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On the Republican ticket is Mike Villines who was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004 to represent the 29th Assembly District, which includes the counties of Fresno and Madera.
Villines serves on the Board of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent national organization committed to providing specialized educational and enrichment programs for the leaders of our state legislatures. Recognized for his strong negotiating skills and his ability to lead a united Republican Caucus, Villines was chosen by his colleagues in November 2006 to serve as Assembly Republican Leader where he served with distinction for over 2 years as one of the longest serving Republican Leaders over the last 25 years. As a newly elected California State Assemblyman, Villines was recognized as a political up-and-comer by being named an "Emerging Leader" by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. Villines is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, and holds a BS degree in Political Science.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Villines served as an aide to former Governor Pete Wilson where he worked to implement the Governor's legislative and policy agenda for reforming burdensome environmental issues. He also served as Chief of Staff to former State Senator Chuck Poochigian, and most recently owned his own small business as a Public Relations and Communications Executive. In addition, he currently serves on the Board for the Senator Kenneth L. Maddy Institute for Leadership and Ethics at CSU Fresno.
Mike Villines currently serves on the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review and Committee on Commerce and Utilities. He previously served on the Rules Committee.
In his time serving as an Assemblyman, Villines has authored such bills as:
AB 1708-This bill, sponsored by the Department of Insurance, would increase the capital and surplus requirements for non-admitted insurers to be placed on the list of eligible surplus lines insurers from $15 million to $45 million. This bill is still under consideration by the Legislature.
AB 1887-This bill would establish the Federal Temporary High Risk Health Insurance Fund (Fund). AB 1887 would require money in the Fund to be continuously appropriated to the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board for the purpose of establishing a federal temporary high-risk pool established under SB 227 (Alquist) for individuals with a pre-existing medical condition. This bill would take effect immediately as an urgency statute, contingent upon the enactment of SB 227. This bill, and SB 227, are still under consideration of the Legislature.
AB 1904-This bill would have allowed Californians to buy health insurance products Americans in other states are allowed to buy for health care coverage or insurance, letting Californians decide for themselves what health insurance plan is right for them and helping to reduce costs by avoiding red tape and expensive state mandates. This bill was held under submission this year.
AB 2625- This bill is aimed at reducing the amount dollars the state spends on worker's compensation claims by allowing the State of California to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolves workers’ compensation disputes. ADR is currently available to self-insured or insured employers with unionized workforces. Under current law California is not recognized as an insured employer, therefore, it is unable to use ADR though it maintains a highly unionized workforce. This bill was held under submission this year.
As Insurance Commissioner, Mike Villines pledges to work tirelessly to ensure consumers are protected and have freedom of choice when purchasing insurance. According to his website, Villines believes that when people have more options they will be better able to control their costs and protect what is most important in their lives. He understands that people want to be in control of their expenses and to have the insurance coverage they need when they need it. Villines will focus on keeping insurance rates as affordable as possible by promoting policies that create a strong and competitive economic atmosphere in California where consumers benefit from competition. He will use his position as Insurance Commissioner to focus on providing health insurance to children and those individuals with pre-existing conditions that find it difficult to get health insurance or that have fallen through the safety net. He believes in protecting consumers from insurance fraud and has been recognized by the California Sheriffs' Association as their Legislator of the Year for his commitment to protect public safety and fraud abuses.
When it comes to voting, Mike Villines remains steady. He was the only member of the State Assembly to vote consistently in line with the conservative view of each bill he voted on.
The California Department of Insurance monitors one of the largest business sectors in the world. The Department ensures that consumers are protected; that the insurance industry is healthy and stable; that the regulatory process is maintained as transparent and fair; and that the law is enforced equitably and without bias, while at the same time, encouraging a free marketplace. With its impact on the insurance industry in California, the Insurance Commissioner and the Department of Insurance have a large influence on job development and the overall business environment in California. The general election for Insurance Commissioner is November 2, 2010.
For information on Mike Villines and his race for Insurance Commissioner, please click here.