A new award on pain and suffering- POLITICO

MICRA MANIA: In 1975, the annual cost of tuition for a California resident in UC Berkeley was $630you can rent a studio in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill for $105 a month and tickets to see Queen live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is only $6.50.

This is also the year California enacted the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act., better known as MICRA, a law that sets a pain and suffering cap for medical practice cases at $250,000. He hasn’t moved since. Until now.

The Assembly today approved Assembly Bill 35 from Member of the Assembly Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) and state Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – the result of negotiations between lawmakers, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and injured patients and survivors of loved ones who died from medical malpractice.

Once Governor Gavin Newsom signed itAs expected, supporters of a statewide initiative to raise the cap will withdraw the measure from the November ballot as part of a deal they reached with the Legislative Assembly.

The historic effort has gone through the two houses, draw praise from both sides of the aisle and make it look deceptively easy.

It was anything but.

  • MICRA has been the target of intense lobbying, led by an influential coalition created more than three decades ago to protect it.
  • In 1997, lawmakers introduced two separate bills to increase or even eliminate the cap in some cases, but both died. So did a 1999 bill that would have provided a cost-of-living adjustment to the cap and a similar bill introduced in 2014.
  • A 2014 statewide initiative to raise the cap to $1.1 million failed at the polls after supporters of the measure packed it with additional rules such as mandatory drug testing. for doctors. These inflammatory provisions sent groups of medics and other deep-pocketed adversaries into high gear.

But now with skyrocketing inflation and the threat of another ballot initiative, even MICRA supporters saw the writing on the wall. So they found a compromise:

  • Starting Jan. 1, the pain and suffering cap for non-fatal cases will increase to $350,000, phasing in to $750,000 over 10 years.
  • The limit for cases involving the death of a patient increases to $500,0000 – and $1 million over the decade.
  • The maximum rewards would then continue to increase by 2% each year.

Dollar limits are not as high as the ballot measure would have allowed, but the deal avoids a costly campaign.

It also produced an uncommon kumbaya moment. “Members”, member of the Assembly Mary Waldron (R-Escondido) told fellow lawmakers today, “This is a rare occasion where everyone involved has come to an agreement.”

GOOD THURSDAY AFTERNOON! Welcome to California Playbook PM, a POLITICO newsletter that serves as an afternoon temperature check on California politics and a preview of what our political reporters are watching. We will go from Monday to Thursday until June 9 before returning in August for the final legislative stretch. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Send an e-mail to [email protected] and [email protected] or send a yell on Twitter. DMs are open!

FEEL OF INFLATION: Newsom’s office this afternoon announced an $18 billion inflation relief package to help offset rising costs that continue to plague Californians. The administration wants to spend $2.7 billion on emergency rent assistance, send $1,500 in bonuses to hospital and skilled nursing facility workers and spend $1.2 billion to pay utility bills suffering audiences of Californians, among others.

Perhaps most notable is the $11.5 billion in direct rebates to registered car owners that the governor is offering. Newsom pitched that same idea in January, but received a halfhearted response from legislative leaders, who said discounts shouldn’t be tied to car ownership because it’s not fair. The administration is now doubling down on its proposal to send $400 to vehicle owners (limit two per person) despite no progress with the Legislative Assembly so far. The first Californians could see payments would be in September, and they could be limited to cars of a certain value, although that number has not yet been negotiated, said HD Palmer, a spokesman for the administration’s finance ministry.

WIENER’S VACCINE BILL PASS IN SENATE: California state senators today narrowly passed a controversial bill that would allow minors 12 and older to be vaccinated without a parent’s permission, provided the vaccine meets certain federal agency criteria. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

Proponents argued that the Senate Bill 866 by the senator. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) could save lives, allowing minors to protect themselves from infectious diseases like Covid if a parent is unable to consent – or unwilling. The Senate debate turned emotional on Thursday morning with opponents pleading with lawmakers to respect parental rights. Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) raised concerns about vaccine side effects, while Sen. Rosilicia Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) gave a passionate testimony about how parents know what is best for their child and should be able to make those decisions.

But supporters of the bill pushed back, noting that not all parents act in the best interests of the child.

“There are far too many children who can’t talk to their parents, for whatever reason, or they fear they will be harmed if they tell their parents, or their parents just won’t listen to them. “Wiener said. “And for those children, they should be able to protect their own health.”

RAISE THE CHALLENGES: The campaign for an $18-an-hour minimum wage ballot initiative said it was submitting enough signatures (more than one million) to participate in the November ballot. Prepare for a costly fight to determine how much money Californians make, with unions and wealthy progressives Joe Sanberg should bolster a measure that will likely elicit strong business opposition. — Jeremy White

BUSCAINO OUT: The closely watched Los Angeles mayoral race lost a candidate today, with a member of the city council Joe Buscaino give up to support the billionaire developer Rick Caruso, with whom he said he agreed on the “manual for solving the city’s pressing problems”. Buscaino’s departure leaves Caruso and Rep. Karen Bass leading the first two primaries on June 7. Bass, a prominent Democrat once seen as a shoo-in for mayor, found herself struggling to edge out Caruso, a Republican-turned-Democrat who is running as a tough-on-crime candidate in a year when voters are particularly concerned about public safety and homelessness.

Compiled by Juhi Doshi

San Francisco school district chooses new superintendent who seeks to end divisive politicsby Jill Tucker of SF Chronicle: “Superintendent of Hayward Schools has become San Francisco’s first choice for the new superintendent, ending a months-long nationwide search to find a leader to take charge of the struggling district as it emerges from more than two years of controversy and upheaval.

The school board announced Matt Wayne as the sole finalist at a Thursday morning news conference after a lengthy process that included interviewing multiple candidates for the job, but the board still needs to finalize the contract.

Edison reports ‘circuit activity’ amid coastal fire that destroyed 20 homes in Laguna Niguelby Hannah Fry of LATimes, Luke Money, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde“Authorities were trying to determine the cause of a bushfire that burned at least 20 homes in Laguna Niguel on Thursday, fueled by winds and dry conditions caused by California’s intense drought.

The probe is still in its early stages, but Southern California Edison released an initial report to state regulators saying “our information reflects circuit activity occurring near the reported time of the fire.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) was subpoenaed by the panel on January 6. (LATimes)

Sacramento County supervisors voted to direct staff write a prescription for potential cannabis tax measure as a first step to legalizing cannabis businesses. (Bee Bag)

If voters choose to recall SF District Attorney Chesa Boudinhere is a list of potential replacements. (SF Chronicle)

Richard L. Militello