Deadline Arrives for Non-Fiscal Bills, Legislature to Consider May Revise Beginning Next Week

Today marks the deadline for non-fiscal bills to be heard and advanced to the floor by policy committees of the California State Senate and Assembly. Recall, last week, a similar deadline was passed for all legislative measures with fiscal implications to be heard and advanced by policy committees. Bills that did not meet the deadlines will become two-year measures, able to be acted upon again only during a brief window in January 2022. Measures that did not meet the deadlines will be indicated as such on the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart.

The Legislature has generally shifted its focus to the state budget and appropriations processes. Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees continue to hold hearings and refer any bills with associated costs over $150,000 to the suspense file. All bills on suspense files are then internally assessed by the appropriations committees to determine total anticipated costs to the state. Legislative fiscal committees face a deadline of May 21 to hear and advance fiscal bills to house of origin floors. As such, Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees are anticipated to meet during the fourth week of May to announce suspense file results. Any bills held on suspense will be considered dead and will not advance through the legislative process.

Of particular note, Governor Gavin Newsom next week will release his Administration’s May Revise Budget, which will provide updated budgetary projections, additional details on proposals made in the Governor’s January Budget, and new investments depending on available resources. Budget subcommittees will hold multiple hearings over the coming weeks as the Legislature and Administration approach constitutional deadlines to finalize the state’s budget in June.

Below, we highlight a few bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Chronic Disease Prevention & Wellness Promotion

SB 464 (Hurtado) as amended March 17, 2021 – SUPPORT

This measure, authored by Senator Hurtado, was heard in Senate Appropriations Committee this week. SB 464 would modify California Food Assistance Program eligibility criteria to include noncitizens meeting all CalFresh eligibility criteria except for requirements related to immigration status beginning January 2023. SB 464 has been placed on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File.

Health Equity

SB 17 (Pan) as amended April 15, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Richard Pan’s SB 17 would establish a statewide Office of Racial Equity to be governed by a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council to coordinate, analyze, develop, evaluate, and recommend strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies, departments, and the office of the Governor. This measure would require the Office to deliver an annual report and develop a statewide Racial Equity Framework and state agencies to create a Racial Equity Plan that aligns with the Racial Equity Framework. SB 17 has been placed on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File and will be acted upon at a later date.