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Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.

This week is a busy week for policy committee hearings in the California Legislature. Here’s a short list of CALPIRG-supported bills that are being heard in committee this week (click on the links to read our letters of support):

Consumer Protection: 

SB 1053, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, will prohibit discrimination against renters who rely on housing subsidies. Such discrimination frustrates the central aim of rental assistance programs and increases the harm and severity of California’s housing crisis. SB 1053 is up in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 29th.

SB 899, authored by Sen. Ben Hueso, would prohibit vendors for charging different prices for goods simply because they are marketed to men or women. No one should have to pay more because of their gender. SB 899 is up in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 29th.

Health Care:

SB 1135, authored by Sen. Bill Monning, requires health plans and insurers to notify consumers about their right to timely care and language assistance. Knowing their rights will help Californians access high-quality health care that meets their linguistic and medical needs. SB 1135 is up in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, March 30th.

AB 2711, authored by Asm. David Chiu, would require the Department of General Services to provide a report on bulk purchasing of prescription drug. Given the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs, we should be doing more to ensure California’s government agencies are getting the best deals possible. AB 2711 is up in the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review on Wednesday, March 30th.

Open, Transparent Government:

AB 2002, authored by Asm. Mark Stone, Toni Atkins, and Marc Levine, would require paid consultants who lobby on behalf of projects that come before the California Coastal Commission to register as lobbyists with the state government and publicly report their client, their pay, and the issue discussed. We believe that increased transparency of lobbying activities could help to bolster public faith in the Commission. AB 2002 is up in the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting on Wednesday, March 30th.

SB 816, authored by Sen. Jerry Hill, aims to prevent corruption on the Board of Equalization, which adjudicates tax disputes in California. The bill will prevent Board members from influencing cases if they have received a contribution of any size from a party involved in a case before the Board within the last 12 months, and require them to disclose these gifts. By doing so, transparency and accountability will increase, ensuring that Californians’ tax disputes are decided fairly and impartially. SB 816 is up in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday, March 30th.

Public Health:

SB 887, authored by Sen. Fran Pavley, will help protect public health and safety in California from the dangers associated with natural gas storage. The bill will provide stronger safety regulations and oversight of natural gas storage wells to help ensure the Aliso Canyon leak does not happen again. AB 887 is up in Senate Natural Resources and Water on Tuesday, March 29th.

You can read the full list of our 2016 Legislative Priorities here.

Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.