Good news! Governor Schwarzenegger signed the budget on Friday, February 20, 2009. He made $600 million in further cuts but, fortunately, none of the additional cuts affect our Bureau. The trailer bills also passed with no mention of us. So for the time being, we are in the clear! Thank you for all of your support – in donating time and money, energizing your friends and patients and being responsive to our requests.
Of course, the proposed Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) restructuring effort that included the elimination of the Bureau has not disappeared. We could see it (or another version of it) as soon as April, especially if the expected revenues do not come in.
The good thing is that we have made a lot of important contacts in Sacramento and have educated a lot of people about Naturopathic Medicine. In addition to our many meetings, every legislator received at least one letter and newsletter from us, on top of the hundreds of handwritten and "Capwiz" letters that went out from our patients and friends. And, perhaps most importantly, we have created a close relationship with the DCA, such that they now have a much better understanding of Naturopathic Medicine and our need to be licensed. When the proposals do come round again, we expect to be part of the conversation and not end up in such a difficult position.
Katherine Martinez Kleine
California Naturopathic Doctors Association