Bonta Introduces Legislative Package to Improve Access to High-Quality Education and Health Care

Friday, February 19, 2016

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced a package of bills this week to improve the quality of early childhood education, explore innovative ways to create universal, tuition-free higher education, and increase access to health care in the state’s most underserved communities. As Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, Assemblymember Bonta knows that investments in the health and education of our communities pay massive dividends that benefit all and are among the wisest California can make.

AB 2410 will help prepare children for kindergarten through high-quality early childhood education.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in school and go on to the career of their dreams, and that means being ready for kindergarten on Day One. The Legislature now invests over $1.6 billion per year in State Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten, but accountability is tied to processes, not results. AB 2410 defines kindergarten readiness so the state can accurately track progress, and it also empowers local providers to focus on the unique needs of their students.

Bonta also introduced AB 2434 to develop a plan for universal, tuition-free higher education in California.

“California’s world class universities allow our state to lead the nation in innovation, from high tech to biotech and beyond. However, in-state tuition at both the University of California and the California State University has more than tripled in the past 20 years, while enrollment has not kept up with demand, stifling our students with devastating debt and limiting their future opportunities. AB 2434 sets California on the path to universal, tuition-free higher education.”

AB 2216 builds on California’s aggressive implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by addressing the shortage of doctors in underserved areas.

“While I am encouraged by the great strides California has made implementing the ACA, we must ensure that health coverage translates into real and timely access to care. California’s ratio of primary care physicians participating in Medi-Cal is approximately half of the federal recommendation---a problem that is hitting vulnerable and disadvantaged communities the hardest. AB 2216 will increase access to care in those communities by expanding and supporting community-based primary care training programs to expand access to care in underserved areas of the state,” Bonta concluded.

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Health Committee, the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and in the second Extraordinary Session, the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Budget, Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, Natural Resources, and Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.