At state capitols around the country, MS activists, Government Relations Committee (GRC) members and other volunteers convene annually to learn about MS advocacy priorities. Through coordinated in-person visits, they share those priorities with State Senators, Representatives, Assembly members, and other policy makers.
MS Activists Mobilize at the State Capitol
On Sunday, April 3rd 70 MS Activists gathered at the State Capitol for our 15th Annual MS-CAN State Action Day. Attendees were attentive, enthusiastic and well prepared for conducting vital legislative visits at the State Capitol the next morning. One key opportunity was our being asked to provide testimony before the Assembly Health Committee on AB 2507 (Gordon D-Meno Park) Tele-Health Access. Leading MS Activist Amy Clark, who utilizes telemedicine and is living with MS -- testified along with representatives from Stanford Health Care on April 19th.
- 88 total visits took place: 31 Senate and 57 Assembly visits seeking support for AB 2507- Telehealth SB- 1135 Timely Access To Care and SB 923 -Cost Sharing
- 12 Legislative offices were identified as having a personal connection to someone living with MS
- ½ dozen legislators indicated initial interest in serving co-authors for Telehealth legislation
- 68% legislators indicated they were either supporters or likely to support AB 2507 (Telehealth) Many legislators indicated they are waiting for the specific costs identified in an upcoming report from the California Health Benefits Review Panel
- 72% of legislators indicated they were either supporters or likely to support SB 923 ( Hernandez-D Artesia )
- 75% of legislators indicated they were either supporters or likely to support SB 1135 ( Monning D-Carmel )
As emphasized by the Chair of the Senate Health Committee Ed Hernandez and other presenters during our Conference in Sacramento, State Action Day marks the start to our core MS-CAN legislative session efforts. And, all attendees will be called upon to make in-district legislative visits with Appropriations and Health committee member offices throughout the legislative process. As was the case in 2015, if we marshal our forces in a timely manner, we can contribute greatly to the passage of these bills.
The California Chapters are prepared to work with coalition partners and like-minded agencies in advancing our priorities at the Capitol during committee hearings and during negotiations with legislative staff in advance of important votes before fiscal committees throughout the summer. If you are interested in joining our efforts, please contact Stewart Ferry at firstname.lastname@example.org.