Legislature Reaches Deadline for Fiscal Bills to be Advanced by Policy Committees
Today is the deadline for the Senate and Assembly policy committees to hear and report all measures with a fiscal impact in their house of origin. While many bills were advanced onto fiscal committees, several other measures met their fate by either failing passage or not receiving a hearing in their policy committees. The Legislature continues to move toward the next deadline of Friday, May 11 for all non-fiscal measures to be heard and reported by policy committees in their house of origin.
Below, we highlight this week’s actions on bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
Access to Health Services
SB 1125 (Atkins) as introduced on February 13, 2018 – Support
SB 1125 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins would authorize Medi-Cal reimbursement for a maximum of two visits at a single federally qualified health center (FQHC) or rural health center (RHC) location if: 1) after the first visit, the patient suffers and illness or injury requiring additional diagnosis or treatment; or 2) the patient has a medical visit and another health visit. Currently, if a patient receives treatment through Medi-Cal at an FQHC or RHC from both a medical provider (physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.) and another health specialist (clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, dentist, etc.), DHCS will only reimburse the clinic for one visit. The patient would need to return to the clinic on another day in order for the services to be fully reimbursed as a second visit, restricting access to care for patients and creating a financial barrier for clinics.
This measure would allow FQHCs and RHCs to deliver and be reimbursed for other health services, such as mental or dental health services, on the same day the clinic delivers primary care medical services. SB 1125 is sponsored by the Steinberg Institute and California Health+ Advocates, and it was passed on consent in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. The measure now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Cannabis – Medical/Adult Use
AB 2914 (Cooley) as introduced on February 16, 2018 – Support
Assembly Member Ken Cooley’s AB 2914 was heard in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee on Thursday. The measure would prohibit the sale of cannabis or cannabis products that include alcohol. Assembly Member Cooley accepted committee amendments, and the measure was advanced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 3067 (Chau) as introduced on February 16, 2018 – Support
AB 3067 by Assembly Member Ed Chau was heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on Tuesday. The measure would require advertising services to not market cannabis, cannabis products or businesses, or associated cannabis paraphernalia when an internet service, online service, or mobile application is directed to minors. Such prohibitions currently exist for alcohol, firearms and ammunition, spray paint, and tobacco. AB 3067 will be heard next week in the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protections Committee.
Health Coverage/Health Care Reform
SB 945 (Atkins) as introduced on January 29, 2018 – Support
SB 945 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins would eliminate the coverage period currently used in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program and instead require treatment services to be provided for the duration of cancer treatment, as long as the individual remains eligible for the program. The measure was heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday and received support from a significant number of health coverage-, women’s health-, and cancer-related organizations. No opposition to the measure was filed, and the bill was unanimously advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 3085 (Calderon) as amended on March 19, 2018 – Support if Amended
AB 3085 by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon would establish the New Beginnings California Program in the Department of Community Services and Development to provide matching state General Fund dollars to cities to implement, expand, and continue employment programs for homeless individuals. CHEAC joined CSAC, UCC, RCRC, CBHDA, and the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators (CAPAPGPC) in a ‘support if amended’ position to have counties added as eligible recipients of grant funds. The measure was heard in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee this week where a number of amends were proposed by the committee, including adding counties as eligible recipients. Assembly Member Calderon accepted the committee’s amendments, and the measure was advanced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee with six ‘Yes’ votes and one ‘No’ vote.
AB 3171 (Ting) as introduced on February 16, 2018 – Support if Amended
AB 3171 by Assembly Member Philip Ting would establish the Local Homelessness Solutions Program within the Department of Housing and Community Development for the purposes of providing matching state General Fund dollars to cities to create innovative and immediate solutions to issues caused by homelessness, including but not limited to state and local social services and health care systems. Similar to AB 3085, CHEAC joined CSAC, UCC, RCRC, CBHDA, and CAPAPGPC in a ‘support if amended’ position to have counties added as eligible grant recipients. The measure was set for hearing the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee this week, but was canceled at the request of the author. Given today’s deadline for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills in their house of origin and the fact this measure did not receiving a hearing, it will not move further in the legislative process.
Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health
AB 2785 (Rubio) as amended on April 16, 2018 – Support
AB 2785 by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio was set for hearing on Wednesday in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measure would require by January 2020 that all California Community Colleges and the California State University provide reasonable accommodations on all campuses for a lactating student to express breastmilk, breastfeed an infant, or address other breastfeeding needs. The measure also specifies that a student shall not incur an academic penalty for utilizing such accommodations and be provided an opportunity to make-up any missed school work. The author waived presentation and the bill was placed on the Suspense File to be reconsidered at a later date.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness
SB 1495 (Senate Health Committee) as amended on April 10, 2018 – Support
On Wednesday, the Senate Health Committee heard their own committee omnibus bill, SB 1495. Committee bills are typically minor technical amendments to statute over which a committee has jurisdictions, and items must be non-controversial as all members of the committee must sign off on the provisions. SB 1495 contains a provision that would extend the time period county boards of supervisors or city councils, as appropriate, must review the need for a locally-declared health emergency from 14 days to 30 days. As expected, the bill passed out unanimously on the committee’s consent calendar and moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee.