Keri and Michelle are back, and (SPOILER ALERT!) their bill, AB 1784, cleared its first major hurdle, the Assembly Committee on Human Services – and on a unanimous, 7-0 vote, no less.
The hearing was the culmination all the prep work that Michelle and Keri talked about last week. But, despite all that prep work and positive feedback, the day was not without its stresses. Assembly Human Services was the first make or break moment for the bill. Coupling that with the fact that AB 1784’s fate was ultimately in the hands of the committee members and not in the control of Michelle and Keri, it’s understandable that they’d have a case of nerves.
But, it’s worth highlighting here that Keri and Michelle made a very smart decision in their planning for the Committee hearing by having Jen Rexroad, The Executive Director of the California Alliance of Caregivers, be one of the three people – the other two being Michelle and Assembly Member Maienschein – delivering testimony to the committee. When you’re working on a bill, it’s never easy to say, ‘I’m not the best voice for this right now,’ but Keri and Michelle clearly made the right strategic call by having someone who can speak for resource families up there to compliment Michelle – with her background in social work – and Assembly Member Maienschein.
And now, with Assembly Human Services in the rear view mirror, the next test is the Assembly Appropriations Committee. As Keri and Michelle note, the bill is destined for the Suspense File. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any drama or aren’t some very interesting developments. But we’ll leave those developments for next week’s episode.