One Week Remains for Policy Committees to Advance Fiscal Bills in House of Origin
The California Legislature experienced another whirlwind of a week, holding a series of policy committee hearings and amending measures ahead of significant upcoming deadlines. Recall, policy committees must hear and report fiscal bills introduced in their house of origin by next Friday, April 27. The Legislature will face a similar deadline in early May for non-fiscal measures to be advanced in their house of origin. CHEAC continues to actively track a significant number of measures during one of the busiest times of year in the California Legislature.
Below, we highlight actions that occurred this week on measures of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update on bills, this week’s edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
AB 1964 (Maienschein) as amended on April 3, 2018 – Oppose Unless Amended
On Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee heard AB 1964, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, which originally sought to add day camps to the existing definition of organized camps, thereby creating an additional mandate on local enforcement agencies and requiring local enforcement agencies to operate beyond their scope of expertise. CHEAC took an ‘oppose unless amended’ with a county coalition consisting of HOAC, CSAC, UCC and RCRC, and specifically sought amendments to limit the role of the local enforcement agency to solely the health and sanitation aspects of a day camp.
The Assembly Health Committee put forth amendments essentially leaving current statute overseeing organized camps – resident camps with stays of five days or more – untouched and creating new statute to define organized day camps. These amendments, as accepted by the author, would now only require local enforcement agencies to inspect and issue a health and sanitation permit to day camps with food service.
While these amendments are a step in the right direction, CHEAC and our county colleagues are seeking additional provisions to clarify the definition of organized day camps and to clarify the role of the local enforcement agency in overseeing a day camp without a facility and/or fixed location. Betsy Armstrong, CHEAC Senior Policy Analyst, and Corwin Porter, San Bernardino County Assistant Public Health Director and former Environmental Health Director, testified on behalf of CHEAC and highlighted our remaining concerns.
The bill was passed with 12 ‘Yes’ votes and three members not voting. CHEAC will continue to work with the Assembly Member Maienschein’s office, who expressed a commitment to address our remaining concerns. The bill will now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Communicable Disease Control
SB 1325 (Moorlach) as amended April 9, 2018 – Oppose
SB 1325, by Senator John Moorlach, which would allow an individual or a group of individuals to self-quarantine, and in effect, disregard health officer orders, was heard in the Senate Health Committee this week. Kat DeBurgh, Executive Director of HOAC, and Dr. Erica Pan, Deputy Health Officer and Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Division Director for Alameda County, provided excellent expert testimony in opposition to the measure with CHEAC and CSAC also weighing in.
Dr. Richard Pan, the author of SB 277 which passed in 2015 and eliminated the personal belief exemption for school-age vaccinations, spoke very passionately in defense of measures utilized by local health departments to protect the public’s health. SB 1325 failed passage with eight ‘No’ votes and one member not voting. Senator Moorlach did not request the bill be considered again, so it appears SB 1325 is dead. Thank you to CHEAC Members who reached out to their Senators in opposition to this bill.
Health Coverage/Health Care Reform
AB 2275 (Arambula) as amended on April 19, 2018 – Support
AB 2275, by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, was heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday. The measure would require Medi-Cal managed care plans to meet minimum performance levels that improve quality and reduce health disparities beginning January 1, 2021. The Assembly Health Committee passed the measure, which now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 2965 (Arambula) as amended on March 23, 2018 – Support
The Assembly Health Committee heard AB 2295, by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, which seeks to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to undocumented adults in California that would otherwise be eligible except for their immigration status. Assembly Member Arambula began his remarks by emphasizing that he views health care as a human right and that he entered the field of medicine to be able to provide such right to marginalized populations. The bill was strongly supported by plethora of organizations representing health care providers, labor, consumer, immigrant, and community groups, and had no opposition on file.
During the debate, Assembly Member Thurmond, while referencing the passage of Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented children, raised concerns that we in California would segregate coverage for members in the same household. Additional questions around the cost of implementation were raised by Assembly Member Mayes, to which Assembly Member Arambula confidently stated that the cost would be less than the state’s current budget surplus.
CHEAC supports AB 2965, which was passed by the Assembly Health Committee and now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 2914 (Cooley) as introduced on February 16, 2018 – Support
AB 2914, by Assembly Member Ken Cooley, seeks to clarify the prohibition of tobacco and alcohol retailers from selling cannabis products and further prohibit the sale of cannabis products infused with alcohol. CHEAC supports the measure, which was heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The Committee unanimously passed AB 2914, which now heads to the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee where it will be heard next week.
SB 835 (Glazer) as amended March 20, 2018 – Support
SB 835, by Senator Steven Glazer, which would ban smoking in all state parks, was set to be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee this week. Senator Glazer instead waived presentation on the measure, which, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis, would create a one-time cost of roughly $850,000 to $1.12 million in General Fund to purchase and install the signage required in the bill. The bill would also likely create minor annual costs for enforcement and signage maintenance, but might also produce significant revenue from penalties. The bill was placed on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File and will be taken up at a later date.
SB 836 (Glazer) as amended March 20, 2018 – Support
SB 836, was also set to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Similar to previous bills introduced by Senator Glazer, the measure would ban smoking on all state coastal beaches. According to the Senate Appropriations analysis, the SB 836 would contain roughly $190,000 to $250,000 in one time General Fund costs for the Department of Parks and Recreation to purchase and install the signage required in the bill, minor annual costs for signage maintenance, and likely significant revenue resulting from penalties. The author waived presentation and the bill was placed on the Suspense File to be reconsidered at a later date.