Legislature Continues to Ramp Up Activities for Second Half of 2021-22 Session

The California State Senate and Assembly this week continued to ramp up its activities, including by receiving the Governor’s 2022-23 proposed budget. Lawmakers responded to the Newsom Administration’s “California Blueprint,” applauding key investments such as Medi-Cal expansion and climate change mitigation.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon commended the Governor on his proposal and expressed support for augmenting the budget to support small businesses with COVID-19 sick leave. Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins similarly issued a statement applauding the Administration and indicating the proposal aligns with the Senate’s budget goals. The Legislature will begin its budget work in earnest cover the coming weeks as the Senate and Assembly budget committees convene informational hearings to receive an overview presentation of the January Budget.

The Legislature today met the deadline for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills to fiscal committees in their house of origin. Several policy committees convened hearings this week to consider and advance measures. These two-year bills face a narrowing window to remain in play with a January 31 house of origin deadline. Appropriations committees in both houses will meet over the next two weeks as lawmakers work toward the two-year bill deadline.

Below, we highlight several bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 1400 (Kalra) as introduced February 19, 2021 – SUPPORT INTEREST BILL

Assembly Member Ash Kalra’s AB 1400 was heard in the Assembly Health Committee on January 11. AB 1400 creates a single payer system within California to be known as the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, or CalCare, for residents regardless of citizenship status to obtain comprehensive health care coverage. Given the breadth of the proposal, Assembly Health Chair Jim Wood allowed ninety minutes of public testimony that was followed by very pointed questions from health committee members for the author.

After a lengthy nearly three-hour presentation and discussion, AB 1400 was advanced from the Assembly Health Committee on a 11-3 vote with one member not voting. The measure now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Drug & Alcohol Services

SB 57 (Weiner) as amended January 3, 2022 – WATCH

SB 57 authored by Senator Scott Weiner would authorize the City and County of San Francisco, the City of Oakland, City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs, including supervised injection sites. This measure was heard in the Assembly Health Committee this week and was passed on a 9-4 vote with 2 members not voting. SB 57 now moves to the Assembly Public Safety Committee.