Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California considers regulations to prevent violence against health care workers

Chelsea Hallford, a newly hired nurse at Sutter Memorial, checks in on patient, Britta Sharpe, on the cardiac ward on Sept. 12, 2014. Nurses and other health care workers face an increased risk of violence on the job.
Chelsea Hallford, a newly hired nurse at Sutter Memorial, checks in on patient, Britta Sharpe, on the cardiac ward on Sept. 12, 2014. Nurses and other health care workers face an increased risk of violence on the job. The Sacramento Bee file

The risk of workplace violence is particularly acute for those who work in health care – about three times more likely than the private sector overall, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses raised these concerns to the Legislature, which last year passed a bill requiring hospitals to adopt violence prevention plans.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has been developing regulations for the law, which it is expected to approve during a meeting at 10 a.m. at the State Resources Building on 9th Street. They would require employers to maintain logs tracking violent incidents and develop procedures for investigating and correcting violence hazards, among other standards.

Nurses represented by SEIU Local 121RN and the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California will rally outside the hearing at 9:30 a.m. urging the board to expand the regulations to include threats and intimidation, which they say can be a precursor to workplace violence.

BAG IT UP: Next year, California voters will weigh in on whether to require porn performers to wear condoms. If the experience of Los Angeles County, where a similar proposal was approved back in 2012, is any indication, it will be a contentious fight: the controversial law is now tied up in court, and opponents recently agreed to pay a fine for accepting $343,000 in illegal foreign donations during the campaign. The Fair Political Practices Commission is set to approve the $61,500 penalty during a 10 a.m. meeting at its headquarters on J Street.

IT’S NOT FAIR: One of Tom Steyer’s favorite sayings is demanding that ordinary Californians receive a “fair shake.” He often uses the line in his crusade against the oil industry, and it’s the namesake for the Fair Shake Commission on Income Inequality and Middle Class Opportunity, a joint project between Steyer’s advocacy group NextGen Climate and the Center for American Progress. The commission, which also includes former state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, meets at 9:30 a.m. at Loaves and Fishes on North C Street to discuss California’s safety net programs.

CAPPED OFF: In Paris last week for an international climate summit, Gov. Jerry Brown repeatedly touted California’s cap-and-trade program, where polluters pay to offset carbon emissions. But he has been unable to reach an agreement with lawmakers about how to spend more than $1 billion in revenue it has produced, which must be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The California Air Resources Board is holding a public hearing today for its draft “investment plan” for the proceeds, 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA building on I Street, which will ultimately be submitted to the Legislature for consideration.

IN THE INTERIM: A meeting of the health care special session conference committee earlier this month produced little progress on replacing the soon-to-expire tax on health plans that may be needed to close a looming shortfall in Medi-Cal funding. The committee gathers again today to discuss the public health impacts of tobacco use and proposed tax increases to tobacco products, 10:30 a.m. at the Elihu Harris State Office Building in Oakland. A joint Senate and Assembly hearing on fatal pipeline accidents is also set for 10 a.m. at the Kern County Administrative Office in Barkersfield, led in part by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who has doggedly pursued PG&E since the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed eight people in his district.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Rep. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, who turns 49 today.

  Comments