Atkins Sworn in as Senate Pro Tem, Legislature Breaks for Spring Recess

Atkins Sworn in as Senate President Pro Tempore, Legislature Breaks for Spring Recess

The California Legislature maintained a busy schedule this week with a number of hearings, amended bills, and a Senate leadership change prior to adjourning for its 10-day Spring Recess.

On Thursday, Senator Toni Atkins was sworn in as the Senate President Pro Tempore, replacing outgoing Senator Kevin de León. Atkins is the first-ever female Senate leader, first openly gay leader, and first member of the Legislature to serve as both the Assembly Speaker and Senate President pro Tempore. Atkins takes the Senate helm at a particularly interesting time as sexual harassment and assault, immigration, health care, climate change, and other hot-button issues continue to garner significant attention in Sacramento and throughout the state.

The Legislature is due back in Sacramento on Monday, April 2, where the month of April is expected to be a very busy month dominated with policy and budget committee hearings.

Below, we highlight significant actions this week in the Legislature. Our full CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Injury Prevention

AB 1766 (Maienschein) as revised on March 6, 2018 – Support

Assembly Member Brian Maienschein’s AB 1766 was unanimously advanced from the Assembly Health Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week. The measure would require public swimming pools to provide a readily-available AED unit during pool operations and would also require the California Department of Education (CDE) to work in consultation with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to issue best practice guidelines for pool safety at K-12 schools.

AB 1798 (Chu) as amended on March 14, 2018 – Support

AB 1798 by Assembly Member Steven Chu would require all school buses in the state of California to be equipped with a passenger restraint system by July 2035. The measure was recently amended to extend the date of compliance a number of years due to cost concerns.
CHEAC supports this measure to prevent injury and death among California’s children. AB 1798 was passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee and to the Assembly Education Committee.

Chronic Disease Prevention & Wellness Promotion

AB 3043 (Berman) as amended on March 13, 2018 – Support

Assembly Member Marc Berman’s AB 3043 was advanced from the Assembly Education Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week. AB 3043 would authorize any school that participates in the federal School Breakfast Program to provide a universal school breakfast service in which a nutritionally-adequate breakfast is provided to every pupil at no charge. The measure also increases CDE grant awards upon budgetary appropriation from $15,000 to $30,000 per school site to initiate or expand a school breakfast program or federal summer meals program. CHEAC supports this measure to ensure California’s children have access to nutritious meals.

Valley Fever

AB 1787 (Salas) as introduced on January 8, 2018 – Watch

AB 1788 (Salas) as introduced on January 8, 2018 – Watch

AB 1880 (Fong) as amended on March 1, 2018 – Watch

AB 1881 (Fong) as amended on March 14, 2018 – Watch

Assembly Members Salas and Fong, along with several other members joining as coauthors, have introduced a series of bills to address Valley Fever.  The four bills above were scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee earlier this week.  Both AB 1880 and AB 1881 were pulled from the hearing (and will not move forward); however, some elements of AB 1880 were incorporated into AB 1787.  For AB 1787, which requires CDPH to establish a March 1 deadline for local health officers to report cases of Valley Fever to CDPH, the author accepted amendments to move that deadline from March 1 to March 31.  An additional amendment, taken from AB 1880, would require CDPH to collect and aggregate all Valley Fever data by April 15 of each year.  AB 1788, which allows CDPH to use laboratory results to confirm a case of Valley Fever with or without clinical criteria, was amended to add additional co-authors to the bill.  Both AB 1787 and AB 1788 were presented to the Committee by Assembly Members Salas and Fong and passed out unanimously with amendments. The bills now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.