Officials with Sonoma County's startup public power provider said legislation recently introduced in Sacramento poses a major threat to the agency and others like it seeking to launch across the state.
The bill would fundamentally change how community-based power providers enroll new customers.
Assemblyman Marc Levine is seeking support in Sacramento for a bill that would make the county of Marin, San Rafael and Novato the only jurisdictions in the state exempt from a state law designed to promote the development of affordable housing.
Supporters of the bill say it would correct a legal misnomer, which incorrectly classifies Marin as a metropolitan instead of a suburban county. The bill would ease pressure on the three Marin jurisdictions to zone some properties for as many as 30 units per acre.
The Palm Drive Hospital board has scheduled a special meeting Friday to establish criteria for evaluating proposals being put forth by local doctors and hospital supporters to keep the financially troubled Sebastopol facility open.
The board will also consider a resolution to authorize the acceptance of a loan of up to $1.8 million from Sonoma County to plan for post-closure operations. The district's parcel tax revenue would serve as collateral, hospital officials said.
“It's a loan from the County of Sonoma that's based on our tax revenue to fund the transition,” said Palm Drive CEO Thomas Harlan.
One lawmaker in Sacramento wants to help the troubled Palm Drive Hospital get back on its feet. Assemblyman Marc Levine is pushing Assembly Bill-582 to help save Palm Drive Hospital, in Sebastopol. Levine says the bill will lower interest rates on refinanced bonds. The hospital in Sebastopol voted to shut the facility down on Monday, resulting in the loss of over 250 jobs.
SEBASTOPOL — With the decision to suspend all core services, including emergency care, at Palm Drive Hospital by the end of this month following its second bankruptcy filing in seven years, health officials are now scrambling to come up with a viable health care model for west Sonoma County.
But before any new model or new ownership structure can occur, hospital administrators and the district board that oversees the facility are similarly dealing with more immediate issues, such as restructured interest rates to bond holders and mountings losses.
Assembly Bill 582 (Levine) Would Provide Debt Relief for Palm Drive Healthcare District
Today, the Senate unanimously approved AB 582 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). This legislation will lower interest payments for Palm Drive Healthcare District when it refinances its debt. The District serves western Sonoma County. Built in 1941, Palm Drive Hospital is a community facility located in Sebastopol and operated by the District. Current financing relies on high interest rate bonds.
“The decision earlier this week to close the hospital was alarming. Palm Drive Hospital is a critical component of the health care system in West County and is a key economic driver in Sebastopol,” said Levine. “The entire community is now grappling with developing strategies to bring back Palm Drive health care services as soon as possible. This legislation will make better use of existing taxpayer dollars to potentially save more than $6.5 million over the life of the bonds.”
Assembly Bill 2098 (Levine) Would Require Courts to Consider Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Cases Where Courts have Discretion in Sentencing Veterans
Yesterday, the Assembly approved AB 2098 (Levine) on a bipartisan vote of 73-1. AB 2098 will require courts to consider military service induced mental health problems, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), as mitigating factors prior to sentencing in certain criminal cases.
AB 2488 Will Allow Limited Wine and Cider Tasting at Certified Farmers' Markets
Today the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously approved Assembly Bill 2488 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) to allow limited wine and cider tasting at certified farmers' markets.
Provides Needed Assistance to Senior and Disabled Citizens
SACRAMENTO – Seniors and disabled individuals in California may soon be eligible for property tax relief under legislation that would reestablish the Senior Citizens and Disabled Citizens Property-Tax Postponement (PTP) Program. Assembly Bill 2231, co-authored by Assemblymembers Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), and Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) was approved with bipartisan support in the Assembly Local Government Committee Wednesday.
AB 2231 would reinstate the PTP program, which over its 32 years in operation, helped almost 6,000 California seniors and disabled citizens. The program was eliminated in 2009 as part of budget reductions to the state’s General Fund programs.
4th Grade Class Calls on State Legislators to End Driftnets Along California Coast
Assemblymember Marc Levine Visits Class Today
Fairfax, Calif. (April 4, 2014) – Today students from teacher Laura Honda’s Fourth Grade at Manor School in Fairfax will present a stack of letters and drawings to Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) calling for an end to drifnets along the California coast. The students took action after hearing a presentation by Turtle Island Restoration Network on the need to end the indiscriminate capture and killing of marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and sharks, in mile-long drift gillnets off California's coast. Assemblymember Levine is joint author of a new state bill that would end the use of driftnets, AB 2019. The first hearing on the bill is April 29 in Sacramento.
“These engaged 4th graders realize that they can make a difference with their art and letters,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network in Olema, Calif. “Their voices will bolster support for legislation to protect ocean wildlife from capture in driftnets once and for all."