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Robert Ross

Robert Ross

Posted: November 29, 2010 08:39 PM

The California Endowment today issued a press release applauding Governor Schwarzenegger for rejecting the role of a lame duck, and called on him to take a few 'Last Action' items to help solidify his legacy as a national health and wellness leader. The list of 15 specific executive actions complete the fitness icon's track record in promoting the health and well-being of Californians for years to come.

While much of the attention in Sacramento among lobbyists, appointment-seekers, and the media has already deservedly shifted to Governor-Elect Jerry Brown, The Endowment issued a reminder that only one governor has the authority to take official action, and that remains Schwarzenegger.

The Endowment's 'Last Action' list includes some bold executive orders and ambitious actions not typical of a Governor's final days.

The California Endowment's list includes:

#1 - SAY 'HASTA LA VISTA' TO BUYING SODAS WITH FOOD STAMPS
• Petition the United States Department of Agriculture to ban the use of food stamps to purchase sugar-filled sodas in California

#2 - APPOINT KIM BELSHĖ AS FIRST HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE BOARD MEMBER IN THE NATION
• Appoint California Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshé to a four-year term on the California Health Insurance Exchange under the new federal Affordable Care Act. Her experience and track record of pragmatism and prevention in health care will serve our state well.

#3 - PREVENT HIV TRANSMISSION IN STATE PRISONS
• Make condoms available in all state correctional facilities.

#4 - JUST SAY NO TO CANCER-CAUSING METHYL IODIDE
• Direct the Department of Pesticide Regulation to deny the registration of Methyl Iodide for use in California.

#5 - REPLACE COOKIES WITH CARROTS
• Direct the Department of General Services to require all vending machines in state office buildings to include only healthy food options. The Governor should also direct his Department of Public Health to establish guidelines for fat, sugar, and fried items that are prepared in all state facilities.

#6 - CLOSE PRESTON YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
• Ensure savings from closing Preston are made available for programs proven to prevent youth violence.

#7 - REWARD RESTAURANTS WHO COUNT CALORIES
• Reward restaurants that publish calorie counts on menus by publicly recognizing them on the Governor's Web site.

#8 - LET THEM DRINK (SAFE) WATER
• Update the state's overdue Safe Drinking Water Plan as required by law.

#9 - PUT THE PHYSICAL BACK IN P.E.
• Amend the school physical education content standards to ensure quality physical activity is included.

#10 - PUT A BIKE UNDER THE TREE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
• Provide a bicycle fleet for state employee use.

#11 - GO LOCAL WITH HEALTHY ZONING
• Direct the Governor's Strategic Growth Council to work with city officials to enact local zoning laws that encourage physical activity (access to sidewalks, bike paths, and parks) as well as healthy eating (access to grocery stores and/or farmers markets).

#12 - APPOINT A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP
• Appoint a permanent Director of California AmeriCorps who will enlist youth from all ethnic and economic backgrounds to help build a healthier and more prosperous state.

#13 - DEPLOY A CORPS OF VOLUNTEER FINANCIAL ADVISERS
• Create a Financial Services Corps through the California Volunteer Agency. The Governor and First Lady have a long history of helping to connect working families to financial planning and resources, such as volunteer income tax preparation assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger created the "Bank on California" which helps working families save money by accessing basic financial services others may take for granted. The simple, innovative program helps working families open starter accounts similar to checking accounts. A Financial Services Corps would build on this history and provide more families with access to more comprehensive services.

#14 - PUMP UP STATE EMPLOYEES
• Direct state agencies to initiate physical activity opportunities in all state office buildings. How to do this can be found in Toni Yancey's book, Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time.

#15 - TELL THE PEOPLE PREVENTION IS FREE
• Use the Governor's Weekly Radio Address to inform the public of the free prevention services under the Affordable Care Act.

We look forward to seeing these items implemented!

Robert K. Ross, M.D.
President & CEO
The California Endowment