Newsom, Facing Oct. 13 Deadline, Continues Action on Bills

Governor Gavin Newsom continues to take action on measures passed by the Legislature and faces a deadline on Sunday, October 13 to sign or veto all measures advanced to his desk. As a reminder, CHEAC will issue a final bill chart in mid-October indicating all actions on tracked measures. Below, we highlight a number of bills and actions taken by Governor Newsom to date:

Animal Care and Control

AB 588 (Chen) – WATCH – Chapter 430, Statutes of 2019

AB 588, authored by Assembly Member Phillip Chen, and sponsored by the California Animal Welfare Association (CAWA), would require animal shelters to disclose in writing a dog’s known bite history and the circumstances related to the bite prior to selling, giving away, or otherwise releasing the dog. Any shelter, human society shelter, or animal rescue group that violates these provisions may be fined up to $500 to be imposed by the city or county in which the animal shelter or rescue group is located. Governor Newson signed the measure into law.

SB 64 (Chang) – WATCH – Vetoed

Governor Newsom vetoed SB 64 authored by Senator Ling Ling Chang expressing concerns that the bill had an unintended consequence of creating a burden for individuals who may already be struggling with the basic costs of caring for their pets. The measure would have required animal shelters, including animal control agencies and rescue groups, to microchip dogs or cats prior to releasing the animal back to an owner or to a new owner for adoption, sale, or release. Exceptions include when a dog or cat is already microchipped or if a licensed veterinarian certifies the animal is medical unfit for the procedure. It would have allowed a shelter or rescue group that does not have microchipping capability on location to enter into an agreement with the owner or new owner to present proof, within 30 days, that the dog or cat is microchipped. Shelters or rescue groups in violation of the requirements would have been subjected to a civil penalty of $100 unless the shelter or rescue group does not have microchipping capability on site.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

SB 438 (Hertzberg)NEUTRAL – Chapter 389, Statutes of 2019

SB 438, authored by Senator Robert Hertzberg and sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters (CPF), sought to restrict the use of non-governmental operated public safety answering points (PSAPs) and circumscribes the existing medical control authority of local EMS agency medical directors. Late amendments resulting from negotiations by a county coalition, including CHEAC, with the author and sponsors, would allow local EMS agencies to continue private contractual arrangements but will also allow a public safety agency to operate medical dispatch for their own jurisdiction. In addition, the measure further clarifies that EMS medical dispatching, including call processing, falls within the medical control of the local EMS medical director. Governor Newsom signed SB 438 into law.

Environmental Health

AB 834 (Quirk) – WATCH – Chapter 354, Statues of 2019

Governor Newsom signed into law AB 834 by Assembly Member Bill Quirk which will require the State Water Resources Control Board to establish a Freshwater and Estuarine Harmful Algal Bloom Program and to work in consultation with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Water Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other state and federal entities to conduct specified activities related to harmful algal blooms.

AB 836 (Wicks) – WATCH – Chapter 393, Statutes of 2019

AB 836 by Assembly Member Buffy Wicks was signed into law by Governor Newsom. The measure establishes until January 2025 a pilot grant program to be administered by the State Air Resources Board to provide funding, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to retrofit ventilation systems at various facilities (e.g. schools, community centers, senior centers, libraries) to create a network of clean air centers and mitigate adverse public health impacts due to wildfire and other smoke events.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 1004 (McCarty) – SUPPORT – Chapter 387, Statutes of 2019

Assembly Member Kevin McCarty authored AB 1004, which requires screening services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program to include developmental screening services for individuals zero to three years of age. The bill would also require Medi-Cal managed care plans to put in place mechanisms to ensure timely and consistent development screenings for children. Governor Newsom signed the measure into law.

AB 1088 (Wood) – SUPPORT – Chapter 450, Statutes of 2019

Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1088, authored by Assembly Member Jim Wood and sponsored by Western Center on Law & Poverty, Justice in Aging, and Disability Rights California. The measure requires DHCS to seek a Medicaid state plan amendment or waiver to implement an income disregard allowing an aged, blind, or disabled individual who becomes ineligible for Medi-Cal who would otherwise be eligible if not for the state buy-in of their Medicare Part B premiums.

Health Equity

AB 241 (Kamlager-Dove) – SUPPORT – Chapter 417, Statutes of 2019

Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Member Sydney Kamlager-Dove’s AB 241 which would require continuing education for physicians, surgeons, nurses, and physician assistants to include information on understanding implicit bias and how biases may contribute to healthcare disparities.

Vector Control

AB 320 (Quirk) – SUPPORT – Chapter 422, Statutes of 2019

AB 320 by Assembly Member Bill Quirk would establish the California Mosquito Surveillance and Research program, to be administered by UC Davis, to maintain an interactive website for the management and dissemination of mosquito-borne virus and surveillance control data, provide confirmation of tests done by local or state agencies, to work in conjunction with local mosquito abatement and vector control districts to conduct research on arbovirus surveillance, transmission of vector-borne diseases, and mosquito ecology and control. Funding is contingent on federal, state or private funding obtained for these purposes. Governor Newsom signed the measure into law.