One Week Remains in Year’s Legislative Session
Lawmakers in Sacramento this week maintained a steady pace of floor sessions only, working toward next Friday’s legislative deadline for any bill to be passed to the Governor. With only days remaining in this year’s legislative session, legislators continue to secure last-minute amendments and votes to get their remaining bills in play across the finish line.
Legislators are anticipated to hear and act on a number of budget trailer bills next week, cleaning up provisions included in the 2021 Budget Act that was passed by the Legislature earlier this summer. Both the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee are set to convene hearings on Tuesday to review a series of measures that are yet to be in print at the time of this publication.
Given the truncated timeline, several notable measures and topics have been sidelined for the year with many legislators indicating their intent to bring measures for consideration upon the Legislature’s return to Sacramento in January 2022. One such bill is AB 1130 by Assembly Member Jim Wood to create the Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) in California to collect and analyze health care cost drivers and trends to inform the development of policies to lower and control high health care costs. Assembly Member Wood issued a statement yesterday indicating the bill has been shelved for the year due to other higher priority issues statewide, including wildfires, COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and the presence of the COVID-19 delta variant.
Many of CHEAC’s tracked measures were advanced to the Governor this week. As a reminder, the Governor has a 12-day period to act on measures in his possession on or before September 9. Bills received by the Governor on or after September 10 are subject to a 30-day period for the Governor to either sign or veto. Any bills not affirmatively signed or vetoed by the Governor during these periods will become law.
Below, we provide updates on several bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.
AB 263 (Arambula) – SUPPORT
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 263 would require private detention facility operator to comply with all local and state public health orders and safety regulations. The measure received approval from the Senate on Monday on a 39-0 vote with one member not voting. The Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on Wednesday on a 74-0 vote with five members not voting. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom.
Drug & Alcohol Services
AB 381 (Davies) – SUPPORT
Assembly Member Laurie Davies’ AB 381 requires licensed adult alcoholism or drug abuse recovery treatment facilities to administer U.S. FDA approved opioid antagonist for treatment of an opioid overdose and have at least one trained staff member to administer the drug on premises. AB 381 received Senate approval on a 39-0 vote with one member not voting on Monday. The Assembly then concurred in the Senate amendments on a 78-0 vote with one member not voting. AB 381 now heads to the desk of Governor Newsom.
Health Coverage/Health Care Reform
AB 369 (Kamlager) – SUPPORT
AB 369, authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager, requires DHCS to implement a program for presumptive Medi-Cal eligibility for homeless individuals to the extent federal financial participation is available. The bill also authorizes a person experiencing homelessness to receive primary care services and referrals for specialty care from any Medi-Cal enrolled provider. AB 369 received final approval from the Senate on a 32-0 vote with eight members not voting on Monday. On Wednesday, the Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on a 72-0 vote with seven members not voting, and the measure is now on its way to the Governor.
AB 1407 (Burke) – SUPPORT
AB 1407 by Assembly Member Autumn Burke requires nursing programs and schools of nursing to include implicit bias training as a requirement for graduation. The measure also requires for nurse licensees, beginning January 2023, within the first two years of holding their license to complete an implicit bias course. AB 1407 received final approval from the Senate on Monday on a 32-1 vote with seven members not voting. The Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on Wednesday on a 68-0 vote with 11 members not voting. The measure now moves to the Governor’s desk.
SB 395 (Caballero) – SUPPORT
Senator Anna Caballero’s SB 395 was heard on the Senate Floor this week. SB 395 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. The measure received final approval by the Assembly on Wednesday on a 61-14 vote with four members not voting. The Senate concurred in the Assembly amendments on Thursday on a 29-9 vote with two members not voting. The measure now heads to the desk of Governor Newsom.
AB 751 (Irwin) – SUPPORT
AB 751, authored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin, received final legislative approval this week. The measure requires requests made for these documents electronically to accept electronic verification authenticating the identity of the applicant using a process that meets the National Institute of Standards and Technology Digital Identity Guidelines and other requirements. AB 751 is now on its way to the Governor.