Legislature Faces House of Origin Deadline Next Week, CHEAC-Sponsored Bill Unanimously Advances
The California Legislature held a steady pace of actions on the Senate and Assembly Floors this week as legislators face a June 4 deadline to pass to the next house bills introduced in their house of origin. Next week will feature floor sessions only with committees unable to meet for any purpose until June 7.
Of particular note, CHEAC’s sponsored bill, AB 240 (Rodriguez), on Thursday was unanimously advanced from the Assembly Floor to the Senate on a 71-0 vote. Recall, AB 240 would require the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to contract with an appropriate and qualified entity to conduct an evaluation of the local health department infrastructure in California and make recommendations for future staffing, workforce, and resource needs. CHEAC is joined by HOAC, SEIU California, UCC, RCRC, and Public Health Advocates in sponsoring the measure.
Today, the California State Assembly administered the oath of office to Assembly Member Isaac Bryan, representing Assembly District 54 in Los Angeles County. Recall, the seat was vacated by now-Senator Sydney Kamlager earlier this spring. Assembly Member Bryan is an educator and community organizer, and he previously served as a senior adviser to Senator Kamlager and the founding director of the UCLA Black Policy Project.
With a looming June 15 deadline to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the next several weeks are anticipated to be very busy in Sacramento. CHEAC will continue to keep its Members apprised of relevant legislative and budget updates over the coming weeks.
Below, we highlight a couple bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
Communicable Disease Control
AB 1344 (Arambula) as amended April 8, 2021 – WATCH
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 1344 was advanced from the Assembly Floor to the Senate this week on a 49-20 vote with nine members not voting. AB 1344 would exempt needle and syringe exchange services application submissions, authorizations, and operations from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and would declare bill provisions to be declaratory of existing law.
AB 650 (Muratsuchi) as amended May 24, 2021 – OPPOSE
AB 650 by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi would require health care employers that employ 100 or more employees to provide hazard pay retention bonuses to employees providing direct patient care and services supporting patient care. Employees eligible include but are not limited to pharmacists, clinicians, nurses, aides, technicians, janitorial and housekeeping staff, security, food services, laundry, and administrative staff. Employers would be required to issue quarterly hazard pay bonuses in 2022, with total amounts ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 depending on employee status. Employers would be authorized to reduce bonus amounts if any qualifying monetary bonus was provided to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. CHEAC joins a coalition of organizations, including the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), in opposition to the measure due to significant anticipated costs.