October 5, 2018 Edition

Governor Brown Reaches Bill Deadline, Acts on More than 1,200 Bills Passed in 2018

For his final time as governor of California, Jerry Brown reached Sunday’s constitutional deadline to sign or veto bills passed by the California Legislature at the end of the legislative session. Brown cleared his desk on Sunday evening of the last of the last of the more than 1,200 bills passed by the California Legislature in 2018, encompassing a wide range of issues and topics – including climate change and the environment, net neutrality, and sexual assault prevention and response.

Below, we highlight notable actions taken by Governor Brown during the final days prior to Sunday’s deadline. For results of all actions taken by Governor Brown, CHEAC has issued a final bill chart available here.

Should you have any questions about measures and results of actions on tracked bills, please contact your CHEAC Staff.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

AB 3115 (Gipson) – Oppose

Vetoed by Governor

AB 3115 by Assembly Member Mike Gipson was vetoed by Governor Brown. Recall, the measure was a late gut and amend bill that sought to codify community paramedicine programs for five years and place onerous and restrictive requirements on local EMS agencies that operate a program. The measure would have also made permanent changes to the State EMS Commission, required local EMS agencies to create or modify existing emergency medical care committees, and required programs to grant public providers the first right of refusal in providing community paramedicine services.

CHEAC took an active role in opposing the measure, along with CSAC, UCC, and EMSAAC, due to modifications of medical oversight, county authority, and modifications to membership of the EMS Commission. The governor’s veto message is available here.

Environmental Health

SB 212 (Jackson) – Support

Signed by Governor

Governor Brown signed SB 212 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson which will establish a comprehensive statewide stewardship program for home-generated pharmaceutical drug and sharps waste. The measure was the result of extensive negotiations between stakeholders from pharmaceutical entities to fully fund and participate in or create a waste stewardship program to be overseen by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

Drug and Alcohol Services

AB 186 (Eggman) – Watch

Vetoed by Governor

Governor Brown vetoed AB 186 by Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman which would have authorized the City and County of San Francisco to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs, including supervised injection sites. In his veto message, Governor Brown concluded that the disadvantages of the bill far outweighed possible benefits and claimed that “enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work… AB 186 is all carrot and no stick.”

Tobacco Control

AB 1097 (Levine) – Support

SB 835 (Glazer) and SB 836 (Glazer) – Support

Vetoed by Governor

For the third year in a row, Governor Brown resisted attempts to limit smoking and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at state parks and state coastal beaches. AB 1097 by Assembly Member Marc Levine sought to prohibit smoking at any picnic area of state parks and coastal beaches. SB 835 and SB 836 by Senator Steven Glazer sought to prohibit smoking at state parks and state coastal beaches, respectively. Claiming in his veto message that the “third time is not always a charm,” Governor Brown indicating his opinion on the matter had not changed from the two previous attempts to prohibit smoking in these “wide open spaces.”

AG Becerra Issues Guidance and Model Policies on Immigrant Access to Public Facilities

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently issued guidance and model policies to ensure that facilities throughout the state remain accessible to all California residents. Pursuant to SB 54 (Chapter 495, Statutes of 2017), the California Attorney General was required to consult appropriate stakeholders and publish model policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law at health facilities operated by a state or political subdivision of the state, public schools, public libraries, courthouses, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement facilities, the Agricultural Relations Board, the Division of Workers Compensation, and others.

CHEAC participated in a stakeholder meeting at the California Attorney General’s Office with other applicable entities and organizations to provide input on the development of the publication, “Promoting Safe and Secure Healthcare Access for All.”  Additional publications related to access of other public facilities are accessible on the Attorney General’s website here.

Governor Brown Announces Appointment of CDPH Assistant Director

Governor Jerry Brown last week appointed Charity Dean as the assistant director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Dean was previously the public health officer at the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department between 2014 and 2018 and had also served as the deputy public health officer in Santa Barbara from 2011 to 2014. Dean earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University and has been a member of the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO).

CDPH Office of Oral Health Announces Evaluation Webinar

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Office of Oral Health (OOH) will be holding an “Evaluation 101” webinar on Monday, October 22 from 10:00 am-11:30 am. The webinar will focus on the basic concepts of program evaluation as it relates to local oral health programs (LOHPs), and participants will learn about evaluations and their value, the CDC Framework for Program Evaluation, and the key elements of an evaluation plan.

Registration for the October 22 webinar is available here.

CDC Seeks Comments on Upcoming Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Community Health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking comments on an upcoming Surgeon General’s Call to Action document with the working title, “Community Health and Prosperity.” The document seeks to clearly demonstrate that investments in community health have the potential to improve the health and prosperity of communities and issue a call to action to local policy makers and the private sector for investment in communities to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

Written comments must be received by November 5, 2018. Additional information and materials are available on the Federal Register.

DHCS Publishes October Stakeholder Update

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently published its October 2018 Stakeholder Communication Update. The bimonthly update details important events, actions, and reports from DHCS. The update is available here.

Little Hoover Commission Releases Report on Denti-Cal Program

The Little Hoover Commission, California’s independent state oversight agency, recently released a report which reviewed the state’s Denti-Cal program and the services provided to beneficiaries. The report focused primarily on services delivered to children and found that the program has fallen short of providing dental care to millions of eligible Californians. The Little Hoover Commission outlines several challenges and opportunities facing the Denti-Cal program including:

  • Low-income caregivers and adults must be better educated about dental health and Denti-Cal;
  • Access to dental care must be expanded and made easier and more seamless;
  • Enhanced communication between DHCS and Denti-Cal providers;
  • Consistent and sustainable Denti-Cal funding; and
  • DHCS must continue to improve data access that is timely, complete, and transparent and in compliance with AB 2077­.

The report was delivered to Governor Brown and members of the California Legislature. The full report is available here.

CHCF Issues Publication on Substance Use in California

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) recently issued its first California Health Care Almanac publication titled, “Substance Use in California: A Look at Addiction and Treatment.” The report uses the most recent data available to provide an overview of substance use and addiction in the state, and details prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD), use of alcohol and other drugs, mortality, emergency department use, treatment, workforce, and spending.

Key findings of the publication include:

  • Alcohol use disorder was more prevalent that other types of SUDs. Six percent of Californians reported meeting the criteria for dependence on alcohol, compared to three percent for illicit drugs.
  • SUDs were most prevalent among young adults age 18 to 25, occurring at nearly twice the state average rate.
  • Use of alcohol and other drugs often begins in adolescence. By 11th grade, more than half of California students have used alcohol and almost 40 percent have used cannabis.
  • Alcohol accounted for more nonfatal emergency department visits than all other drug diagnoses combined.
  • The number of heroin-related emergency department visits in California more than tripled between 2006 and 2017.

The full report and reference guide is available here. These materials are part of CHCF’s California Health Care Almanac, a resource for key data and analyses describing the state’s health care landscape.