Policy and Appropriations Committees Continue Work

This week, the Legislature was once again relatively quiet as policy committees reviewed bills with no fiscal implications and fiscal committees placed a majority of bills on Suspense File. The next several weeks are shaping up to be quite busy for the Legislature as the June 2 deadline for all bills to be passed out of their house of origin approaches.

Below, we highlight a few bills that were acted upon this week. For a full update, please reference this week’s CHEAC Bill Chart.

Health Coverage

AB 391 (Chiu) as amended on 3/22/17 – Support

AB 391, introduced by Assembly Member David Chiu, was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week. The measure would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to seek a State Plan Amendment to add patient asthma education and environmental asthma trigger assessments as a Medi-Cal allowable service if provided by a qualified asthma service provider. AB 391 is co-sponsored by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention. The Assembly Appropriations Committee moved the measure to the Suspense File.

Communicable Disease Control

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

AB 511 by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, which would update existing statute requiring those who work with children and others to have tuberculosis risk assessments with targeted testing, was heard on the Assembly Floor this week. The measure passed and is now in the Senate where it awaits committee assignment.

AB 1279 (Salas) as amended on 4/25/17 – Watch with Concerns

AB 1279, introduced by Assembly Member Rudy Salas, was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measure requires counties to find and report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) every case of valley fever within their jurisdiction in a timely manner. CDPH is then required to post valley fever cases online, establish an enhanced monitoring system to track cases, convene a workgroup of health officers, and conduct annual public outreach. AB 1279 also appropriates $2 million from the General Fund for valley fever research, equipment, monitoring, and outreach. The measure was placed on the Suspense File in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Injury Prevention

AB 1103 (Obernolte) as amended on 4/6/17 – Watch

AB 1103, introduced by Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, came to a halt in the Assembly Transportation Committee this week. The measure authorizes a person operating a bicycle, when approaching a stop sign, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping. Supporters of the bill argued that a similar decades-old measure in Idaho has been safe and could be implemented in California. However, during the hearing, the measure faced heavy opposition from law enforcement, automobile organizations, and advocates for the blind and elderly. A vote was not held in the committee and instead Assembly Member Obernolte agreed to hold AB 1103 until next year so he could attempt to work through safety and enforcement concerns with various stakeholders.