Newsom Signs Measures on Behavioral Health and Homelessness Services

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a handful of legislative measures to reform the state’s behavioral health care system, including reforms aimed at improving access to mental health and substance use disorder services and behavioral health services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Most notably, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1976 (Eggman) to expand court-ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), AB 2265 (Quirk-Silva) to authorize the use of specified Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds for the treatment of cooccurring mental health and substance use disorders, SB 803 (Beall) to support statewide standards for behavioral health peer support specialists and add the services as an option in Medi-Cal, and SB 855 (Wiener) to require commercial health plans and insurers to provide full coverage for the treatment of all mental health conditions and substance use disorders and establish standards for what constitutes medically necessary treatment and criteria for use of clinical guidelines.

Governor Newsom additionally signed a number of other behavioral health and homelessness-related measures, including AB 1544 (Gipson) related to community paramedicine or triage to alternate destinations, AB 2112 (Ramos) related to suicide prevention, AB 2553 (Ting) related to shelter crisis declarations, and SB 1065 (Hertzberg) related to CalWORKs homeless assistance.

The full announcement from the Office of the Governor is available here.