Suspense Hearings Held, Legislature Enters Final Two Weeks of 2021 Session
Today, the California State Senate and Assembly fiscal committees met the deadline to hear and report all bills. Pursuant with today’s deadline, both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees yesterday held their suspense file hearings, determining the fate of hundreds of legislative bills that remain in play for this year’s session.
Only two weeks remain in this year’s legislative session, and lawmakers will only be permitted to convene floor sessions until the Legislature’s adjournment for interim recess on September 10. These next two weeks are anticipated to be quite busy as lawmakers work to advance their measures to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom.
As a reminder, the timeframe for the Governor to sign or veto legislative bills is slightly different at the end of session. Any bill in the Governor’s possession on or before September 9 (the penultimate day of session) must be acted upon within 12 days. Any bill in the Governor’s possession on or after September 10 (last day of session) must be acted upon in 30 days. As a reminder, any bill the Governor does not affirmatively sign or veto becomes law. With the upcoming September 14 Gubernatorial Recall Election, it is anticipated the Legislature will be strategic about which bills and issues are advanced to the Governor’s desk immediately before the election.
While only two weeks remain in the year’s session, lawmakers have their work cut out for them, particularly as they work to finalize and pass any remaining budget trailer bills as part of the FY 2021-22 State Budget. Numerous trailer bills on several high-level subjects are anticipated, and the Assembly Budget Committee has scheduled two hearings for budget clean-up measures over the next two weeks.
Below, we report on this week’s appropriations suspense file results on a handful of measures tracked by CHEAC. As a reminder, bills held on suspense are considered dead and will not move further in the legislative process. Bills that have been designated as a two-year bill will not move forward this year and will be able to be acted upon during a short window in January 2022. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
Access to Health Services
SB 316 (Eggman) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Authorizes Medi-Cal reimbursements for a maximum of two visits on the same day at a single 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. Also authorizes FQHC/RHC to apply for a per-visit rate adjustment for a medical visit and mental health visit occurring on the same day at a single location. Requires DHCS to submit state plan amendment to CMS by 07/01/2022.
Built Environment/Climate Change
AB 585 (L. Rivas) – SUPPPORT – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Upon appropriation of the Legislature, establishes the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program within the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to coordinate state efforts and support local and regional efforts to reduce public health risks of extreme heat and would establish priority to disadvantage communities and vulnerable populations, as determined by local health departments, CDPH, or both.
Communicable Disease Control
SB 744 (Glazer) – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Requires CDPH to create a program to provide for expedited release, during a declared public health emergency, including the type of housing where the patient resides, the number of people in the household where the patient resides, the occupation and workplace of the patient, and a relevant travel history based on the disease course.
SB 336 (Ochoa-Bogh) – WATCH – DO PASS
Requires local health officers or CDPH, when taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to have measures published and to specify the date a change or closure would take effect. Requires CDPH or local health officers to create an opportunity for individuals and entities to sign up for an email distribution list regarding the orders. Requirement may be waived if immediate danger or imminent threat to public is present.
Chronic Disease Prevention and Wellness Promotion
AB 619 (Calderon) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires CDPH to develop an Air Quality Health Plan with recommendations and guidelines for counties to use in significant air quality caused by wildfires or other sources. Requires counties to use the CDPH Air Quality Plan to develop a county-specific plan.
AB 1276 (Carrillo) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Prohibits single-use food ware accessory or standard condiments to be provided by a food facility unless requested by a customer. Exempts correctional institutions, health facilities, residential care facilities, and school cafeterias.
Health Coverage/Health Care Reform
AB 369 (Kamlager) – SUPPORT – DO PASS
Requires DHCS to implement a program for presumptive Medi-Cal eligibility for homeless individuals to the extent federal financial participation is available. Authorizes person experiencing homelessness to receive primary care services and referrals for specialty care from any Medi-Cal enrolled provider.
AB 4 (Arambula) – SUPPORT –TWO YEAR BILL
Expands Medi-Cal to all undocumented adults with income at or below 138% FPL.
AB 362 (Quirk-Silva) – WATCH – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Requires each city or county that receives a complaint regarding a homeless shelter to inspect the shelter and take specified actions based on findings. Specifies responsibilities of shelter owner/operator and authorizes city or county to impose additional civil penalties in specified circumstances. Exempts Project Roomkey facilities.
AB 1017 (Quirk-Silva) – WATCH – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Requires local governments to conduct an inventory of public restrooms both owned and maintained. Local governments would also be required to submit a report to CDPH providing a map and listing of available public restrooms, including hours of operation, maintenance, security presence, and applicable usage fees.
AB 1038 (Gipson) – WATCH – TWO YEAR BILL
Establishes the California Health Equity Program within the CDPH Office of Health Equity for the purpose of awarding competitive grants to community-based organizations (CBOs), community clinics, local health departments, and tribal organizations.
SB 682 (Rubio) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Establishes the End Racial Inequities in Children’s Health in California Initiative (EnRICH CA Initiative) and requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to develop a plan to reduce racial disparities in childhood chronic diseases.
Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Services
SB 65 (Skinner) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Establishes the Maternal Morbidity Review Committee within CDPH and tasks the committee with specified activities relative to maternal morbidity and mortality. Requires counties to annually report infant deaths to the local health department (LHD). Requires LHDs to establish a Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Committee to investigate and prevent fetal and infant deaths if the county have five or more infant deaths in a single year and if the county has a death rate that is higher than the state’s death rate for two consecutive years. Extends Medi-Cal eligibility for a pregnant person for a total of 12 months after birth. Requires DHCS to offer doula care as a covered Medi-Cal benefit. Increases CalWORKs benefits to specified pregnant persons. Requires OSHPD to conduct specified activities relative to training of nurse-midwives and licensed midwives.
Public Health Infrastructure
AB 240 (Rodriguez) – SUPPORT – TWO YEAR BILL
Requires CDPH to contract with an appropriate and qualified entity to conduct an evaluation of the adequacy of the local health department infrastructure to make future recommendations for staffing, workforce, and resources needed.
Public Health Workforce
AB 1306 (Arambula) – WATCH – HELD ON SUSPENSE
Adds language relative to the Health Professions Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) under the jurisdiction of OSHPD to incorporate the urgent and growing need for California to expand the pool of diverse health workers.
SB 395 (Caballero) – SUPPORT – DO PASS AS AMENDED
Imposes a 12.5 percent tax on retail sale of electronic cigarettes in California. Requires tax revenues to be allocated to Proposition 99, Proposition 10, and Proposition 56 tobacco programs, and others.