Today’s OC Register clarifies a radio ad that former Assemblyman Jose Solorio is airing in his campaign against Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen in their race for the California 34th State Senate District seat. It revolves around a recent agenda item before the Board of Supervisors (see MOORLACH UPDATE — OCFA Study — March 26, 2014 and MOORLACH UPDATE — ALS/CCW/CCP/AOT — March 5, 2014). Supervisor Nelson and I were not amused with a fee that the Orange County Fire Authority has been charging. We were in the minority in opposing its continuance and its lack of full disclosure.
First, Supervisor Nguyen has a habit of abstaining or voting against any fee increases, even when they are justified and appropriate. In this case, she did not vote for a new fee or a current fee increase.
Second, Jose Solorio was the only Orange County specific Assemblyman in June of 2011 to vote for SB 89. This act of treason alone makes him unworthy and unqualified to serve this County in any elected capacity in the future. To refresh your memory, the successful passage of the budget trailer bill SB 89 has cost the County $150 million and reduced its revenues by $73 million per year. For a refresher course, see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 701 — September 14, 2013, MOORLACH UPDATE — Chair Nelson — January 9, 2013, MOORLACH UPDATE — VLFAA — April 6, 2012, MOORLACH UPDATE — R&T Code Sec. 97.70 — November 15, 2011, MOORLACH UPDATE — BOS Actions — September 14, 2011, and MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register — September 3, 2011 (another Labor Day Weekend UPDATE).
It would appear that Jose Solorio just can’t seem to get much right, and his campaign is being called out for it.
OC state Senate candidate attacks foe in commercial
A radio ad from Jose Solorio wrongly implies that Supervisor Janet Nguyen voted to increase a fee charged by paramedics.
BY MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER
Former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, a Santa Ana Democrat, has rolled out a series of radio ads in his campaign against county Supervisor Janet Nguyen, a Garden Grove Republican, in the race to fill the open state Senate District 34 seat. “911,” which attacks Nguyen, is one of those ads.
Length: 30 seconds.
Script: “Supervisor Janet Nguyen used a loophole to get around Proposition 13’s property taxpayer protection. The Register reported on March 13 this year that Nguyen voted for ‘an additional fee of nearly $400’ on seniors and those who need ‘advance life support’ from paramedics.”
Analysis: In March, county supervisors set the terms for ambulance companies wanting to bid for the right to cover parts of the county served by the Orange County Fire Authority. The disputed issue that led to a 3-2 vote was how the ambulance companies would bill those they transported.
Previously, when a patient was in serious condition and needed “advanced life support” attention from paramedics, there was a surcharge of nearly $400 in addition to what was charged for routine ambulance transport. Both of those charges were billed by the ambulance company, which then forwarded the surcharge to the fire authority.
Two supervisors – Shawn Nelson and John Moorlach – opposed the surcharge and wanted to strip it from what the ambulance companies collected under the new contract being bid. Under the proposal by the two, the fire authority would still have the power to make the charge – it adds about $4.5 million to the department budget annually – but it would have to bill the patients directly if it wanted the money.
The board majority, including Nguyen, voted to have the new contract have all collections continue to be done by ambulance company, in part to avoid the bureaucracy of billing by two entities for one trip to the hospital.
The new contract does not add new charges.
Proposition 13 limits property tax hikes and requires two-thirds voter approval for most new taxes. But the type of “fee for services provided” that the fire authority is the beneficiary of is not uncommon. Other similar fees, which are imposed without voter approval, include civil marriage ceremony fees and fees for using public campgrounds.
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