Legislature Advances Bills Out of Houses, Faces Floor Deadline Next Week

The California Legislature maintained a steady pace of floor sessions this week, working to advance measures out of their house of origin ahead of next Friday’s deadline to do so. Both the Senate and Assembly face another busy week of floor session again next week, and no other committees other than the conference committees or rules committees may meet for any purpose.

Below, we highlight several actions of interest this week that occurred on the Senate and Assembly floors. Our full CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Access to Health Services

SB 66 (Atkins) as amended March 21, 2019 – SUPPORT

SB 66 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins was advanced on consent from the Senate Floor to the Assembly this week. The measure authorizes Medi-Cal reimbursement for a maximum of two visits on the same day at a single FQHC or RHC location if: 1) after the first visit, the patient suffers an illness or injury requiring additional diagnosis or treatment, or 2) the patient has a medical visit and a mental health or dental visit.

Chronic Disease Prevention & Wellness Promotion

SB 347 (Monning) as amended May 17, 2019 – SUPPORT

Senator Bill Monning’s SB 347 would require safety warning labels on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) and SSB vending machines and dispensing machines. SB 347 was advanced from the Senate Floor to the Assembly on a 21-11 vote with six members not voting. Recall, this measure has been proposed in previous years by Senator Monning and Assembly Member Rob Bonta, but both were unsuccessful in making their way through the Legislature.

Communicable Disease Control

SB 276 (Pan) as amended May 17, 2019 – SUPPORT

SB 276 by Senator Richard Pan received extensive debate on the Senate Floor this week, where it was ultimately passed to the Assembly on a 24-10 vote with four members not voting. The measure would require physicians to submit a statewide standardized immunization medical exemption request form and require the state public health officer or designee to approve or deny the request upon determining sufficient medical evidence that the immunization is contraindicated utilizing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) would be required to create and maintain a database of approved medical exemption requests and make available the database to local health officers. The state public health officer and local public health officers would also be authorized to revoke a medical exemption if it is determined that the exemption if fraudulent or inconsistent with applicable CDC guidelines.

AB 362 (Eggman) as amended April 25, 2019 – WATCH

Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman’s AB 362 would authorize the City and County of San Francisco to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs, including supervised injection sites. The measure was advanced from the Assembly Floor to the Senate on a 44-26 vote with 10 members not voting. Recall, Assembly Member Eggman carried a measure last year which would have authorized a similar program, but the measure was vetoed by then-Governor Jerry Brown.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

SB 438 (Hertzberg) as amended May 2, 2019 – OPPOSE

SB 438 by Senator Robert Hertzberg was passed off the Senate Floor earlier this week on a 32-4 vote with two members not voting and now moves on to the Assembly. This bill contains troubling provisions that would undermine medical control and place alarming restrictions contracting dispatch services.

A coalition of county organizations including CSAC, UCC, RCRC, CHEAC, EMSAAC, and EMDAC are all opposed to the measure. We encourage counties to review the language in the bill and consult with your EMS Administrators regarding the impact to your jurisdictions.

Tobacco Control

AB 1718 (Levine) as revised May 16, 2019, and SB 8 (Glazer) as introduced December 3, 2018 – SUPPORT

AB 1718 by Assembly Member Marc Levine and SB 8 by Senator Glazer were advanced from the Assembly Floor and Senate Floor, respectively. These companion measures would prohibit the smoking and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at all state coastal beaches and state parks. Recall, both authors have pursued similar bans the past several years, all of which have been vetoed by then-Governor Jerry Brown. AB 1718 was advanced on a 57-19 vote with four members not voting, and SB 8 was advanced on a 28-10 vote.

SB 38 (Hill) as amended May 17, 2019 – SUPPORT

Senator Jerry Hill moved SB 38 to the Senate Inactive File this week in light of recent amends taken through the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File. SB 38 would prohibit tobacco retailers from selling any flavored tobacco product. Amendments taken last week exempted products with patents issued prior to January 2000 and products designed for nonelectric hookah. With these hostile amendments, the measure lost support from its original co-sponsors – American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association – due to potential harms posed by hookah products. Given the pending floor deadline next week, the measure is unlikely to be pursued further.