Legislature Continues with Policy Committee Hearings, CHEAC Measure Advances

Legislature Continues with Policy Committee Hearings, CHEAC Measure Advances

This week, the California State Senate and Assembly continued with policy committee hearings, reviewing, amending, and advancing measures from the opposite house. The next several weeks are anticipated to be quite busy as the Legislature works through numerous policy committee hearings ahead of its scheduled month-long summer recess, set to begin upon the Legislature’s adjournment on July 16. Between now and then, legislators will be working to advance their measures along the legislative process, facing a July 14 deadline for policy committees to meet and report bills.

Of note, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon this week announced expanded public access to the Capitol as the state moves Beyond the Blueprint, retiring most of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. This week, capacity was limited to 500 members of the public at any given time, and Rules Committees of the Senate and Assembly continue to assess increasing capacity to a total of 1,000 members of the public as soon as next week.

Below, we highlight several actions of interest to CHEAC Members. Of note, CHEAC’s sponsored measure to assess local health department infrastructure was advanced by the Senate Health Committee. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Public Health Infrastructure

AB 240 (Rodriguez) as Amended June 10, 2021 – SPONSOR

AB 240 by Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez was heard in the Senate Health Committee this week. This bill would require the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to contract with a qualified and appropriate entity to conduct an evaluation of the adequacy of the local health department infrastructure and to make recommendations for future staffing, workforce, and resources needs. This bill is sponsored by CHEAC, HOAC, and SEIU California, UCC, RCRC, and Public Health Advocates. AB 240 advanced out of Senate Health Committee on a 10-0 vote with one member not voting and now moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee.


AB 263 (Arambula) as amended April 15, 2021 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Rob Bonta’s AB 263 was heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. This measure would require a private detention facility operator to comply with and adhere to all local and state public health orders and occupational safety and health regulations. AB 263 is sponsored by the Immigrant Defense Advocates, NextGen, Physicians for Human Rights, and the California Collaborative for Immigrants Justice. CHEAC is joined by HOAC in supporting the measure which was passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee to the Senate Judiciary Committee on consent.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 4 (Arambula) as Introduced December 7, 2020 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 4 was heard this week in the Senate Health Committee. This measure would expand Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented adults with income at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature. AB 4 was passed out of the Senate Health Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee on an 8-2 vote with one member not voting.

Tobacco Control

AB 541 (Berman) as amended May 24, 2021 – SUPPORT

AB 541 by Assembly Member Marc Berman was heard in the Senate Health Committee this week. This measure would require alcoholism and substance use disorder recovery and treatment facilities licensed by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to assess each patient or client for tobacco use at the time of initial intake. If tobacco use disorder is identified, a facility or program is required to provide specific information, including an offer for treatment or referral for tobacco use disorder treatment. AB 541 was passed out of Senate Health Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 9-0 vote with two members not voting.