April 21, 2017 Edition

Legislature Returns after Spring Recess

After a week-long legislative spring recess, the Legislature returned to Sacramento facing two weeks of crowded policy committee agendas given the looming legislative deadline for bills with fiscal implications set for next Friday, April 28.  Legislators raced around the Capitol building from committee to committee either as sitting members of a committee or to present their bills.  Bills of interest heard this week are below.

This week’s bill chart is available here. As a reminder, each week’s bill chart will also be posted as a standing sidebar item on our 2017-18 Legislative Session Advocacy page.



A multitude of cannabis bills were heard in various committees this week.  Until the medical cannabis regulations are released, CHEAC is watching most cannabis-related bills.

AB 64 (Bonta) as amended on 4/5/17 – Watch

AB 64 serves as a reconciliation between the medical cannabis act and the adult use cannabis acts touching on issues including advertising restrictions, delivery services, and driving under the influence of cannabis.  AB 64 was passed unanimously by the Assembly Business & Professions Committee and moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 76 (Chau) as amended on 3/28/17 – Watch

AB 76, which prohibits the operations of online services, apps or mobile apps from marketing or advertising cannabis to anyone under the age of 21, was also heard in the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, and passed with a 15-0 vote. The measure will be heard in its second policy committee – Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection – next week.

AB 175 (Chau) as introduced on 1/17/17 – Watch

AB 175 requires adult use cannabis manufacturers, prior to releasing cannabis infused edible products, to submit packaging and labeling to the Bureau of Marijuana Control for approval.  The measure was heard in the Assembly Business & Professions Committee and passed with a 11-3 vote (Republicans either voted no or abstained), with opposition from the cannabis industry.  It moves on to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee next week.

AB 1135 (Wood) as introduced on 2/17/17 – Watch

AB 1135 requires CDPH and the Department of Education to establish a public stakeholder process for input on determining a disbursement formula for the Prop 64 funding directed to DHCS for the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treatment program.  The measure, sponsored by the Steinberg Institute, was supported by CBHDA who argued that the measure would enable counties, schools, and community prevention and treatment providers to establish a system of care and early intervention for youth who struggle with or are at risk of developing a substance use disorder.  AB 1135 passed out of Assembly Health with a vote of 13-0, and now moves on to the Appropriations Committee.

AB 1606 (Cooper) as amended on 4/4/17 – Watch

AB 1606 requires the testing of edible cannabis products to include testing for uniform cannabinoid disbursement throughout the product and for accuracy of the labeled dosage to be within 15 percent.  The measure passed out of the Assembly Health Committee on a 13-1 vote with amendments to remove the 15 percent due to conflicts with existing statute on the standardized dosage of cannabinoids.  It will be heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee next week.

SB 663 (Nielsen) as introduced on 2/17/17 – Watch

Establishes criteria for the packaging and labeling of cannabis products that would be attractive to children.  SB 663 was heard in the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee, and passed out on a 9-0 vote.  Since the measure has no fiscal implications, it has moved to the Senate Floor for final consideration.


Communicable Disease Control

AB 1279 (Salas) as amended on 4/6/17 – Watch with Concerns

AB 1279 requires counties to find and report to CDPH every case of valley fever (including confirmed and suspected cases) within their jurisdiction in a timely manner.  CDPH would be required to post cases online, establish an enhanced monitoring system to track cases, and conduct annual public outreach.  The measure appropriates $2 million General Fund for Valley Fever research, equipment, monitoring, and outreach.  The Assembly Health Committee passed the measure with a 14-0 vote.  The amendments taken in committee remove the requirement that suspected cases also be reported, with the committee analysis noting the “dubious” value of including them in reporting.  CHEAC expressed concerns to the author’s office about the mandate on counties to report every case; it is the author’s intent to not expand disease reporting requirements on counties.


Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

SB 323 (Mitchell) as amended on 4/6/17 – Support

SB 323 by Senator Mitchell was heard in the Senate Health Committee this week. The measure would allow federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health centers (RHCs) to receive reimbursement for Drug Medi-Cal services and specialty mental health services pursuant to contracts between FQHCs/RHCs and counties or DHCS. The measure, sponsored by California Health Advocates and the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.


Tobacco Control

SB 386 (Glazer) as introduced on 2/14/17 – Support

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard SB 386 by Senator Glazer, which would ban smoking (including e-cigarettes) and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at a state coastal beach, all parks, public campgrounds, monument sites, landmark sites, and sites of historical interest deemed by the state.  The measure was unanimously placed on the Appropriations Suspense File where it may be heard at a future date.

Potential ACA Repeal and Replace Efforts Surface Again

Recent reports suggest the Trump Administration is pressuring House Republicans to move swiftly to repeal the Affordable Care Act before the President’s 100th day in office (April 29). While rumors of potential deals have surfaced, it appears no vote has been scheduled. However, Congress will officially return to Capitol Hill next Tuesday, following a two-week recess and the White House is pushing for a vote next week.

During the recess, a proposed amendment (MacArthur Amendment) was released, which would allow for limited waivers from certain federal standards (including essential health benefits and community waiver rules) to lower premium costs and increase the number of insured. Legislative language has not yet been released and whether the House can achieve 216 votes to move the measure forward remains unclear.

Save the Date: Counties Cannabis Summit to be held July 19

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), and the Urban Counties of California (UCC) will be hosting a one-day summit on the changing policy landscape related to medical and adult use cannabis in California. The summit will convene key state regulators, cannabis experts, county supervisors, CAOs/CEOs, and senior staff to address critical policy implementation, local authority, and county priorities. Local health department officials are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Counties Cannabis Summit will be held on July 19, 2017, at the Library Galleria at 828 I Street in Sacramento. Registration details and a finalized event agenda to follow.

EMSA Director’s Advisory Group (DAG)

CHEAC is looking for one member to serve as the CHEAC representative on the Director’s Advisory Group (DAG) for the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA).  This group of various EMS stakeholders, including EMSAAC, hospitals, ambulance providers, and fire and law enforcement representatives, meets with the leadership of the EMS Authority to discuss a variety of current EMS topics.

The DAG meets on a quarterly basis with the next meeting scheduled for May 17, 2017, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  The other two meetings scheduled for 2017 will be held on August 16 and November 15 also from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  DAG meetings convene in Sacramento at the EMSA offices, and attendance in person is optional with call-in capacity available.

If you are interested, please contact Betsy Armstrong in our office for further details.