Policy Committee Hearings in Full Swing
Policy committees in both houses continue ahead of the looming July Legislative deadlines. With just two weeks to pass fiscal bills and three weeks to pass non-fiscal bills, policy committees are scheduled to meet on Monday, will break on Tuesday for the Independence Day holiday, and reconvene on Wednesday.
This week’s full bill chart is available here. Below, we highlight several legislative actions of interest to CHEAC Members from this week.
Local Health Department Administration
AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) as amended on 6/21/17 – Oppose
CHEAC continues to oppose AB 1250, introduced by Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr., which would place onerous requirements on county contracting, including many of the contracts into which local health departments enter for vital public health services. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee next Wednesday, July 5 at 9:30 am.
CHEAC has joined a growing coalition of organizations led by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), including nearly 100 partners and 40 counties, in opposing this measure. Our opposition letter may be viewed here. CHEAC Members are encouraged to contact members of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee that represent your jurisdiction to express your opposition and/or educate the legislator on the potential adverse impacts to local health departments and the services we provide.
SB 562 (Lara) as amended on 5/26/17 – Special Interest Bill
Late last week, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon released a statement indicating SB 562 will not be acted upon this year. SB 562, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, would establish the Healthy California Act to provide universal, single-payer health coverage for every Californian. Speaker Rendon noted he is supportive of single-payer health reform and was encouraged by the discussion around SB 562; however, Rendon called the Senate bill ‘woefully incomplete,’ citing its lack of details around financing, delivery of care, and cost controls.
Given that this is the first year of the two-year legislative session, the bill may return next year if Senators add financing and delivery details. For now, however, SB 562 will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice.
AB 340 (Arambula) as introduced on 2/7/17 – Support
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 340 was advanced from the Senate Health Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure would require that any Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) screen include screening for trauma and proposes statewide guidance to practitioners to look for trauma when children are screened. CHEAC supports the measure, along with the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC), the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA).
AB 725 (Levine) as introduced on 2/14/17 – Support
SB 386 (Glazer) as amended on 6/28/17 – Support
AB 725 by Assembly Member Marc Levine and SB 386 by Senator Steven Glazer were heard in the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee and the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committees, respectively, this week. The measures are identical and would ban smoking (including e-cigarettes) and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at state coastal beaches, parks, public campgrounds, monument sites, landmark sites, and sites of historical interests.
Upon recommendation by the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee, amendments were made to SB 386 to limit the scope of the bill by allowing the Director of Parks and Recreation to exempt certain areas of state parks from the smoking ban to address a previous veto message by Governor Brown. Both measures were advanced from their committees to the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Maternal and Child Health
SB 426 (Pan) as amended on 5/26/17 – Watch
SB 426, introduced by Senator Richard Pan, was heard in the Assembly Human Services Committee this week. The measure establishes a community-based home visitation pilot program in three counties to provide child abuse and neglect prevention and intervention services through a family resource center in each county contingent on an appropriation. During the hearing, some concern was expressed about the training and professional skillset for those providing home visiting services, the need to make the program voluntary, and the potential duplication of existing home visiting programs. Senator Pan accepted the committee’s amendments to extend the sunset date by three years and add technical requirements of the pilot programs. The measure was advanced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 175 (Chau) as amended on 5/30/17 – Support
Assembly Member Ed Chau’s AB 175 was advanced from the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee to the Senate Health Committee this week. The measure requires adult use cannabis manufacturers, prior to releasing cannabis-infused edible products, to receive approval from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) including submitting their packaging and labeling to CDPH for review. CHEAC supports AB 175, which attempts to prevent the accidental ingestion of cannabis products.
SB 663 (Nielsen) as introduced on 2/17/17 – Support
SB 663, introduced by Senator Jim Nielsen, was passed from the Assembly Health Committee to the Assembly Business and Professions Committee this week. The measure deems the packaging or labeling of cannabis products as appealing to children if: 1) it includes transparent packaging, 2) if the product resembles any existing candy, snack food, baked good, or beverage, 3) if the product includes any statement, artwork, or design that is misleading to a person under 21, 4) if it includes any cartoon, logo, colors, image, or design feature making it attractive to children, or 5) if it includes a name or slogan appealing to those under 21.
AB 210 (Santiago) as amended on 5/2/17 – Support
Assembly Member Miguel Santiago’s AB 210, which would allow counties to establish multidisciplinary teams to facilitate the expedited identification, assessment, and linkage of homeless individuals to housing and supportive services, was advanced from the Senate Human Services Committee to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
Chronic Disease Prevention and Wellness Promotion
AB 841 (Weber) as amended on 5/17/17 – Support
AB 841 by Assembly Member Shirley Weber was passed from the Senate Education Committee to the Senate Floor this week. The measure prohibits schools from advertising food or beverages or corporate brands unless all products are sold or served during the school day and prohibits participation in corporate incentive programs that reward students with food or beverages when they achieve academic goals. Several advertisements are exempted, and certain items, such as scoreboards and sports uniforms, are grandfathered in. CHEAC supports this measure as a way to encourage healthy food and beverage consumption among children.