Legislature Meets Policy Committee Deadline, Adjourns for Month-Long Summer Recess

This week, the California State Senate and Assembly continued a steady pace of legislative and budget actions before adjourning for their month-long summer recess. The deadline for policy committees to meet and report bills passed on Wednesday, leaving a relatively narrow window for legislators to get their bills across the finish line during the remainder of this year’s legislative session.

Looking ahead, legislators will return to Sacramento from their summer recess on August 16. Upon the Legislature’s return, fiscal committees are anticipated work through numerous bills before the legislature shifts to floor sessions only. The last day of the legislative session is September 10.

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

Built Environment & Climate Change

AB 585 (L. Rivas) as amended July 13, 2021 – SUPPORT

AB 585, authored by Assembly Member Luz Rivas, would establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program within the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to coordinate state efforts and support local and regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of and reduce the public risks of extreme heat. This measure would direct OPR to establish criteria and guideline for grants and give priority to applicants serving in disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations. AB 585 was advanced out of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 5-0 vote with two members not voting this week and now moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Communicable Disease Control

SB 744 (Glazer) as amended July 14, 2021 – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

SB 744, authored by Senator Steve Glazer, would require the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), upon an appropriation by the Legislature, to create a program to provide for the expedited release, during a declared public health emergency, of specified health care data to researchers of specified institutions of higher education. The bill would also require any electronic tool used by a local health officer for reporting communicable disease cases to include the capacity to collect and report data on the type of housing where the patient resides, the number of people in the patient’s household, and occupation and workplace of the patient, and a relevant travel history based on the disease course. SB 744 was heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee this week, passing on an 11-0 vote. The bill now moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Drug and Alcohol Services

AB 381 (Davies) as amended June 14, 2021 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Laura Davies’s AB 381 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee on consent. The measure would require licensed recovery or treatment facilities to administer naloxone hydrochloride or any opioid antagonist approved by the U.S. FDA for treatment of an opioid overdose. AB 381 would also require one staff member to know where facility naloxone hydrochloride or approved opioid antagonists are stored and has been trained to administer the drug.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

SB 326 (Pan) as amended June 30, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 326 by Senator Pan eliminates all federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) statutory “tie-backs.” This measure codifies ACA provisions health insurance reforms in California law including coverage for the 10 essential health benefits, guaranteed issue and renewability provisions, prohibitions on imposing pre-existing conditions exclusions, prohibitions on establishing coverage rules based on certain health status related factors, and limits on premium variations based on individuals/family size, geographic area, age, and tobacco use. SB 326 was passed out of Assembly Health on consent this week and moves to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Health Equity

SB 682 (Rubio) as amended July6, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Susan Rubio’s SB 682 would establish the End Racial Inequities in Children’s Health in California Initiative (EnRICH CA Initiative) and require the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency to convene an advisory workgroup to develop and implement a plan to reduce racial disparities in childhood chronic diseases. SB 682 was advanced from Assembly Health on consent this week to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Tobacco Control

SB 395 (Caballero) as amended July 15, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 395 by Senator Anna Caballero would impose a 12.5 percent tax on the retail sale of electronic cigarettes in California and allocate tax revenue to Proposition 99, Proposition 10, and Proposition 56 accounts. Amendments taken this week on SB 395 would also direct a portion of the revenues to the Health Careers Opportunity Grant Program, the University of California, and the newly created Small and Rural Hospital Relief Fund for seismic-related construction among small, rural, and critical access hospitals. SB 395 was advanced out of the Health Committee on a 12-2 vote with one member not voting. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Vital Statistics

AB 751 (Irwin) as amended July 15, 2021 – SUPPORT

This measure, authored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin, was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. AB 751 would remove the sunset date provisions allowing local registrars to accept electronic requests sworn under penalty of perjury, that the requester of a marriage, birth, or death certificate is an authorized person. Additionally, this measure would authorize officials to accept an electronic request from applicants using a process that authentically identifies applicants using National Institute of Standards and Technology Digital Identity Guidelines and other requirements. AB 751 was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 9-1 vote with one member not voting and will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.