Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Saving a child: I wanted to point readers to this Sacramento Bee column by Marjie Lundstrom before it dropped off the Bee's Web site.
The article is something of an ode to what good laws can do. Last week a mother dropped her newborn child off at a hospital -- instead of into a trash can. The "Safe Arms for Newborns" law allows parents to leave babies at hospitals within 72 hours of the birth without facing prosecution for child abandonment.
It is especially ironic that this latest unidentified mom chose to surrender her baby in San Bernardino, much of which is served by Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte. It was Brulte who sponsored the Safe Arms law, which took effect in January 2001.
But it was Gov. Gray Davis who nearly torpedoed that law last year by eliminating any money to publicize it. Faced with bad press and a tough re-election bid, Davis suddenly "found" $500,000 earlier this year to help get the word out.
Then he assembled a news conference to trumpet the good news.
Set aside that small measure of disgust for a moment, and harken back to April when Davis restored funding for state trauma centers.
To quote once again:
The January media advisory promised a dramatic tale: "Governor Gray Davis to save state trauma centers from budget ax."
What it didn't say: The governor's own Department of Finance had put the $25 million on the chopping block.
Three months later, the governor told 400 doctors who belong to the powerful California Medical Association that he would expand a health care program for children. He didn't mention his original plans to phase out the program.
Notice a pattern?