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August 17, 2011

Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on S.B. 161


Tomorrow the Assembly Appropriations Committee will take up S.B. 161, a bill that would institutionalize inadequate school healthcare for our public school students who are already bearing the burden of our state's financial woes.
 
This bill takes a good idea - keeping kids safe - and turns it into a potentially dangerous nightmare.
 
S.B. 161 allows teachers, gym coaches, school bus drivers and others to administer a drug called Diastat to kids at school who are having seizures. Sounds good on paper - until you know the facts and realize that California law currently only allows specially trained firefighters and paramedics to administer this drug.
 
S.B. 161 would strip away existing protections and ask math teachers, gym coaches and bus drivers among others to take on the responsibility of applying this treatment to students. Without proper medical training, kids' lives could be put in jeopardy.
 
This bill places school children at risk and puts both the school and staff in a very precarious position.
 
We urge members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee to vote down S.B. 161.

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