As a reminder, CHEAC Annual Meeting hotel reservations must be made by today Friday, September 8. Annual Meeting registration is still open through next Friday, September 15. More information on how to register and secure hotel reservations can be found here. We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!
September 8, 2017 Edition
With one week remaining in the 2017 Legislative Session and limited time to advance bills to the governor, both the Senate and Assembly continue to make their way through busy floor session agendas. Today is the deadline for amendments to be made to bills, though a handful of amendments are still expected to come into print early next week. Hundreds of bills await their fate as time is quickly winding down in the Legislature.
The housing deal, which includes a $4 billion bond, a fee on real estate transactions, and a handful of measures to streamline developments, recently struck between Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders has not yet received a vote in the Senate or Assembly. Legislative leaders continue to attempt to gather votes prior to next Friday’s deadline.
CHEAC continues to monitor over 50 measures making their way through the Senate and Assembly Floors. On over 10 of those measures, CHEAC has taken an active position. This week’s full CHEAC Bill Chart is available here. Below, we highlight several bills of interest to CHEAC Members.
AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) as amended on 9/5/2017 – Oppose
AB 1250 by Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr., remains in play for this year’s legislative session and has not been declared a two-year bill at this time. Recall AB 1250 would place onerous requirements on county contracting, including many of the contracts into which local health departments enter for vital health services. Amendments made this week do not significantly change the content or impact of the bill.
CHEAC remains an active member of a large opposition coalition led by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to AB 1250. We will continue to provide updates to members as information becomes available.
AB 1603 (Ridley-Thomas) as amended on 8/24/2017 – Oppose
This week, Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley Thomas’ Office indicated AB 1603 would become a two-year bill. The measure would have revised the definition of “public employee” and would authorize collective bargaining for temporary employees without consent by the public employer or temporary agency. Given its two-year status, the measure will not be acted upon further this legislative session; however, the bill may be picked up again in early 2018.
CHEAC, along with CSAC, the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), and a variety of county colleague organizations opposed this measure. CHEAC will continue to keep an eye on this bill moving into next year’s legislative session.
Health Coverage/Health Reform
AB 340 (Arambula) as amended 9/7/2017 – Support
AB 340 by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula was recently amended to now require the Department of Health Care Services to convene an advisory working group to update, amend, or develop protocols for screening children for trauma within the EPSDT benefit. The advisory group will now be required to provide the Legislature with a report on findings and recommendations, including appropriations necessary to implement recommendations. AB 340 is currently on the Senate Floor awaiting a final floor vote.
SB 138 (McGuire) as revised on 9/1/2017 – Support
Senator Mike McGuire’s SB 138 continues to make its way through the Legislature where it is currently back in the Senate for concurrence in Assembly amendments. The measure requires local education agencies participating in the federal school meal program to implement a system to directly certify pupils eligible for free or reduce priced meals using Medi-Cal participation data. The measure also requires high poverty schools to apply to operate a universal meal service program which allows schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students without their families having to apply. CHEAC, along with the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC) and the California Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) support SB 138.
With the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) set to expire at the end of September, the Senate may be eyeing a long-term extension of the program, potentially up to five years. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and who co-authored the original CHIP bill with Senator Ted Kennedy, indicated this week he would be in favor of such extension to provide more certainty to families and states.
CHIP is a joint federal-state program that provides insurance to low-income children and was last reauthorized in 2015. With a very busy September and limited time to pass measures before several deadlines, it is unclear when Congress will take up a CHIP reauthorization measure and how much funding such measure will include.
This afternoon President Trump signed a package to provide $15.3 billion in disaster assistance to Hurricane Harvey ravaged communities in Texas and Louisiana. The proposal, passed by the House this morning on a 316-90 vote, extends the federal debt ceiling as well as funds the government at current levels through Friday, December 8. Meanwhile, both the House and Senate continue fiscal year 2018 budget deliberations although it remains unclear on what type of spending agreements will be reached between now and December.
This week, the National Academy of Medicine released a paper entitled Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action for Public Health to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century. Authored by several leading public health scholars and former government officials, the paper makes the case for the Public Health 3.0 model in which leaders serve as ‘Chief Health Strategists’, partnering across various sectors and leveraging data and resources to address social, environmental, and economic conditions that impact health and health equity. To read the full discussion paper, visit here.
This month’s U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs publication reveals that after decades of decline, progress has slowed in preventing stroke deaths. In California, stroke death rates have reversed from decreasing to increasing. Additionally, national stroke death rates remain high or have increased for certain demographic groups, including African Americans and Hispanics. The CDC Vital Signs report provides information, strategies, and graphics for public health practitioners, health systems, and health care professionals to use to support coordinated systems of care to prevent stroke deaths. More information is available here.