Local News

Yamada tries again on all-mail voting test

By March 3, 2011


Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, has reintroduced a bill (AB 413) allowing Yolo County to conduct up to three all-mail local elections to study the effects of such balloting on voter turnout in small local elections. A similar bill was vetoed in October by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The all-mail ballot pilot program is just one of eight new bills introduced this week by Yamada as part of her 2011 legislative package. Reflecting her Assembly Committee assignments, most of Yamada’s bills focus on protecting seniors and dependent adults, veterans and working families.

Two other bills have local interest:

* AB 866: Amends the Mental Health Services Act to define “small county” as a county with a population of less than 250,000 people, saving Yolo County $100,000 in administrative costs; and

* AB 966: Changes public cemetery law to allow the Davis Cemetery District to inter certain nonresidents of the district.

“While the state budget takes center stage, our legislative reform work should continue during these tough times,” Yamada said in a news release. “This lean, mean bill package responds to real-life constituent problems and addresses systems changes that will benefit all Californians.”

She presented an eight-bill aging and long-term care package last week, highlighting AB 594, the Community Care Modernization Act of 2011, which streamlines programs under a restructured Department of Adult and Aging Services within the California Health and Human Services Agency.

Other bills in the aging package address elder abuse reporting, long-term care insurance rate increase regulation and establishing procedures for private home care agencies.

Yamada’s legislative package also includes:

* AB 601: Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to accept the U.S. Department of Defense power of attorney signed by active-duty personnel for all purposes stated within the document, including titling and sale of a vehicle.

* AB 784: Lifts the moratorium on certifying adult day health care centers for two facilities co-located with veterans’ homes in the cities of Lancaster and Ventura.

* AB 51: Will impose restrictions on the use of “payroll cards” by an employer to pay his or her employees. Those who are paid with these cards are among the lowest-paid employees in California and often do not have bank accounts, Yamada said.

* AB 833: Revises the exceptions to the maximum aid payment provisions of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) program to include an exception for a child who is disabled.

* AB 1147: Places additional reporting requirements to the court when a foster youth becomes a parent during placement. This additional reporting seeks to prevent the separation of the foster youth parent and their child.

More information on these bills can be found at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Enterprise staff

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