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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.

With another flurry of policy committee hearings, here are the public interest bills CALPIRG is supporting in the California Legislature for the week of April 4th-8th. Follow the links to read our letters of support.

Open, Transparent Government: 

SB 1349, authored by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, would direct the Secretary of State to modernize Cal-Access, California’s online system for campaign finance filing and disclosure. This necessary upgrade would make the system more reliable, better inform voters, and simplify compliance by campaigns. Modernizing Cal-Access would increase the transparency of campaign financing without requiring new disclosure rules, simply by providing easier public access to the information that campaigns already report. SB 1349 is up in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments on Tuesday, April 5.

Health Care: 

SB 908, authored by Ed Hernandez would help hold insurers accountable for unreasonable health insurance rate hikes. The bill would require companies to notify their customers if regulators had determined that their rates were unreasonable and unjustified. These policyholders will then be granted a 60-day period (during which they will be covered at the prior rate) to search for coverage under a different plan or provider even outside of a specified open enrollment window. This bill will help Californians obtain the health insurance they need at fair prices, and encourage best practices among insurers. SB 908 is up in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 6.

SB 1135, authored by Sen. Bill Monning, would require 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, April 6.

Consumer Protection: 

SB 1150, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, would stop mortgage servicers or lenders from exploiting a loophole in the CA Homeowner’s Bill of Rights that puts surviving heirs in danger of foreclosure and expulsion from their homes upon assuming mortgage loans. Surviving heirs deserve the same strong due process protections as the Homeowners Bill of Rights gave the original borrower. SB 1150 is up in the Senate Committee on Banking and Finance on Wednesday, April 6. 

Public Health:

SB 1383, authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, Ben Allen, Loni Hancock, and Jerry Hill, would require California to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, or "super pollutants" that exacerbate climate change and harm public health in California. Specifically, this bill will require the state board to approve and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions of shortlived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2030. SB 1383 is up in the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality on Wednesday, April 6.

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.