Legislature Continues Bill Hearings in Second House, Faces Busy Month Ahead

This week, the California Legislature held a number of policy committee hearings on bills in their second house. In what is shaping up to be a very busy month ahead, the Assembly and Senate continued setting bills for hearings in their policy committees ahead of the July 10 deadline for fiscal bills and July 12 deadline for non-fiscal bills.

Two new members were sworn into the California State Senate on Tuesday, bringing the Senate to its full 40-member capacity. Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) took the seat vacated by Ricardo Lara who was elected State Insurance Commissioner and Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) took the seat vacated by Ted Gaines who was elected to the Board of Equalization. Gonzalez was previously a Long Beach City Councilmember, and Dahle was previously an Assembly Member since 2012 and a Lassen County Supervisor for 16 years prior to that time.

With the seating of the two new Senators, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins yesterday announced several changes to Senate committee membership assignments. Of note:

  • Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) will fill a vacancy on the Senate Appropriations Committee (effective June 17)
  • Senator Lena Gonzalez will replace Senator Maria Elena Durazo on both the Senate Health Committee and Joint Legislative Audit Committee (effective June 17)
  • Senator Brian Dahle will replace Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) will replace Senator Maria Elena Durazo on the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee (effective July 1)

Below, we highlight a few of this week’s actions of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the CHEAC Weekly Update is available here.


AB 228 (Aguiar-Curry) as amended June 3, 2019 – WATCH

AB 228 by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry was heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. The measure would add statutory language declaring a food, beverage, or cosmetic is not adulterated if it includes industrial hemp products, including cannabidiol (CBD), extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp. The definition of industrial hemp would be specified in statute to include a cosmetic, food, food additive, dietary supplement, or herb for human or animal consumption that contains no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC).

Further, MAUCRSA licensees would be authorized to manufacture, distribute, or sell products that contain industrial hemp, and any product containing industrial hemp would be required to bear a specified warning label. Wholesale food manufacturers that make any products containing industrial hemp must be able to demonstrate that the hemp comes from a state or country with an approved inspection or regulatory program, and the manufacturer must also be in compliance with existing Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law. AB 228 was advanced to the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee on an 8-0 vote with one member not voting.  

Communicable Disease Control

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

Senator Richard Pan’s SB 276 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 be authorized to revoke a medical exemption if it is determined that the exemption is fraudulent or inconsistent with CDC guidelines. SB 276 has been set for hearing in the Assembly Health Committee next Thursday, June 20.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 848 (Gray) as revised May 16, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 848 by Assembly Member Adam Gray would add continuous glucose monitors and related supplies to the schedule of Medi-Cal benefits for diabetes mellitus treatment when medically necessary, subject to utilization controls. AB 848 was heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday and advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee on a unanimous 9-0 vote.