A new law will compel creditors to recognize coerced debt if a survivor can provide proof such as a police report, a court order specifying financial abuse, identity theft report or letter from a professional such as a domestic violence advocate. Creditors can also seek repayment of the debt from the person responsible for it.
Research suggests financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. More than half of domestic violence survivors experience coerced or fraudulent debt of over $10,000 a year.
Even in California, a state where voters overwhelmingly decided to protect the right to reproductive freedom in the constitution this November, many rural residents struggle to access abortion services.
These residents sometimes live hundreds of miles away from the nearest abortion clinic and lack the resources to trek to another part of the state.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are alcohol-related disorders thought to be the most common birth defects in the western world.
A recently passed California law should make it easier for children affected by these disorders to access special education services. The law goes into effect in January.
As an abled parent of a disabled child, I’m learning to help my son manage accessibility burdens because our communities and institutions aren’t designed with him in mind.
We can do better for children with disabilities by building more accessible, more inclusive communities and by teaching them how to assert their rights in situations that aren’t in compliance with the law.
California’s expansions of Medi-Cal to cover most low-income children and adults are a major step towards health equity in California.
But expanding health coverage is only the beginning. Now it’s time for California to lead the way again by shoring up quality and access within the system.
Almost all children who experience housing insecurity also experience trauma because of the stress of their situation. California and the federal government recognize this, and require schools to provide these children with additional support.
But experts believe tens of thousands of California children experiencing homelessness fall through the cracks and receive little to no help from their schools.
During the 2019-20 school year, close to 1.3 million children in the nation’s public schools were identified as homeless. But that figure may vastly underestimate the actual number. A Center for Public Integrity analysis found evidence that thousands of school districts are undercounting.
Experts who spoke with Public Integrity said that confusion surrounding the McKinney-Vento law and who qualifies as “doubled-up” can leave many students unidentified and not receiving the support they need in school.
California’s rural north has significantly worse health care access than the rest of the state.
The barriers to treatment are even higher when residents try to access care from specialist physicians. When patients or families experience difficulties accessing needed medical care, it multiplies existing social needs, increasing patients’ risk of things like substance use, housing uncertainty and domestic violence.
Bonnie Burns was shocked into action the first time she learned that seniors were being coerced into Medicare Advantage plans that either didn’t suit their needs, misled them about costs, or lured them with benefits they wouldn’t actually receive.
A health care advocate for 40 years, Burns was outraged that a health insurance option intended to broaden coverage choices for California elders was instead being misused by unscrupulous marketers to seek profits.
I recently introduced Senate Bill 387 to help teachers and school-based staff receive training on how to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis.
Although teachers and school-based staff are not trained mental health professionals, they are in a unique position to support youth who need help. By equipping teachers with the training needed to recognize the signs of someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, we’ll help ensure students don’t slip through the cracks.
The legacy of redlining in Fresno isn’t just linked to housing access. It also has deadly effects on air quality and preterm birth.
People living in substandard housing, a problem tied to redlining, are more likely to be exposed to wildfire smoke. This exposure can hurt pregnant people and the children they carry.