EDITOR’S NOTE: On Oct. 8, State Senator Jim Beall visited Summit Public Schools: Tahoma for a press conference with the journalism class.
State senator speaks on legislative accomplishments
By Kylie Gallegos, Destiny Holliman and Emily Nguyen
A San Jose State alumni, State Senator Jim Beall has dedicated his life to public service and focused his legislative career on providing health care; he also received an award for his work in public transit.
“When you have the stresses of trying to achieve; or something might have happened to you in a personal relationship; or maybe there was something that happened to you in your family that caused you to get upset; you need someone to talk to, so we are trying to establish the counseling programs in all the schools,” Sen. Beall said, explaining why he passed legislation for mental health services for youth.
On Oct. 8, Sen. Beall visited Summit Public Schools: Tahoma and answered student questions about his experiences as a senator and the laws he has passed. For example, Sen. Beall introduced SB 12 in 2019, which requires a minimum of 100 youth centers to address mental health issues for young Californians. These centers would not require insurance or citizenship.
“A lot of people think, ‘Well, it’s not really a health problem; it’s really just your own feelings or something’, but I think it is a health problem,” Sen. Beall said.
The senator also introduced SB 191, which helps young residents receive services for mental health and substance abuse. The bill provides services to K-12 students by establishing partnerships in school districts and county mental health plans.
Sen. Jim Beall also mentioned he’s working on getting the governor to sign a foster care bill. In addition to that, he has passed bills to help better support foster children.
Sen. Beall helped pass SB 319 into law; the bill allows public health nurses to observe the use of psychotropic drugs on foster children. The bill ensures that public health nurses are permitted to use mental and health information to help ensure that the child’s developmental needs are being met.
The senator’s legislation is not only focused on mental health issues; he also focuses on transportation. He talked about his transportation legislation and how he has passed multiple transportation-related bills.
The bill SB 152 reduces the complicated application process for Active Transportation Programs (which encourage biking and walking). The bill also provides funding for pedestrian safety.
Sen. Beall ended the press conference by returning to the issue of substance abuse and how he feels it should be dealt with by the California legislature: “We should have full health-care services for anybody that has a substance abuse problem, and I’ve been working on that for a long time.”
PHOTO CREDIT: BY EMILY NGUYEN
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