Legislature Presses on as May Deadlines Approach

With the passing of the policy committee fiscal deadline last week, the Legislature was relatively quiet this week.  Several policy committees met to review bills with no fiscal considerations, and will wrap up their work next week.  Appropriations committees in both houses also met, with lengthy bill calendars, and the majority of bills heard were referred to their Suspense Files.  They have three more weeks to dispense with all bills in their fiscal committees, including those on the suspense file.  The deadline for all bills to pass out of their house of origin is Friday, June 2.

Below, CHEAC highlights a few bills heard or amended this week. For a full update, please see this week’s edition of the CHEAC Bill Chart.

Environmental Health

AB 626 (Garcia) as amended on 5/2/17 – Oppose

AB 626 by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia would create a new type of food facility under the California Retail Food code for “microenterprise home kitchens.” Entities would be allowed to prepare and sell meals from private home to the general public, with limitations on the number of meals sold and gross sales. The operations would be subject to local approval.

The bill initially granted the local enforcement agency, the ability to decide whether to allow this activity in their jurisdiction. However, recent amendments allow a county, city and county, or city to authorize the permitting of these operations, yet still requires a permit issued from a local enforcement agency. These amendments raise concerns around whether a city can authorize these activities in a county that does not and what role the local environmental health departments, which are primarily county departments, would play.

CHEAC continues to oppose the measure along with HOAC, CSAC, UCC and RCRC.

Communicable Disease Control

AB 511 (Arambula) as amended on 3/27/17 – Support

AB 511 by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, M.D., updates existing statute requiring those who work with children and others to have tuberculosis tests to instead receive a tuberculosis risk assessment with targeting testing as specified. The measure passed Assembly Appropriations Committee this week and moves to the Assembly Floor.

Access to Health Services

AB 1591 (Berman) as amended on 3/28/17 – Support

AB 1591 by Assembly Member Marc Berman seeks to expand Medi-Cal reimbursement eligibility to include Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) in FQHCs and RHCs. The measure was up in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, where the measure was moved to the Suspense File.

Health Coverage

SB 152 (Hernandez) as amended on 3/23/17 – Watch

SB 152 by Assembly Member Ed Hernandez would change the frequency of DHCS reporting enrollment data on Medi-Cal and Covered California from quarterly basis to a biannual basis.  Additionally, the measure requires DHCS to provide the Whole Child Model program report by January 1, 2021, or 3 years from the date when all required counties fully implement the Whole Child Model, whichever is later.