Policy Committees Face Looming Deadline Prior to Summer Recess

The California Legislature this week continued with a steady pace of bill negotiations and amendments and policy committee hearings, facing a looming deadline in two weeks for fiscal and non-fiscal bills to be heard in second house policy committees. Facing an abbreviated timeline next week due to the Independence Day holiday, policy committee hearing agendas have become considerably lengthy as lawmakers aim to advance bills prior to departing on their month-long summer recess set to begin on July 12.

Below, we highlight actions on several bills of interest from this week. For a full update, the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Communicable Disease Control

AB 1416 (Cooley) as amended May 6, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 1416 by Assembly Member Ken Cooley would expand exemptions in the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 to allow government agencies to access consumer personal information from businesses for the purpose of carrying out governmental functions. The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) is sponsoring the measure. CHEAC is now supporting the measure to ensure local health departments and local health officers are able to access information necessary to conducting communicable disease investigation and control activities. AB 1416 is set for hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 9.

SB 159 (Wiener) as amended May 17, 2019 – SUPPORT  

Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 159 was heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on Tuesday. SB 159 would allow pharmacists to furnish PrEP and PEP to patients without a physician’s prescription if the pharmacist has completed specified training and screens the patient, provides counseling to the patient, documents services in the patient’s health record, and notifies the patient’s primary care provider. Health plans and insurers would also be prohibited from placing prior authorization or step therapy requirements on antiretroviral medications, including PrEP and PEP. SB 159 was advanced on a 17-0 vote with two members not voting. The measure will next be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on July 9.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 50 (Kalra) as amended April 25, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 50 by Assembly Member Ash Kalra would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to submit to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) an amendment request for the Assisted Living Waiver Program to increase slots to 18,500 and to start a process to expand the program on a regional basis beyond the existing 15 participating counties. DHCS would also be required to establish requirements and procedures for waiting list processes. AB 50 was advanced from the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday on an 8-0 vote with one member not voting. The measure will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 8.

AB 848 (Gray) as revised May 16, 2019 – SUPPORT

Adam Gray’s AB 848 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday. The measure would add continuous glucose monitors and related supplies to the schedule of Medi-Cal benefits for diabetes mellitus treatment when medically necessary. AB 848 was placed on the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File where it will be acted upon at a later date.

Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Services (MCAH)

SB 464 (Mitchell) as amended June 27, 2019 – SUPPORT

SB 464 by Senator Holly Mitchell was heard in the Assembly Health committee on Tuesday. The measure would require specified health facilities providing perinatal care to implement an evidence-based implicit bias program for all healthcare providers involved in perinatal care within those facilities. Hospitals would also be required to provide patients with information on filing a discrimination complaint. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) would also be required to track and publish specified maternal morbidity and mortality data. SB 464 was unanimously advanced from the Assembly Health Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Tobacco Control

SB 8 (Glazer) as introduced December 3, 2018 – SUPPORT

Senator Glazer’s SB 8 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday. SB 8 would prohibit the smoking and disposal of all cigar and cigarette waste at all state coastal beaches and in state parks. SB 8 was placed on the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File where it will be acted upon at a later date.

Vector Control

AB 320 (Quirk) as amended May 16, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 320 by Assembly Member Bill Quirk was heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. The measure would, to the extent funding is provided, establish the California Mosquito Surveillance and Research Program at the University of California, Davis to maintain an interactive website for the management and dissemination of mosquito-borne virus and surveillance control data, provide confirmation of tests conducted by local or state agencies, and coordinate with the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, CDPH, local mosquito abatement and vector control districts, and other affected stakeholders. AB 320 was advanced to the Senate Education Committee on an 8-0 vote with one member not voting.