The $100 million raised through the bill (an
assessment of roughly a penny a drink) would
establish community-based youth alcohol recovery
centers throughout the state. They would provide
an alcohol-free environment where young people
can receive peer counseling, vocational training
or other services they might need.
Chan hopes passage of "Casey's Law" also will
discourage irresponsible marketing practices
that entice teens to drink. "It should be a
disincentive for producers to market and sell
their products to children," says Chan.
Meanwhile, Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles,
has proposed the equivalent of a nickel-a-drink
fee on alcohol wholesalers to reimburse
emergency rooms and trauma centers for the costs
of treating alcohol-related injuries. Our
recommendation would be to combine the two
bills, reconciling their compatible goals, so
they are not competing with each other. The
industry is lobbying hard against both.
Chan's bill faces its first hurdle Tuesday in
the Assembly Health Committee.
Speaker Herb Wesson, who could help assure
passage, has yet to take a position on it.
Casey Goodwin died on a home-front battleground
that claims thousands of lives each year. The
Legislature must take action as a more enduring
tribute to her cause than the simple roadside
cross that now stands on an isolated stretch of
Highway 41. .
Express your views
E-mail Bay Area
legislators on the Assembly Health Committee.
and two uncommitted Democrats
-- Leland Yee of San
-- Rebecca Cohn of
-- Speaker Herb Wesson