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Insurance Commissioner Lara commends Governor Newsom’s 2022-23 budget plan for dramatically expanding health care and fighting climate change

News: 2022 Press Release

For Release: January 10, 2022
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Insurance Commissioner Lara commends Governor Newsom’s 2022-23 budget plan for dramatically expanding health care and fighting climate change

LOS ANGELES — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today made the following statement about Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022 budget plan, which makes major new investments in health care and helps Californians prepare for climate change.

“A budget is a reflection of priorities. Governor Newsom is making a bold statement with a massive commitment to protecting California families’ health and fighting climate change, including building our resilience against wildfires, extreme heat, flooding, and sea-level rise.”

“As we witness the impacts of climate change with each passing day, I will continue to use all the tools available to protect consumers through a competitive insurance market, making home safety a top priority, while working with the Governor’s Administration and Legislature to increase funding to harden our homes and communities to reduce the risks of wildfire. In addition, with billions of dollars to increase access to clean air vehicles, reduce super-pollutants in refrigerants, and advance public health and equity, California is doing our part to tackle climate change and reduce its impact on our most vulnerable communities.”

“Achieving Health4All Californians is a giant step forward for equity and equality. When we won health care for all California children, we knew our work was not done until their parents and grandparents were protected. Seeing Health4All realized in the California budget is a testament to the leadership, advocacy, and dreams of so many. I want to thank Governor Newsom for making history today for California families and look forward to working with the State Legislature to finally see this become a reality.”

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Media Notes:

  • As a State Senator, Commissioner Lara authored Health4All Kids covering all children up to age 18, and introduced the first bills to cover all older adults.
  • Lara also authored SB 30 (2018) which established a working group of environmental advocates, researchers, and insurance experts making recommendations for policies to reduce the costs from wildfires, extreme heat, and flooding. They released the first-ever report in 2021 titled "Protecting Communities, Preserving Nature, and Building Resiliency: How First-of-Its-Kind Climate Insurance Will Help Combat the Costs of Wildfires, Extreme Heat, and Floods."
  • Lara announced he will sponsor legislation making California the first state to rank heat waves, creating an early warning system to help protect Californians from climate change-intensified heat-related deaths and injuries.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $371 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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