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February 25, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has named State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) their California Legislator of the Year.

“Senator Joe Simitian has been a longstanding champion of persons living with MS and other chronic conditions,” said Stewart Ferry, Public Policy Director for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Last year, Simitian authored a law to help Californians safely dispose of their ‘sharps’ (a type of medical waste that includes syringes and needles). The idea was submitted to Simitian’s annual “There Oughta Be A Law” contest by Betty Lipkin, a San Carlos resident living with multiple sclerosis. 

“Senator Simitian’s authorship of Senate Bill 486 demonstrates his understanding and sensitivity to our community’s needs,” Stewart added. “Passage of this legislation will enable the one million Californians who self administer their medication to find better information.”

“I’m gratified by this recognition,” Simitian said. “This new law is a good first step toward a real solution for Californians who use ‘sharps’. It makes it easier to do the right thing, and we should all be safer as a result.”

Approximately one in twelve households in California has an individual who must self-administer an injection to treat a number of illnesses including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, anemia, and migraines. This generates approximately 386 million ‘sharps’ each year in the state of California.

For more information on Simitian’s sharps legislation, visit