Last week CAM officers continued to build relationships with the members of the Senate and Assembly Business and Professions Committees.
We were accompanied by our lobbyists from Paul Hastings, as well as our extremely effective junior lobbyist, baby Lucía, pictured here at the Capitol with CAM president Constance Rock.
We met with Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, who is authoring AB 1308: Midwifery, and had the opportunity to hear her perspectives and goals with the bill as well as share our own. While we were unable to secure the specifics of the bill in this meeting, Assemblymember Bonilla committed to CAM that the legislation will be positive for midwives. Two of her own children were born with midwives and she understands the importance of the care that midwives offer to mothers and babies. The bill is set for hearing on April 23rd, and a CAM representative will be present to testify.
We then had a productive meeting with staff and other stakeholders, working through the wording of the next version of the AB 1308. The legislative process is unpredictable, and bills change quickly and often, but we are optimistic that some of CAM's legislative priorities will be addressed as the bill is amended.
We also met with the office of Senator Price regarding the sunset review bill for the Medical Board, SB 304. We brought to their attention the provision allowing CNMs to supervise student LMs into the bill, and we have been informed that language authorizing CNMs to supervise student LMs has been added. Good news for students in California! SB 304 will be heard in committee on April 29th.
There is still much work to be done, but each time we enter a legislative office and make connections with staff who really 'get' the reality of the maternity care crisis in the US, we feel more confident that change will come for families and midwives in California over the next several years.
For our legislation to be effective, we'll need the support of you and consumers around the state. In the near future, we'll be asking for your help with key action steps, from calls, letter writing, and legislative visits to providing support for the newly forming consumer group California Families For Access to Midwives
. For now, you can show your support by sharing this update with your California midwifery e-mail lists, local birth groups, and anyone you think should be kept up-to-date on this important legislative work.