September 28, 2018 Edition

Governor Brown Faces Sunday Deadline to Take Action on Bills

Governor Jerry Brown has until this Sunday, September 30 to sign or veto bills passed by the California Legislature at the end of the 2017-18 legislative session. While Governor Brown has been maintaining a steady pace of signing and vetoing bills this week, a significant number of bills remain outstanding before Sunday’s deadline. CHEAC will issue a final bill chart next week, which will detail results of all tracked bills.

Trump Administration Releases Unofficial Proposed Changes to Public Charge

On Saturday, September 22, the Trump Administration released the text of proposed changes to how the federal government determines whether an immigrant is likely to become a “public charge.” Despite the public release of the text, the language has not officially been published by the Federal Register; therefore the 60-day window for public comments has not yet begun. In order for any changes to public charge to take effect, the following actions – which could take several months – must occur:

  • Proposed changes must be published by the Federal Register;
  • A 60-day comment period must occur;
  • The Administration must review submitted comments;
  • A final rule must be issued and will be deemed effective 60 days after the issuance of the final rule.

The proposed text expands the public charge test to include whether an immigrant is receiving one or more of the specified public benefits, which includes non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D, housing subsidies and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Please note that while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is contemplating additional benefits to be included, the current proposal does not include the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

CHEAC will provide an update once the Federal Register publishes the proposed changes and will monitor developments over the coming weeks. Should your local health departments have questions or concerns related to specific programs administered by your department, please contact the CHEAC Office at (916) 327-7540 or via email at Links to additional resources are provided below:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Protecting Immigrant Families

CDPH Cannabis Emergency Regulations Related to Shared-Use Facilities and CEQA Compliance Re-Released

This spring, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued emergency regulations related to the cannabis dual-licensing system: 1) compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and 2) the need for specific requirements and guidance to ensure that the use of shared-use facilities by cannabis manufacturers are compliant with the state’s statutory requirements.  CHEAC did not submit written comments after receiving no comments back from local health departments.

CDPH has re-released these regulations, with no changes, to extend the emergency regulations for another 180-day period.  CHEAC’s April 2018 summary of the regulations can be found here.

Adolescent Birth Rate in California Continues to Decline

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that California’s adolescent birth rate continues to decline. A new state report indicates a record low of 15.7 births per 1,000 females between ages 15 and 19. These numbers indicate an 11 percent decline between 2015 and 2016.

Between 2015 and 2016, the adolescent birth rate decreased among all racial and ethnic groups. Despite these declining rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African-American and Hispanic adolescents were found to be three to four times as likely to give birth as White adolescents. Hispanic females account for 75 percent of adolescent births and have the highest adolescent birth rate at 23.7.

CDPH attributes the declining rates to a number of factors, including improved access to reproductive health services and increased use of contraception, delayed first sexual intercourse, and public health prevention, education, and support programs. Additional birth rate data is available from CDPH here.