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June 2013
Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) Newsletter

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JPAC Member Organizations: 

Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties


Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles


Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties


Jewish Federation of San Diego County


Jewish Federation of greater Long Beach and North Orange County


Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley


Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region


Anti-Defamation League


Jewish Labor Committee

Jewish Vocational Services LA

30 Years After
JPAC Advocacy Day 2013 Issue

On May 20-21, JPAC held our 2013 Advocacy Day in Sacramento.  Attended by over 60 members and supporters of the Jewish community representing 13 organizations from around the State, JPAC advocates met with more than 55 members of the State legislature, lobbied on three issues of great importance to the greater Jewish community, heard from speakers including Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, and held panel discussions on gun violence prevention legislation and the California and Israel trade relationship.  We are now closely watching the status of the bills and issues we lobbied on. 

JPAC Advocacy Day is an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships, discuss policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators. We put our Jewish values into action as we lobbied our elected representatives on key points and heard directly from high-ranking public officials on issues affecting all Californians.

Thank you to those who attended and to the members of the legislature and their staff who took the time to meet with us.
Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement with JPAC. Please share this e-newsletter with friends and colleagues, and help spread the word and build support for our efforts. JPAC is here for you!

  JPAC Honors Assembly Speaker John A. Perez with the Jerry Sampson Award (Legislator of the Year)  



On May 20 and 21, over 60 representatives from 13 Jewish organizations across California came to Sacramento to participate in the 2013 Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocates heard from high-ranking public officials including State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Assembly Speaker John Perez who received JPAC's 2013 Legislator of the Year Award.   


JPAC Advocacy Day is an annual mission to Sacramento that brings together lay leaders and staff from Jewish organizations all over California, including Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, and Jewish Family and Children's Services, as well as nationally known organizations including the Ant-Defamation League, Hadassah, and the National Council of Jewish Women.   It is an opportunity to come together in Sacramento and strengthen relationships, discuss policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators.   


The event kicked off Monday night as over 20 legislators joined JPAC advocates at a reception at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento to mingle and schmooze, including Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Asm. Bob Blumenfield, Asm. Achadjian, Asm. Fox, Asm. Adrin Nazarian, and Asm Mark Levine. They mingled with Rabbi Doug Kahn, executive director of the Bay Area's Jewish Community Relations Council, Anita Friedman, JFCS executive director, and multiple heads of local JCRC's and Federations.  


At the reception, JPAC honored Assembly Speaker John Perez with the Jerry Sampson Award, which recognizes and honors a California State Legislator who embodies the spirit and dedication to good civic government and whose leadership and advocacy on behalf of the organized Jewish community's priority concerns have been exemplary.   


Speaker Perez has been a true and dear friend to JPAC and to the Jewish community throughout the State. Many JPAC members and supporters have gotten to know the Speaker through trips to Israel, and every one of us appreciates how he has supported the values that we hold dear, especially as we fought against cuts to programs that assist the vulnerable in California.


Asm. Bob Blumenfield and Catherine Schneider (Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles) 
Senator Marty Block, Dena Schecter (Jewish Family Services LA) and Asm. Steven Bradford.
Nancy Goldberg (Jewish Family and Children's Services), Asm. Marc Levine, and Claire Solot (Jewish Family and Children's Services)


 Day 2: A Busy Day in the Capitol 


On Tuesday May 21, JPAC hosted two panel discussions: the first on the intersection of gun violence and mental health and the second on the Israel/CA trade relationship. The first panel featured State Senator Kevin De Leon, Assembly member Nancy Skinner, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of CA, Rusty Selix. The second panel featured Assembly member Bob Blumenfield, Abigail Browning of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Israeli Consul General of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Andy David. The lively discussion on both panels educated and informed JPAC advocates and were useful during their legislative meetings that afternoon.  


Gun safety legislation panel (L to R): Senator Kevin De Leon, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, and Rusty Selix of the Mental Health Association of CA, moderated by Dena Schecter.
Panel on Israel/California trade (L to R): Abigail Browning of the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield and Israeli Consul General Andy David (Pacific Northwest Consulate), moderated by Dave Rand at the dais, Chair of JPAC



JPAC Legislative Priorities on Advocacy Day


Additionally, advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and advocated on three issues.  


The Life Act is a package of eight senate bills addressing gun safety and gun violence prevention and which closes loopholes to many existing gun safety laws. Of these eight, one (SB 140) had already been signed into law prior to our trip to Sacramento.  The remaining seven bills have passed the Senate and are now on the Assembly floor waiting to be heard.   


AB 518

Establishes the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program as a Medi-Cal eligible benefit and codifies the program in State law. Authored by Asm. Mariko Yamada and Bob Blumenfield, this bill was co-sponsored by J
PAC member Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco.   As of June 12, 2013, this bill has died in the Senate due to special interest groups requesting that for-profits also be eligible, which was not an amendment that Yamada was willing to make.   Read more about AB 518 here



Letter to UC Regents

Many UC student governments have been bringing forward resolutions urging the UC Regents to divest from companies doing business with Israel.  In response, JPAC, together with Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield, drafted a letter to the UC Regents thanking them for their steadfast position against divestment from companies that do business in Israel.  A total of 36 legislators signed onto this letter to the UC Regents.  View the letter here.  



During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported a overwhelmingly high rate of support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.




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Budget Update 2013
By: Monica Miller, Governmental Advocates

Over two days, the Senate and Assembly considered the 2013-14 Budget Bill and trailer bills, marking this the first time since 1986 that the full state budget was approved by the constitutional deadline of June 15. In order for bills to be in print for 24 hours, the Legislature's actions on a handful of trailer bills, including AB 85, which contains the county provisions related to Medi-Cal expansion, was delayed until Saturday, June 15. In all, 21 bills were approved, with one bill that was heard on Monday, June 17, related to the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI).


Medi-Cal Expansion

In January, the Governor proposed that the state would adopt the optional Medi-Cal Expansion for childless adults that would otherwise not be eligible for the Medi-Cal program. The initial proposal was unclear if it would be a state run program or a county run program; once the May Revise was released the Administration determined it would be a state-run program. The goal of this proposal was an attempt to capture those under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would not be able to afford health care insurance and ensuring that they received the necessary coverage due to the individual mandate.


Coordinated Care Initiative

Last year, as part of the 2012 budget deal, the state created the CCI. While this program is currently limited to eight counties, they anticipate that it will go statewide after three years of the program being implemented. This "clean-up" bill is an attempt to address some issues related to collective bargaining for the staff that would be represented by the SEIU; however, there were some other provisions inserted into the bill related to the assessment of the costs and is the CCI truly providing a savings that was anticipated. JFS is very concerned about the "poison pill" because the head of the Department of Finance would re-assess the cost savings every January. However, if and when they determine that there are no cost savings, they will dismantle the CCI, although this will be after the current infrastructure has gone away as CCI seeks to replace the current infrastructure.


The Senate budget committee held an informational hearing on Monday, June 17th where advocates were able to get on the record the various concerns, as this issue was not dealt with in the Budget Conference Committee and the language was only released on Friday, June 14 at 8 am. We fully anticipate that we will need to continue to work on these issues and others as they continue to be obvious as the CCI is implemented. At this time, the launch date is no sooner than January 1, 2014; however, the date has been pushed out several times and we anticipate that it may once again be delayed.



The Legislative Breakdown:What We're Watching
  • JPAC applauds the Supreme Court of the United States' decision on Proposition 8.
  • AB191 (Bocanegra) passes the Senate Human Services Committee on 6/26/13 with a vote of 4-2. AB 191 is  heading to the Senate Appropriations Committee next.
  • Ab 694 (Bloom) passed the Assembly and is being heard in the Senate.
  • SB 391 (DeSulanier) California Homes and Job s Act: Passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly
  • SB 400 (Jackson) passed in the Senate and is now in the Assembly
  • SB 118 (Lieu): passed in the Senate and is now in the Assembly  





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JPAC logo small JPAC is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation, representing Jewish communities and nonprofit organizations across California. Comprised of most of the Jewish Federations from communities throughout California and a myriad of Jewish community advocacy organizations, we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State. We make certain California's Jewish community acts with one united voice in Sacramento on a variety of issues of importance to the Jewish community and in order to advocate for all of California's most vulnerable populations.

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