Victims rights, health care and border issues tackled

SACRAMENTO—Legislation authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) giving domestic violence victims greater protection, parents more information on diabetes and requesting a study of the infrastructure needs along the California-Mexican border received unanimous support yesterday from the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2139 would require officers to inform victims of domestic violence, child abuse or abduction, elder abuse, or stalking of their right to request an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) immediately. A recent study by the Department of Justice found many victims experience delays because of transportation, language or other barriers that prevent them from seeking assistance in keeping the assailants away. EPOs work as a temporary restraining order and is valid for the shorter of either five court days or seven calendar days.

AB 2226 would require school districts to include among the package of information sent home to incoming 7th graders a sheet describing the risk factors of diabetes. More than one in three children in this age group have been found to be overweight and with signs of pre-diabetes. The sheet will include a description of the disease, risk factors, prevention methods, warning signs, screening and testing methods and a recommendation to parents to have their child tested should they display any of the warning signs or risk factors.

AB 2399—the California and Mexico Border Economic Infrastructure bill—would authorize a study on the availability of financing mechanisms for development projects along the border. A recent analysis found more than twelve agencies and commissions gather information but fail to share the findings.

Garcia stated, “We are well on our way to create jobs, give victims a voice and parents real time information to prevent their children from battling a horrible disease. These issues are priorities for all Californians and I am pleased my colleagues agree.”

These bills will be heard next on the Senate Floor, where if passed will go to the Governor’s desk for approval.