet to turn the corner on this recession.
The joint Senate hearing by the Senate Health Committee and Senate Veterans Committee that was scheduled for this Fall has been postponed until January due to the pending nuptials of Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Health Committee. We are excited about this hearing, and look forward to reporting more details to you in the very near future.