California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Vetoes Senate Bill 801

by ICA News

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has stepped forward on behalf of sound public policy and acted in the best interests of the chiropractic profession and the public by vetoing the dangerous and disruptive Senate Bill 801. This legislation would have dramatically revised the way in which the chiropractic profession is regulated in the nation’s largest state, and would have placed a measure on the June 2008 election ballot for consideration by statewide voters, with election costs funded by the state’s chiropractic licensing fees. This election ballot measure, if it had not been vetoed by the Governor, would have required a massive expenditure of time, effort and resources on the part of the chiropractic profession to defeat.

ICA was informed by the Governor’s office of his veto action moments after it was made official. In his formal veto message, Governor Schwarzenegger stated:

California Governor Arnold SchwarzeneggerTo the Members of the California State Senate: I am returning Senate Bill 801 without my signature. This bill would bring the Board of Chiropractic Examiners under the auspices of the Department of Consumer Affairs, pending approval by California’s voters on the June 2008 ballot.

The Board of Chiropractic Examiners is currently working with the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide essential support services and correct any prior deficiencies. I do not feel it is necessary at this time to go through the expense of placing this measure on the ballot to essentially codify existing practice. I also do not support requiring the profession’s licensing fees to pay for the costs of placing this measure on the ballot.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

“The chiropractic profession and the public have been very well served by the Governor’s veto,” said ICA President Dr. John Maltby, himself a California resident who has been personally active and involved in this issue with the Governor and his staff. “There are no circumstances under which this legislation could be viewed as anything but against the best interests of consumers and chiropractors alike,” said Dr. Maltby. “It has been clearly politically motivated as a vehicle to attack the Governor and his Administration, in the worst, most mean spirited and partisan manner, and we deeply appreciate the Governor’s courageous action by vetoing this measure.”

Chiropractic’s traditional critics and competitors have attempted to use this issue as a means of discrediting the California Chiropractic Board and the profession at large, even as that very Board has acted dramatically to clean up a longstanding pattern of abuse and misdirection that has needlessly, arbitrarily and grievously harmed practitioners and consumers alike. It is clear that those same critics and competitors would have invested heavily in an election battle, mobilizing the massively deep pockets of the insurance industry and other adversarial interests, to strip chiropractic of the unique and independent status California voters gave the chiropractic profession many years ago.

“Chiropractic is stronger today because of the Governor’s wise and appropriate action on SB 801,” said Dr. Maltby. “ICA hopes that the chiropractic profession in California can move on, and focus on providing quality and timely patient care to the millions who need chiropractic so much, but we know that the realm of health care will remain a complex and highly competitive arena. It is certain that similar issues will surface in the future, and ICA has every confidence that Governor Schwarzenegger will continue to do the right thing for the people of our great state.”

International Chiropractors Association
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