Legislature Reaches Bill Introduction Deadline, Introduces Nearly 1000 Bills This Week

Today is the last day for the Legislature to introduce any new bills, resulting in nearly 1,000 bill proposals this week alone. The Senate and Assembly Desks are still open today and are expected to continue processing bill introductions into the weekend.

The CHEAC Legislative Committee will be considering all new public health-related measures that have been introduced this year during upcoming in-person meetings. As such, the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart will begin to feature new bills impacting public health and local health departments. For now, this week’s bill chart is available here.

Hearing Focuses on Lead Poisoning Prevention among Medi-Cal Children

This week, the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials held an oversight hearing on the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and the status of testing low-Income children for lead exposure. The hearing featured California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Karen Smith to provide an overview of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) and public health activities related to case management and referrals, lab testing and data management, and provider education.

Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Director Jennifer Kent discussed the process of tracking Medi-Cal childhood blood lead test data and the Department’s working relationship with health plans to capture this data. Members of the committee were particularly interested in the low rates of reported blood lead screening and testing activities for children in Medi-Cal and predominantly focused their questions around DHCS policies for providers and data capabilities.

Kent committed to revisiting and revising policies and procedures with health plans, working with CDPH on enhancing data systems and sharing, and improving communication with providers and other stakeholder entities to improve blood lead level screening rates among California’s low-income children.

The hearing also featured perspectives from the American Academy of Pediatrics and local lead poisoning prevention groups. Lead poisoning prevention is likely to be an increasing area of interest for the Legislature this year as evidenced by this week’s hearing and various lead-related bills that have been introduced this year. Additional information and materials from the hearing are available here.