Legislative Update

Today the CHEAC Legislative Committee held our first meeting of the year to review the first batch of introduced bills. A complete bill list with actions from today’s meeting will be forthcoming. A few bills are highlighted below:

Dental Health Services

AB 15 (Maienschein) as introduced on 12/6/16 – Support

Requires DHCS to increase reimbursement rates for the Denti-Cal program for the 15 most common prevention, treatment, and oral evaluation services to the regional average commercial rate.

 Drug & Alcohol Services

AB 40 (Santiago) as introduced on 12/6/16– Support

Allows the CURES database to integrate with health information technology systems enabling better system integration.

Health Equity

 SB 167 (Skinner) as introduced on 1/23/17– Support

Requires DSS to request a waiver to allow for the pre-enrollment of otherwise eligible CalFresh applicants up to one month prior to the applicant’s re-entry from county jail or state prison.  Requires the Department of Corrections Secretary to establish an MOU with the federal Social Security Administration to allow an incarcerated person to apply for and receive a replacement social security card and to allow the SSA to process SSI claims under the prerelease program.

Jail Medical

 SB 222 (Hernandez) as introduced on 2/2/17– Support

Would change the length of time an incarcerated Medi-Cal beneficiary’s benefits can be suspended from one-year to the length of incarceration. The measure is sponsored by County Welfare Directors Association and the Californians for Safety and Justice.

Tobacco Control

AB 62 (Wood) as introduced on 2/7/17– Support

Would require public housing authorities to implement policies to prohibit the smoking of tobacco products in living units, interior areas and outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings. This is consistent with federal rules released last year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but uses California’s definition of smoking, which includes electronic cigarettes and vaping.