Appropriations Committees Consider Suspense Files, CHEAC Measure Held
On Thursday, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees worked through their suspense files, with several short breaks taken during the meetings for this abbreviated legislative year. Both committees dispensed with the significantly limited number of bills moving through their houses this year – 180 measures considered in the Senate and 89 considered in the Assembly – within a few hours.
Unfortunately, one of the casualties was AB 3224 (Rodriguez), CHEAC’s sponsored measure along with the Health Officer’s Association of California (HOAC) and SEIU California. The measure would have required CDPH to contract with an entity to evaluate of local health department infrastructure and make recommendations for staffing, workforce needs, and resources, in order to adequately fund local public health. The Senate Appropriations Committee held the bill on their suspense file.
Next week, both houses will be meeting on their respective floors to take final action on bills for this legislative year. The deadline for both houses to conclude their work is Monday, August 31.
Below, we highlight other 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 2164 (Rivas) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Authorizes Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to establish a patient, located within the federal designated service area of the FQHC and RHC, through synchronous interaction or asynchronous store and forward as of the date of service, under specified conditions. Sunsets 180 days after the termination of the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency.
Communicable Disease Control
AB 660 (Levine) – WATCH – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Restricts the use of data collected for contacting tracing efforts. Prohibits law enforcement officials from engaging in contact tracing activities.
AB 685 (Reyes) – WATCH WITH CONCERNS – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires all private and public employers to notify all employees, when notified of a COVID-19 exposure, that they may have been exposed. Employers also required to report names and number of employees, by industry and occupation, who have COVID-19, to CDPH. CDPH required to post that information on their public website.
AB 1782 (Chau) – WATCH – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Regulates public health entities and businesses that provide technology-assisted contact tracing (TACT). Requires public health entities participating in TACT services to purge personal information within 60 days of collection, require any report of exposure to be verified by a health care professional, or public health entity, before notifying individuals who may have been exposed. Prohibits public health entities from offering TACT that collects, uses, retains or shares geolocation information. Imposes civil judgement on public entities for data disclosure violations for reasonable attorney fees, injunctive relief, and potentially damages.
SB 932 (Wiener) – WATCH – DO PASS
Requires any electronic tool used by local health officers to report communicable disease information to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to include the capacity to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data from individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. Requires health care providers to also report a patient’s sexual orientation and gender identify, if known, to local health officers when the provider is in attendance on any reportable communicable disease.
AB 2112 (Ramos) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Authorizes the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish an Office of Suicide Prevention with specified duties and responsibilities to address increasing suicide rates in the state. Subject to state budget or other appropriation.
SB 793 (Hill) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Bans the sale or possession with the intent to sell flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers, including flavored “vaping” products and menthol cigarettes, and provides exemptions for the sales of flavored shisha tobacco product for use in a hookah, loose leaf tobacco, and premium cigars.