Katcho Achadjian lays out a game plan

by Bob Cuddy , San Luis Obispo Tribune

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian has announced his plans for legislation in the coming year, as a statewide consumer group issued a report faulting him for not protecting consumers.

Achadjian, a San Luis Obispo Republican and former county supervisor who is seeking his second term in the Legislature, stressed his support for bills that would have local impact.

Among them:

‘ Legislation that would establish a juvenile sports rehabilitation camp in San Luis Obispo County while creating exemptions to community care licensing regulations needed to set up the program. Currently these wards of the juvenile court are housed in other counties. County officials, including the Board of Supervisors, are eyeing vacant facilities at Camp Roberts and Camp San Luis Obispo as possible locations.

‘ A bill that would authorize counties to donate outdated computers to CalWorks, CalFresh, MediCal and other general relief recipients.

‘ A bill that would give fire departments access to the Department of Justice arson registry, which currently is open only to law enforcement.

As Achadjian was making known his support of these efforts, a statewide consumer group was issuing its annual report card on legislators’ votes over the past year.

Like other interest groups ‘ such as gun owners, property rights advocates and environmentalists ‘ the Consumer Federation of California tracks legislation that affects its particular concerns.

In this case, the federation highlighted 14 bills dealing with financial privacy protection, drug safety, insurance rate regulation and health care reform, among other issues. The group’s scorecard covered all 80 Assembly members and 40 state senators.

Achadjian came in with a score of 23 percent. Among the ‘wrong’ votes for which the Consumer Federation castigated him were votes against:

‘ Legislation to prohibit the sale of over-the-counter drugs as well as infant formula and baby food after the ‘use by’ date on the product label. The bill became law.

‘ A bill to prohibit a prospective employer from obtaining a job applicant’s credit report ‘if the report is not germane to job duties.’ That, too, was signed into law.

‘ A bill that would require those who operate oil and natural gas wells to provide information on ‘fracking,’ or hydraulic fracturing, for publication on the website of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, also received low marks from the Consumer Federation, coming in at 31 percent. Assemblyman Bill Monning, who is seeking to replace the retiring Blakeslee in the state Senate, scored 100 percent, one of 34 Assembly members and 10 senators to do so. All were Democrats.