OAKLAND — An Alameda County supervisor interrupted the board's meeting today to express outrage over Gov. Gray Davis’ veto of a bill that would have given foster parents more say in the care of their children.
“I am so angry ... this is not acceptable,” said Supervisor Gail Steele as she fumed at the meeting in Oakland.
“They said the bill is once again overly broad.”
Davis vetoed AB 2392 yesterday. It was the second time he has vetoed the foster care bill in as many years.
In his veto message to the state assembly, Davis said he supports most of the provisions in the bill, but vetoed it because it “unduly expands the range of individuals who can refer a child under the jurisdiction of the court for special education assessment.”
Under the proposed legislation, those individuals could include “adults designated by the parent or guardian or a person acting in place of a parent or person legally responsible for the child, as well as foster parents.”
He said it would infringe upon the rights of parents and guardians to make educational decisions for their children and also imposes a reimbursable state mandate on the courts.
Supervisor Keith Carson commiserated with Steele over the veto.
“We have not fared well
under his (Davis’) administration,” Carson said. “For
some unknown reason, he
seems to really have it in for
Initiated by Alameda County, the foster care bill would have allowed foster parents, guardians or other “advocates” of the children to participate in the children's Individual Education Plan, or IEP.
The plans are used in the educational assessment of foster children. Currently, only social workers can request and influence them.
“They have a real problem with who these advocates are. They’re nobody to be afraid of,” Steele said.
After the meeting, Steele did not mince words regarding her opinion of Davis’ veto.
“Upset isn’t even the word,” she said. “I think I’m livid, because that bill was designed to help the most vulnerable of our children, our foster children.”