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Richard Pan (D) - District 6

Senator Dr. Richard Pan was born in Yonkers, New York, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by parents who immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in order to study engineering. Dr. Pan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biophysics in 1987 from The John Hopkins University, before earning his Medical Doctorate (MD) at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, and earning his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Harvard University’s School of Public Health in 1998. Dr. Pan moved to Sacramento, California with his wife, dentist Wen Li-Wang, to accept a faculty position at the University of California, Davis where he went on to direct the school’s pediatric residency program. Dr. Pan and his wife are raising two young sons and run a dental practice where they balance expenses, meet a payroll and understand the challenges of running a small business.

Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician, former UC Davis educator, and State Senator proudly representing Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County.  Dr. Pan was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 representing the 5th Assembly District and then in 2012, representing the 9th Assembly District. He has represented California’s 6th State Senate District since 2014. 

Over the course of his time in the legislature, he has served on a number of policy committees, including:

  • Senate Budget & Fiscal Review (2015-current)
    • Chair, Subcommittee No. 3 on Health & Human Services (2017-21)
    • Member, Subcommittee No. 4 on State Admin & General Gov’t (2015-16)
  • Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response (2020-current)
  • Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development (2017-current)
  • Senate Committee on Education (2015-current)
  • Senate Committee on Health (2015-current)
    • Chair (2018-current)
  • Senate Committee on Human Services (2019-current)
  • Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment & Retirement (2019-current)
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture (2015-18)
    • Subcommittee on Invasive Species (2017-18)
    • Subcommittee on Olive Oil Production & Emerging Products (2015-16)
  • Senate Committee on Public Employment & Retirement (2014-18)
    • Chair (2014-18)
  • Senate Committee on Labor & Industrial Relations (2018)
    • Chair (2018)
  • Senate Committee on Public Health & Developmental Services (2015-16)
  • Joint Committee on the Arts (2015-current)
  • Joint Committee on Fairs Allocation & Classification (2015-current)
  • Joint Legislative Budget Committee (2017-current)
  • Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management (2011-current)
  • Chair, Senate Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs (2016-current)
  • Chair, Senate Select Committee on the 2020 United States Census (2018-current)
  • Senate Select Committee on Mental Health & Addition (2015-current)
  • Chair, Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs (2015-18)
  • Senate Select Committee on Student Success (2019-21)
  • Senate Select Committee on Social Determinants of Children’s Well-Being (2019-21)
  • Senate Select Committee on Biliteracy & Dual Immersion Programs in CA (2015-16)
  • Senate Select Committee on Passenger Rail (2015-16)
  • Senate Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (2015-16)
  • Assembly Committee on Health (2010-14)
    • Chair (2012-14)
  • Assembly Committee on Agriculture (2013-14)
  • Assembly Committee on Appropriations (2013-14)
  • Assembly Committee on Revenue & Taxation (2013-14)
  • Vice-Chair, Assembly Committee on Veteran’s Affairs (2010-12)
  • Assembly Committee on Accountability & Administrative Review (2010-12)
  • Assembly Committee on Aging & Long-Term Care (2010-12)
  • Co-Chair, Assembly Committee on Legislative Ethics (2010-12)
  • Assembly Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Education in CA K-14 Schools (2012-14)
  • Assembly Select Committee on Homelessness (2012-14)
  • Chair, Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Workforce & Access to Care (2010-12)
  • Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology (2010-12)
  • Assembly Select Committee on Domestic Violence (2010-12)
  • Assembly Select Committee on High Quality Early Childhood Education (2010-12)
  • Assembly Select Committee on the Continued Expansion of UC at Merced (2010-12)
  • California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (2010-current)
    • Chair (2021-current)
    • Vice-Chair (2019-21)

As a licensed California physician and pediatrician, Dr. Pan maintains active membership and leadership roles in numerous medical professional associations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (1991-current), the American Medical Association (1987-current), the California Medical Association (1998-current) and the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (1998-current).

Dr. Pan has a long history of community leadership through involvement with non-profits including his service with the United Way California Capital Region (1999-current), where he Chairs the Collective Impact Council since 2007, and on their Board of Directors since 2004, and Executive Committee since 2013. He served on the First 5 Sacramento Commission from 1999-2005 including as Vice-Chair from 2001 to 2004. He was Chair and Co-Founder of Health Kids Healthy Future where he helped secure health, dental and vision coverage for over 65,000 children in the Sacramento area. He continues to serve since 2017 as a member of the State of California Advisory Commission on Special Education.

Dr. Pan has been recognized and honored with numerous awards for his community and professional leadership.

For his outstanding leadership in medicine and public health, Dr. Pan has been honored with the American Academy of Pediatrics/American Medical Association Abraham Jacobi Memorial Award (2009) for lifetime achievement in pediatrics, as well as the  California Department of Public Health Beverlee A. Myers Award (2019), the American Academy of Pediatrics, California Legislator of the Year Award in 2019, 2015 and 2012, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice Public Health Champion Award (2015), the California Black Health Network Policymaker of the Year (2014), Donate Life California’s Legislator of the Year, the American Medical Association Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service award (2014), the California Immunization Coalition Natalie J. Smith Immunization Champion Award (2013), and the Medical Board of California Physician Humanitarian Award (2010), among other honors. In 2015, TIME Magazine named Dr. Pan a “Hero of Vaccine History” after authoring landmark legislation to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students, thereby restoring community immunity from preventable contagions. 

For his leadership on Education issues, Dr. Pan has been awarded by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges Champion (2017), California State University Employees Union Legislative Champion (2016), California School Employees Association Legislator of the Year (2013), and California Faculty Association’s John Travis Leadership Award (2013).

Dr. Pan has also been honored with the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association API Staff Champion award (2017), the California Young Democrats Willie L. Brown Mentor of the Year award (2015), the Humane Society of the United States Humane State Legislator Award (2014), the California Fire Chiefs Association Recognition (2013), and the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento Freedom from Want Award (2011).

Legislative Initiatives and Achievements

First elected to the State Assembly in 2010, Dr. Pan strives to keep our communities safe and healthy.  When local governments planned to close fire stations during the recession, Dr. Pan authored AB 678 (2011) to bring over $100 million in federal funds for fire departments including $6 million for the Sacramento region.

Dr. Pan has authored many important pieces of health legislation since he joined the legislature in 2010, including expanding California’s Newborn Screening Program to save lives by adding screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (AB 395, 2011) and Adrenoleukodystrophy (AB 1559, 2014), and then requiring the Department of Public Health to expand screening of newborns to including screening for any disease that is detectable in blood samples (SB 1095, 2016).

Dr. Pan helped expand access to women’s reproductive health by repealing burdensome regulations and sections of the California Building Standards Code that treated primary clinics differently depending on whether the clinics provided abortion services (AB 980, 2013).

Dr. Pan helped write the strongest implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the county, applying ACA previsions to insurers regulated by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) in the individual market; requires guaranteed issue of individual market health insurance policies; prohibits the use of preexisting condition exclusions; establishes open and special enrollment periods consistent with the California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California); prohibits conditioning issuance or offering based on specified rating factors; prohibits specified marketing and solicitation practices consistent with small group requirements; requires guaranteed renewability of plans; and permits rating factors based on age, geographic region and family size only (ABX1 2, 2013-14 First Extraordinary Session). SB 406 (2020) authored by Dr. Pan rewrote two provisions of the ACA implementation, prohibiting lifetime or annual coverage limits and requiring coverage for preventive services without cost sharing, in to state law. Dr. Pan also authored SB 326 (2021) to protect ACA provisions in California law in the event that the ACA is changed or repealed at the federal level through court challenges.

Dr. Pan authored SB 852 (2020), a first-in-the-nation law that will result in California producing its own insulin, and eventually other generic prescription drugs, to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for public and private purchasers, taxpayers, and consumers, and, to increase patient access to affordable drugs.

Dr. Pan has authored numerous laws in order to keep schools open and safe, by requiring safe and effective childhood vaccines for all California children attending school, which is why he was named a “Hero of Vaccine History” by TIME Magazine in 2015. These bills include AB 2109 (2012) which strengthened processes for school-required vaccination exemptions so that parents would speak to a physician about the benefits of childhood vaccines prior to exempting their children from vaccination, SB 277 (2015) which eliminated the personal belief exemption for school-required vaccines, and SB 276 (2019) which helps track and verify the legitimacy of medical exemptions for school-required vaccines.

Dr. Pan has authored critical legislation to reduce contracting-out of state service jobs including AB 906 (2013). 

Dr. Pan authored SB 600 (2015) which amended the Unruh Civil Rights Act to expressly prohibit discrimination by business establishments on the basis of citizenship, primary language, and immigration status, including citizenship, primary language, and immigration status among the list of characteristics for which discrimination is specifically prohibited.

He also authored SB 892 (2018) which requires the Governor to annually proclaim the day of Lunar New Year and encourages all public schools and educational institutions to conduct exercises recognizing the traditions and cultural significance of the Lunar New Year.