In My Own Words

SB 877 would give California answers to many violent deaths

September 27, 2016

By Richard Pan and Lois Wolk

Somebody’s friend, parent or child – an average of 16 people each day – dies violently in California. These deaths are investigated by police, coroners, doctors and others. There may be a story in the newspaper or on television at which we shake our heads at the tragedy of it all. But it doesn’t have to stop there; we can prevent violent deaths if we have the data to understand the root causes.

New Vaccine Law Making Schools Safer by Re-establishing Community Immunity

August 5, 2016

In the coming weeks, as summer vacation gives way to school, more than a half million children across California will take their seats in kindergarten classrooms for the first time.

In past years, about 35,000 began the school year without the benefit of vaccines that guard themselves and their classmates against deadly communicable diseases. But this school year will be different, and for many parents, it offers hope for safer schools.

Recruiting to Fill California’s Diversity Gap

June 9, 2016

I have been fighting for a state workforce that reflects the diversity of our state and community. With many state workers approaching retirement and an increase in available state jobs, I wanted to be sure the opportunity to get state jobs included minority communities in the Sacramento region.

Last summer I called the state’s Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and Government Operations to a hearing at the state capitol, along with employee and civil rights leaders, to ask what was being done to achieve a diverse workforce.

Giving Every California Youth a Fair Shot at Success

April 27, 2016

My parents immigrated from Taiwan to the United States to obtain an education that allowed my family to be in the middle class.  My parents worked hard to contribute to the prosperity of this country and give their children the opportunity to be successful professionals.  In California, we have invested in the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and our community colleges so all Californians can reach their potential and contribute to the prosperity of our great state.  Collectively, we recognize that California’s most valuable resource is our human talent.

October 22, 2015

Legislators were skeptical, and some reporters thought it was a trick. We were proposing progressive social policy to help farmworkers get health care that would actually subsidize the state’s general fund, not the other way around.

But with Senate Bill 145, we proved the impossible was possible. And Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the legislation into law for the next five years.

Dental Care Should Be a Reality for Our Children

October 15, 2015

Benjamin Franklin said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that doesn’t ring more true than with dental care.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 40 percent of children have decay by the time they reach kindergarten.

Hometown Heroes

September 25, 2015

The entire Sacramento region is a community of many heroes.  We see neighbors and loved ones taking action everyday so others can be healthy and safe. On September 11, 14 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more than 10,000 people in our community came together and honored three of our own who showed absolute courage by preventing a terrorist attack on a train in France.  We are still beaming with pride. 

State Fair Offers Best of Our State

August 5, 2015

What’s not to love about the California State Fair? Whether you come for the splash dogs, concerts, cooking demonstrations, scientific wonders, award-winning California wines or the funnel cake, the fair brings the best our state has to offer, right in our own backyard.

Vaccines are safe

June 26, 2015

When I ran for the State Senate, I pledged to work to make our communities safe and healthy. Shortly after being sworn in, measles spread from Disneyland across California and the country because too many children were not vaccinated against measles and other preventable contagious diseases. To prevent future outbreaks, I authored legislation, SB277, to require school children be vaccinated, unless a physician believes vaccination is not appropriate for the child.

April 14, 2015

Sometimes there are miracles in medicine. One of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in medical history was made 60 years ago last Sunday. The world learned that a vaccine for polio developed by a young scientist named Jonas Salk was safe and effective.

SB 947 will focus staff time on moving families into the workforce and cut transportation expenses

September 29, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 947 to reduce red tape in the application process for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program was signed by the Governor today. 

Since 2009, applicants for the CalFresh program, which offers food to families in need, have had the opportunity to be interviewed over the telephone.  Conversely, applicants for the CalWORKs program must be interviewed in-person, even in counties that would rather conduct interviews over the phone to improve efficiencies and better utilize limited staff time.

SB 1189 Prohibits Law Enforcement from Entering Autopsy Room When Individual Died in their Care & States Forensic Autopsies Must be Conducted by Medical Experts

September 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A bill jointly authored by Dr. Richard Pan and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, SB 1189 to ensure autopsies are conducted only by licensed physicians and forensic autopsy reports are accurate and unbiased has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

September 27, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A bill authored by Dr. Richard Pan and principle co-authored by Senator Bill Monning, which would allow California to partner at the federal level to help prevent violent deaths, including gun deaths, was signed by the Governor today.

SB 877 requires California to maintain a comprehensive data-tracking system on violent deaths in the state and to participate in the federal program to collect data, the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). SB 877 is sponsored by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists.