Legislature Reaches Bill Introduction Deadline, CHEAC Legislative Committee to Meet Next Week

The California State Senate and Assembly today reached the deadline to introduce new bills for the second half of the 2021-22 Legislative Session. Legislators this week introduced hundreds of bills on a wide range of topics, and the Senate and Assembly desks are anticipated to finalize processing of all new bill introductions through the weekend.

The CHEAC Legislative Committee will meet next week to review and determine positions on the first batch of new bills of potential interest and/or impact to California local health departments and public health. The Committee will convene again in mid-March to review the second batch of new bills. As the Legislative Committee identifies and takes positions on new bills of interest, bills will begin to appear on our CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart. As a friendly reminder, our CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is published at the end of each week and accessible on CHEAC’s Legislative Advocacy Page.

Of note this week, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins on Thursday announced a hearing has been set for SCR 5 (Melendez) on March 15 in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. SCR 5 would declare an end to the Governor’s state of emergency proclaimed on March 4, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her statement, pro Tempore Atkins indicated:

“The Committee will debate the merits of the resolution and the implications it will have on California’s ability to respond to the COVID emergency. I understand we are all tired of living life in an emergency, but ending the emergency must be done responsibly to ensure there are no unintended consequences so we can continue to meet the need of our state’s residents in an unpredictable future.”

In other legislative news, the full Senate today voted 33-0 to confirm Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna as the Deputy Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Office of Health Equity (OHE). Recall, Dr. Radhakrishna’s appointment was considered by the Senate Rules Committee last week and unanimously advanced to the full Senate.

For a full update on CHEAC-tracked legislative measures, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.