Legislature Holds Suspense File Hearings, Enters Final Two Weeks of Session
Today, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees held unusually long suspense file hearings, meeting today’s deadline for fiscal committees to hear and report all bills to the floor. During the hearings, hundreds of bills were either advanced or held for the remainder of the year.
In the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Chair Lorena Gonzalez opted to hear first Senator Richard Pan’s SB 276 related to medical immunizations exemptions, acknowledging the crowd of opposition in attendance. Following the announcement that the bill was passed, the opposition began standing on chairs and chanting, which caused the chair to recess the committee. However, when the committee reconvened, the chanting and protests continued throughout the course of the committee’s business, even during multiple brief committee recesses.
Looking ahead, the Legislature will hold two weeks of floor sessions only beginning on Tuesday, and no committees other than conference committees of Rules Committees may meet for any purpose. Next Friday, September 6 is the deadline for legislators to amend bills on the floor, and the first year of the 2019-20 Legislative Session is set to conclude on Friday, September 13. The next two weeks will be a very busy time for legislators, bill sponsors, and the Newsom Administration as parties work to finalize negotiations and advance measures to the Governor’s desk. Several high-profile issues remain outstanding, including housing, labor relations, and education.
Below, we highlight suspense file results of particular interest to CHEAC Members. The latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
Access to Health Services
AB 769 (Smith) –SUPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Expands Medi-Cal reimbursement eligibility to include licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs) in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs).
AB 1494 (Aguiar-Curry) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Specifies Medi-Cal reimbursement shall be made available for telehealth, telephonic, or off-site services when delivered by an enrolled community clinic, including a city or county clinic exempt from licensure, or FFS Medi-Cal provider during or up to 90 days after expiration of a state of emergency, as deemed appropriate by DHCS.
SB 66 (Atkins) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Authorizes Medi-Cal reimbursement for a maximum of two visits on the same day at a single FQHC or RHC location if: 1) after the first visit, the patient suffers illness/injury requiring additional diagnosis/treatment; or 2) the patient has a medical visit and a mental health visit or dental visit.
Cannabis – Medical/Adult Use
AB 228 (Aguiar-Curry) – WATCH – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Adds statutory language declaring a food, beverage, or cosmetic is not adulterated if it includes industrial hemp products, including cannabidiol (CBD), extracts, or derivates from industrial hemp. Prohibits restrictions on sale of products containing industrial hemp, CBD, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp. Authorizes MAUCRSA licensee to manufacture, distribute, or sell products that contain industrial hemp. Requires warning label on food, beverage, or cosmetic containing industrial hemp. Requires manufacturers to comply with Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic law. Prohibits untrue or misleading health-related statements on labeling, advertising, or marketing of industrial hemp products.
Chronic Disease Prevention & Wellness Promotion
AB 388 (Limón) – SUPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Requires the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to implement action agenda items from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Brain Initiative. Requires CDPH, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to award one-time competitive grants to up to eight local health jurisdictions for local planning and preparation activities consistent with the CDC Healthy Brain Initiative Action Agenda.
Communicable Disease Control
SB 159 (Wiener) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Allows pharmacists to furnish at least a 30-day supply and up to a 60-day supply of PrEP and PEP to patients without a physician’s prescription under specified circumstances. Prohibits health plans from placing any prior authorization or step therapy requirements on antiretroviral medications including PrEP and PEP.
SB 276 (Pan) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Requires physicians/surgeons to utilize a CDPH-developed statewide standardized electronic medical exemption certification form when issuing an immunization exemption for medical reasons. Specifies required information to be included on the form, including a certification that the physician/surgeon has physically examined the child, a description of the medical basis for the exemption, and authorization for CDPH to contact the issuing physician/surgeon and for the release of records related to the exemption to CDPH, the Medical Board of California, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. Prohibits physicians/surgeons from charging a fee for filling out a medical exemption form or for an examination related to the renewal of a temporary exemption. Requires CDPH to create a standardize system to monitor immunization levels in schools and monitor patterns of unusually high exemption form submissions by a physician/surgeon or medical practice. Requires CDPH to review at least annually immunization reports from all schools to identify schools with an immunization rate of less than 95 percent, from physicians/surgeons who have submitted five or more medical exemptions in a calendar year, and schools that do not provide vaccination rate reports to CDPH. Allows CDPH, upon the discretion of a clinically trained immunization staff, to accept a medical exemption that is based on other contraindications or precautions. Authorizes CDPH clinically trained immunization program staff that is a physician/surgeon or registered nurse to review any exemption in the state database as necessary to protect public health. Sets forth an appeal process for denied or revoked medical exemptions. Requires California Health and Human Services Secretary to establish an independent expert review panel to review exemption appeals.
Drug & Alcohol Services
AB 1031 (Nazarian) – SUPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Establishes the Youth Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Program Act. Directs the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in collaboration with counties and substance use disorder (SUD) services providers, to establish regulations regarding community-based nonresidential and residential treatment and recovery programs for youth under 21 years of age.
SB 445 (Portantino) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Requires DHCS to convene an expert panel and adopt regulations based on the expert panel’s recommendations to establish youth SUD treatment, early intervention, and prevention quality standards for California youth. Requires each county to designate a single public agency as the responsibility entity for administering youth SUD treatment services within the county and requires the agency to comply with the standards adopted by DHCS.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
AB 1544 (Gipson) – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Allows LEMSAs to develop local community paramedicine programs for specified services and alternate transport of patients to behavioral health facilities and sobering centers. Requires LEMSAs, if the county elects to establish a paramedicine or alternate transport program, to use or establish a local emergency medical care committee (EMCC) and prescribes the BOS to include specific EMCC members. Establishes the Community Paramedicine Medical Oversight Committee to advise EMSA on and to approve minimum medical protocols for all community paramedicine programs. Requires LEMSA to provide right of first refusal to every public agency located within its jurisdiction to provide community paramedicine program specialties prior to offering private EMS providers. Adds two members to the Commission on Emergency Medical Services.
AB 836 (Wicks) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Establishes a grant program to provide funding, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to retrofit ventilation systems at various facilities (e.g. schools, community centers, senior centers, libraries) to create a network of clean air centers in order to mitigate adverse public health impacts due to wildfire and other smoke events.
AB 1500 (Carrillo) – SUPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Authorizes local health officer (LHO), in consultation with other local and state agencies, to issue an order to a responsible party of a hazardous waste release to suspend or discontinue operations, conduct specified environmental testing, and/or assist exposed individuals. Expands authority of unified program agency (UPA) to suspend, revoke, or withhold unified program facility permit under specified circumstances in which public health, safety, or the environment is imminently and substantially endangered.
Health Coverage/Health Care Reform
AB 50 (Kalra) – SUPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Requires DHCS to submit to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) an amendment request for the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program, including a request to increase slots from 5,744 to 18,500 and to start a process to expand the program on a regional basis beyond the existing 15 participating counties.
AB 848 (Gray) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Adds continuous glucose monitors and related supplies to the schedule of Medi-Cal benefits for diabetes mellitus treatment when medically necessary, subject to utilization controls.
AB 1004 (McCarty) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires screening services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program to include developmental screening services for individuals zero to three years of age. Requires Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCMC) to put in place mechanisms to ensure timely and consistent developmental screenings for children.
AB 1088 (Wood) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Extends eligibility without a share of cost for individuals who would otherwise be eligible if not for the state buy-in of their Medicare Part B premiums.
SB 29 (Durazo) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Expands full-scope Medi-Cal to undocumented adults 65 years of age and older with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
AB 166 (Gabriel) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires DHCS to establish a violence intervention pilot program at a minimum of eight hospital-based or hospital-linked sites, including at least one site in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Ventura counties targeted at reducing injury recidivism among Medi-Cal beneficiaries who have been violently injured. Requires violence preventive services to be offered to an eligible Medi-Cal beneficiary by a qualified violence prevention professional for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months. Services shall include targeted case management and care coordination, home and community visitation, and peer support services.
AB 656 (E. Garcia) – WATCH – TWO YEAR BILL
Establishes the Office of Healthy and Safe Communities (OHSC) under the direction of the California Department of Public Health to develop, implement, and monitor a comprehensive statewide violence prevention strategy.
SB 58 (Wiener) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to conduct a pilot program for additional hour license permits to allow specified bars/nightclubs to remain open until 4:00 am in the cities of Cathedral City, Coachella, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, and West Hollywood. Sets forth requirements of local governing boards and cities wishing to pursue additional hour license permits.
Jail & Community Corrections Services
AB 45 (Stone) – WATCH – DO PASS
Prohibits sheriff or other correctional facility administrators from charging fees for inmate-initiated medical visits or for durable medical equipment (DME) or medical supplies.
SB 42 (Skinner) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires county sheriff to make release standards, processes, and schedules available to a person booked into a county jail. Requires release standards to include specified rights, including the right for assistance in entering a SUD program, assistance in arranging for transportation to rehabilitation or a hospital free of charge, the option to stay in jail for up to 16 additional hours to be discharged during daytime, and a three days’ supply of medication that was being provided to the person while incarcerated upon release of a stay of 30 days or longer. Establishes the Late-Night Release Prevention Task Force.
Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health
SB 464 (Mitchell) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires specified health facilities providing perinatal care to implement an evidence-based implicit bias program for all healthcare providers involved in perinatal care within those facilities. Requires initial course and refresher course at least every two years thereafter. Requires hospitals to provide patients with information on filing a discrimination complaint. Requires death certificates to indicate whether decedent was pregnant within 42 days of death or within 43 to 365 days of death. Requires CDPH to track and publish specified maternal morbidity and mortality data.
Both ban smoking and disposal of all cigar and cigarette waste at all state coastal beaches or in state parks.
AB 320 (Quirk) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Establishes the California Mosquito Surveillance and Research Program and requires the development of an interactive website for the management and dissemination of mosquito-borne virus and surveillance control data.