June 2, 2017 Edition
The Budget Conference Committee convened hearings this week to reconcile differences in the budget plans adopted by both houses. Senator Mitchell, the chair of the Conference Committee, announced the committee’s intent to cover Education and Health and Human Services issues today. At the time of this writing, Education discussions are in progress and Health and Human Services discussions have not yet begun. The conference committee will convene over the weekend to address the remaining policy areas, which include General Government, Resources, Transportation, and Energy.
Agendas outlining the key differences between the houses can be found here. Health and Human Services items can be found here. One key issue remaining for health is the allocation of Proposition 56 – Tobacco Tax funding. Spending differences on this item can be found here.
This week, the Legislature debated a myriad of bills on the floor in an effort to meet today’s deadline for bills to be passed out of their house of origin. Policy committees did not conduct hearings this week, but will resume next week to begin hearing bills that advanced. Below, we highlight a handful of bills of interest to CHEAC members.
For a full update on bills advanced this week, please view the CHEAC bill chart.
AB 62 (Wood) as amended on 5/1/17 – Support
Assembly Member Jim Wood’s AB 62 was advanced from the Assembly Floor to the Senate this week. The measure would require all public housing agencies to implement policies prohibiting the smoking of tobacco products in all public housing units, interior areas, and outdoor areas within 25 feet of public housing and administrative buildings. Public housing agencies would also be required to refer residents to smoking cessation options before engaging in any action based on violations of smoke-free policies. The measure awaits assignment to a policy committee in the Senate.
AB 725 (Levine) and SB 386 (Glazer) as introduced on 2/14/17 and 2/15/17 – Support
AB 725 by Assembly Member Marc Levine and SB 386 by Senator Steven Glazer were both passed out of their respective house of origin. The measures are identical and would ban smoking (including e-cigarettes) and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at state coastal beaches, parks, public campgrounds, monument sites, landmark sites, and sites of historical interest. Both measures await their policy committee assignments.
Drug & Alcohol Services
AB 40 (Santiago) as amended on 5/26/17 – Support
Assembly Member Miguel Santiago’s AB 40 was advanced from the Assembly Floor to the Senate this week. The measure would allow the CURES database to integrate with other health information technology systems and allow providers a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health history, including a patient’s prescription history. CHEAC and the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC) support the measure as an attempt to address the complicated and rising opioid epidemic. AB 40 awaits a policy committee assignment in the Senate.
AB 210 (Santiago) as amended on 5/2/17 – Support
AB 210 by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago was passed from the Assembly Floor to the Senate. The Los Angeles County-sponsored measure would allow counties to establish multidisciplinary teams and enhanced data sharing to facilitate the expedited identification, assessment, and linkage of homeless individuals to housing and supportive services. The bill has yet to be assigned to a Senate policy committee.
AB 340 (Arambula) as introduced on 2/7/17 – Support
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula’s AB 340 was passed from the Assembly Floor to the Senate. The measure would require that any Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) screen include screening for trauma and proposes to provide statewide guidance to practitioners to look for trauma when children are screened. With an increasing interest in adverse childhood experiences (ACES), CHEAC supports AB 340, along with HOAC, the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA). AB 340 awaits assignment to a Senate policy committee.
SB 562 (Lara) as amended on 5/26/17 – Special Interest Bill
SB 562 by Senator Ricardo Lara was advanced from the Senate to the Assembly. The measure would establish the Healthy California Act to provide universal, single-payer health coverage for every Californian. On the Senate Floor this week, Republican and Democratic Senators expressed concerns about the proposal, including the expected cost of the plan and the lack of delivery and financing details.
Should the Assembly amend the bill with a funding plan, SB 562 would be required to return to the Senate Floor for another vote and be approved in each house by a two-thirds majority.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is inviting LHD staff to join the HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Sentinel Network to gather and share information on LHD efforts, needs, challenges, and successes related to sexually transmitted diseases. Information will be collected from the Sentinel Network through brief quarterly queries and virtual meetings to discuss results and other topics of interest. To join the Sentinel Network, fill out this online form. CHEAC encourages members to consider joining the network; please let us know if you apply to join by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) recently launched an Advocacy Toolkit to help public health professionals and advocates reach out to Members of Congress and their staff. The toolkit includes items such as strategies for communicating with Congress, tips on how to become a valuable resource for policymakers, budget and appropriations timelines, and information on how to develop fact sheets and talking points. The NACCHO Advocacy Toolkit is available here.