“Step Therapy” or “Fail-First” Healthcare Reform Passes Assembly

AB 374 Allows Doctors to Determine Treatment; Not Insurance Companies

(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assembly Bill 374, Step Therapy Reform, passed the Assembly with bipartisan support. “Step therapy” or “fail-first” allows insurance plans to deny coverage of effective medications until patients try older, cheaper options first. AB 374 gives doctors exemption options to override Step Therapy.

“We need to bring balance back to our healthcare system. Patients should not have to ‘fail-first’ to get the medicine they need. Step Therapy Reform provides doctors the opportunity to get the right medicine to their patients,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.

Assemblymember Nazarian’s Earthquake Resilience Package Passes the Assembly

30% Seismic Retrofit Tax Incentive and Brace + Bolt Expansion will Protect Property, Save Lives, and Create Jobs

(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assembly Bill 428 and 1440 passed the Assembly and will head to the State Senate.  Assembly Bill 428 is historic legislation which would provide a five-year 30% state seismic tax credit to property owners for safety improvements to their “at-risk” or vulnerable buildings.  Assembly Bill 1440 expands seismic retrofit grant program.  The Brace + Bolt program provides a $3,000 subsidy to qualified single family, and multi-residential (4 units or less) property owners for basic seismic work. 

“We need to get serious about earthquake preparedness now.  My earthquake resilience package protects property, saves lives, and creates jobs,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.  “I strongly encourage the State Senate and the Governor to make earthquake preparedness a priority; before it’s too late.”     

AB 428 provides a powerful financial incentive for property owners to make the seismic upgrades within the next five years at a substantially reduced cost.

The key components of Assembly Bill 428 are:

  • Will establish a 5 year 30% tax credit for qualified costs associated with Seismic Retrofit for qualified owners of an “at-risk property.” The tax credit is awarded upon completion of Seismic Retrofit.
  • Defines an “at-risk property” as a building that is deemed hazardous and in danger of collapse in the event of a major earthquake and is certified as so by the appropriate local jurisdiction with authority for building code enforcement, including but not limited to, soft story buildings, non-ductile concrete residential buildings, and pre-1980 concrete residential buildings.
  • Provides that a municipality’s local agency with jurisdiction for building code and safety enforcement certify an “at-risk building” located within their area and authorizes construction eligible under credit. 
  • Provides examples of Seismic Retrofit Construction which qualify under the credit to mitigate seismic damage
  • Sets a sunset date of December 1, 2021.

 

Recent findings by UC Berkley researchers identify 1,500 concrete buildings that are seismically vulnerable in just the Los Angeles area. The researchers state that in the event of a huge earthquake 75 are likely to collapse. 

Assembly Bill 1440 aims to expand on Brace + Bolt a program to cover tens of thousands of California homeowners.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program was created by the California Residential Mitigation Program, which is a joint power authority between the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The program was established to assist homeowners in decreasing the potential for damage to their houses during an earthquake. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.

The mitigation program provides homeowners up to $3,000 to strengthen their foundation. A typical retrofit may cost between $2,000 and $10,000 depending upon the location, the size of the house, and the amount of work involved. Houses that meet the state building code retrofit criteria typically were:

  • Constructed before 1979;
  • Built on a level or low slope site;
  • Constructed with a four-foot (or less) cripple wall under the first floor;
  • And have a raised foundation.

Expanded Film & TV Tax Credits Have Boffo Opening

SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins and the Assembly architects of the state’s expanded Film and Television Production Tax Credit, Assemblymembers Ian Calderon, Mike Gatto and Adrin Nazarian, today welcomed the announcement that the first new projects have been approved under the expanded program.

According to the California Film Commission, 11 projects have been selected to receive tax credits under the new Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, which expanded funding from $100 million to $330 million annually. The projects include six new TV series, one TV pilot, and four TV series relocating to California. The program’s first application period, held May 11-17, was open only to television projects scheduled to begin production on or after July 1.

Statement by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian on Governor Brown’s $ 5 Million Permanent Funding Increase of the California Arts Council

“I am thrilled the California Arts Council will receive a $5 Million permanent funding increase in the Governor’s proposed revised budget.  I want to thank Governor Brown for his support and leadership.  One in 10 jobs in California are part of the creative industries; generating billions for our economy.  The Arts Council is an incubator of creative talent statewide and the $5 million is an investment in keeping California’s creative economy competitive.”

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian Tackles Bedbug Pandemic

Assembly Bill (AB) 551 Ratifies the Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Fighting a Bedbug Infestation.

(Sacramento, CA) Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian introduced legislation aimed at stemming the infestation of bedbugs sweeping California.  A recently released report by Orkin, a national pest control company, ranked Los Angeles fourth nationwide in bedbug infestations with San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose region, and the Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto region all within the top 50 nationwide. 

“We need common sense steps to reduce the bedbug blight in California.  Tenants and landlords must work together to eradicate these blood suckers from our homes,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.    

Basic Public Safety Standards for Ridesharing Passes Two Key Committees

Assembly Bill (AB) 24 Requires Drivers to Enroll in a DMV Employer Pull Notice Program & Drug and Alcohol Testing Program

(Sacramento, CA) Assembly Bill 24 passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee by a vote of 11 to 5.  Assembly Bill 24 is a consumer protection and public safety bill to establish basic public safety standards for drivers of charter party carriers, such as limousines, buses, and transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft. 

“This is a win for the public’s safety,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.  “The requirements in AB 24 are all simple, common sense measures that any business focused on consumer safety should have no issue complying with.”

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian Increases the Art Council’s Budget by $10 Million

(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian proposed adding five positions and increasing the California Arts Council’s budget by $10 million dollars. Governor Brown’s budget proposal funds the California Arts Council at $4.911 million, which includes $1.138 million of General Fund dollars.  This is a five million dollar decrease from last year.    

The $10 million increase was passed by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 and will part of the Assembly’s Budget proposal.