January 2010 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011

THE HEALTHY WORKERS PROGRAM KICKS OFF

Beginning next month, Santa Clara County launches the Healthy Workers program, a historic step toward providing affordable health coverage for everyone in our community.

Healthy Workers, a voluntary program, gives small business employers the opportunity to offer medical coverage to their workers.  Small businesses asked me to help find a way they could afford to help provide their low wage workers medical coverage.  By participating in the Healthy Workers program they will have a tremendous advantage in attracting and keeping the best workers available in the market place.

The program is the product of Assembly Bill 12, legislation I authored in 2007 that was modeled after the first-in-the-nation Children’s Health Initiative (CHI). As a Santa Clara County supervisor, I helped push to establish CHI to ensure that children of low-income families would be able to stay healthy and slow down rising health costs. Today, CHI has received more than 160,000 enrollment applications and I hope the Healthy Workers program can be just as successful.

The cost of Healthy Workers health care coverage is funded by contributions from the employee, employer, county, and other available funds.

Once Healthy Workers begins Feb. 1, visit the Santa Clara Family Health Plan website for more information.

This program continues Santa Clara County’s reputation for finding innovative ways to provide medical coverage for our community despite a devastating recession.


CHANGING THE INTERCHANGE

A quick update to my previous e-newsletter: $32 million in state funding to streamline the congested Interstate 280 and 880 interchange came through last month.

I’m proud to have played a role in securing this funding that will help pay for construction of a safer interchange. The antiquated interchange has been a headache for drivers traveling to and from Valley Fair and Santana Row, especially during holiday season. To learn more about the I-280/880 project, click here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

To help get Californians back to work, I’m holding a “Workforce Trends and Employer Panel Breakfast’’ on Saturday, Jan. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Camden Community Center, 3369 Union Ave. in  San Jose.

Topics include employment trends, short- and long-term job opportunities, and discussions by employers. Click to RSVP.

I’m holding my annual Assembly District 24 Open House on Thursday, 4-6:30 p.m., Feb. 4., 100 Paseo de San Antonio, Suite 300, in downtown San Jose It’s a chance for you to see my office and meet my and my staff. And of course, we’ll be talking about state issues. Drop by!


YOUR CHANCE TO REDISTRICT CALIFORNIA

You can help draw the boundaries for the new legislative and Board of Equalization Districts.

The passage of Proposition 11, the Voters FIRST Act, has transferred the authority to redraw districts from the Legislature to a new 14-person independent commission.

To be eligible, you must be a registered voter who has been continuously registered in California with the same political party or with no political party for the five years prior to being appointed to the commission. In addition, applicants must also have voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections.

Applications for the commission are now being accepted until Feb. 12. For more information, visit www.WeDrawTheLines.ca.gov or call (866) 356-5217.


THE REVERSE  911 SYSTEM: SIGN UP FOR SAFETY’S SAKE

San Jose is joining the new Countywide Emergency Notification System, a system capable of  sending thousands of texts and voice messages to land-line phones using existing 411 and 911 databases.

But the system cannot automatically connect with cell phones, PDAs, computers, or devices for the hearing impaired unless the corresponding e-mail addresses or cell phone numbers have been registered with the system.

Visit www.AlertSCC.com to register on-line – it only takes a few minutes to add that extra margin of safety in the event of a catastrophe.


OUR CHILDREN

Last month, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health released the findings of its new California Index of Child and Youth Well-Being. The California Index found that in general the health and well-being of our state’s kids has improved since the mid-1990s but some disparities persist. Also, the index warned the progress made over the past years may be undermined by the current down economy.

To reach its findings, the index analyzed 16 important indicators that measure family economic well-being, health, safety and behavioral concerns, education attainment, and emotional well-being. Click to learn more.