By Don Burns, Legislative Representative
We continue to make progress in the legislature although, due to the change of administration, the present legislative season is certainly more challenging. We have lost a few friends in staff positions but we now are concentrating on creating new contacts.
AB-467 (Dutra, accessible ticket machines) successfully passed unanimously through the legislature. Although the implementation of this bill is set for January 1, 2005, some rapid transit systems are already installing talking ticket vending machines. On Feb. 14 the San Fernando Valley chapter will spotlight one of these talking machines, which is located near the NFBC office. Federationists will meet at the location of this ticket vending machine along with legislators, community leaders and transit officials to show appreciation for the success of this project.
Because of the current budget crunch, AB-1010 (Yee, forgiveness loans for V.I. teachers) will not pass through the legislature. However, Assemblymember Yee (Democrat) and Assemblymember Runner (Republican) are joint authors of an Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR). This resolution must go through the same channels as a legislative bill. The purpose of this ACR is to show bipartisan support of the NFBC as related to Braille literacy issues.
Assemblymember Dutra is introducing legislation that will focus on the inaccessibility of point-of-sale (POS) machines.
Our legislative assistant, Chad Allen, has spent hours researching transit web sites and making appropriate contacts with those responsible for web sites that are inaccessible. Chad has accompanied me on my last several trips to Sacramento and his assistance is invaluable.
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