Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 Holds CDPH Overview Hearing

On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services convened a hearing predominantly focused on issues related to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Susan Fanelli, CDPH Assistant Director, provided subcommittee members with a general overview of the department’s budget, highlighting their General Fund budget of $138 million. The budget reflects a one-percent ($10.4 million) General Fund reduction from the prior year for the department, which is largely attributed to one-time General Fund augmentations in 2016 for sexually transmitted disease control, naloxone kit distribution, Alzheimer’s disease early detection, hepatitis prevention efforts, and the Biomonitoring Program. She further provided highlighted key activities CDPH has been engaged in such as:

  • Hepatitis A – Epidemiology and monitoring of the Hepatitis A outbreak, standing up command incident command centers, and the Governor’s emergency declaration which provided funding for the purchase of additional vaccinations.
  • Influenza – Resistance testing, coordinating with medical health centers, ongoing communications with local health departments, and vaccine promotion.
  • Zika – Tracking cases and outreach and close collaboration with Vector Control.
  • Wildfires/Oroville Dam – Partnering with emergency medical services, activating emergency operation centers, initiating mapping, creating facility dashboards and providing supplies and technical assistance to local health departments.
  • Cannabis – Implementing public education campaigns.
  • Opioids – increasing access to naloxone kits and increasing public awareness through local opioid safety coalitions.

Gun Violence. The subcommittee was then provided updates on various programs under the purview of CDPH. Legislators did demonstrate a particular interest in school shooting data. However, CDPH indicated they do not have data on school shootings in particular, as firearm-related deaths are reported, but those are related to school shootings are not uniquely identified.

Lead. The hearing also had a brief discussion around lead testing and California’s lead accreditation and certification program. Legislators continued to inquire about the low rates of lead testing amongst children in Medi-Cal and questioned what agency is responsible for ensuring the rates improve.

For more information, hearing materials can be found here.