Governor Newsom Takes Final Action on 2020 Bills Concluding Abbreviated Legislative Year

Governor Gavin Newsom met the constitutional deadline to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on Wednesday, September 30, officially concluding the 2020 legislative year. During this second year of the 2019-20 legislative session, and despite COVID-19 related interruptions, the Governor signed 457 bills and vetoed 56. This week, the Governor held multiple virtual signing ceremonies for a number of high-profile bills including those addressing racial justice, prescription drugs, and housing.

As this is the second year of the Legislature’s two-year cycle, the Legislature will officially adjourn sine die at midnight on November 30, 2020. The new Legislature, elected in November, will be sworn in and take their seats when Legislative session reconvenes on Monday, December 7.

Our final CHEAC Bill Chart detailing all tracked measures and final actions is available here. Below, we highlight a number of measures of interest to CHEAC Members.

Access to Health Services

AB 2164 (R.Rivas) – Support – Vetoed by Governor

AB 2164 was vetoed by the Governor. This measure would have authorized Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to establish a patient, located within the federal designated service area of the FQHC and RHC, through synchronous interaction or asynchronous store and forward as of the date of service, under specified conditions. And would also sunset 180 days after the termination of the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency.

In his veto message, the Governor noted his support for telehealth services, he noted that DHCS is currently reviewing their global telehealth policy and any changes should be considered within that context as well as next year’s state budget process.

Animal Care & Control

SB 573 (Chang) – Watch – Chapter 108, Statutes of 2020

SB 573, authored by Senator Ling Ling Chang, was signed by the Governor and will now require animal shelters, including animal control agencies, and rescue groups to microchip dogs or cats prior to releasing the animal back to an owner or to a new owner for adoption, sale, or release. As another version of this bill was vetoed last year due to cost concerns, SB 573 includes an economic hardship exemption for some pet owners.

Communicable Disease Control

AB 685 (Reyes) – Watch with Concerns – Chapter 84, Statutes of 2020

Governor Newsom, in a special ceremony, signed AB 685 on September 17. AB 685 will now require all private and public employers to notify all in writing employees, when notified of a potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, that they may have been exposed. Employers will also be required to report names, the number of employees, and occupation, of those infected with COVID-19, to their local health department (LHD). CDPH required to post that information on their public website and requires LHDs to link to that posted information on their local website. AB 685 will take effect on January 1, 2021 and will sunset on December 31, 2022.

AB 1710 (Wood) – Support – Chapter 123, Statutes of 2020

AB 1710, authored by Assembly Member Jim Wood, would now allow pharmacists to administer any FDA approved vaccine in addition to those vaccines they are currently allowed to independently initiate and administer so long as they have completed an immunization training program, be certified in basic life support, and comply with all state and federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements. This measure, sponsored by the California Pharmacists Association, is intended to ensure California is ready to deploy a coronavirus vaccine as quickly and broadly as possible once available.

AB 2077 (Ting) – Support – Chapter 274, Statutes of 2020

This measure, AB 2077 authored by Assembly Member Philip Ting, and signed by Governor Newsom, will extend the sunset, until January 2026, that allows pharmacies to sell and for adults to possess sterile syringes for personal use without a prescription. The bill was sponsored by the Health Officers Association, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the Drug Policy Alliance.

SB 275 (Pan) – Watch – Chapter 301, Statutes of 2020

SB 275, authored by Senator Richard Pan, will require the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for health care workers and essential workers in the state and also require health care employers, as specified, to establish a PPE inventory that is sufficient for at least 45 days of surge consumption. The measure will also establish a statewide PPE Advisory Committee to make recommendations for the development of guidelines for the procurement, management, and distribution of PPE.

SB 932 (Wiener) – Watch – Chapter 183, Statutes of 2020

Governor Newsom signed SB 932, by Senator Scott Wiener, over the weekend that will now require any electronic tool that is used by local health officers to report communicable disease information to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to now also include the capacity to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data from individuals diagnosed with any reportable communicable disease. Health care providers are also now required to collect this information from patients, if known, to local health officers when reporting any reportable communicable disease.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

AB 1544 (Gipson) – Neutral – Chapter 138, Statutes of 2020

AB 1544, authored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson and co-sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters and the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, was signed by the Governor. This measure will allow counties to establish community paramedicine and triage to alternate transport programs. AB 1544 will require local emergency medical services agencies (LEMSAs) to provide a first right of refusal to any public agency transport provider when establishing a community paramedicine program. If a LEMSA elects to establish a triage to alternate destination program, they must include all ALS providers that operate within the program jurisdiction; allows for an ALS provider to opt out of the program and includes ability for public agencies to contract with private providers or for private providers to enter into agreements with public agencies to provide these services. These provisions sunset on January 1, 2024.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform & Vital Statistics

SB 406 (Pan) – Support – Chapter 302, Statutes of 2020

SB 406, authored by Senator Richard Pan, was the health committee omnibus bill and contained several provisions. Governor Newsom signed the measure this week. Of interest to CHEAC members, the bill codifies the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that health insurance cover preventive services and the ACA prohibition on health insurance lifetime or annual limits. SB 406 also extends the sunset provision in statute for one year (January 2022) allowing local registrars to accept an electronic acknowledgement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the requester of a marriage, birth, or death certificate is an authorized person.

SB 852 (Pan) – Watch – Chapter 207, Statutes of 2020

Governor Newsom signed SB 852, authored by Senator Pan, that is a first in the nation attempt to allow California’s Health and Human Services Agency to form partnerships with drug manufacturers and suppliers that would aid in producing and distributing high cost generic drugs to help lower drug costs and increase market competition in California.

Injury Prevention

AB 2112 (Ramos) – Support – Chapter 142, Statutes of 2020

AB 2112, authored by Assembly Member James Ramos, was signed by the Governor. This measure allows the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish the Office of Suicide Prevention to provide information and technical assistance to statewide and regional partners regarding best practices on suicide prevention policies and programs and conduct and convene experts and stakeholders to encourage collaboration and coordination of resources for suicide prevention.

Vector Control

AB 1788 (Bloom) – Watch – Chapter 250, Statutes of 2020

Governor Newsom signed AB 1788, authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom. This hotly debated bill the past two years in the Legislature will now prohibits the statewide use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides used as pesticides. Exemptions are provided for governmental agencies and for certain circumstances relating to public health need. Proponents argued that the widespread use of these rodenticides were having negative impacts on mountain lions and other California wildlife.