One Week Remains Before Legislature’s Spring Recess

This week, the California Legislature maintained a swift pace of committee hearings, bill negotiations, and amendments. The Legislature will begin its 10-day Spring Recess upon the adjournment of session next Thursday, April 11. Upon their return on April 22, legislators will have limited time to move bills along the legislative process before meeting deadlines. All policy committees must hear and report all fiscal measures in their house of origin by Friday, April 26. One week later, all non-fiscal bills must be heard and reported by policy committees in their house of origin.

Given the upcoming recess and bill deadlines, the next several weeks in Sacramento are expected to be particularly busy. Below, we highlight activities on several bills of interest to CHEAC Members. Our full CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Drug & Alcohol Services

AB 1031 (Nazarian) as amended March 25, 2019 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian’s AB 1031 would establish the Youth Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Program Act and direct DHCS, in collaboration with counties and SUD service providers, to establish regulations governing community-based nonresidential and residential treatment and recovery programs for those under 21 years of age. AB 1031 was heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday and unanimously advanced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

AB 1544 (Gipson) as introduced on February 22, 2019 – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

AB 1544 by Assembly Member Mike Gipson would enact the Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act to allow local emergency medical services agencies (LEMSAs) to develop local community paramedicine programs including short-term post discharge follow-up, case management services to frequent EMS service users, and alternate transport of patients to behavioral health facilities or sobering centers. The measure also requires LEMSAs to use or establish local emergency medical care committees (EMCCs) and establishes the Community Paramedicine Medical Oversight Committee to advise the EMS authority on and to approve minimum medical protocols for all community paramedicine programs. The bill requires a LEMSA to provide a right of first refusal to every public agency that is located within its jurisdiction to provide community paramedicine program specialties prior to offering to private EMS providers. The measure is up for hearing in the Assembly Health Committee next Tuesday. CSAC, RCRC, UCC, CHEAC, EMSAAC, and EMDAC are all in oppose unless amended positions.

SB 438 (Hertzberg) as amended March 25, 2019 – OPPOSE

SB 438 by Senator Robert Hertzberg was a recently amended measure to restrict the use of non-governmental-operated public safety answering points (PSAPs), including 9-1-1 EMS dispatching centers. The measure would circumvent existing oversight activities of local emergency medical service agency (LEMSA) medical directors to ensure the appropriate deployment and use of EMS resources. SB 438 is up for hearing next Wednesday in the Senate Governance & Finance Committee. CSAC, RCRC, UCC, CHEAC, EMSAAC, and EMDAC are all opposed to the measure.  

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 715 (Wood) as corrected March 21, 2019 SUPPORT

Assembly Member Jim Wood’s AB 715 would increase income eligibility for the Medi-Cal Aged and Disabled Program up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) by disregarding specified countable income over 100 percent FPL and up to 138 percent FPL. The measure was unanimously advanced on Tuesday from the Assembly Health Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1088 (Wood) as introduced February 21, 2019 SUPPORT

AB 1088 by Assembly Member Jim Wood would extend Medi-Cal eligibility without a share of cost for seniors or disabled individuals who would otherwise be eligible if not for the state buy-in of their Medicare Part B premiums. The measure was unanimously advanced on Tuesday by the Assembly Health Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 207 (Hurtado) as amended March 20, 2019 – SUPPORT

Senator Melissa Hurtado’s SB 207 would require asthma preventive services to be included as a Medi-Cal covered benefit. The measure would also require DHCS to approve accrediting bodies with expertise in asthma to review and approve training curricula for asthma preventive services. The measure was advanced from the Senate Health Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee on an 8-0 vote with one member not voting.