May 26, 2022
California Federation of Republican Women
Janet Price, President
Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee
Karen Contreras, Gretchen Cox, Elaine Freeman,
Theresa Speake, and Cheryl Sullivan
AB-35 – Civil Damages: Medical Malpractice
Existing law, referred to as the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA), prohibits an attorney from contracting for or collecting a contingency fee for representing any person seeking damages in connection with an action for injury or damage against a health care provider based upon alleged professional negligence in excess of specified limits.
This bill would recast those provisions, allowing for contingency fees based on several factors. Existing law provides that in any action against a health care provider based upon professional negligence, the injured plaintiff is entitled to recover noneconomic losses up to $250,000 to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other nonpecuniary damage. This bill removes the $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages and expands the recast provisions to include an action for injury against a health care institution, as defined. The bill would increase the applicable limitation based upon whether the action for injury involved wrongful death. This bill specifies that these limitations would increase by $40,000 each January 1st for 10 years and beginning on January 1, 2034, the applicable limitations on noneconomic damages for personal injury and for wrongful death would be adjusted for inflation on January 1st of each year by 2%.
This bill would also revise how awarded payments could be made to the plaintiff. This bill would specify that statements, writings, or benevolent gestures expressing sympathy shall be confidential, privileged, protected, not subject to subpoena, discovery, or disclosure, and shall not be used or admitted into evidence in any civil, administrative, regulatory, licensing, or disciplinary board, agency, or body action or proceeding, and shall not be used or admitted in relation to any sanction, penalty, or other liability, or evidence of an admission of liability or for any other purpose.
THIS BILL WAS SENT TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK ON 5/19.
SB 1484 – Income Taxes: Credits: Qualified First-Year Wages: Homeless Youth: Foster or Former Foster Youth
This bill would allow private-sector employers to obtain a tax credit for hiring foster youth or former foster youth. The bill takes a preventative approach that invests in youth before they become chronically homeless, giving them a better chance to improve their life. It also helps provide businesses and the state with a well-trained workforce and provides a tax credit for employers. The credit would be applied against a business’s taxable liability in the amount of 40% of a qualified worker’s wages for the first year of employment up to $2,400. California youth make up a significant portion of the state’s total homeless population. One way to end the homelessness cycle is by having a stable job.
The pathway to employment for foster youth is a step in the right direction.
UPDATE – AB 243 – Personal Income tax: Deduction: Medical Expenses
This bill died. Just when you thought our legislature was going to pass a bill that would benefit workers, especially given the massive tax surplus on hand, they didn’t. The bill would have allowed an individual to deduct from state tax filings medical/dental expenses exceeding 4% of their adjusted gross income. Currently, only amounts exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income are deductible. (This had the potential to reduce the amount of revenue received by the State, reducing their income. Can’t have that, right?)
To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
California Legislative Portal links – Express your support or opposition to a bill directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW) – click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for the tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”.